On Friday, Connie and I went to the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins. We were taking Ella to the pediatric ophthalmologist that she was seeing for the second time. In her case, she has intermittent strabismus – she crosses her eyes when she tries to focus on certain things and does not maintain binocular vision. The good news from this doctor – our second opinion -- is that Ella can wear glasses for the foreseeable future instead of requiring eye surgery. The doctor first assigned to us through our HMO would have operated on her pretty little eyeballs, which made both parents quite queasy.
Conveniently, the American Craft Council Baltimore Show, probably the best in the country, also started the same day, so we made a two-day trip of the doctor’s visit, and spent the night in Baltimore at a cheap hotel. We spent a lot of time over two days looking at some 600+ jury-selected artists while managing a two-and-a-half-year-old. It is possible that Ella’s favorite exhibit was the “lieing-down place” I invented along one of convention center walls, but that may have been because she – and we -- made friends there with a very nice young man who was showing his hand-blown glass nearby.One of the many artists whose work I liked was Andrew Van Assche. He does clay, which I am partial to and opinionated about, having grown up in a pottery. His decorations on slab-built boxes and bottles and tiles and such are soft in color and texture but precise in decoration and very different from what I have seen before. I bought a triptych of his tiles called “Vertical Hold" after spending quite some time debating between that and a bottle of his.