Last week was my last week at Nottingham, when I arrived Mike had informed me that him and Gina were splitting up and the shop would probably be closing. That day Mike didn’t have anything for me to do because he was busy with other things. However there were some renters there so I spent sometime watching them.
Overall my experience at Nottingham wasn’t what I expected. When I first started this internship I was excited that I was going to have more time working with glass. I thought I would be taught technique and different methods of color, but this experience was more about maintaining a shop. This is also very important, if I want to have my own shop I will need to know how to keep it running. I learned how to care for many of different tools from hot shop to the cold shop. I did a lot of cleaning and organizing of the hot shop. While performing all the shop maintenance duties I was still able to observe and learn about different methods.
By meeting Mike and Gina I was also able to meet other glass blowers in the local community and took advantage of what they had to offer me. For instance I asked one successful couple if I could take them out to dinner and ask them questions of how they got started and what is important for me to know when opening my own studio. We met for dinner earlier this week down in Old Town, CA. It was such a great experience and a valuable contact. They gave me plenty of information on where I need to be to get started. We talked for over three hours. They also gave me other local artist to talk to they said to gather information from others and once you have all the information on how others make profit you will better know what will work best for me. I have made contact with two of the recommended people to talk to and look forward to meeting with them. Having this meeting is a great contact to always refer back to if I need help. I feel that making these types of contacts was the most beneficial aspect from my internship experience.
In conclusion, I am thankful to have had this experience. In January of 2013 I am going to Hong Kong to study abroad. The classes I will be taking there are glass blowing and glass casting. I feel that this internship has helped me to be better prepared for my experience abroad. I am also thankful for all the contacts I have made locally and look forward to starting my own studio when I graduate. I feel that the people I have met during this experience will help me achieve my goal of having my own glass blowing studio soon.