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Steider Studios.Prairie Star Designs. Fence Project

I love working with metal artist Tom Herrera of  Prairie Star Designs because his projects are always interesting and creative.  You can read about Tom’s process in creating this trellis and gate on his blog at Prairie Star Designs.  You’ll want to scroll down to May 6th, “Sanoe’s Trellis and Gate” to read about Tom’s process in this project, but you’ll enjoy his other posts too.

Steider Studios.1.Samples cut out

My process began with meeting Linda, Tom’s client and sorting out her ideas and color schemes.  She came to my studio sale and chose colors for sunsets and bodies of water as well as several reds for hearts.  She brought a photo of a sunset and we chose watery colors from my color bars and samples in my studio.

Steider Studos1.5.Yellow Samples Ready to Design

I always start with samples, for a client to choose from, so tried several combinations of yellow for my sunset background…and several shades of watery blues for the panels depicting water.

Steider Studios.2.Samples in Process

Three layers of sheet glass, topped with heavy doses of Bullseye’s powder colors in striations matching the sunset photo and my water sample that Linda had seen in my studio.   I drew lines through the watery panels to show movement.

Steider Studios.3.Test Panels set up in Kiln

The glass is dammed in my Paragon kiln with fiber paper between the samples to keep them separated.

Steider Studios.4.Red Panels fired in kiln

In addition to sunset and water, Linda wanted to incorporate hearts into her fence.  After she chose which red she liked best from my samples, I stacked and fired my three layer combination.  It was simpler for us to frame squares of glass with heart shaped cut outs in metal, rather than me cutting perfect hearts and tediously damming them in my kiln; then Tom having to bend metal around them to frame.

Steider Studios.5.Aqua Panels in Process

After seeing my samples, Linda chose to eliminate sunsets from her trellis gate so the red hearts would have serene watery blues on each side of each heart.

Steider Studios.5.Turquoise Panels Process

Linda liked the deepest aquamarine and turquoise combinations especially those with lines showing watery motion.  With Linda’s decisions made, I blew up my samples to Tom’s size specifications keeping my designs as accurate as possible.

Steider Studios.6.Final Panel in Kiln.Tom's Fence Project

Because I STILL have not repaired my larger Skutt kiln, I had to fire each set of panels separately which added time on my end of the project.  I was already behind schedule due to custom work prior to this project and too many spring shows.

Steider Studios.Tom's Gate Aqua Panel 1

We were all happy with the watery aqua panels, especially how they glow under sunlight.

Steider Studios.Tom's Gate Red Panel 1.jpg

The red absolutely shimmers!  I was annoyed that I had a couple specks of kiln brick dust but it landed where metal would cover it and was so small that when held up to the sun we couldn’t see it, so decided to not shoot for perfection.

Steider Studios.Tom's Gate Turquoise Panel 2.jpg

The darker turquoise panels also turned out gorgeous, especially when held up to the sun.

Steider Studios.Mock up for Tom's Gate

The final arrangement of panels and hearts.

Steider Studios.Prairie Star Designs. Fence Project

And once again, the finished project.  I love it!!  I want one!  Thanks Tom Herrera for your faith in my work.  It is a pleasure to work with you!

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From "Taking the Scenic Route" in January 2010

I’m sorry to see 2010 pass because it was a very good year for me!

The highlights were having my work accepted into the Museum of Glass Store in Tacoma and the Glass Art Festival in Sequim in addition to the usual art shows, galleries and shops where I sell my work.  I managed to get two on-line stores up and running at Artfire and Zibbet when 1000 Markets closed.  And I’m still very thankful for Tom Herrera of Prairie Star Designs pulling me into his project for Maryhill Museum – it led me to many more opportunities.

Steider Studios Glass Inserts for Maryhill Museum Windy Walk Fence ©2010

Teaching is always a pleasure for me.  My classes this year included Aquila Glass SchoolThe Dalles Art CenterHalf Moon CreekMaryhill Museum, Machine Embroiderers of Oregon and WashingtonGlass Craft and Bead Expo, and GlassHopper Patterns.   My Arts in Education project this year was with Henkle Middle School, making glass tiles for their skylight; and I had several delightful private students throughout the year.

