Blog Gang: Hobby

The Blog Gang is taking on the topic of Hobbies today! Be sure to check out all the great posts! Links to every one at the end of this post!

Sometimes I feel like the hobby queen. I’ve had many. I’m pretty decent at some of them. But not really spectacular.

I knit. I can follow a pattern and do almost anything. Except for the hexagon scarf Kelly and I picked as our winter challenge. Honestly, I get to the third row and screw it up completely! I’m stuck! And it sort of frustrates me. Just a little. I’m sure Kelly’s scarf will be lovely. My yarn will be turned into socks, I’m afraid!

I’m a glass artist. Or I was. I haven’t been fulfilling my requirements to maintain artist status! Once, I devoted the same time and energy that I do to Twitter to my torch. I could sit for hours and hours, playing with hot molten glass and an open flame. It’s exciting and fulfilling at the same time. I love the smooth feel of the glass rods and the colors of the glass.

I also fuse glass in my kiln. Again, smooth glass, bright colors. The 2000 degrees in the kiln melts everything together. It’s always a surprise when you open the kiln. Are you getting what you wanted? Or did the kiln gods throw in a little twist? Or did they just blow up your project!?

There comes a point in any hobby where you are producing more items than you can possible give away. That’s when people start telling you to sell it. The terrible thing about glass art is that it’s an expensive endeavor. Glass isn’t cheap, the equipment can be costly, kilns aren’t cheap and are necessary. Plus, your time.

Then you go to a craft store and see glass beads and fused glass pendants being sold for a pittance. You realize that no matter how you crunch the numbers you can never make a single penny if you sell your beads for $3.99. But that’s what your fellow shoppers come to expect. We’re all trying to save money, and glass baubles aren’t a priority.

And your hobby gets put aside. The kiln grows–and stays–cold. Dust forms on the once-smooth colorful glass rods. You feel a twinge of guilt when you walk past your work area, avoiding eye contact with your torch.

Then you find something else that fills your time. Something much more cost-effective! And you lose yourself in social media. Instead of colorful glass rods, you have smooth words. Instead of a flaming torch, you have your wicked wit. You’re no longer producing pretty glass baubles, instead you are writing blog posts that touch people in a different way. It’s not a cold glass bead or a pendant that warms against the skin the longer it is worn. You create with words, warming people instantly when you touch their hearts or make them laugh.

And so the hobby cycle goes…

6 thoughts on “Blog Gang: Hobby

  1. How awesome that you work in glass. How did you ever get started in that hobby? I’ve seen the glass blowers at craft fairs and such and they are kind of mesmerizing to watch at work. It’s unfortunate that much of society doesn’t appreciate (and compensate) the true artist. Not easy when you can get cheap product at any discount store.

    • I got started by watching craft/hpbby television. So I got a kiln and started fusing. Taught myself, which isn’t hard with all the information on the internet. Then I wanted to make beads so when a local glass store held a class, I went. And was hooked. I even taught for awhile. I understand the lack of appreciation and compensation, because I am guilty of it with some things myself. Still, it’s a hard pill to swallow!

      xo Susie

  2. I’ve always wanted to work with glass! I saw the video of Chihuly’s studio, training students. It looks quite dangerous.

    As for hobbies, I’ve got a gazillion that are “in progress”… as in not much progress made for some time. I like to paint, draw, bead, read, etc. The blog is the only one getting any play these days. 🙂

    • Part of the appeal, I think, is the inherent danger! There’s something exciting about working with a giant open flame or reaching into a 1500 degree oven. With proper protection of course! When the glass store lady told me I would eventually be reaching into the kiln, I didn’t believe her. It wasn’t long before I was doing exactly that!

      xo Susie

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