There really is not a typical day in the studio due to the fact that most independent artists perform many roles during any given 24 hour time period. That said there is one constant in my morning routine and that is exercise. My mornings, no matter where I am, always start with 1.5 hours of .....
There really is not a typical day in the studio due to the fact that most independent artists perform many roles during any given 24 hour time period. That said there is one constant in my morning routine and that is exercise. My mornings, no matter where I am, always start with 1.5 hours of core and back exercises usually while watching an old western. Working in a glass studio is very physically demanding and after a serious back injury in the early “80’s I made exercise a daily ritual. If you would have told me in my 20’s that I would one day work out to be a better artist I would have laughed so never say never.
I work with a team of assistants and have had one constant assistant for over 20 years, Raul Garcia. He not only has become a great help in the hot shop but does an amazing job of keeping me, my tools and my studio organized…no easy task. Currently there is also a flame worker working with us, Frank Stansberry, who is interested in learning more about glass blowing and glass in general that is helping in the hot shop and with various other projects. On a side note to make me know my age I was introduced to Frank by his grandfather. There is usually a welder working either full or part time as many of my current works have welded metal armatures. The welder we have now is a young 19 year old woman that I met through the after school program for at risk kids that my wife, Tommie Rush, and I have worked with for 30 years. It is gratifying to be able to offer this young woman a job in the field she wants to pursue and help her up her skills and she was very happy not to have to work at a fast food restaurant for minimum wage. Working with the at risk kids at the Community School for the Arts and for the last 8 years a group of inner city 3rd graders is an integral part of my studio practice and one of the ways I try to give back to the community I live in plus it is very rewarding to help these wonderful young people find their path in some small way.
I make my own glass batch from raw materials and melt all of my own colors so if making glass is on tap for the day my day starts at about 4:30am with putting the first charge in and ends at about 8pm when I do the final turn down of the furnace. On the days I am melting glass I am usually working on current project, cold working, or planning future project, trying to keep the email beast at bay and more and more painting.
On the days I work in the hot shop everyone gathers at 8:30am and we discuss what we want to accomplish for the day and then we start hot working. Usually I am dividing my time between new work, current work and commissions and still very much enjoy the creative journey of working with glass even after 46 years. When the furnace is on the great motivator to get to work is the fact that it is very expensive to operate a private glass studio so if you are not making something you might as well just go out to the studio and burn $100 bills. Yes it is that costly. We break for lunch and then get back to work so it is a concentrated and very focused day. My employees leave at 4:30pm and I am usually at the studio for 1-2 more hours finishing up various tasks. Often after work I go to the gym to lift weights and maybe swim to relax( No kidding the work is physical) and then home.
I have been married to Tommie rush for 30 years is to cook and have dinner together every night that we can. It is a great way to wind down and enjoy each other’s company. She loves to cook and I am head sous chef and cleaner. Thanks to Tommie we have a beautiful garden that we are able to enjoy as we have meals and that she would love if I would work in more every day but I opt for working in the studio and gladly paying someone to help her in the garden. In case you cannot tell from that comment I enjoy the garden immensely but prefer to work in the studio or paint to digging holes and weeding.
There are so many positive aspects to the life I get to lead as an artist not least of which are the people I have had the pleasure to meet along the way and especially all the children we have had the privilege to work with in the after school program. I am truly fortunate to really love what I do and to have a path with my career of discovery, experimentation and lifelong learning. Here’s to the wonder of infinity.
Iridescent Sleeping Bust on Plinth
- Size: 18 x 10 x 7 Inches
- Process: Glass and Steel
- Size: 99 x 99 x 22 Inches
Habatat Glass invites you to celebrate the
47th year of our International Glass Exhibition.
We are extremely proud to have founded the oldest and largest annual glass exhibition in the world.
Grand Opening: Saturday, May 4th at 8:00pm | Exhibition: May 4th – July 5th