Tuesday, July 5, 2011

the View from the Shop

The shop where I teach is in North Portland in an old train barn on Columbia Blvd.

There are three key things that I associate with my commute to work:
  • the train (I love the colors and shapes of the graffiti and train cars)
  • the smell of cookies (there is a Kraft (used to be Nabisco) plant a few blocks from the shop)
  • the view of Mt Hood
The train always honks as it goes by the shop (there are 3 bridges it passes underneath, so they all honk 3 times). There is a lot of industry around the shop that uses these trains, as they head to and from the big ports on the river. They only thing I do not like about the trains is when they honk just as I am opening the front door - this makes me jump and I think they do so just to see my reaction! Its loud!

The cookie factory is always pumping out cookies and crackers, they make Oreos and Wheat Thins. When the insanely wonderful smell of chocolate wafts in the breeze my brain always says "brownies!" - I used to think they must be making brownie mix in that factory, but I have since learned it is the chocolate cookies for Oreos! And what I thought was the intoxicating smell of Vanilla Wafers in the making, is the vanilla cream stuffing for the Oreos. Yum. One day I hope to get a tour of this factory. Oh yes I do!

Best of all though (does it get better than the smell of cookies?!) is the sight of Mt. Hood. The view is amazing from Columbia Blvd. She glows majestically, perfectly framed by trees around the road. I always want to snap pictures, a few days ago I couldn't resist as the sun was setting and the mountain looked so amazing. That is the photo above.

The view of Mt. Hood has always been a present factor in my work as a glass artist. The first shop space I rented was in a barn up on Mt Hood. I rented there for a couple of years. Learning to snow board in the winter and enjoying the cold rivers in the summer were integral parts of working on Mt. Hood. It was an awesome way of working as a glass artist. And now I will always have this positive association with the view of Mt. Hood.

In my garage studio at home I made a painting of Mt. Hood and hung it behind an old window (there's a wall that I thought should have a window and so I put a fake one there!).

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