It takes a lot of time and energy to make a really ambitious piece, but getting a degree is not the only reason to do it. They are good attention- and award-getters for sure, but mostly, the ones I manage to find the inspiration to make are what feed my soul the best. They demand the most from the eclectic combination of skills and thought-patterns that are uniquely mine, and are the fullest expression of the reasons I do what I do.
Noel, I enjoyed very much your discussion of why you made the Flashy
Tea teapot, and that sort of work. I had the pleasure and honor last
summer, during the week that I was teaching in Birmingham, England,
to share a number glasses of wine with Giovanni Corvaja, who some of
you may recall hearing present at the Denver SNAG conference (he does
amazing jewelry with very fine wires and granules, that he alloys and
draws himself—some are like fur!). I was impressed and intrigued
to hear him talk about how he is saving up so that he can afford to
spend a year or more working on more of those really ambitious "art"
pieces. I am really impressed by that sort of ambition, drive, and
inspiration. He works really really really hard to do those amazing
Also, I would like to second the motion that Charles and others have
made—don’t just whine about SNAG. Volunteer to help change it!
Nearly all the work is done by volunteers. Just as you can’t make
assumptions about how someone gets the time and energy to make a
masterpiece, you can’t assume that the SNAG board members have
nothing better to do with their time. They are taking time from
their work and their family, and their vacations to do SNAG work for