One of the things I have noticed in the last year is how different the student base is now compared to 5 or 10 years ago. People of all ages have a strong desire to learn something new, engage in art of any discipline and open themselves up to a new community of like-minded folks. 20 years ago, private studios rarely opened up their studios to the public as we were so busy filling wholesale orders and driving all over the map doing craft shows. Things were very different before the Internet. If we were lucky and had any extra money, we would attend sessions at our country's prestigious craft schools, such as the beautiful Pilchuck School of Glass in the summer months to learn new tricks and hone our skills.
Coping with Trauma and Loss through Art
As someone that has suffered great loss over the years, I have been so pleased to hear that our studio is a safe haven for many people going through similar challenges. Loss and PTSD can take over your life and the grieving or healing process is different for everyone. Below are some quotes ( anonymous ) from students that have had the guts to get up, get out, and try something new. While it is not for everyone, it does work for some.
~" This was the first time she left the house since her husband passed"-
~" I really needed this. I am a caregiver for both of my parents and this was the perfect antidote"-
~" My son really wants to learn lampworking but is not comfortable in a group"-
~ " This place has such a great vibe. I lost my husband a few years ago and just don't want to socialize in a traditional way. This." is my 5th time here"-
~" My PTSD from Afganistan is difficult to cope with. Blowing Glass and Yoga have been a great help in dealing with my anxiety"-
Being Present- Exercising Concentration and Focus
Working with hot glass is very intense. You MUST be present. It is impossible not to be without risk of getting burned. There is something great about being immersed in such a strong element-fire. There were times that I would not want to blow glass when I had to. Either because I was involved in something else, or just stressed out and depressed. But once I got that blowpipe in my hand and took my first gather, I completely forget why I had those feelings.
I would put on my music and chat with my assistant and hear myself laugh for the first time that day. Endorphins. I was finally present and my soul was at ease.
The Spirit of the Blackstone River
Taking a break from work to enjoy the river and all of it's splendor. I like to imagine this beautiful river as it might have been prior to the Industrial Revolution. The earliest residents of the Blackstone Valley were the Paleo-Indians. By the early 17th century, three principal tribes lived here: the Narragansett, the Nipmuc, and the Wampanoag. They followed a semi-nomadic life. In the summer they moved inland, planting fields of corn, beans, and squash. In the winter they moved to the coast, depending on fishing and hunting. Our friends at the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council next door do a wonderful job illustrating the history on their one hour river boat tour which goes right by the back of our studio. We encourage our students and guests to bring a kayak or rent one next door and enjoy the river before or after a class. Or just relax and take some much needed time for yourself. Can you believe this is right off Broad Street?
Swans and their Cygnets outside our studio
Bella on the River
We also believe in therapy through the love of animals...
Bella is with us at all times. She is a beautiful soulful animal that knows life can be cruel and kind. Rescued from a bad situation in Tennessee, we make sure she gets lots of love and attention. She is everyone's therapy dog at Blackstone River Glass Center. Always ready for a smooch or a belly rub. And very kid friendly!
Home School Field Trip Learning about Glass and Belly Rubs
Come one, Come all! We would love to hear your thoughts and work with other organizations in the area to offer art and craft to everyone. If you know of a group that we should reach out to, please let us know or have them call us at 401.773-3181. We offer sliding scale fees and free programs to underserved communities.
Our doors are always open!