It is often the case that people themselves create a framework they live and exist in. They even decorate it by adding various colourful embellishments so that it feels more cheerful and comfortable in there. Day after day, factors such as fear, limitations and narrow horizons prevent us from spreading our wings and flying away. Only few among us dare try something new, break the chains and be free. And even fewer actually search and discover within themselves new personalities or unexpected talents that could be developed and polished.
Assuming that each day the average person has about 60 000 to 70 000 thoughts, then it is entirely up to us to decide which of those we should focus on and internalize. It is also up to us to think we are pretty, clever, successful, too old or too tired. As Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right”. Recently, while having a walk around the Sea Garden in Burgas, I heard a granny talking to her grandson. The child was eagerly explaining that he wanted to jump with a parachute, to fly in a spaceship and become an explorer. He was keen on starting a conversation with his granny and asked her: “How about you, granny, have you ever skydived?” She gave him a tired look and said: “I’m already too old for that”. Well, if you think you can’t, you’re right!
As for me, I’m lucky to have met persons who live exciting and meaningful lives. Persons who are ready to explore and push the boundaries of their dreams’ horizons, and who are brave enough to navigate their fleet in unchartered waters.
Meet Jeny Guneva: a creator, a fighter, and a dreamer. She says that her current age at any given time is the most wonderful of all ages. By occupation, Jeny is a civil engineer and she has studied the subtleties of that profession with desire and dedication for years on end. After the democratic changes in 1989, her professional path took a new turn, as necessitated by the new times. Jenny started making boutique leather goods for private clients. She carried on with her design activities, but the spirit of creativity, once released, soared. Jeny believes that once you master a skill, you need to go on to new challenges in your life. This is the only way to move ahead. Following a number of experiments, she was finally fascinated by glass. While looking for ways to diversify the jewelry she created, she came across the glass fusing technique. This is the term for a special glass processing method at high temperature (750-850° С) in a kiln. There are many heat processing techniques applied to glass and it’s a matter of imagination and skill to combine them appropriately, so that the end product is both impressive and beautiful. What makes fused glass techniques distinctive is that coloring, whether done by merging separate pieces of glass or by using color powders, gets fused inside the glass structure and is impossible to remove later.
Initially, Jeny Guneva’s experiments with glass were her hobby, but gradually this activity grew into innovative art. She describes her encounter with glass in the following way: „I discovered something different, which I have been perhaps looking for, but never dared to dream about. I feel like I rediscovered myself”. Jeny is now studying at the National Academy of Art, driven by her ambition to develop her skills academically. Her pursuit of perfect shapes – something she had already developed in her practice as a civil engineer – led her to experimenting with various processing techniques that she used with her favorite substance. The glass objects created by Jeny Guneva are one of a kind and are often multifunctional. „The drive to produce interesting art objects that I haven’t seen with other creators ultimately resulted in my signature style. What matters most to a signature art object is that it catches one’s attention, triggers excitement and brings aesthetic pleasure”, says Jeny.
Looking at Jeny’s glassware, I have a feeling that I’ve welcomed summer into my home. There is dark blue glassware reminding us of breezy seas and frothy waves. Placed on the coffee table in our living-room, the brightly-colored glassware adds a touch of freshness and cheerfulness. Blue is a color that symbolizes honesty and loyalty, it is the color of the sky and the sea. The highlights in yellow, on the other hand, cause a burst of sunlight at home. The color yellow gives a sensation of movement, it evokes pleasant feelings and triggers brain activity. Bright yellow matches blue in a charming way, but this combination appeals mostly to lovers of color contrasts, as it produces effective and vivid design.
Finally, I’ll leave the door open by offering an interesting perspective to this story. Michelangelo, who is one of the greatest sculptors of all time, believed that any sculptor’s goal was not to carve a shapeless piece of marble beautifully. He was convinced that every block of stone had a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it and set it free. This slight, albeit essential, difference in the way we think accounts for any talent’s breakthrough. Jeny creates so much beauty using this inside-out method that she no doubt makes the world more colorful and magical, far beyond usual shapes.