Some Thoughts on the (unofficial) BAGI Fusing Mentorship Program
Nowadays we are often being reminded to simplify and let go of stuff, that less is best and that it’s time to conserve. Actually that’s not such bad guidance overall. MORE does not always equal better (More ≠ Better). In this time of drought it seems like less lawn, rather than more lawn, in the yard is the best call. With the local freeways full of cars more often than not, more ≠ better. If one cup of coffee is good, would five cups be better? My own empirical evidence suggests….NO, one cup is just fine.
Yet with Fused glass, More = Better.
How can that be possible? What with the high cost per pound of compatible fusing glass these days? And with all the equipment, energy, and time needed to do all this fused glass work? More is better – how?
The answer is very simple – BAGI. I’ve been the senior instructor in Fusing at BAGI since 2008, and I offer courses in various aspects of glass Fusing – from a two hour Discover glass “Party of 2” Fusing class to a 16 hour Fusing 1A class, and even more advanced Fusing 1B, Higher Fire (high temp kilnforming), Fused glass jewelry, Strips, and Imagery classes -- with even some crossover kilnforming and hot classes such as Murrinis and the Roll Up, both of which use Fused glass components. And for all of my students I am available for mentorship to those who have an interest in coming in to work on their own stuff – just ask.
Some folks take one of our Fusing classes and immediately say “I want More”. And that’s music to my ears – since I am also one of those people who got bit by the glass bug a long time ago and wanted MORE before I even knew what I was asking for. And totally I get that – I have tons of empathy there.
The great thing about the Fused glass is that More is Easy. Sure, one must first learn how to do it all, then go get the glass (which can put a hole in one’s wallet quickly) and then get their own tools. Yet once those things are all in place, BAGI offers our workspace to those who want to come in to rent a kiln, or even part of a kiln since we can work out a prorated deal. The whole point is to get people back in the studio.
Renting a whole kiln at BAGI is a pretty good deal since our ovens can hold A LOT of glass – you’ll work yourself into the ground trying to fill a kiln here. And we also supply prepped kiln shelves – and if you ask me who’s prepping all those kiln shelves, I will be glad to tell you.
The best part of the deal is that if you coordinate with me, I’ll be glad to mentor you while I am at BAGI working or teaching. You’ll mostly be doing your work on your own since I’ll be with my class or my own glass, yet I’ll be glad to answer questions and provide some guidance about what you are doing. I’ll be glad to tell you what you might need and to show you some inspirations if I can.
One of the more significant aspects of the mentorship is that we ALWAYS work on getting you the best results possible. It’s not like in class, where I encourage you to make mistakes. Class time is a teaching environment, and mistakes are necessary for learning. I’d rather have my students discover something than just tell them about it since finding out on your own has much more impact. Yet, when it’s the glass that you bought and you’re coming in on your time, we only focus on how to get your piece exactly right, the first time.
Over the years I’ve had many students come in to be mentored. Some come to make a project they wanted to complete. Others are more interested in exploring their glasswork in their own way. I’ll see some for a week, and others will come and go over the course of years. The main thing is – if you come seeking support and information, I’ll be there for you. Who knows, I might even learn something myself.
So, yes more = better in the BAGI fusing area. Now go get your projects and supplies together and come in to make something today!