Last day of Powderology at Half Moon Creek in Palmer Alaska.

I think my biggest accomplishment was fulfulling a 12 year study and search for the perfect glass medium with my launch of Steider Studios Glass Medium™.  It’s a thickening agent to use with glass powders to make your own sculpting and modeling paste or clay, liquid lines, freezing in candy molds and more.

Steider Studios Glass Medium™

Maybe now I can get back to that book I’ve been working on for too many years!

And just for fun, I’m nearing 500 ‘likes’ on my Facebook Business Page.  Won’t you go there and like me too?  If you have a business page, please post it there so I can ‘like’ you back!!

Thank you for spending your time with me & following my adventures.  If not for you, there’d be no reason for me to write.  I wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2011!!

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As Promised….

May 27, 2010

…from my September ’09 “Progression-of-a-project” post, here is the finished project, finally installed this month in the Japanese Garden, located at the OSU Extension office in Hood River.  It’s a small portion of the Master Gardener’s Learning Garden which sits above the Experiment Station orchard.  My glass insert plays a supporting role in Tom Herrera’s sculpture and I’m honored to have it there.  A lovely setting, wouldn’t you say?


80 colorful panels of glass swivel and sway in the skylight at the entrance of Henkle Middle School in White Salmon.   They were produced by three classes of 5th and 6th graders led by their art teacher, Betsy Petrick.  The project wouldn’t have been possible without funding from the Washington State Arts Commission and the Oregon Glass Guild.

I met with Mrs. Petrick in early February to discuss and plan the project, originally a glass mobile.  Safety issues and technical aspects overcome, and supplies purchased we began our journey the first Monday in March.

The students studied Jackson Pollock and Alexander Calder while I cut up sheets of Bullseye Glass.  Faye Malench produced hand pulled stringer for us; and I contacted Tom Herrera to get started on the support structure.

The students sketched their ideas after I introduced them to glass, the possibilities and parameters.  We addressed safety issues each day, then began…

Students waited their turn in line to select frit and stringer.  After the first session Mrs. Petrick and I realized we needed more help to dispense glass quicker and have more contact with students as they built their panels.

My friends, Charlene and Angela agreed to join the fun.

Students placed a clear panel of glass over their drawing, then bent high temp wire into an omega shape and glued it on the top center of their panel.  They either buried it with frit or placed a small piece of sheet glass over it so it would become embedded in the glass.

Students took limited amounts of frit and stringer back to their sketch, applied it then went back for more glass.  We used Thompson Klyr-fire to hold the frit and stringer in place during transport.

The extra help from Charlene & Angela freed Mrs. Petrick & me to better help the students.

The panels were transported to my studio kilns for firing.  A Paragon above and Skutt below.  Each student also made a small pendant to keep for themselves.

My three kilns were loaded and reloaded several times for 80 panels.

First group finished.  We used a process temperature of 1385º to retain texture.

Second group finished.  A few of the panels had to be re-fired as the wire wasn’t completely buried in frit.

Third group finished.  Thanks to Valerie Adams for leading me to Flex-Tec, an anti-shatter coating that I painted on all the panels after they were fired.  Thanks especially to Mark at His Glassworks for holding my hand during my learning curve.  Finally, fishing swivels were attached to the embedded wire so the panels would twist and we were ready to install.

Metal artist Tom Herrera designed and produced the metal supports.  Henkle’s Jim Mansfield drilled all the holes and clear-coated for us, then installed the supports within one day!

Mrs. Petrick and I each took two sides of the skylight and arranged panels so the colors would flow and the relative visual weight  of each panel would balance.

The ‘man-lifter’ felt much safer to use than the ladders!  As we installed each panel it was fun to hear all the positive comments as students and staff walked by.  “There’s mine!” each of the art students said as they spotted theirs, pointing it out to their friends.

