Kaleb Folck Sculpture Plazmakollab Webinar 2/14/19
2000 was a big year for Kaleb Folck. That was when he started blowing glass. Mark McCourt showed him how to make spoons for the first time on 5/20/2000 – a day he remembers well. It was also the day he rode his bike over to Winship Designs to pick up supplies to make those spoons: a little clear tubing, some color, and a smidgen of rod to make the clear dots. Making those spoons became the daily hustle: buy enough glass to make a few pieces, sell them, and hopefully stash enough cash for supplies to do it all again tomorrow. Within a month, on 6/13/2000, he answered a “glassblower wanted” classified ad in the Register Guard, Eugene’s local newspaper. Answering the call turned out to be a steady production gig at Galaxy Glass, a production and distribution company then run by the Tutrone brothers Mike and John. Even though this all happened almost 20 years ago, Kaleb remembers the dates clearly; the dates he embraced pipemaking hard, affecting the fundamental direction of his life path.
After 6 months at Galaxy, Folck started coming in on the weekends to do his own sculpting work; he really wanted to get better. With some hard work, trial and error, and occasionally looking for tips in Milon Townsend’s book on the human torso, Kaleb began to figure it out. But trying to capitalize on those efforts was a tough sell. The market was completely different then and buyers weren’t collecting or paying for glass art like they do today. So he had to stick with his production gig all the while sculpting on the side.
2003 rolled around, and in February of that year Operation Pipedreams indicted 55 pipemakers nation-wide, kicking the shit out of the industry. Since Kaleb had a newborn to feed he took straight jobs, returned to school and continued to blow glass on the side. Until 2010 or so he roofed houses, did mason work and got a degree in auto-body and paint. When he suffered a broken ankle and had to stay off his feet for a stretch, he re-focused on sculpture, perfecting the symmetry of the human and goblin form, dialing in muscle tone, the sense of motion, and finessing the small but challenging details that really set off a piece of art.
In March of 2015 Justin Sheppard finally talked Kaleb into becoming the teacher in residence at the Cornerstone. When Justin dissolved the Cornerstone, Folck was able to continue in the space. And a year later the other contributing glassblowers involved in this PlazmaKollab project (Dellene Peralta, Aaron Siverson, Nathan Belmont, and Kimmo) came to share the studio, the PlazmaKollab being the first shop-wide project.
Kaleb is an old school pioneering pipemaker. He is very comfortable in is work. He works on a Carlisle. He’s confident. He’s good. “Now, if I don’t let fear get in the way, I can make anything I want.”
Musings on everything flameworking- Art, Industry, and Culture.