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What is Your Aesthetic?

Sprial staircaseIt has been a long time since I posted about any of my glass doings. Not because I haven’t been doing, but just because life gets busy and I have mostly been in production mode. I do have several topics lined up that I hope to post about next year. But in the meantime, here’s what’s going on at the moment.

Earlier this year, someone asked me, “What is your aesthetic.” Let me think about that … hmmm … uhmm …. I had no answer. Truth be told, I wasn’t exactly sure what that meant. I had a vague fuzzy idea about what the word “aesthetic” meant, but to be sure I looked it up in the dictionary. Merriam-Webster says:

1: a branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of beauty, art, and taste with the creation and appreciation of beauty
2: a particular theory or conception beauty or art: a particular taste for or approach to what is pleasing to the senses and especially sight

After reading the definition I was still a bit fuzzy on the whole thing. I read several more definitions and decided that when someone asks what my aesthetic is they are asking what guides my art? What do I think is beautiful and even more than that, what evokes emotion in me. I can look at many things that are beautiful but not all things evoke emotion.

Unfortunately, I still don’t have a clear answer to the question.

Before taking up glass fusing I worked in stained glass where the designs were often based around the style of the house, the décor in the room, or just whatever it was the client likes. I started fusing glass four years ago and, until now, much of my work has been about exploring different techniques and learning about the technical aspects of glass fusing. The pieces I have designed were often to try a new technique or method. So, I have yet to find exactly what my style is. What is it about a piece that will say, “That is a Margot piece.” You know what I mean. When you see certain glass pieces some are immediately identifiable as the work of a particular artist. I don’t have that yet. I am still trying to identify it, but I think I may be getting closer. At the moment, I would say I like geometric patterns but not symmetry. I like structure but in the abstract, I like the unexpected whether in design, texture or color. I feel like unconsciously I have an aesthetic, I just don’t have a good way to identify it yet.

That is why I am really looking forward to the class I am going to this week. I am taking a four day class with Kari Minnick (http://www.kariminnick.com/). I have been looking forward to this class for almost a year. Part of the class description says: “Starting with you own images, photos, clippings, you will examine why certain imagery appeals to you, how to isolate the potency of the image, dissect, vary and ultimately move toward meaningful abstraction.” Doesn’t that sound wonderful! A few years ago that would have scared the life out of me. But now I can’t wait. Kari’s work appeals to me like no other glass artist’s work that I have seen. Ha! I guess I really like her aesthetic. I am hoping that by understanding the process I can learn to incorporate more of me into my work and finally find my own style. I have collected some of the vacation photos I have taken over the years to take to the class. I can definitely see a theme running through them and I am excited about moving my glass work to the next level.

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