Monday, October 22

Silly Ideas

I often come up with silly ideas for things I want to make out of glass, but I never end up making them since they aren't serious, thoughtful projects. It occurs to me though that maybe silly ideas should just be made, even if they will never be gallery pieces, nor art that will ever be purchased. I mean, I've said something about this before, that going through a lot of ideas and working through the bad ones is important, so I don't see why working through the silly ones shouldn't be just as important, if not a lot more fun and rewarding too!

The silliest idea I had over the summer that I can recall is the plan to make a large skeleton of a city - like a wire structure, but out of small flameworked rods of glass. I imagined that it would be so fun to dress up in jeans, boots and safety glasses and go stomping around a glass city and tearing it apart as if you were Godzilla, wouldn't that just be a great feeling? And I'm not sure how other people feel about breaking glass or the sound it makes, but oddly, glass artists seem to really enjoy it - unless of course it's a piece they care about and after spending two hours on it it just cracks off the punty and smashes to the ground.

I had a few other silly ideas this weekend when I was away at a conference in Corning, New York. The first came up when I wanted to play some board games in the hotel, because I'm not a drinker or a partier. I wanted to make a boardgame for glass artists, and everyone quickly jumped in and told me that the board and most of the components would have to be made out of glass. It's on the verge of being a project I'll actually have to go through, despite the fact that I have absolutely no idea what type of game it would be. Monopoly for glass artists is my favorite, but there could also be a Snakes and Ladders game, though the name isn't quite worked out yet (Pipes and Puntys?). Then there was the concept of trivia games, and well, any sort of board game we could think of.

The second idea came on the way home when we stopped for a lunch break on the side of the highway and just about everyone got obsessed with the claw games that were there, because we had to spend our american change on something, right? I absolutely love the concept of claw machine games, because for a dollar you have the chance to win a larged stuffed animal, but the point of playing isn't to get a cheap toy, because the fun part is getting riled up with your friends while you either work together or battle against each other in an attempt to get that stuffed animal. I thought that I would love to bring that concept to glass, and I came to enjoy the backwards concept of a claw machine to win glass prizes.

Can you guess what the issue with that is? If you like a piece of art you can attempt to win it, and for a dirt cheap price no less, but the catch is that in attempting to obtain it you will definitely scratch the piece, if not break it. The claws could scratch the glass, not to mention the glass dropping and banging against another a piece, and even if you successfully get it in one shot, you're dropping it down a hole, so something bad is bound to happen! I really, really like this idea, though if I actually wanted it to be workable I'd probably have to be kind enough to bubblewrap everything and glue photos to the front of the bubblewrap - but that's not as fun, is it?

The conclusion? Silly ideas are great and they may or may not turn out to have some conceptual value, but that shouldn't matter. Silly ideas make people happy, and I think that's pretty important, because I think the mark of a successful piece is to create one that evokes an emotion.

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