The Gather

In Santa Fe, Indian Market is a huge yearly event, bringing together Native American artists from around the U.S. and Canada. During the recent long weekend, the town buzzed with activity and visitors.

We went to a glassblowing demonstration by Preston Singletary (see photo) and Dan Friday. Preston is the quiet master, creative and focused. Dan is outgoing and a great presenter, describing each step in the process as he goes. We watched him insert a blow tube into a blazing hot furnace and pull out a small amount of molten glass.

Then, Dan blew into the tube which formed a bubble of glass and spun the tube as it cooled. He frequently uses metaphors and similes to describe his process "Glass blowing” he said “is like molding a bowling ball at the end of a pole.” Dan added more and more molten glass to the end of his tube, which is called “The Gather.” It’s how glass artists create a large piece and takes a high degree of patience and skill.

We thought of the hot furnace as your creativity, and the gather as the way you build a presentation. Go to the furnace and pull out your intention, or what you want to achieve. Return to assemble your outline, so you have structure. Gather again as you decide where to place a story or client anecdote. Each time, like a glassblower, when your piece comes out of the flame, it is still flexible. You will then be able to give it a unique shape. Return to the flame as needed, keep gathering, and you will have constructed a beautiful piece of art.

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