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Door County Cherry

S02.E10: Finale

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Airs Jan. 22, 2021:

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In the finale faceoff, the top two contestants fill a gallery space with a show stopping installation, and one talented artist takes home the title. 

 

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They should have had a dividing wall between the two installation. Kat's would have profited from that, it would have given the room more atmosphere.

I liked Kat's colours and the ideas she had with the Rohrschach elements and the water filled globes. Not that keen on the shape of her hanging sculpture and her installation only filled the top half of her room. I would like to know what it would've looked like in front of black walls instead of white.

Congratulations Elliot. His stuff had a lot of whimsy, the colours and textures were great. It is a bit easier to understand the concept and would probably appeal to a wider audience. The missaligned screws would drive me nuts if I looked at them longer.

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Elliot was my favorite from the beginning, so I was pleased to see him win it all. I didn't enjoy this season as much as the first. They should give the artists a little more time for challenges. I don't watch to see people suffer. I want to see people create and be happy about it. 

Casting was terrible, as was judging. There were at least three times Chris should have gone. 

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Casting was odd, I don’t know if the girl who lost the first challenge (with the bear) was a beginner or just had a bad day but her work was way off everyone else’s.

Chris did whatever he wanted and didn’t care when they called him on it, which why should he when they kept him way beyond when he should’ve left.

Elliot was amazing the entire competition. Cat was out of her depth in the finale but her show was beautiful.

There were other competitors that would’ve been more evenly matched against Elliot but they were eliminated too soon.

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I was so relieved that Chris wasn't in the finale that I didn't really care who won. Both Cat and Elliot have created pieces that I really liked so going into the finale, I didn't think that one person was majorly outmatched.

Elliot's main disadvantage was his "what you see is what you get" style. I don't mind it but artists often look down on pieces like that because they want more meaning and layers. What has usually saved him when the judges didn't love his concepts was his technical skill/execution.

Cat thinks a lot more outside the box which the judges tend to like but her love of color doesn't always vibe with the judges' personal aesthetic. I was shaking my head in the previous episode when Chris was crowing about how experience always wins and Cat is sooooo young and inexperienced. She is 30 years old, not 15, and she has over a decade of experience. He was making it sound like she was a little girl who just started yesterday which is pretty condescending and judgmental considering how old she really is and how long she's been glassblowing. Just because she happens to be born later than Chris and therefore couldn't possibly have the same number of years of experience as Chris doesn't mean he should automatically dismiss her. Elliot is only 31 but I didn't hear Chris making all kinds of patronizing remarks about his age all season.

I liked that Elliot's final gallery had a sense of whimsy and fun. The tools looked like inflatable plastic toys and the screws were funny. I agreed with the judges who said that not having some of those pieces at the exact angles ruined the illusion of them going through the squares.

Cat's final gallery was delicate and serene. I loved her use of color and the contrast between the big round balloons and the thin pieces of cane that were hanging. The Rorschach pieces were really cool and I loved how distorted and different they looked when viewed through the water.  I thought the judges might choose her as the winner because her piece had a less obvious message.

The show kept saying that the prize package had a value of $60K and included a residency at the Corning Glass place, but exactly how much of that estimation includes the cost of the residency? Do they get any cash out of this?

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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Not specific to this episode, but I spent all season wondering if there was a time limit on how long their pieces could be in the annealer to cool. I'm nosy so I always want to know things like how long they had to shower and put on nice clothes for judging, and I realized that was probably dependent upon how long their glass took to cool. The handful of times that I took glass classes, we came back a week later to pick up our pieces so I have no idea how long they were actually in the annealer so I have absolutely no point of reference.

During this episode, I wondered how long they were given to hang and install all of the pieces in their gallery because the more pieces you have, the longer it would take to get everything hung just so.

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3 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Not specific to this episode, but I spent all season wondering if there was a time limit on how long their pieces could be in the annealer to cool. I'm nosy so I always want to know things like how long they had to shower and put on nice clothes for judging, and I realized that was probably dependent upon how long their glass took to cool. The handful of times that I took glass classes, we came back a week later to pick up our pieces so I have no idea how long they were actually in the annealer so I have absolutely no point of reference.

