Of Hurricanes, Pumpkins and Repetition
So things here in Pensacola Florida have been stressful. The hurricane has been, and is continuing to be, hellacious in other parts of Florida. I have been running on high anxiety all week, educating myself on hurricane models and refining my hurricane plan. My thoughts, worries and well wishes go out to the people and places that have been affected by Irma. I feel very thankful to have never experienced a direct hit from a hurricane and I can’t help but feel kind of selfish for my relief.
When times are stressful I usually find solace in one of two places. A climbing gym or a glassblowing studio – Currently, I don’t have access to a climbing gym but I do run a local glassblowing studio at the First City Art Center. There is something inherently comforting about a glassblowing studio - the smell of wax, burned fruit woods and the hum, or in some cases, roar of the equipment.
In a strange way, glassblowing and rock climbing have a great deal in common. Both activities require an absolute focus and a meditative state of mind. They both call for soothing acts of repetition and have a humbling learning curve. With both practices body mechanics are crucial -- Small changes in how you move your body and hands drastically change the outcome.
I have always found repetition soothing, acts that take away my worries, my stress and demand my focus. I am immensely grateful that my career calls for these kinds of tasks. Normally, when I am overwhelmed and stressed I seek out a glassblowing studio. I usually make cups -- A simple shape that can always be improved upon and refined, a shape that iterates quickly but is always interesting.
At the First City Art Center in Pensacola Florida, the summer and fall are the seasons of the glass pumpkin. We have a sale on October 13th and 14th where we will sell 3,500-4,000 glass and ceramic pumpkins. This will be my second Pumpkin Patch since moving to Pensacola and starting my job as the head of the glass studio at the Art Center. Running the glassblowing studio I have made a fairly staggering number of glass pumpkins -- More than 600 but probably less than 700. 250 of which I will have for sale at this years Pumpkin Patch, 210 of which I sold at last year’s Pumpkin Patch and the rest have been produced as glass guild pumpkins which 100 percent of the proceeds to the Art Center. While I still feel that making cups is the best way to relieve stress pumpkins have become a close second.
Normally a lot of the things I make exist at a price point that is not accessible to my friends and peers. That is not true of glass pumpkins; they range from 35 to 85 dollars. If you would like a glass pumpkin please send me a message on Facebook or shoot me an email at Devon.e.Murphy@gmail.com. Or better yet if you are near to Pensacola come to our Pumpkin Patch on October 13th and 14th and see the spectacle.
When I first moved down to Florida I was half convinced that the glass community of Pensacola was playing the most elaborate joke in the world on the new guy. But the amount, the variety, the crowd and the joy are a sight to see. If you have questions about where I work check out www.firstcityart.org I took a small sampling of photos of this years crop. If you have any questions about price or want an individual photo of a specific color or shape pumpkin do not hesitate to ask. Please feel free to share far and wide.
Thanks for looking/reading!!!