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Celebrating Summer

June 26, 2013

Steider Studios:  Wahkeena Falls

Wahkeena Falls

I celebrated the first weekend of summer, my favorite time of year with my East Coast ‘sister-cousin’.  We traversed the Columbia River Gorge waterfalls on our way home from PDX along the Old Highway.

Steider Studios:  Classic Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls

Most people stop at the huge parking lot in the center of Interstate 84 and only see the classic, Multnomah Falls.

Steider Studios:  Thimbleberry

Thimbleberry

We took our time, looking for wildflowers, rocks, moss and more.

Steider Studios:  Horsetail Falls

Horsetail Falls

As we hiked, we caught up on family news, made our plans for the weekend and simply enjoyed each other.

Steider Studios:  Columbia River

Columbia River

The sun was out on a windless day, making the Columbia River as still as a lake.

Steider Studios:  Oregon Swallowtail at Rowena Crest

Oregon Swallowtail at Rowena Crest

The following morning we bought from artists and farmers at Saturday Market, then a quick venture downtown Hood River for purchases including books, cards and souvenirs just as shops opened.  By 10:30 am we were at the top of Rowena Crest trying to capture butterflies and birds with our cameras.

Steider Studios:  View from Rowena Crest

Columbia River from Rowena Crest

I wanted to show my sister-cousin both sides of the river that I call home and she wanted to see as much wildlife, birds and wildflowers as we could find.

Steider Studios:  Seagull over Columbia River

Seagull over Columbia River

We were on a mission to find Osprey nests along the Columbia.  While searching, we practiced on other birds.

Steider Studios:  Osprey at Wind River

Osprey at Wind River

We found a nest at Doug’s Beach and listened to the osprey pair calling to each other.  A game officer sent us down the river in search of several nests but this one near Wind River was our lucky find of the day.

Steider Studios:  Two Ospreys in a Nest

Two Ospreys in a Nest

…or I should say it was the best find of our day.

Dog Creek Falls

Dog Creek Falls

On our way home we stopped at Dog Mountain Creek to photograph the falls.

Steider Studios:  Lorquin's Admiral butterfly at Dog Mountain Creek

Lorquin’s Admiral butterfly at Dog Mountain Creek

….and found this Lorquin’s Admiral butterfly flitting among the rocks and creek!

Steider Studios:  Wildflower at Cooks Waterfall

Great Hedge Nettle

…and some pretty wildflowers.

Steider Studios:  New Husum Falls

Husum Falls

Our last stop was Husum Falls to see how it looks after the Condit Dam removal on the White Salmon River.

Steider Studios:  Garden Chairs 6.22.13

West Bank Garden at Steider Studios

We arrived home in time to catch a few garden shots before our fabulous dinner at Romul’s in Hood River.

Steider Studios:  Mallow 6.22.13

Pink Mallow

Our final morning, spent in the garden enjoying bird songs and color.  I love my garden this time of year, filled with flowers, birds and butterflies.

Steider Studios:  Hidden Hummingbird

Hidden Hummingbird

My sister-cousin wanted photos of hummingbirds and I think she caught a few.  I’ve planted many flowering shrubs and flowers that hummingbirds like.

Rufous Hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbird

I already miss you sister-cousin, can’t wait until next time…..

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Steider Studios:  Finished Birdbath

Happy Father’s Day Weekend to all the men making a positive difference in the life of a child!  I’ve been working on a bird bath that was commissioned as a gift for a special Dad this week.  Below are my process photos:

Steider Studios:  Paula's Birdbath phase 1

Powdered glass is sifted in a pattern on top of a sheet glass substrate, then lines are drawn through the powder.  Disc is fired in a glass kiln for about 16 hours.

Steider Studios:  Second Layer of Paula's Birdbath

Second layer of glass powder is added to client’s bird bath, mimicking the first layer, but overlapping colors will be richer.  Lines are drawn alternating with the under-layer design.  Additional red accent dots are added to balance how bright the central red ring turned out.  Firing schedule includes a slow ramp up, long bubble squeeze and careful annealing.

Steider Studios:  Birdbath photographed in shade before slump

Out of the kiln, a bit of cold-working (grinding the edge to eliminate any rough spots and to form a perfect circle) then it will be almost ready to shape into a bird bath form.

Steider Studios:  Birdbath outside in sunlight.

I auditioned it in my sunlit garden to make sure the iridescent sparkle in the glass showed through these colors.  Next I add some lines of gold duplicating those drawn through the powder, then it’s ready for it’s final firing.

Steider Studios:  Birdbath Shaping in Progress

To shape the disc into a functional bird bath, I ramp the heat up slowly overnight so I can watch it and control the process the following morning at my leisure.  Center of glass slowly ‘drops’ or sags through the open center of a ceramic ring.  At 1200º it took about 35 minutes – may have taken less time if I weren’t introducing cool air every 3 minutes as I peeked to watch progress.

When I like the shape, I quickly ramp down to the anneal segment, then wait until the glass is at room temperature before removing it from my kiln.  A potter friend made this ceramic ring for me in a larger size than commercially available.

Next up some pendant lighting and a cool outdoor fence/gate project!!

If you like this post, sign up to receive an email for future posts so you don’t miss anything.  It’s easy, just click the box at the top right of this page that says ‘Sign me up!’ and type in your email.  It’s right under the yellow close-up photo of my work.

Steider Studios:  Celestial Series, Yellow and Tangerine Rings

More good news!  My bowl was selected to be featured in the ‘On Fire for Handmade’ Great Finds (Yummy Yellows) Page! I hope you’ll click the link & vote for my sunny…or should I say YUMMY yellow bowl.  http://onfireforhandmade.com/yummy-yellow-great-finds/

The Poll is at the bottom of the page. 1 vote per computer per IP only is allowed. Voting will close on Friday Morning June 7th.  Please vote for my bowl and ask your friends to vote too!

1st place receives a free Listing in the ‘On Fire Gift Guide’ and a free ad spot in the ‘On Fire’ site.

From my ‘Celestial Series’, iridescent sunny yellow with tangerine rings and 22k gold embellishment.  Oh, and it’s available from my Zibbet shop!

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Update!  Thanks to your votes, I won the feature!  My Zibbet shop will be featured here, at On Fire for Handmade through the end of June.  Thank you!!

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