During this episode, I wondered how long they were given to hang and install all of the pieces in their gallery because the more pieces you have, the longer it would take to get everything hung just so.

At least they showed the set-up process. I didn't remember them doing that last season.

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I thought Chris' installation was better, so I'm happy he won. His pieces really looked like balloons, they were pretty amazing. At least Chris wasn't in the finale.

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They need to make the final episode longer.  I really didn't get any feeling for what either Cat or Elliot were going for during the episode.  And, as others have said, it would be great to focus more on some of the cool techniques they used.  For installations, I'd also like to see a bit more of the planning side of things.

What was the theme/subject of the installation supposed to be? 

I loved the giant screws and nails that Elliot did.  I particularly loved the bent nails.  Those looked so real! 

I thought Cat's installation was interesting, but other than the inkblot pieces nothing really struck me as special.  How did she seal the bottom of the inkblot pieces to keep the water in?

It's a shame we don't have 2 or 3 more seasons of this in the can right now.  It would have been very easy to produce this show in a covid bubble, without much additional cost. 

 

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On 1/25/2021 at 8:39 PM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Not specific to this episode, but I spent all season wondering if there was a time limit on how long their pieces could be in the annealer to cool. I'm nosy so I always want to know things like how long they had to shower and put on nice clothes for judging, and I realized that was probably dependent upon how long their glass took to cool. The handful of times that I took glass classes, we came back a week later to pick up our pieces so I have no idea how long they were actually in the annealer so I have absolutely no point of reference.

During this episode, I wondered how long they were given to hang and install all of the pieces in their gallery because the more pieces you have, the longer it would take to get everything hung just so.

Someone mentioned in another thread that the show was filmed from mid february to mid march.

I assume they work on a 2 days per episode schedule. Day 1 for the challenge, day 2 for finishing and judging. According to Google it takes several hours to cool larger pieces in the kiln. They also have to clean the workshop (it's always spotless when they do the zoom in on the judging chamber); contestants have to write their little descriptions for their pieces, finish and install them.

The work seems physically really demanding, they probably need a good rest between the challenges.

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On 1/26/2021 at 3:13 AM, GaT said:

I thought Chris' installation was better, so I'm happy he won. His pieces really looked like balloons, they were pretty amazing. At least Chris wasn't in the finale.

Chris really did dominate conversation this season. 😉

 

6 hours ago, chaifan said:

It's a shame we don't have 2 or 3 more seasons of this in the can right now.  It would have been very easy to produce this show in a covid bubble, without much additional cost. 

The blowpipes would be an issue. I went to The Corning Museum of Glass this summer and they had to change the way they do their demonstrations. They created a foot pedal to blow air instead of using their mouths. Every item made during the demonstration was then recycled because they said they were still having their artists get used to the new equipment. It would also be hard to keep the artists separate because they have to use very large, heavy equipment that requires a lot of power to run. It might be possible, but I think it would be hard, even in a bubble, to have people working with equipment that was touching people's lips.

On 1/23/2021 at 12:53 PM, Pepper Mostly said:

Casting was terrible, as was judging. There were at least three times Chris should have gone. 

I thought the talent pool was more even all around. Elliot clearly emerged as the front runner, but last season I remember feeling that half the field was just not in the same league. Cat, Nao, Elliot, and Mike were good personalities for the show. Even Chris was great casting. He was fairy benign for a reality show villain and it was interesting to see him turning so many heads by trying new things in the hot shop.

I wonder how much Elliot's edge all season played into the final deliberation. I do wish we heard more of the judge's deliberation after they talk to the artists. I liked both Elliot and Cat, so it's hard to be mad at the outcome. Both would have been worthy winners.

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4 hours ago, Dots And Stripes said:

I wonder how much Elliot's edge all season played into the final deliberation. I do wish we heard more of the judge's deliberation after they talk to the artists. I liked both Elliot and Cat, so it's hard to be mad at the outcome. Both would have been worthy winners.

I can't recall who said it...it might have been Chris...but a contestant or judge mentioned that past weeks wouldn't factor into judging until the finale.  I think that's true.  They talked about each artist's body of work during the judging.  You don't get something like that on the Great British Bakeoff for example.  

