In August of 1973 I moved to Edom Texas to start my Glass journey. With the help and support of the craft community there I was given a space and set about building a furnace and annealing oven. This was real faith on their part as my degree was in Ceramics and I knew nothing about glass other than the fact that it looked really interesting and I wanted to learn how to do it. So in September that year I turned on my furnace and made several small blobs of glass, over the next 11 years I would take some short courses and worked with, for and alongside some very gifted and generous glass people. I made a living of sorts taking my work around to craft fairs. Little by little I started to show some skill and talent with the material. In 1984 I relocated to England to pursue a masters degree, it was while I was finishing that qualification that I started teaching. Again I had the fortune to work with some very good educationalists who natured and taught me what a good teacher offers to students. Then in 1995 I took up the post of program leader and senior lecturer for the glass programs at Wanganui Regional Community Polytechnic in New Zealand.
David Traub and the Whanganui Open Studio event
I have been showing my work at the Whanganui Open Studios for many years. My first year was 2003 and I know I have not missed a year since 2006. It is an iconic event for lots of reasons. It gives me a chance to not only exhibit my work but to discuss and demonstrate the processes that go into making it. I see the Open Studio as an educational tool, promotional tool and sales event.
I promote my glass workshops and explain the ideas behind my own work and often answer questions on a broader level about glass, from Roman glass to contemporary New Zealand glass. Open Studios is about networking, meeting people who may not buy anything today or even this year but who remember the experience and might come to do a workshop or several years later come to buy a unique work of art.
Lastly the exchange of ideas is often two ways, in that I might meet someone who tells me about their passion that can lead me in a new direction with my own work.
They are two of the best weekends in my year.