Going Once, Going Twice…Going Fifteen Times… | Bullseye Glass Co. | Bullseye Glass Co

Going Once, Going Twice…Going Fifteen Times…

I’ve honestly forgotten how many times we’ve attended the Pilchuck Glass School Auction, but I think it’s been about fifteen in the last sixteen years.


Just Looking. Dan feeling alone together while drinking away his resolve to pinch pennies…

We missed the auction last year, the first time in a decade. So why this year did everyone hit me with: “it’s so good to see you coming to the auction again” like we’d been on some interminable boycott until this weekend??

It’s because everyone watches everyone at this thing:.

• Artists watch their work.

• Artists watch people watching their work.

• People watch other people watching the work they want.

• Husbands watch wives watching work they’re afraid she’ll buy.

• Wives watch husbands watching them watch the work they’re going to buy no matter what he says.

• Finally, you don’t even need to be there to have your not being there watched.


Just Playing. OK, so some artists would rather dink with their own choo-choo trains than watch the action.

On the train ride up to Seattle from Portland my own husband declared emphatically “we’re NOT buying anything this weekend.” (He’s still whining about the week in the Tuscan villa for 10 that we’ve owned for the last week because I adore a certain animal hospital.)

Dan’s heel-digging prompted me to put a guaranteed bid on the first item I couldn’t live without in the silent auction, a Jiri Harcuba monoprint.

Dan doesn’t know how lucky he is. I saw lots of other stuff that I liked a lot, but either I bid too low or only watched.

Just a few: Stacy Levinson’s kilnformed and slumped forms; Barbara Muth’s Color Sketches; Dick Ditore’s tectonic stack; Els VandenEnde’s stacked cairn.

(That’s barely the tip of the kiln-glass iceberg that was pretty imposing at the auction this year. For brevity’s sake, I’m skipping mention of the artists regularly shown in our gallery and the awesome group of Bullseye past and current employees with works at this year’s event.)

I was close to doing more damage to Dan’s credit card (what, register MY card at the express pay desk?!), when I glanced across a small island of pedestals and, through the haze of my third champagne, saw him in one of those intensely trivial conversations with a stranger.


She: “So, is that YOUR number below mine on that bid card?”
He: “Yeah, whatchya gonna do about it?” (Did he really think he could egg someone else’s wife over the Guaranteed Bid edge?)


She: “This, Buddy.

The room started to spin as the disembodied voice overhead rumbled “…4 seconds left to bid on items in the red section…”


He: “I know guaranteed bids and that’s not one. Here, watch this, Honey!”

Granted, it was only a minor skirmish in an evening of much bloodier battles. But, as the quality of my photos show, I was losing all focus. And Dan was losing the battle of will over wallet. Maybe we’ll skip it again next year. Watching can be expensive.

5 Responses to Going Once, Going Twice…Going Fifteen Times…

  1. amanda says:

    Dear Lani

    As much as i really, really love living in Scotland with it’s mini thriving glass scene, i am extremely envious of those of you in NW USA. Pictures are great and give you some feeling for the piece but having seen some of the work you brought to Collect, it’s just nowhere near seeing the real thing. Credit cards would definitely have to stay at home though (and hubby is very sensible not to even own one!). Ever thought of touring the UK with some of the Bullseye Gallery artists?
    Hope to get to Pilchuck one day but hate leaving my studio and my daily drug-free rush of opening the kiln….one day though!
    Thanks for the blog (makes my morning cup of tea over the computer and emails entertaining!)
    Amanda x

  2. lmcgregor says:

    Hi Amanda,

    Funny! I was just looking at YOUR blogspot over my own cuppa (I learned about it from Cynthia – who is always a hundred cyber years ahead of me in what’s happening in the blogosphere). VERY nice work! You have a beautiful feel for color.

    Meanwhile, no, we probably won’t tour the UK with BE artwork until our dollar gets out of Intensive Care.

    BUT, we’re slowly building a small private museum (of course I exaggerate) of Bullseye Gallery artists up in our home in the Highlands. If you are ever near North Lands, stop in for a tour! Thanks for writing!

    Cheers, Lani

  3. Damn.

    I NEVER get to go to these things. I make plans, I buy the tickets, even get the daggone train tickets and a reservation at my favorite Seattle hotel…and then something comes up and I’m not there. Drat. Drat. Drat.

    I’d made a list of about 10 auction items and a vow that I’d go home with at least two, so probably it’s just as well. Sounds as if I’d be staring at an empty bank account and cursing my auction fever…

  4. Cynthia Morgan says:

    Uhm, forgot to ask–did you get the Harcuba? That was on my list of 10…

  5. Barbara says:

    I was sorry to miss saying hi to you that night. The few times I saw you in the crowd you were engrossed in conversation and I didn’t want to interrupt.

    I went by Pacini Lubel while in Seattle and saw some of Els’ wonderful cairns.

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