Yes, it’s approaching four weeks….and just when I thought it was safe to go out , I got a Google alert  a couple of days ago that shot me right back to GAS – a favorite, often-edgy Canberra based blog with delayed coverage of the Moje demo at GAS.

I snagged this snap (apologies for the thievery, Megan) in order to answer a couple of questions that I got asked daily during the conference:

Q#1. What’s the story behind the cool Moje T-shirt?
Q#2. Where do I get one?

Why not get it off your chest? Better yet – put it on. Klaus Moje and Yoko Yagi make a sartorial statement at GAS Portland.

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I know I promised to write about the GAS conference. You’d think that I’d have something to say about a project that consumed over a year of my life.  Maybe a simple BESTS & MOSTS list like Cynthia’s.

Oddly though, my BESTS were a little too much like my WORSTS. Stuff like:

EIGHTEEN HUNDRED GLASS FANATICS…

…craning for a view (the bleached head in the upper right-hand corner of the frame is me), I can’t deny the rock-concert allure of mobs watching really good blowers (and Paul Cunningham doing a Moje roll-up fills that bill brilliantly).

But somehow, conversing through a bullhorn lacks a certain intimacy.

…even if Dan seemed to enjoy the hell out of herding hundreds of compliant souls around the factory.

I appreciate the organizational steroids it takes to manage a project of this size, but I came away from  GAS  with a heightened appreciation for conferences on the scale of Ausglass‘ or North Lands’, where human contact doesn’t mean having your hand ground into the steel bleachers by some kid’s Doc Martens as he scrambles for a seat.

OK. Clearly I’m still in GAS rehab. I WILL try to find some less curmudgeonly BESTS in a day or two.

For now, I’m off to confer with the most appealing crowd in THIS neighborhood.

It’s been exactly two weeks since GAS ended.

My exploded water pump seemed an oddly appropriate way to cap the Year of GAS.

I certainly didn’t manage to cap it with any running commentary. Sorry. It was just all too overwhelming. And – as usual – Morganica covered so much of it so well. I really liked her BESTS and MOSTS.

I promise to post a list of my own…soon. But right now I need to get to Helmsdale. Right now I’m 9/10ths of the way there.

And here comes my train. Later.

In keeping with the quaint perception that anyone working like Moje must be on drugs, I need to mention this work. Yoko Yagi is a Japanese artist whose work is on view at the Portland Japanese Garden until June 30.

Yoko Yagi “Taga Sode III”, 2008. Blown and coldworked murrine glass. 6.5 ” x 8″ x 8″

This small and stunning exhibition opened in the garden’s Pavilion gallery yesterday with talks by both Yagi and Masami Koda, two of the less established, but most interesting, artists in the show.

Inspired ten years ago by seeing the work of Klaus Moje, Yagi works in kiln-glass methods not dissimilar to those of her mentor. In a good year, she can make about twelve pieces in her painstaking murrine process. Drugs? No, just persistence, and an eye for exceptional quality. Yagi’s work, like the rest of the show reflects what PJG Curator Diane Durston refers to as a “sensibility that is both international and yet distinctly Japanese.”

Whether you’re coming to the GAS conference or not, don’t miss this show, this place, these artists.

I know. I’m nagging.

I love the press – indiscriminately. Our home subscriptions include, among others, The New York Times, The Oregonian, and The Art Newspaper.

So how can I complain when I read the Oregonian’s chief arts writer describing our fast-approaching GAS conference as “a confab of industry wonks.”

I wondered what we were. Wonks. Excellent. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Then come on over to the conference. We expect it to be newsworthy.

“Look, Ma, no Bullseye!”….

Banjo, “Disco Chopper”, 2008. Lampworked borosilicate glass. 5″ x 16″ x 5″

See more “degenerate” glass art at Mark Woolley Gallery.

Time is racing by. I can’t seem to get back to the factory tour I started weeks ago. Victim to some malfunctioning reverse gear on my internal time machine, this morning I found myself staring at this…

Rolling glass circa 1978. The height of fashion on the casting floor? Velvet bellbottoms?

Not today. But who notices apparel in 2008? You can’t see the pants for the tattoos.

Well, back to working out the timelines for the real tours that are coming through next week. If you want to know more about these and other activities that Bullseye has planned for the GAS conference, check out the SEE BE info that Mary Kay’s group put together.

Like everything else they do, it’s just brilliant.

Speaking of factory tours, the 100 that went through last Monday was just a drill for the GAS-powered tsunami rolling in next month. On June 18 alone we’ll push, prod and pummel 350 people through the narrow gauntlet between batching, melting, forming, QC and shipping.

Maybe I’ll use the next few blogs to practice The Routine.

We mix the raw materials, called “batch”, in 55-gallon drums – about 120 of them each day.

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Just about 6 weeks left until GAS arrives in Portland. The dull roar no longer seems so distant. What’s up?

E-merge (May 5 – July 25) has been installed and enjoyed its quiet launch yesterday. Live jurying and the awards reception (May 17) are still ahead, but it’s up, looks great and was visited yesterday by almost 100 docents from the Portland Art Museum, many voting for the Popular Prize.
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This weekend Chris Van Dyke responded to my request that – in spite of the end of his company and his cancellation of speaking engagements across the country – he still deliver the keynote address at GAS this June.

For the reasons given in my last post - and more – I truly believe that what Nau tried to do is critical in our world today – maybe even more so in the economic climate we are all living.

I am hugely grateful that he’s agreed to continue the dialogue – with us – at GAS.

We’ve all gotten them: the phone call that starts “I’ve got some bad news. You might want to sit down.”

I got one of those yesterday. It was the Exec Director of GAS.

“We just lost our keynote speaker for the conference. His business went under.”

Looking “Stealth” in the face. Geoff & Jeff install e-merge.

OK. First of all, I heard the sound of my heart cracking. I loved NAU. They were a business that was about more than just business. They had a new vision. Of community, of giving back, of good design married to sustainability.

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