Friday, April 27, 2012

The Glass Blowers

Our goal here at FOL, is to provide inspiration. As a novice artist, my greatest admiration goes to people who have made their art their life. How can we hope to inspire people with that kind of dedication and experience? By exposure, that's how! Any place where artists gather and appreciate each other is productive for all.  With that in mind, I have invited a friend to serve as guest blogger for us today.  I met Theresa, appropriately enough, at a photography workshop and we have been shooting together ever since. Theresa works hard at her craft, and she never passes up a chance to experience art. I'll let her take it from here. Welcome Theresa!

Into the Fire

What are you passionate about? I recently had the opportunity and privilege of photographing  a glass blowing exhibition. It was a demonstration hosted by their venue, Studio 7 in Bernardsville, NJ. ( The glass blowers are all master craftsmen and well recognized artists. As I watched and photographed these amazing people creating, it occurred to me that there is a parallel among all artists.

Doug Merritt

Doug Merritt is a master glass blower who specializes in creating art glass by fusing glass rods into a blown piece of glass, creating the look of embedded flowers. Doug has been working with glass for over forty years and his pieces can be seen in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Wheaton Museum of American Glass, The Smithsonian Institute, and  many private collections.

Cody F. Nicely

Cody Nicely is a young man who first developed an interest in art glass at the age of thirteen, when his aunt took him to Murano, Italy. He is touted as one of Knoxville's hottest emerging artists. Cody creates sculptures of aquatic life from glass and each one is unique. His work is featured in galleries around the country.

Jake Pfeifer

Jake Pfeifer is a budding art glass artist who also developed an interest in glass blowing at a very young age. Jake fuses glass rods to create interesting designs that he then molds into vases and bowls.  He has studied with Doug Merritt. and Studio 7 displays his work.

Each of these men takes the same material and makes it his own. Each of these individuals had to have the finished product in their minds' eye. Each had to have knowledge of their tools and techniques, which they had spent years perfecting. Most importantly, each of these men have a passion for what they do, and it shows.

That is what I believe we do as photographers. If you have ever gone out shooting a location with other photographers, you know what I mean. You can have five people standing side by side shooting  the same subject and you will leave with five different interpretations. Along my path to learning photography, I also have discovered the benefit of pre-visualizing the photograph before I take it, of learning my camera and other equipment in order to render the photograph that I am after. I too am spending many hours learning, practicing and perfecting my technique.

I walked away from this experience with a renewed appreciation for the value of passion. I am passionate about photography and this passion leads me to continually push myself out of my comfort range and beyond the boundary of just taking a photograph - I am learning the making of a photograph.

So ask yourself,  "What am I passionate about," 
and then pursue it.

Theresa Hood
THood Photography


Dotti said...

Welcome, Teresa! Your message is packed with inspiration. You're so right ... just watching a passionate artist at work can motivate you to work harder at your own art form. There is beauty in watching a passionate artist. Well-known glass artist Stephen Rolfe Powell lives and works close by, teaching at the college where I worked until retirement. His glass-blowing demonstrations are awe-inspiring; his work is sublime. You know what else I've found? Passionate artists are usually fun people, too.

Barbara said...

Thank you Theresa, that was inspiring to see the beautiful artist at work. This type of art is always so inspiring. A couple of years ago our Desert Gardens had an exhibit of Dale Chiluly and I could have spent days walking around and photography such beauty. What I enjoy about photography is that there is just so much out in the this world to because our muse. Thank you again for being Guest artist and inpiring us all.

terriporter said...

Thanks so much, Teresa, for this inspiring post! I've always loved watching glassblowers and also was able to see the Chihuly exhibit at the Phoenix Desert Botanical Gardens. I also have watched glassblowers down in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico with fascination. Just mind-blowing what these people can do with glass! I really like your comparison to photography, where several people can take photos of the same scene or object and you end up with several different interpretations. And, I agree -- all artists who work hard at their craft are inspiring. Thank you for bringing this inspiration to us!

terriporter said...

And thank you, Carol, for bringing Teresa into our group to inspire us. Wonderful guest post!

Linda said...

I have always enjoyed blown glass. The skill and artistry it takes to create such lovely things is amazing. I love how you compared it to photography! Really something to think about! And really a good reminder to take time and make art with my camera!


Carol said...

I agree! She did a great job - you can always tell when writing is from the heart.

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

Teresa! Thank you so much for being such a great guest!!

Carol has wonderful friends and obviously knows talent when she sees it.

I especially loved the colors but the point of view on your photos were so interesting and help to tell the story.

Hope to see you again!


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the wonderful post Teresa! Glass blowing has always fascinated me and it was so beautiful to live it through your photos.

Carol said...


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