Docent Traver Trip 2014

By Lena Gibson, Museum of Glass Docent

On a rainy Tuesday morning, five docents (Carol, Annette, Mary, Lysa, and I), two staff
members (Elisabeth and Bonnie), and two guests made our way to the Traver Gallery in Seattle using our Sound Transit bus system. We did not all ride the same bus, and in fact, two didn’t ride the bus at all. For those of us who did, it was a lot easier than driving, once we had figured out which bus to take, where to park, etc.

Bill Traver gave us an excellent tour of his gallery. We went to see two of our favorite artists, whose exhibits were closing soon. April Surgent spent time in Antarctica and used a time lapse technique with pinhole cameras to capture the light and ice and water and wildlife of the area. She then translated the images she captured into glass, using her unique technique of cameo carving into different colored layers of fused glass. She had made quite a few pieces for this exhibit and Mr. Traver told us each were sold already. 12

Then we went to another area of the gallery to look at the latest pieces from Preston Singletary, another favorite glass artist we were well acquainted with. In this exhibit, one of the new features were that there were pieces done in pastel colors, like golden yellow and salmon pink. There were three extremely large glass baskets that came with their own stands. Many of the hand sculpted figurines on Preston’s rattles now had the addition of locks of real human hair3456

It was interesting to see other works in the Traver Gallery, from Chihuly, Nancy Callhan, and many others. We were intrigued by fused cane works from Sean Albert.

We also went downstairs and around the corner to the Vetri Gallery. We saw some very nice pieces from Gabe Feenan, as well as many other nice works by different glass artists.


I took these photos, with the exception of the one with the pink and gold heads by Preston. That was taken by Mary Robinson.

After the galleries, most of us headed to Pike Grill Brewing Company for lunch and a chance to talk everything over. I learned a lot about Corning from Bonnie and her guest, Lee, who works there. The bus ride home was so much easier than a drive on I-5 south at that time of day.

Docent Trips and Tours

By Carla Bruno, Museum of Glass Docent

As part of their ongoing efforts to learn as much as possible about the world of glass art, Museum of Glass docents often enjoy the privilege of visiting with artists in their working environments. Two such special opportunities occurred recently.

In March, a group traveled to the Ballard district in Seattle to view an exhibit of modern Scandinavian glass at the Nordic Heritage Museum. Then, after lunching together, they met with Dante Marioni at his Fremont studio to talk with him about his work.

Museum of Glass docents with Dante Marioni (center) in his studio
Museum of Glass docents with Dante Marioni (center) in his studio

In April, another similar journey found our museum docents in the Fremont area of Seattle taking a tour of Fremont Antique Glass talking with its founder Jim Flanagan, and watching as cylinders of glass were blown and then turned into flat sheets of gorgeous, multi-hued glass. (Museum of Glass visitors see the work of Fremont Antique Glass, since they made the glass used for Cappy Thompson’s piece Gathering the Light in our Grand Hall.) After another fun lunch together, they then visited glass artist Ginny Ruffner in her Ballard home and studio. Having the opportunity to talk with Ginny and see her home and garden (which are also works of art) is such a special opportunity–one our docents greatly appreciate. “Being able to visit Ginny’s studio for the second time, to see the progression both in her work and the changes within the building (including adding on a garden room where she raises vegetables) was so rewarding,” noted Kathryn Hillig.

With Ginny Ruffner (in front) in her Ballard studio
With Ginny Ruffner (in front) in her Ballard studio

As you plan your next visit to Museum of Glass, please don’t forget a tour of the gallery exhibits with one of our engaging and knowledgeable docents. “Meeting the artists gave us the opportunity to ask questions and better understand their processes,” said Lysa Schloesser. As you can see, they have a wealth of information and experiences to share!