The second glass class that I took at the Azalea Rec Center is the one that changed everything. It was called a slumped-glass class. This class changed my entire future and was the crucial starting point for ALL the EnergyWebs.
It’s now 2000 and I’ve been playing with glass on my own for the past four years, creating stacked glass sculptures and taking classes in fused-glass and now getting ready to take some slumped-glass classes at the Azalea Recreation Center. The classes were mainly about taking thin sheets of plate glass, painting them, and placing them on top of molds in a kiln, then heating the kiln to a temperature high enough to “melt” the glass which would then form over the mold…most being plate type molds with rounded glass.
The woman in charge and teaching the class was also representing a paint company which had developed a type of paint that wouldn’t burn off at high temperatures.
Our first class assignment was to paint something on a 10 inch round piece of thin glass, which would then be kilned and molded ( slumped) into a glass plate. All the other members of the class set in to painting their “plates” with palm trees, fish and whatever else they felt like.
But Me….I’m no artist ( at least not then). I never took any painting classes or even pursued anything like that…but I did notice a pottery wheel in the room, and I remembered doing “spin art” as a youth.
I encountered “spin art” at a local fire-station carnival near my house in Blasdell, New York. I was there for the weekend, helping out one of my neighbors who had a peach-basket softball toss game set up. I would collect money, pass out softballs, and hand out stuffed animals should anyone win ( few did).
When Mr. Martinez paid me at the end of the day, I would head directly to the spin art booth where I created the “masterpieces” which were soon hanging on my bedroom walls.