Letter from Katerina Vergueli
AIDA travel and accommodation grant recipient
Dear AIDA Team!
I want to express my deepest gratitude to you all, to Aviva Ben Sira; to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the support, for the opportunities you are giving me, for helping me keep on fulfilling my dreams and making my art.
This summer, with your support, I took a class with a great artist Vladimir Klein at the Corning Museum of Glass Studio. I’ve been following Vladimir Klein’s artworks for several years and I’m highly inspired by his unique technique of working with glass, which combines traditional cold-working and rough breaking with chipping-of glass-mass surface. Taking his Master Class at Corning Museum of Glass Studio was a huge springboard for me as a graduate student, as a teacher, and as an artist who goes through the process of reinventing her own artistic nature. His extraordinary attitude to glass material along with great experience in traditional Czech cold-working techniques significantly extended a world of glass sculpting for me. On top of it, Vladimir is an amazing person with whom it was pleasant to work and he has his individual approach to each and every student in the workshop. Vladimir was eager to answer any of my questions and came up with a variety of different technical solutions to, as it seemed, irresolvable problems. I received gigantic, unique and invaluable experience working with him.
In addition, as a current teacher myself, I was very interested to learn from Vladimir how to teach cold working techniques, and how to introduce them to students with no experience. During the late evening hours of studio-time – I was always staying last in the work-shop and was very happy to help, explain and assist other students from my class since I was the most experienced one. For me it was a great opportunity to practice and improve my teaching skills.
During my session I visited Rakow Library to find some information for my research of Mold-Pressed Glass that I’m conducting during my next semester at the University of Texas at Arlington as MFA student. Librarian Regan Brumagen was extraordinarily professional and helpful. During my short busy stay there I didn’t have much time to spend in the library as I wanted to. Regan contacted several scholars around the country who have researched the topic I want to work on, and she found a lot of very unique information for me to work with. All of the next semester I’m planning to work in collaboration with Rakow Library and finish my research that will be much more complete thanks to Regan.
Thank you for being there for me every time I desperately need support. The money you gave me to arrange this travel was very important to me as it gave me a peace of mind and provided me with an opportunity to focus on my study and research. I could not do it without Aviva and AIDA's support! I’m working hard to make my journey in the Glass Art, doing my MFA studies alone, away from my home and family, and it’s priceless to know that I have a family in AIDA too. I'd like to express my gratitude from the bottom of my heart for giving me this opportunity to spend my life in the heart of the Glass Society.