We found a rhythm inserting the metal wires, twisting to secure and moving on to the next panel.

In less than two hours all panels were hung.

I went back the following morning to snip off the excess wire, completing the project.

Detail…

More detail…

Good thing many of my photos were blurry or you’d be looking at even more detail shots!

As we finished Mrs. Petrick pondered the possibility of adding more rows of panels, moving up the skylight each year.  Wouldn’t that be fun!?!!

One of the best parts of a project like this, is watching the kids come to know and understand glass and it’s seemingly limitless possibilities.  You can see their enthusiasm for the media grow and their pride in ownership when we’ve completed the project.  Some kids are already interested, curious and willing to learn.  Other kids are afraid they’ll cut themselves, or display disinterest because they already think they have no artistic ability.  Some are tired because they haven’t had enough sleep or worried about an upcoming test and can’t concentrate on the task at hand.

With heartfelt joy I tell you by the end of  a project like this, there is a smile on every kid’s face, full of pride and authority from their newfound knowledge.  It’s that beaming smile I always remember beyond the project.

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Maryhill Museum threw a great party last night for the opening of their 70th season!

This is the epilogue of my fence project, but not the last of Maryhill for me.  With their focus on glass this year, I’ve been invited to participate in a tour of glass studios.  My studio is too tiny to fit a busload of people, but my friend Terri has offered her studio and we are already working on some great plans for those taking the tour.  More about that in a future post.

The bronze plaque, now in place, is a beautifully crafted testament to all involved in this project.  I am so grateful to the donors and sponsors, who made this opportunity possible.  David and Roseangela Capobianco, the Arthur G. Dunn Guild of Seattle, Cannon Power Group, Gunkel Construction, and of course, Tom Herrera for including my glass!

I can’t wait to see the William Morris exhibit this summer, and Tacoma’s Museum of Glass is bringing it’s mobile hot shop in June.  Not to mention the spotlight on local glass artists with the Oregon Glass Guild at Maryhill’s Arts Festival in August.

In addition to the incredible art and fascinating history this great museum holds, the surrounding views of the Columbia River are incredible.

The grounds at Maryhill host a plethora of peacocks that you can’t help falling in love with.

I’ve tried capturing them with my camera, with pastels, fiber and glass……

None of my renditions reflect their iridescence, personalities or regality as the birds themselves.  The perfect feathered friends of Maryhill.

Join me at these events and more at Maryhill Museum.  There’s a nominal admission fee or better yet, become a member.

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Installed!

March 12, 2010

Here it is, the final photos for the last few weeks of work and my two previous posts.  Tom Herrera’s fence installed at the Windy Flats Walkway and Viewpoint at Maryhill Museum, with my glass inserts.

Detail above and side view below.

Join us for the dedication March 20th at 4pm.  Maryhill Museum is on Hwy 14 just off Hwy 97, near Goldendale Washington in the Pacific Northwest.  I’ll be there, will you?

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SUCCESS!!!

March 7, 2010

At noon I was able to open the kiln door to find as perfect a set of glass panels as I could hope for.  They’ve been cleaned up and coated with FlexTec (an anti-shatter substance) which is curing for the next 6 hours.  Because we’re short on time, I’ll accelerate the normal 4 day curing time by placing them back into the kiln at 150º for 8 hours.

Above are the two 20″ panels with the sun hitting them so you can see the sparkly iridescent glass.  Below are the two 12.5″ panels with the iridescent glass sparkling.

And in the photos below, you see the same sets in the same order with the sun behind the glass so you can see how vibrant the colors are.

They’re so much better in person!  Hope you can join us at the dedication and see for yourself!!  The next photos of these panels will be installed at Maryhill Museum, where you’ll also see the the fence and patio.

