Teaching is risky business. Standing too long at the head of the class can stunt one’s growth. Hence the long-established practice within universities of sabbaticals. Getting out of the trenches to investigate the new and unknown is essential for all of us, but for teachers, even more so.

Two of the participants in Pilchuck’s 2009 Professional Artists-in-Residence program and also in the current Act 2 show at MoNA are not only teachers within our field , but also kiln-glass resource center owners. And if you think that running a teaching studio is a walk in the Art Park you might want to meet Judith Conway and Paul Tarlow.

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Saturday. Day 2.5 of SOFA. Brain dead. No time. Hoarse.

Here’s 16 quick pics to do the talking. Roughly split into five categories…..

#1. What it looks like when they open the doors to preview night, you’re the first booth in the hall and the earth is moving under your feet.

That’s pretty much all I see on Opening Night. The rest is equally blurred. Sorry.

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The Sculpture Objects & Functional Art fair organized by the Art Fair Company each year on Chicago’s Navy Pier is more than just another market of beautifully crafted objects designed and executed by some of the world’s best makers.

SOFA is also a barometer of our field. Aesthetic direction, media percentages, gallery appearances (and disappearances), size of booth, placement in hall, artists on show – SOFA is a virtual snapshot of where we are and, more importantly, where we’re going.

Going places: e-merge 2010 winner Kate Baker is our choice for front row viewing at the entrance to this year’s SOFA.

Granted, it’s not yet even Opening Night. Many dealers are still knee-deep in installation. But since our own booth is finally “done and dusted”, I had a few minutes yesterday to walk the aisles and take a few notes. Shared herewith….

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I’m always thrilled to find a soul willing to follow a path to the arts after a life in the more “stable” professions.  How many of us recall parental cautions against trying to make a living in art.?

“If you want to minor in studio art – fine – but PLEASE, major in something that will pay the bills.”

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It’s Art Fair season and our first stop this fall is SOFA CHICAGO.

Think about joining the crowds to see some of the best in glass worldwide. (and some other neat stuff too).

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Since Sarah provided a CORRECT answer to our first Cash Blog question before the deadline, I’m going to keep the game going.

For the next $25 gift card redeemable for Bullseye products through our Call Center, you have until 9am PST Thursday (9/23/10) to answer this five-part question:

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By the last day of COLLECT we’re running out of time. After years of working at Bullseye Gallery, Jamie announces she’s never seen glass blown (it is possible to take this gotta-be-Bullseye-gotta-be-kilnformed thing too far).

Adam Aronson takes pity and invites us for breakfast and a lesson at his hotshop in West Brompton. Charming neighborhood, good croissant, and Adam proves to be a brilliant teacher.

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Friday inside the Saatchi Galleries, it’s all business. Sales are stronger than we’ve seen in years.

Without a doubt the most satisfying clients are the ones who return a year later to say they deeply regret the purchase they didn’t make the year before and would like to make up for it immediately!

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It was a shoo-in: a work whose imagery and ideas sit somewhere between industrial and natural, hard-edged and ephemeral, Kate Baker’s diptych intriguingly pairs high-tech and handcraft. It perfectly summarized e-merge 2010 and the jurors were unanimous in their decision.

Kate Baker, Untitled (Melina) 2009

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Caveat: the quotes below are not verbatim, just the imperfect echoes still rattling around my head a day after the jurying of e-merge. There is also no relationship between the images here and the adjacent remarks.

“It’s a Trojan horse…..you barely notice it, then slowly it grabs you and all these ideas start leaping out…”

“I liked the piece a lot….then I read the statement….it had nothing to do with what I felt in looking at the work….that statement killed the piece for me…”

“How can you not love this? Instantly. It just reaches out and touches something that is common to all of us. You know immediately what the artist is saying. Is that wonderful? Or maybe not?”

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