Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sometimes you get lucky TWICE Happy Dads Day Papa!

I can't say for certain but I'd be inclined to believe most are lucky to be close to one parent, to be adult friends with their mother or their father. My life was gifted twice because I was and am incredibly close to my father also. Daddy (aka knight in shining armor) Dad, pa, pappa.

It's said that he was every bit as happy about his 'first' being a girl as a boy. Never restricting me to the confines of 'girl activities' Dad opened every door the male world offered for me. He taught me to fish (catch and release) he let me help paint the house (with a q-tip LOL as I wasn't much older than in this picture at the time).

We happily shared time together from the beginning. So much more am I for the fact he taught me of fish and motors, how to read animal prints in the mud (and explained why ice cream is cold :-) pictured above). No question was turned away, no opportunity I was interested in learning about withheld. Yet simultaneously I remained his princess.....

One of my most consistent early memories of my Dad, being a scientific glassblower, was the sound of his carlisle torch, the magic of his hands working glass. Fascinating. Amazing. He always had a studio at every house. It remains unchanged. Dad continues to work glass as does my fascination with the magic he creates with flame, glass and skill. He's worked with chemists, engineers, scientists and medical researchers designing and creating apparatus that have helped make changes in the world. Tho he'd never say so, his work has been instrumental in significant projects and research that have made a difference. He should be proud - I certainly am proud of him.

When I found the love of my life and married he created the wedding cake top you see for me as a surprise. The tall gates actually open on glass hinges. Once again the significance, the icon of open(ing) doors/gates/pathways. :-)

Tho I find (much to my surprise) there are no pictures of us working glass together, the next door he opened for me gave me a career I love, a place in the tradition of being an apprenticed lampworker that I am so proud to carry. Having apprenticed with my father to learn the art of working glass from him has been and is an amazing journey. Beginning at a time when women working glass were far and few between, when a career in glass as a woman was nearly unheard of he opened the door for me. I won't live long enough to learn all he knows of glass. During the many years we've shared behind the torches, from learning latticino to lathes, he also taught me of life. While we melt(ed) glass together year after year we've talked of life, of choices, of zen, of business, of art. We've pondered how one quantifies 'success', dealing with crisis, relationships, challenges, sorrow and joy. We've talked about the future of lampworking and glass, the dynamics of 'degreed' glass workers vs apprenticeships as we've melted... He teaching, I learning. So much he's taught me in so many ways, about glass and about life.

He's my father, my teacher, my mentor, my friend. I hope to always make you proud Dad as a fellow lampworker carrying on the tradition and skills you have passed to me. And as your daughter.

I Love you Pa ~ I hope you know how much... Happy Fathers Day from 'chickie'


  1. Heather Ward5:25 PM

    Wonderful post! I feel like he needs a hug from me too:) You give it for me, since I'm oh so far away. Love and miss you tons!

  2. WOW! Faith - you have definitely been doubly blessed!
    If this doesn't bring tears to your daddy's eyes, I don't know what will.

    Thanks for letting us in your thoughts and memories!