Eunsuh Choi Lecture and Demo

I’m still thinking about Eunsuh’s lecture last week. She was so generous with her story. I think we were all surprised to hear that her background was in textiles and fashion. When she took her first hot glass class, she hated it – it was so imprecise and messy compared to the precision that she had honed in textiles. But her father asked her to give glass one more chance, and as she described it, “that decision changed my life.” She took a bead-making class and fell in love with torch-working. She felt that she was again in control of material and color, and loved the meditative nature of the process. She was essentially self-taught after that one class, developing her own relationship to the glass and techniques for working with it.

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Eunsuh Choi demo

Eunsuh Choi demo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She talked about the challenges of feeling like an outsider in America, and missing her family and friends at home in South Korea. This further influenced her ideas and personal philosophy as she blended her eastern background with western experience to make work about personal aspirations in life. Particularly inspiring for the students were her descriptions of her struggles to make the work that was important to her. She described a tiny home studio, set up in her kitchen. There was the time that she couldn’t afford to buy glass, so she dismantled a large and very significant piece in order to recycle the glass into new work. She told us about the very conscious and practical decision she made to work smaller at one point, in order to reduce the cost of packing and shipping the work.

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Eunsuh Choi
“Double-Conscious”
Flameworked, Borosilicate Glass
22* 22* 30 in (Biggest)

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Eunsuh Choi
“Housed Barrier IV”
Flameworked, Borosilicate Glass
30* 13* 8 in

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Eunsuh Choi
“Reincarnation”
Flameworked, Borosilicate Glass, Black Mirror, Mirror
Approx 100* 100* 140 in

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Eunsuh Choi
“A Time of Relaxation”
Flameworked, Borosilicate Glass
45* 3 in

 

Of course, her work was beautiful. She gave a great demo, working with pre-made elements. As she said, it was “like a cooking show” that she choreographed so that the students could experience a broad range of her methods and techniques. We were all amazed by her generosity of spirit and skill.

– Sharyn O’Mara

Erica Rosenfeld: Art can save people’s lives

Erica Rosenfeld left yesterdabest_IIy. She was here for a week and so very present in the studios, with the students, that it will be very strange to go into the studio and not find her working.

Some things I learned about Erica from her lecture:

1. She loves to cook. We saw images of dumplings that Michiko taught her to make, a PizzaTaco courtesy of her friend Matt, a gorgeous salad with edamame, goat cheese, and radishes, and a rather odd shot of a roasted turkey wearing bacon bracelets.

2. She has a sweet dog (also referred to as her roommate) named Birdie. Those of you who know me know that having a dog brings high marks in my book.

3. She collects prison art and showed an image of an amazing box made out of cigarette boxes. I need to ask her for an image of that.

4. One of her favorite museums? The American Visionary Museum in Baltimore. I’ve never been there so I just added it to my list.

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5. She is drawn to outsider art and described her fascination with “what people make when they’re not thinking about art as a commodity and they are working with limited resources.” Some of her favorite outsider artists: James Harold Jennings, Tim Duncan, Dalton Ghetti, and Judith Scott.

6. She believes that art can save people’s lives. I agree.

Erica Rosenfeld

Erica Rosenfeld

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Erica Rosenfeld

I’m going to miss Erica and her awesome Hot Shop chicken-cooking demos (perhaps she will make tofu on her next visit?), amazingly crazy-beautiful eggshell pieces, and her incredible spirit, warmth, and generosity.

– Sharyn O’Mara