It was only five months ago today that I first lit my dragon in the lot where I have been blowing glass. In those five months, there have been at least six weeks that were either too hot, too smoky, or too windy to set up my equipment safely. So, of the 22 weeks, I have gotten to blow glass for about 15 weeks. Before that it had been two years since I had been working with hot glass regularly–and for months of that I was helping to rebuild a studio after a fire and working less than half as much with hot glass than I had been thinking I was. This is all to say, that it had been a long time since I had worked regularly in a hot shop, and until 2020 it had never been with my own equipment, on fully my own terms.

In the past five months I have come so far. I have shaken off the rust, developed new skills that had once seemed so far beyond my reach, fulfilled kickstarter orders, developed and refined product lines, reworked and prepared to launch a new professional website, created packaging designs, made strides towards live streaming my glass blowing studio, relaunched my etsy store, and realized that in spite of (and in many ways, because of) this pandemic I have finally truly started my business. It has been a roller coaster, and there have been times I have felt like I was sinking, but when I step back and realize that all of this has happened in five months… I am overwhelmed with a sense of accomplishment.

Pomegranate Ornaments

I knew that glass blowing was what I am meant to do–it has captivated me from the first moments I tried my hand at it–but I was afraid of what it would mean to be in business for myself. I have always had a strong work ethic when I am working for someone else, but struggled to maintain forward momentum when I work on things for myself. The joy and sense of center that I find from blowing glass three days a week has been all I needed to propel me. Everything else has been work done in support of my need to get back to my dragon.

In the midst of a pandemic that has meant staying largely isolated and away from friends and family, this work has also provided a way for me to feel a part of community. I am so grateful to all of the friends, family, and acquaintances who have liked, commented on, purchased, and shared my work. It makes it fun and exciting to share new pieces and new ideas. It does not surprise me at all, that the single most popular piece has been the glass pomegranate ornament–which grew out of the mythology of Demeter’s love for her daughter, whom she could not see for months on end. Each pomegranate I make is a meditation on separation from family, with the hopeful focus on the fact that there will be an end to this pandemic and we will be together again. It feels especially amazing to have gone from a pretty dark place in my own isolation five months ago, to have grown into my studio and created a piece with this much meaning.

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