Flights of Fancy

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Susan Hope

Sometimes pressure can be a good thing…

I would not have agreed a few months ago as I stared at an empty sheet of glass…a blank canvas, shall we say. All I felt was …empty… and then panic.

My life of drawing, illustrating, glass making flashed before me and I saw from whence I had come. I really enjoyed drawing…watching the lines flow from the pencil or pen. I began recording history of ‘old’ places way back in my youth. I really thrilled at the sight of old buildings as my imaginings filled in stories of those who had gone on before us. They had dreams, visions and so many ideas. Somehow, they also had the physical fortitude to follow through and actually build all those old barns and houses…without the help of air guns and pre-cut lumber. They had a passion for their vision that propelled them to create. They saw the future.

That’s it…passion that propels one to create the vision…to bring an idea into the material world…

So I started at the beginning. I began drawing one of the old houses I had visited as a child. Again I remembered how it felt to stand in the doorway and envision the families who lived there…their joys and hardships and the extreme lifestyle of what we so lightly now call ‘homesteading’.

And so it continued. One drawing led to another and the house wasn’t done with me so I drew it from many sides. It had been built of American Chestnut, a wood so hard and strong that it repelled pests and parasites and continued to shelter families long after some other wooden buildings had vanished into the earth. I wanted to honor the trees and the builders and the lovers of the home the house made.

All drawing done, the glass had to be melted in the kiln to fuse the glass ‘ink’ to the glass. I won’t pretend this is all so easy…there was a (my) mistake in the program and broken glass… and an ice storm with no power for days… stuff that gets in the way. But in the end, in the kiln the intensity of passion in the form of heat caused a bunch of sharp, broken, scraps of glass to become something beautiful. There it was…

And the sheep? She is one of my little friends here on the farm… Her name is Joy!

 

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