Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Mentor- Michael Nourot passed away recently and what he left

Micheall Nourot

Why am I writing about it? 

 Because- recently I came across an interesting quotation - it was about the distinction between a teacher and a mentor.

The author shared that a teacher just teaches or shows you how a certain thing is done, or a certain skill.   In that sense I have many teachers who have generously shared their 
craftmanship in You tube videos and personal blogs, all free.

A mentor is who raises the question - what are you going to do with that skill.  Where are you going with that skill or, s/he inspires you.  Michael Nourot was one such artist mentor, though I do not do glass blowing.

Who is Micheal Nourot:

I have never met Micheal Nourot in person but I have once visited his studio in Benicia, CA and was awed with his beautiful art work  pieces.

When I came to know that this local artist died at 66 it hurt me some where. It made me pause and think of him and then take the time to know more about him and write.

Micheal started to blow glass when he was only 9 years old.  Later in 1972 he went to Italy and learned the trick from an Italian glass blower in Murano.  He earned only 87 cents an hour as an assistant.  But he knew he was learning a skill from a guy whose family is doing  glass blowing for the last 300 years.  Not only from Italian masters he learned from the great artist Dale Chihuli too.

Highly collectible:

His work was comissioned by President Regan and Clinton both.   Many celebrities honored his work in their homes.   

When Pope John Paul II came to visit in 1987, there was a big question - how to serve the Communion wafer to 70,000 dedicated Catholics who gathered in Candle stick Park.  Nourot’s glass studio came to rescue. 

Yet, tough economic times did put pressure on the studio. One of his piece from his Etsy shop:  

Nourot’s quote:

“ I love to dance with the glass” - he said. “ Glass is not solid. It is constantly moving.  The challenge is to catch the movement in the design before it cools.”

Don’t I feel that way too about my artistic journey too?  In jewelry making too, there is also a dynamic energy, I feel and if I do not capture it at the right time the muse is gone.  It had to be caught  at the right time or else…

There is another thing he said that I could relate.  While he was learning from his Italian master in Murano he realized that there is an hierarchy in Italian glass blowing thing. “  There are three jobs.  owner, glass master and he designer.  and I knew I wanted to be all three at the same time.” 

Don’t we, artist- entrepreneurs  feel that too?  We design our products, finish them with our own two hands and then do everything that needs to be done to run a  etsy store.

I am waiting to hear how you manage and also which one piece you liked best from the gallery?

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