Six days since leaving our shrink-wrapped pallets behind at SOFA Chicago

Fourteen days before arriving at Art Miami

I’m still digesting the lessons learned on Navy Pier. When it’s gelled into something more coherent than I’m capable of today, I’ll put a post together.

In the meantime, the latest news: our SOFA return shipment arrived at the gallery in Portland on Friday. By end-of-day Saturday the tireless gallery team had packed, wrapped, and strapped the Miami pallets that are now waiting for a Monday pick-up.

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As the only gallery at Art Miami showing exclusively art made of glass, we’ve been the seed for some provocative conversations.

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It’s the start of the second full day of SOFA Chicago. The opening was grand. Friday had equal energy.

But no one’s energy matched Dan’s. He must have buzzed up the Rogers staircase at least a half dozen times. Despite encouragement from a group of passing teens, he never jumped.

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The architectural ideas got a lot of chatter. Sales were satisfying.

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Somewhere back in Portland, Oregon,  Susan, Janet and a dozen other serious-minded staffers at the Bullseye Glass Company imagine that their leader, Jim – in Chicago for Bullseye Gallery’s showing at SOFA 2009 – is working hard to uphold the supremely professional reputation of the company and the many fine artists its gallery represents.

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Wrong. Made irreparably giddy by the fumes of Sherwin-Williams #7048, the normally no-nonsense Mr Jones has been buzzing about the monkey bars all morning, drunkenly painting and repainting the endless corners and angles that make up the skeleton of Michael Rogers’ Beekeeper’s Staircase.

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Glass wants to be big.

Think about it. Ours is a medium that by its very nature overflows its edges. Its containers refuse to contain themselves. The light reflected and refracted by a glass object can spill over into surrounding space. Not unlike architecture, glass can define space.

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Jessica Loughlin in Bullseye’s factory studio, caught between Ted and Tom, between horror and enthusiasm, between art and design, between a rock and a hard place…..

This defining ability of the material is probably why I am so drawn to glass objects that are about space – and why glass seems to me to so naturally speak the language of architecture.

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Sorry to have stalled after posting about Dan Klein’s death. It just took the wind out of my sails.

Meanwhile, it’s been pointed out to me that it’s a bit morbid to have an obit on the blog for over a month. And, more to the point, Dan would have thought so too. It’s true – he would have.

Dan cared passionately about our field and worked relentlessly to advance it in the larger art world – whether that world was called craft, decorative arts, applied arts or contemporary art.

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Close to Close. ART Santa Fe was a chance to show our artists’ work in a different context. read more

It’s been four days since we set up our booth at SOFA WEST. A lot’s happened and a lot hasn’t.

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Opening night knocked everyone’s socks off. The crowds were far larger than expected. Apparently they’d anticipated about 500 people for the opening night reception. I’ve heard that between 1500 and 2000 turned out. But who could count? I could barely move.

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Just because it looks posh on the outside, doesn’t mean that any Royal Treatment awaits within.

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Small children being forced to run endless laps on the track in front of Saatchi’s glam digs should have alerted us  to the drudgery that lay ahead.

And sure enough…much as I utterly ADORE doing  COLLECT  in London, it’s the same old grind when it comes to setting up for this art fair.

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I’ve got stuff to do … a walk to Latheronwheel Harbor

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I found North Lands in 2001. Although it’s probably more accurate to say that it found me. I was standing in a nearly empty booth at the SOFA/Chicago fair a month after 9/11 when Dan Klein stopped by. In reply to my musings as to where one could go to escape a world gone mad, he said simply “Come to North Lands”.

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Double rainbows are as abundant in Caithness as parking tickets in downtown Portland.

North Lands isn’t actually the name of a specific location – it’s more a state of mind. North Lands Creative Glass is in Caithness, Scotland, the northernmost county of mainland Britain. The school itself is in the village of Lybster. Surrounding Lybster is a landscape that is the most ancient I’ve ever experienced. And one where Doing Art makes uncanny sense.
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