I think I might have preferred Cat's final display but Elliot did pretty much have the edge all season.

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12 hours ago, Dots And Stripes said:

The blowpipes would be an issue. I went to The Corning Museum of Glass this summer and they had to change the way they do their demonstrations. They created a foot pedal to blow air instead of using their mouths. Every item made during the demonstration was then recycled because they said they were still having their artists get used to the new equipment. It would also be hard to keep the artists separate because they have to use very large, heavy equipment that requires a lot of power to run. It might be possible, but I think it would be hard, even in a bubble, to have people working with equipment that was touching people's lips.

This is why my suggestion would be to have a covid bubble, a la GBBO.  They put everyone - cast and crew - up in a hotel (which was sitting empty anyways) and they were their own giant covid-free bubble.  No masking required and sharing blowpipes wouldn't be an issue because everyone had quarantined and tested and was now separated from society for the duration of filming.  It would require housing everyone for the full length of production, plus 7-10 days beforehand.  But they're already housing the contestants, host & judges during production. 

Also, I think even without a fully quarantined bubble, they could deal with the blowpipes and other issues.  You could designate at the start of the project one person who is blowing.  When they get assistants, it's almost always the assistants anyways (at least based on what they show us).  The workspace itself is large enough and I'm sure they have massive air circulation going through normally just because of the heat, and artists and assistants are mostly distant.  Yeah, there are a few moments where two people are side by side, but that's less common and for short bursts.  I don't see it as being any different than how other tv shows are shooting - masks during rehearsals but no masks during filming, and lots of testing. 

I took a glass blowing class this summer, and I felt it was a very covid safe environment just due to how things are normally set up. 

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I'm satisfied with the win.  I was actually pretty satisfied with the final two, really.  I know Cat was really wanting that Corning scholarship/residency.  I think she's really quite talented, but just doesn't have the resources to really develop her art.  She would have used the hell out of that prize and grown quite a bit.  And....since she's losing her vision, she needs to fly fast to soar high because once she loses her vision entirely I don't think she'll be able to blow glass safely or easily.

As talented and imaginative and deserving as Cat is (I loved that villain vacuum) I think Elliot winning was ultimately the right choice.  I think he has both the artistic eye and imagination as well as the technique, and was consistently high in the judging all season.  When they went over their body of work over the prior nine episodes, I realized that I had consistently liked Elliot's work all the way through, and that his executions were always top notch.  I liked Cat's stuff, but her technique wasn't always up to snuff.

Elliot will also do well with that scholarship/residency, and I think Cat will somehow fall on her feet as well. 

 

Season three, anyone?

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On 1/25/2021 at 7:32 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

The tools looked like inflatable plastic toys and the screws were funny. I agreed with the judges who said that not having some of those pieces at the exact angles ruined the illusion of them going through the squares.

yeah the misalignment bugged me as well. Anyone have an idea how those screws were attached to the pedestals?

Overall I preferred Elliot's-- I'm not sure I would walk up to Cat's and say "Oh yeah, this is totally about mental illness," even if it had a placard telling me that.

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Season one was awesome. Season two was Chris. The judges keeping him there week after week despite him ignoring parameters had me not appreciating the show as much. Probably because people who did care were booted in favor of his crappy pieces.

Elliot was awesome, but it seemed one note. Cat was awesome, but it wasn’t enough. Peeked at both websites and she’s doing good, so that’s encouraging.

Wandered onto the Corning Museum website and Deborah is doing sunny side up vases. K. 

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I enjoyed this season but agree with those frustrated at Chris ignoring THREE challenge directives and still skating through.

As far as this finale, I was rooting for Cat, honestly. Elliot's stuff was so precise, and he was obviously hugely talented, but I was so frustrated that they kept asking for the contestants to be personal, to share something emotional, and Elliot kept NOT doing that. In his own way, he was just as combative as Chris that way, it was just more subtle.

So with the finale art shows here, I just thought Elliot did a literal play on the situation that was beyond meta, yet still managed to show us nothing about himself as as person. But of course the work was beautiful and precise, just beautifully done.

