“Mercy, Mercy Me”

Let me start this on a personal note. I don’t think of myself as a cabinetmaker or a woodworker. On bad days, I think of myself as a wood butcher, but fortunately, there are not too many days like those, and whatever I, um, “make” on those days goes into the sawdust bin, so it’s not such a big deal, right? But, seriously, I think of myself as an artist, both with my writing and with my woodworking. But there is a profound difference between the two mediums, and it is this: the execution of the idea.

If I think of an idea for these blogs or for a novel or for anything I care to write, I really just sit down at the keyboard and start wriggling my fingers, and after a period of time, there it is. Or should that be, WHOOMP, there it is?

First I think of an idea, then I think of how in the world I’m going to get it to work. Sometimes it’s rather simple. Other times… But that’s what makes woodworking what it is, a challenge at two levels: the conception and the birthing, as it were. But what I am saying about woodworking goes much more for glass artists, because of what they must contend with in order to execute a piece. It is, as I’ve said on a few occasions, the field I like to think I would have gotten into, had I not decided to pursue woodworking. But I have to admit that there are times when I think I made the right decision by not pursuing glass, and never so much so as when I look at the work of some of the glass artists I have come across in doing my research for these blogs. Take the glass sink at the top of this blog, which was made by CBD Glass Studios.

How the hell does anyone even come up with an idea like this one? And then to actually make it! Bear in mind, now, that even very experienced glass artists making much smaller pieces watch, on average, about a third of them hit the floor before they’re finished. It’s the nature of working with such a fragile medium. And then, to work with something like this? How do those people sleep at night? No, really, doesn’t your head just kind of explode at night as you’re lying there trying to figure out how in the world you are ever going to achieve this piece after you’re dreamed it up? I mean, my god, what a concept!

But to return to CBD, the initials stand for Contemporary Bath Design, which appears to have been shortened because they greatly expanded the line of work they have available. In this blog I have concentrated on their namesake, namely, bath designs, but they have actually done much more work than that, so I expect to “mine” that particular vein for a few more blogs!

What most interests about CBD Glass Studios, though, is the sheer volume of their innovation. Glass is a wonderfully plastic medium that lends itself to all kinds of interpretations, but CBD has taken this ancient medium and done some insanely innovative things with it. Really, the song writers are right. Things ain’t what they used to be.


View article