Clarissa Rizal: Alaska Native Artist Blog

Accentuating Tlingit Traditions

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Short Visit With Preston

September 20th, 2013 by Clarissa

Glass Tlingit “Baskets” by Preston Singletary

Directly after the retreat with Sue Shotridge and Melissa Rinehart, Sue and I went to visit our friend, Preston Singletary.  For those of you who don’t know Preston yet, he’s that artist who does the Native designs on glass.  He’s got a studio in Seattle equipped with lots of glass forms stuffed in shelves, boxes for shipping, packing material and 5 employees.  The guy and his team really produce!  Holy!  –  If you are interested in doing glass, go talk to the man.  Click her to check out his website!

Preston’s studio is nearby Seattle’s Space Needle

David Svenson is another fantastic artist, working mainly in neon art living down in the mountains above L.A. – He used to live in my beloved Haines, Alaska back in the early 70s and 80s where he learned how to carve from the old masters, Leo Jacobs, Johnny Avatok and another elder whose name just slipped my tongue, dang it!  Back in the early 80′s David suggested to Preston that he begin to put the Native designs on glass – that’s the story I heard, but ask the fellows to get the sure story because I may be wrong.

Sandwiched between two favorite buds: Preston and David

What can I say about these three artists above?  Birds of a feather flock together.  I didn’t really GET that saying until I had a lovebird years ago.  My Lovebird “Kiwi” taught me many things about being human; get that…it took a bird to teach me about being human.  Hmmm…go figure.

Shelves of glass forms by Preston Singletary waiting to be completed

I wasn’t sure how Preston’s employees would feel about me taking photos of them while they were working so I didn’t.  I don’t even know how Preston feels about me posting photographs of his unfinished work on my blog in this public forum yet who gets to see art in their “naked” stages(?) nobody; I better contact him and see if it is okay to show them “naked”, incomplete.  I am proud of this guy; I feel like he’s my younger brother.   He’s got quite the dedicated group of folks; he’s a fortunate man to have these crew members.   In fact, I gotta say that I am generally proud of my fellow artists!  They have taken the leap into the “unknown” possibilities of bountiful possibilities and realities!

Sue Shotridge, David Svenson and Clarissa – in Preston’s studio

David Svenson and the glass Bear

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