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It’s been a whirlwind romance for this project, with a very short timeframe.  Tom Herrera is transforming a fence retrieved from Sam Hill‘s Seattle estate and installing it at Maryhill Museum’s new Windy Flats Walkway and Viewpoint.  He’s asked me to produce 4 glass inserts, for the ends and center of the fence.  So, with no time for research, I pulled earlier visits to Maryhill from my memory banks.  I always loved the Loie Fuller exhibits and made a quilt honoring her back in my fiber arts days.  I have also photographed and rendered the peacock population in pastels many times, trying to capture the lovely iridescence.  Tom’s only prerequisites….colorful and 1/2″ thick!

With those thoughts in my mind, I played with fine frit and powdered glass on sheet substrate to see which would yield a better result.  Above photo on the left is the powder test already fired and on the right is the frit test ready for its first firing.

The frit wasn’t as crisp as the powder, when stacked and fused into four layers, so I chose powder, the finished sample pictured above.

Above are the 20″ panels and below are the 12″ panels, stacked and almost ready to load into the kiln for the final firing.

I was so involved with the process that I didn’t remember to photograph all the steps along the way.  Cutting the glass, sifting the powder, then drawing lines through.

Two views of the 20″ panels, cleaned after the first firing and ready to stack & fuse together.

Below are the 12″ panels, after the first firing.

Side view of 20″ panels, topped with clear iridescent glass for a sparkly effect.

Loaded into the kiln, held in place with kiln furniture to prevent the glass from flowing when heated to process temperature.  That’s where the project is now.  And will be for another day.  Waiting with crossed fingers and toes hoping  it comes out as planned, that nothing goes wrong in the kiln.  The project is due out of the kiln on delivery day, so there’s no time for error.  Which is why I chose an excruciatingly long firing cycle, ramping up at 100 degrees per hour.

I’ll post the final outcome with sun glowing through the panels which is how you’ll see it at Maryhill.  Better yet, join us Saturday, March 20th for Maryhill Museum’s opening event.  The dedication of the new Windy Flats Walkway and Viewpoint will be at 4 p.m.

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Paving the Way….

July 5, 2009

Paving the way to my newest seating area.

Paving the way to my newest seating area.

…..In the Pacific Northwest with iridescent ‘Puzzle Pavers’ to my newest garden seating area.  It used to be a wildly overrun herb garden filled with weeds and is now the perfect place to start paving.

I’ve been casting glass pavers for my garden paths, using up buckets full of scrap glass.  Thanks to the moving sale at Studio Ramp, I picked up a few paver molds from Mel George.   (If  you’re unfamiliar with Mel, here is a video of her & partner Jeremy Lepisto at the Museum of Glass. I’ve taken several casting & pate de verre classes where she was the instructor or assistant.)  Each paver is 10 pounds & about 8″ square ~ so far I’ve only used clear iridescent glass.  So far I only have five pavers!

Side View

Side View

I build them like a jigsaw puzzle, placing each scrap of glass into an empty spot where it fits.  It’s the same way I make my puzzle vases and bowls but in this case it’s 10 to 15 layers thick, depending on the size of each puzzle piece.  The layers are built up until I’ve used 10 pounds for each paver, while balancing the shapes so the end result is uniform.  I love how these pavers look holographic, radiating light along the paths!  Wear your sunglasses if you stop by & use caution ~ slippery when wet!

Puzzle Pavers; 1" thick by 8" square; scrap clear iridescent glass

Puzzle Pavers; 1″ thick by 8″ square; scrap clear iridescent glass

You can read more about my garden in the Columbia River Gorge at An Artist’s Garden. I try to spend my summers there because the rest of the year I work in the studio without many days off.  This is my time to rejuvenate while redecorating, redesigning or otherwise just playing outdoors in one of my favorite places.  I might play in the studio if it’s too hot or cold or windy outside, but usually work only on specific projects for my garden.  Unless, of course, I get a rush or special order!  Especially if it’s something YOU might want!

