... first... we had a quick half hour to find a local yarn shop. It was a bit of a disappointment because the yarns were all ones that I could buy at home however the walk in the heat convinced us that we'd made the right decision and we enjoyed a leisurely afternoon floating along the river.
In the morning, there was a FABULOUS glass blowing demonstration by Karl Ittig who is a sixth generation glass blower. Not only is he incredibly knowledgeable, he's also hugely entertaining with a wonderful sense of humour. In Germany, the family operates the Glashaus Wertheim and in Eugene, Oregon, they operate the Eugene Glass School, It would be great fun to take a class with him.
Karl has been friends with Dale Chihuly since way back when and says the best decision he ever made career wise was to take up Dale's invitation to come and work with him. I can't remember if he did that twenty years ago or if he did it for twenty years but he mentioned several well known exhibits that he was a part of.
Karl talked about his personal history and about how his family ended up in Wertheim. At age five, his parents and both sets of grandparents played a game with him to keep him silent and unafraid when they first walked and then carried him in a basket across the fields, through the forest, and over the border to escape communism. The mayor of Wertheim offered free land to anyone who had left everything behind and wanted to restart their family business. That turned out to be a good decision for both the families and the town which went from quite poor to quite rich.
Karl talks with a love of and a loyalty to his town that I have never heard before and his personal story made the bigger story more real to me.
Being on the water is calm and peaceful. A frequent site is the swans. They swim up to the ship hoping for food and then float away when you don't have any. I've never seen swans in their natural habitat. They are so graceful and right now there are many gosslings floating along with their parents. Swan parenting and people parenting seems to have a lot in common.
Talk soon - Myrna
Grateful - a quiet leisurely day