Posted on

Work I’ve done in Other Fields

It’s occurred to me that maybe folks would like to see some of the other art forms I’ve pursued over the years.  That might give some insight into the things I like about the pipes I’m making now.detailfromIVfaith

When I was a kid I took a scattershot approach to art– trying all manner of stuff, from painting to silversmithing.  But in my early 20s, I found clay, and that has been the constant in my life.  I’ve written elsewhere about my early struggles with the medium, which were seriously compromised by a complete lack of money.  My first kiln was wood-fired, and built of sandstone and mud.  My first wheel was home-made, from a truck rim filled with concrete and an iron pipe.  But surprisingly these early struggles did not discourage me.purple_slavery_by_slidercat-d5czpst

In my 30s, I returned for a while to a kind of 2-dimensional art– designing stained glass.  As a lifelong science fiction fan, I naturally gravitated toward that kind of imagery in my speculative pieces.  These windows garnered a fair amount of media attention, and got me into a number of very good shows, but as much as I liked having made them, the process of actually making them was not as much fun.  I say this even though my wife Nancy did the lion’s share of the work involved in constructing the windows. In addition, if I thought dragging pottery to shows around the country was tough, hauling large stained glass windows was even tougher.

the_wealthy_terran_courtesan_by_slidercat-d5eppqhThese windows had elaborate back stories, and in my early 40s, I decide to elaborate on them.  I started writing, and soon was selling just about everything I wrote, including much short fiction and three novels.  Here’s a link to a bibliography.  Some short fiction derived directly from the windows.  A window I called The Transpirene Addict was the direct inspiration for a novella called The Beauty Addict, which was a finalist for the Nebula.

the_transpirene_addict_by_slidercat-d5czo6wI’ve made other forays into flat art– postcard design is something I keep coming back to.

mermaidBut most of the artistic side roads I’ve gotten lost on were closely related to clay.  I made porcelain beads for a while, and I still have buckets of them laying around.  It’s the same with the porcelain cabinet knob business I ran for several years.

But I can honestly say that I’ve never had as enthusiastic a response to any of those as I’ve had with the pipes.  And I’m having a wonderful time making the pipes, and I’m sure it’s partly because of the reaction I’m getting.  It’s nice to be appreciated.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *