Helloooooo HVC! Hummingbird here!! In the cold winter months I like to fly over to the glass beads and glass blowing studios. Carmi is in here all winter long with a fire going and art a’brewin’! Carmi has been a camp superstar for years! If you’ve ever stepped foot on camp you’ve definitely seen his work. From the beautiful mosaic doors of the Rec Hall, to the pizza oven dragon; from the geometric dome by the photo studio, to the photo studio itself; from designing and expanding the glass program over the years, to building a brand new maker’s studio in the Red Barn just this winter, Carmi has worked with cold glass, hot glass, pottery, wood, metal, and more!! And if you don’t recognize him by all his artistic contributions to HVC, perhaps you know him as Tui’s dad!! I’m here at the Beehive with Carmi now, and I thought I’d ask him a few questions about the glass program at camp….
Hummingbird: You’re famous for being the youngest camper ever! What was camp like as a four year old? How has camp changed, and what was the glass program like when you were a kid?
Carmi: Camp was a dream and LCH felt like a second home. I loved all the attention from the counselors and I spent most of my time on the soccer field/pitch and basketball court. Many great things about camp have not changed but the major difference is the physical size of camp. When I was a kid, Deer Meadows was inhabited by a neighboring family (Yes! there was NO pool), meals were in the red barn, and the foothills dance studio was an open air pavilion with ping pong and foosball. Today, there are many more specialized classes like glass blowing and many more class options.
HB: What was your favorite thing about HVC as a kid?
C: My favorite thing about camp was returning each summer to hang out with my same cabin group. And swimming in the lake!
HB: How many years have you been at camp?
C: I Lost count at 25.
HB: When did you start working with glass? What was your first project?
C: A blue race car made my first year at camp. My parents still have it!
HB: How have you seen the glass program grow and change over the years?
C: In addition to stained glass we have added mosaics, glass fusing, flameworking (beads), and glass blowing!
HB: What artistic projects around camp have you had a hand in creating?
C: With the help of many hands and collaborators I created the mosaic murals on the pottery studio (2008) , rec hall doors (2009) , and camper kitchen (2010-11). I was also helped build the pizza oven, bead studio, beehive, new photography studio, and geodesic dome. I enjoy the process of dreaming up an idea and then all the learning that comes with making it a reality.
HB: What would be your dream project to install on camp?
C: I have always wanted to build giant glass kaleidoscope. One day!
HB: You get to see campers improve from summer to summer in their glass projects, some kids have gone from the youngest cabins all the way through to being a glass apprentice. Are there any camper art projects you’ve been totally blown away by?
C: Yes, Jack’s light, Kat’s toucan, and Alec’s chess set to name a few special projects. Every summer I am inspired by the open mindedness and tenacity of many campers and the projects they produce. I also love hearing about campers who continue to work with glass year around.
HB: You live on camp all year round! What’s the best part of camp in the winter?
C: Cross-country skiing on the trails and ice skating on the lake.
HB: Do campers get more excited to see Luke the dog or your daughter, Tui?
C: Tui, but don’t tell Luke!
HB: Is it true that the pizza oven dragon and the dining hall dragon are pals and sled down tipi hill at night in the winter?
C: I have only seen their tracks so I can’t say for sure.
Man oh man, I’ve been hanging out in the Beehive glassblowing studio so long, it’s starting to feel like summer again! Thanks for chattin’, Carmi! Can’t wait to see what you make next!! I’m off to cool down!
Until next time!
Psssst!!!! If you have any glass artwork from camp, snap a pic and send it to our HVC instagram account, @hidden_valley_camp_maine so we can show off your beautiful creations!!