I've thought about that. First, I wanted to wait until it was announced by the ISGB. But, I still put it off. I just wanted to jump up and down all on my own for a little bit. I've done that for two weeks. I felt like the Scholarship was the beginning of an incredible "lucky me" run and I wanted to save it for the last post in this Lucky Me series. It could also be called a "very grateful me" series too!
Let me tell about when I first met Cathy Finnegan. She wouldn't possibly remember it. I've never seen a bigger ball of energy. She was running around an ISGB Gathering and making sure everything was perfect. I didn't much understand anyones role at that time but I was sure to ask who she was and I certainly admired her ability to multi-task. Plus, she seemed to know everyone's name and have the same energetic smile for all of them.
Remember, my whole career (non-artist) was to observe the social interaction and behavior of nearly everyone around me. Being the introvert I am I guess it never much turned off no matter where I was - but luckily using the observations only applied at work.
Years later after a Gathering I had the opportunity and pleasure to sit and visit at the after party where everyone was doing Karioke. My roomie, Lillian Rogers was there, as were Cathy and her parents, Sara Sally LaGrand and many others. She was as nice as I had suspected. And, as the saying goes - the nut doesn't fall far from the tree. Her parents were charming in every way. So aside from being this fire brand she was sweet, her parents were the same way and I've felt like a silent supporter ever since.
We had to supply some photos for the scholarship entry. One was of some of our beginning beads. I don't know about everyone else but I have a string of them right by my bench. I find they keep me humble and remind me that every time you learn something new you have to start at the beginning.
I was lucky and had an interesting batch of teachers on that round. Toby Upton was the instructor. He was primarily a boro guy and hot glass worker but he was full of interesting info. Filling in for Toby was Al Young. Like wow, His work is in Habitat Gallery. We used Spruce Pine batch from the kiln that had been pulled into rods for us. I suspect the leftovers from whatever they were running. But, what they wanted for for us to feel it was "non-precious" and could be manipulated and thrown away. We were there to learn techniques. This is the set of beads from that class.
We learned to manipulate tweezers, pairing knives, scissors, and various tools. It was great. They've stood the test of time - physically and technique wise.
Thank you first teachers. And, thank you all of the teachers since then.
What does the Cathy Finnegan scholarship mean to me? I've been thinking about that for two weeks now. It's not such a casual thing to me that it went without that thought. To me, it's an acknowlegement of 20+ years of work in the field of glass, it's practice/ practice/ practice, it's being honored and encouraged by the ISGB throughout my career (I've never had them say, "no, I don't want to share how I did that!"), it's all of this and so much more. In my quiet house I danced like a crazy person barking at the moon - in public, a smile and a wink - but I can tell you my insides are like jelly when I talk about it. Thank you Cathy Finegan for being the person I knew you were when I first met you and your family. There wasn't a scholarship back then. I've seen many fine people since then apply and attend the Gathering since that time because of your contributions.
I am honored - I am molten glass container in steel - I am grateful beyond words, and I am humbled by being chosen.
Thank You * Thank You * Thank You