Whereas Cat's final art show actually moved me emotionally. I loved her creative use of the Rorschach tests and what those had to say about her own state of mind and uncertainty (and I loved how the water and magnification changed the test images depending on POV). I also absolutely loved the tall fluid inky statue pieces, which to me were depictions of that "ink" and emotion in motion -- and so was annoyed at the female judge snootily saying she couldn't see how it tied into the rest of the exhibit, when  it was so obvious it was INK.

I admit that I found Cat's hanging sculptures somewhat weak -- not in execution, but in how they were grouped -- they looked awkward and clumsy, almost like anime figures.

I'm okay with Elliot winning -- he's a superb technician, I'm just not convinced he's a terribly innovative artist. And I wish Cat well and hope she is given additional opportunities to refine her technique, because I think she's a terrific and thoughtful, brave artist, and I want her to succeed while she still has her sight.

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6 hours ago, paramitch said:

Elliot's stuff was so precise, and he was obviously hugely talented, but I was so frustrated that they kept asking for the contestants to be personal, to share something emotional, and Elliot kept NOT doing that. In his own way, he was just as combative as Chris that way, it was just more subtle.

 

I'm cutting Elliot a break on the "personal" angles.  As someone who hates it when people expect you to "get personal" on demand (like in meetings where you're supposed to share, with people you have no desire to share with), it's super awkward to be put in that position.  And I'm not even British!  😉  So in those situations, my "personal" statement is in reality the fakest thing in the room, because I the moment you surprise me with "let's get personal" moments I clam up. 

Everyone thinks all artists are hugely emotional people who wear their hearts on their sleeves and gush emotion to anyone walking by, but they aren't all like that.  So I don't think Elliot was being purposefully combative, in the way Chris was quite clearly looking down his nose at challenges and stating they were beneath him so he'd do his own thing. 

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2 hours ago, chaifan said:

I'm cutting Elliot a break on the "personal" angles.  As someone who hates it when people expect you to "get personal" on demand (like in meetings where you're supposed to share, with people you have no desire to share with), it's super awkward to be put in that position.  And I'm not even British!  😉  So in those situations, my "personal" statement is in reality the fakest thing in the room, because I the moment you surprise me with "let's get personal" moments I clam up. 

Everyone thinks all artists are hugely emotional people who wear their hearts on their sleeves and gush emotion to anyone walking by, but they aren't all like that.  So I don't think Elliot was being purposefully combative, in the way Chris was quite clearly looking down his nose at challenges and stating they were beneath him so he'd do his own thing. 

I agree. It used to drive me crazy on Food Network shows when the cooks were asked to make something really personal week after week and tell a story about what it meant to them. What if you are just awesome at making dishes (or art) that have no connection to your granny or your childhood or some personal trauma? To me, food and art need to be able to stand on their own feet. It has to wow me even if I don't know the whole backstory. If you have a memory that makes this particular thing more meaningful to you, that's great but it doesn't matter if it doesn't look/taste amazing.

I liked most of Elliot's pieces because they were aesthetically pleasing to me. When I buy art, that's what matters to me. I go with my gut reaction. Either it's appealing to me or it isn't. No amount of sob story is going to make me like a piece. I might feel sorry for you as a human being after I hear the inspiration behind your piece, but that doesn't mean it appeals to me more just because someone died or whatever. Maybe that makes me a heartless person or a really dumb customer, but I'm okay with that.

I know plenty of artists who aren't overly emotional (in real life or in their work). And I agree that the major difference with Elliot and Chris was that Chris was clearly choosing not to fulfill the challenge requirements. When Elliot made the spilled milk, it felt like he was trying to relate as best he could in a way that felt comfortable to him. I'd much rather hear someone be honest and say, "You know, I really haven't had it that bad compared to other people," as opposed to half the people on reality shows who say, "THIS IS THE HARDEST THING I'VE EVER HAD TO DO!" every week. To me it showed that Elliot has a healthy perspective on life. And maybe he's had some tragic things happen in his life but he doesn't want to exploit them to win a challenge on a reality show.

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