Letter from Noa Fein who received an AIDA scholarship to attend the Corning Glass Studio and Wheaton Art Center.
Dear AIDA members,

Last summer I was honored to accept an amazing and generous grant of support from AIDA and Bezalel Academy of Art and Design.

In August I was accepted to Martin Janecky's class in the Corning Glass Studio. It was a fascinating two weeks where a totally different way of handling and shaping the glass was taught. I learned how to shape the glass by heating a specific spot and pushing it from within with tools Janecky developed. This uncommon method gave me different ways of expressing my ideas, and getting better shapes during the creative process. Janecky is a true artist, and his glass blowing abilities were astonishing. He challenged himself with intricate demonstrations each and every day.

After the two week session with Janecky, I attended a one week session - also at Corning - on advanced cold-working techniques with Martin Rosol and Pavel Novak, where I learned to use HXTAL glue with pigments in order to join glass elements while adding color. That was the first time I learned the art of cold work in an orderly way, and it was a delight to learn it from such masters. They opened my eyes to high-quality surface manipulation and polishing. I feel that it will help me elevate my art pieces to a higher quality of finish.

The sessions with the Corning studio staff were very helpful and professional, and the studio's equipment was top of the line.

After Corning I attended Wheaton Art Center's glass studio for a two week residency. Wheaton glass studio is more rugged than the Corning studio; the equipment is all hand built by the staff, but it worked wonderfully! From a technician point of view, it is a truly inspiring place run by inspiring hard-working people. From an artist point of view, Wheaton gave me and my husband (who was my assistant during this time) exactly what we needed – good equipment, a good atmosphere and the freedom to create. Throughout these two weeks I worked on a new installation composed of approximately 50 big glass flowers.

The support AIDA gave me throughout this summer will give me strength and motivation for a very long time. I cannot express in words how humble and grateful I am for receiving your support.

Being an Israeli artist in these hard times is confusing. It seems that our lovely country, with all its complexities, has no time and space for artistic creation. Support like yours is essential for the small Israeli glass community; it allows us to keep up with technical and conceptual ideas from the global glass community.

I see it as one of my missions to teach the students of Bezalel the techniques I have learned abroad, and to help our community move forward.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Noa Fein.