These glass artists traveled from around the country to participate in Tanya Veit's very first glass fusing boot camp this week and for many of them, this is their second trip to the AAE Glass Art studio in sunny Cape Coral, Florida.
To put this in context, AAE Glass is a Veit family run business, with Tanya and her glass fusing expertise leading the way. The blessing and the curse of owning a family business is we see each other ALL of the time! At work, Christmas, Thanksgiving, birthdays, even on the rare days that we get off we will run into each other in the grocery store or the Monkey Bar (those of you who have visited us know where this is). We are a very close knit group down here in SW Florida and we love to poke fun at each other as well as share in great opportunities. It is all in good fun, but because Tanya is the "face" of the operation, we make sure not to let her get a big head from all of the emails from students saying things like; "I have been fusing glass and taking classes for 30 years and Tanya's workshop is by far the most fun I have ever had." or "Tanya's glass fusing techniques have helped me grow my business and I have been able to turn my glass art from a hobby into a full time job." or my favorite and we get this one on a regular basis, "Taking Tanya's class has given me a new motivation and passion for glass fusing, before her class, I hadn't worked in my studio for years and now I can't get enough." I think you get the picture that Tanya is not only changing the glass fusing world, but she is positively touching peoples lives along the way with her genuine caring attitude and her ability to instill confidence in the artists who just need a little push. She is not afraid to challenge her students.
That brings me back to this morning and listening to the introductions. The compliments about Tanya that the repeat students were sharing with the first time students really made an impression. The fact that these glass artists took the time out of their lives to travel to Cape Coral, Florida for a second time or a third time in some cases just to learn from Tanya is the highest compliment AAE Glass and Tanya Veit can be given. I think today is the first day that we will take it easy on Tanya and not harass or tease her because she truly has earned her place in the glass fusing world and AAE Glass is ground zero. We are just getting started.
We have so many fun things planned this week outside of the studio; Dublin's Irish Pub tonight for a welcome dinner, the Monkey Bar on Friday for live music and dancing and to close out the week, a BBQ at Tanya's. A Tanya Veit workshop is more than a learning experience, it is an experience all on its own.
I will do my best to give updates via this blog post throughout the week, but to truly get a feel of what I am describing, you will need to pack your bags and take a glass fusing vacation to SW Florida. Consider your arm twisted!