******** A follow up note to my previous post, Do You Have Rainbows in Your Halos?

Left 960º in old Paragon, Right 900º in Skutt bathtub

Left 960º in old Paragon, Right 900º in Skutt bathtub

I wanted to compare these 1″ thick pavers under polarizing film to compare halos.  For the paver on the right I used Bullseye’s new anneal soak temperature of 900º; and the paver on the left was soaked at the ‘old’ temperature, 960º.  Whoa!  Really?  Now we’re talking ‘Rainbows’!  I have that much stress in the left paver?  Of course the corners on a square is where the greatest stress will show, but see how the stress goes beyond the corners?!  Good thing I wasn’t planning on selling them!

To be fair, I’ll have to do one more comparison ~ a kiln comparison.  The right paver was fired in my Skutt bathtub (at 900º) & the left paver was fired in my oldest Paragon (at 960º).  I think I’ll check the accuracy of my thermocouples and it’s been awhile since I checked for cold spots in my old Paragon!  I’d also better remeasure and be sure my pavers are 1″ thick and not greater.  In the meantime, I’ll keep the stressed pavers separate and watch how much foot traffic they can take.

Detail, stress halos on left, clear irid scrap pavers.

Detail, stress halos on left, clear irid scrap pavers.

For now, I’m heading back to the studio to build more puzzle pavers for the rest of my garden….  I have about 5 more buckets of clear scrap and an acre of garden space.  I might start throwing in some color to see what I get.  Hey, I also have a couple buckets of broken finished work that I was thinking about using in mesh melts, but maybe they’ll look interesting in a flattened or pressed glass sort of way!  Not to mention adding some fiber paper designs on the bottoms for bas relief effects!  And veils of leftover powders that I can’t bear to throw away!!  My head’s exploding with ideas, I’ll be in the studio today!!!

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Powder Room Heart Mirror

Powder Room Heart Mirror

Who has the prettiest powder room of all?  Mine is all about Hearts & Flowers. Heavy on the hearts. I do love hearts and don’t care if others think they’re sappy or corny ~ they express what you want to say when mere words aren’t enough. When I hand you a heart shaped object, I’m giving you my heart.  I’ve always drawn & collected them & cherish those given to me.

Each heart shape in the mirror was hand cut & arranged until I liked the color transitions, shape placement and overall look.  The glass shop guy who cut the mirror for my heart frame still tells me that this was the most creative mirror frame he’s ever seen!  Unsure how to hang it, he suggested we drill holes into the mirror & screw it directly onto the wall, so that’s what I did.  The screws are covered with mirrored ‘rosettes’ – one at the bottom & two at the top.

An avid gardener, I also love flowers.  And the birds that come along to eat the seeds and drink the nectar.  So, instead of cropping to show you just the mirror, I left in the goldfinch I did with pastels a few years ago.  The wall pocket is filled with an assortment of fresh cut flowers from my garden.  The blue hearts within hearts was a gift for my husband one Valentine Day.

In case anyone’s wondering about my wall treatment. It’s 2 shades each of pink, purple, turquoise, yellow, and spring green sponge painted on. Yes, it took FOREVER to do, but I wanted it to remind me of a field of flowers. And so it does. You can see the corner of a wall-hanging from my former life as a fiber artist in the mirror’s reflection, depicting a field of flowers.

 

Also in the reflection, you can see my curio cabinet filled with treasures I’ve collected, mostly from friends & mentors, but plenty of other things near to my heart.  Rather than strain your eyes, here it is.  Difficult to see details through the sliding doors, so one door open, one door not: 

 

Curio

Curio

I made all the hearts, mostly as gifts for my husband, including kilncarved (top left), cast (lowest shelf center, mostly obscured from the doors), tacked and fully fused as well as hand sculpted hearts from glass paste.  You can see vases from Fields and Fields, Alex Farnham, a horse from Newy Fagan, a leaf from Deb Williams, and an assortment of  ‘memories’…  The cast piece on the lowest shelf, suggesting a tree trunk with arms reaching out was made for an art show at Columbia Art Gallery a couple years ago reflecting death & dying.  Not a dark or depressing statement, but free and released from worldly pain.  The story behind it & how I made it will have to be a future post.

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