ISSUE #17 DRAWN INTO GLASS BENDING

Thanks for opening this week’s issue. If there’s ever anything on your mind, don’t hesitate to reach out. I mean it. I’d love to hear from you.

With care,
Sean


How We’re Feeling

I’m tired of doing time the same way I used to too. (see Toni’s quote below) I like to think I’m successfully breaking old habits that don’t serve me and keeping the ones that do. I’m still actively on this ‘kick’ that seems to be slowly becoming a life mantra; to do something unlike me, unexpected, or new everyday. It’s been something as small as speaking up about what I want to do or booking cross country flights during a pandemic. For these reasons and as a result this weekend, I watched Gemini Man and booked a week and half long trip to California next month. Could say some bad and some great things respectively, Ha!

But getting back to the Zadie Smith reference. She profiled me perfectly along with so many others in this moment. I’m obsessed with making.  I make, design and build things as excuses to fill my time in this world. 

You can at least say I’ve grown wise enough to know that it’s not about the stuff I’m making. It’s more about the relationships that are formed in the process of making or through the response created from the object itself. Our pursuits in life are all personal rationale to test and expand our care for one another. Whether that means motherhood, truck driver, finance controller, lawyer, architect, engineer, monk or vagabond.

I don’t need to make any stuff at all in my lifetime to feel fulfilled. But yet I feel like I do. I feel that my purpose in life is to expand my creativity and compassion through making with others. I support and inspire artists (that’s all of us) to realize their creative visions. And achieve my material success in life by doing so. This meaning or purpose I’ve given my life is made up. I made this idea up with the motivation that I feel that it fits my personality while being a reason to share Love in a way that I can. It’s usually enough for me, at least on my good days. I believe we all do this and I hope you enjoy the meaning you’ve made for yourself. Since you made it up, you can change, edit and disrupt it anytime too. What’s enough for you?


Who We’re Watching

Life can be wildly serendipitous and this past Tuesday was exactly that.

For a long while, I’m imagined living in a badass apartment off-the-beaten-path in Red Hook. I’ve been meaning to roll around the neighborhood more but never make it out each weekend. Partially cause it’s not convenient to go to, but it’s close. That’s part of the draw!

So I used that as an excuse to visit a client in person last week and strolled around the neighborhood after. I wanted to feel it out. Really know if it was the #vibe that resonates with me. Sounds superficial, but it’s all I need to keep moving and doing in this world; follow my instincts that is. To keep this short, it felt exactly right and I came across a series of spaces that I’ve been imagining in my head for a long while. But more interestingly, I landed upon a studio that showed me more than I had bet on.

I met Charles Flickinger from Flickinger Glassware out of the blue simply because I was drawn into his shop while walking around. I was purchasing a beautiful glass tile in his front area when we got to talking. Talking turned into a full shop tour. A shop tour turned into us realizing my current office, UAP Company, had already completed a project with him before and he also knew my former colleague. We talked more, took some photos and he relished me in sharing about his glass bending and forming processes. I geeked out on the whole experience to say the least.

When I dug deeper into Charles’ work, I discovered why we really met. He brings heart into his practice in a way I’m still discovering how may be possible in a successful business. It showed from the way his workers were so open with me, a total stranger, to the attention to craft in all the pieces that felt exactly thoughtful. He keeps the studio mostly under 10 people and his landlord gives lower rent spaces to support small businesses. I’m now just wondering if or how or could a design studio scale up for large scale works that are our obsession at Neon Fabrications while maintaining the same warmth. Something I’m sure so many entrepreneurs face when business grow.

Our encounter gave me pause about the future. After walking out of the studio, I ran into the garden that sits between my house and future work with a walking path between. I can’t wait to host you here and there.


What We’re Making

There’s a bright yellow and red plaid quilt in the making. More on this to come, I’m sure. But for now I’ll share a shot from last Sunday’s studio session in my sewing room/bedroom. Humble beginnings with all the flair needed to make a queer boy gleam with dizzying color.

“But I also don’t want to just do time anymore, the way I used to. And yet, in my case, I can’t let it go: old habits die hard. I can’t rid myself of the need to do “something,” to make “something,” to feel that this new expanse of time hasn’t been “wasted.”

– Zadie Smith
from her book ‘Intimations’

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