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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Robert Mickelsen- Glass Artist & Cool Teacher

I just finished a 3 day Robert Mickelsen class at FlameTree Glass in Roswell, Georgia. And I have to say, it changed my entire personal perspective about glass.

I had taken it thinking that I would just want apply what I learn about boro sculpture, to my soft glass work, but I'm slightly dazed and amazed, because he changed my perspective and I now love boro too. I wouldn't have guessed that would happen in a million years.

You see, Robert is an amazing teacher and a super nice guy. He makes everyone feel comfortable, no matter what level they come in at. He is encouraging, helps us all out throughout the entire day and is so generous with his knowledge, extra demos and kind words. I don't say this about just
anyone, but this guy really has earned my respect.

He has a list of important concepts and then teaches
the sculptural pieces that explain what he is writing. We made trees at the beginning of class to illustrate how to properly connect the boro glass. I liked that. We learned to seal it and got a start at feeling what the glass feels like when molten.

The top photo shows him making a black widow spider. I am sad to say, mine died. She lost some of her legs and has come home with me never to see the light of day again. But, making all those tiny connections and feeling the pull of the glass, finding the right flame and the right spot in the flame made that exercise, and her demise all worthwhile.

The bottom photo was a request demo that he did late in the evening. Jessica Boggs and I were looking through a book and asked him to make one of the mermaids. He not only made her, but made her into a goblet as well. Holy cow, I think my mouth was open in amazement the entire time. One of the concepts with this piece was watching Robert achieve flow and movement with the body. It's what I've been trying to learn, but got to see in action for three days. I can't wait to practice more.

So I bet you've come to the correct conclusion that if I get an opportunity to take another class from Robert Mickelsen that I will jump. You bet I will! He rocks. And I strongly suggest that you jump at any chance too. He made a believer out of me. And once I finish here, I'm heading up to FlameTree to pick up my pieces and buy a little boro to get started.