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Steider Studios.Stars.No Aurora.3.7.14.15

I knew there wasn’t much of a chance, but I had to try anyway.  Practicing for the next Aurora is what I’m calling last night’s little adventure!  Since my first exposure to Aurora photography, I’ve been waiting for another opportunity!

Steider Studios.Stars.No Aurora.7.14.15

I only saw city lights behind Mt Adams (or was it the last of sunset at midnight?) and gorgeous stars in the night sky.  I’m glad I went because I did get a better understanding of how to photograph in the dark at night.  Still not great at it, but practice makes perfect!!

Steider Studios.Stars.No Aurora.7.14.15-2

Bonus, I get to sleep in when I’m out photographing at night!!

Steider Studios:  Path to Elowah Falls

My friend Lori said to take a workshop with David Cobb or any of the Photo Cascadia ‘Best of the Northwest’ photographers if I had an opportunity.

Steider Studios:  Elowah Falls

I found a workshop offered here at home in the Columbia River Gorge with David Cobb and Zack Schnepf so I didn’t have any travel expenses!

Steider Studios:  Elowah Falls

Zack is the son of my glassy friend, Raphael Schnepf, so I thought it would be a very fun adventure and I was right!!

Steider Studios:  Bottom of Elowah Falls

 I took this series of shots at our first session at Elowah Falls at dark thirty in the morning.  Yes, dark thirty – I left home at 5am!  Mist was so high many of us got soaked while crossing the bridge in the foreground.

Steider Studios:  Ferns Against Black Rocks

I played with different exposures & settings looking for that ‘wow’ factor.  Not sure I found it, but I had fun and the experience was enlightening.

Steider Studios:  Elowah Falls Hiking In

I like how you can see the falls and creek in this shot through the lush trees along the path.

Steider Studios:  Moss.Lichen

I always like focusing on details when I’m out and about.

Steider Studios:  Elowah Falls.Hiking Out

Another shot of the falls and creek through the forest from another stop in the path.

Steider Studios:  Wild Bleeding Heart

Wildflowers were plentiful.

Steider Studios:  Elowah Falls Through Trees

I think I like how the trees and branches frame the falls……

Steider Studios:  Elowah Falls Through Trees.Cropped

…I like it cropped better though.  Which version do you prefer?

I have a thousand photos to go through, so will have to take a couple of posts to tell you about the entire weekend.  It was fantastic & I have to agree with Lori – if you have an opportunity to take a workshop with David Cobb, Zack Schnepf or any of the excellent photographers from Photo Cascadia do it!

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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Love my Lytro!

August 15, 2012

Exciting news, I was personally invited to take part in the first Lytro contest because of this photo of flags I took on Memorial Day.  Lytro published it on their Facebook page a few months back!  Click the link, wait for the photo to load, then click on different flags to alter the focus.

The butterfly photo above is the first of my Lytro entries and to help me win, you can vote for it at Lytro’s Photo Contest on Facebook.  You do want me to win, right?  You are entered to win a Lytro for yourself with each vote you cast.  You can only vote for each photo one time and only one photo per day.

What do I win?  Each week for seven weeks, five finalists will win a Lytro Accessories package (including new to the world accessories that are coming out later this year). One of those 35 finalists will win the Grand Prize – a Master Light Field Photography Lesson with Eric Cheng, Director of Photography at Lytro; plus FIVE cameras to give to my friends!

If you’re on Facebook, please help me win by voting here:  Lytro’s Photo Contest on Facebook  (at this time the contest is being held on Facebook, no other way to vote).  And, if you’ll share with your friends I’d really really appreciate it.  Your friends will also appreciate it if they win a Lytro!

We can enter photos daily and these are some of the others I’m considering.  If I were on WordPress.org instead of .com, you’d be able to click and refocus the photos here.  Alas, to do that you need to visit my Lytro Photo Page.

My Lytro was a Christmas gift, but I didn’t get it until April because they were manufactured and shipped slowly!  If you haven’t yet heard about it, go to Lytro.com for all the info, but essentially it captures the entire light field instead of a single plane.  The fun part is that you can refocus your photo after you upload it to your computer – and you can share it as an interactive photo online.

I hope you’ll vote vote for my Butterfly photo at the top of this post and as a result, I hope YOU are the winner of a new Lytro camera!

A Special Anniversary

June 20, 2011

On June 25th it’ll be one year since I released  Steider Studios Glass Medium™!

Steider Studios Glass Medium™

I’ve sold countless jars all around the world and every day there are several Google searches for it, so I know word is getting out.  Several distributors have samples for testing and if there’s a store near you please ask them to carry it.

I want to showcase the amazing things other artists are doing with it.  If you are using it and are willing to share photos of what you’ve done, I’d love to share your work in a post every now and then.

Without further ado, I present Sandy Dukeshire, of Sandy’s Glass Shack in Massachusetts, whose work I adore:

Sandy Dukeshire: Blown Rose Vase

“Roses and leaves made with SSGM and applied to blown vase. This is so much fun being able to make such detailed pieces for blown work.”

Sandy Dukeshire: Blown 'Crazy' Vase

“This was just a crazy thing! It was a great project to get me through the learning process.”

Sandy Dukeshire: Blown Calla Lily Vase

“Calla Lillys fired and applied to blown vase. They were very cooperative to work with and handle well.”

Sandy Dukeshire: Hand Blown Cake

“Each flower takes about an hour to make. Heartbreaking when things go wrong….but boy-o-boy, lessons learned the hard way are never forgotten!!”

Sandy Dukeshire: Blown Purple Fantasy Flower Vase

“This purple vase has a flower and leaves made with SSGM. Colors are layered into bar form then sliced to reveal interior pattern.”

Sandy Dukeshire's Bug Flower Pods

“I made this vase with attached ‘buds’ and ‘flower’ made with SSGM. My friend mica was added for sparkle.”

************

Isn’t her work fabulous?

What are you doing with Steider Studios Glass Medium™?  I’d love to feature you in a future post, including links to your sites. Yes all your sites, I’ll promote you with wild abandon! xoxo

On March 12th a 9.0 earthquake and resulting tsunami hit Japan, wiping out many coastal towns.  I cannot fathom the heartache of those who lost entire families in this tragedy.  And I can’t stop thinking about it.

In the days that followed, I considered what I could do to help.  You can read my thoughts in this previous post.  I decided to make some sushi sets to sell in my Artfire Shop.

I started by sketching some patterns and designs, then ran some quick small tests to see which I liked best.  After narrowing it to these three designs, I asked for help from my Facebook friends to decide which sets to make.  They had to be made in between previously committed projects and classes I was teaching.

The two selected designs were scaled up and made into 6″ sushi plates with matching sauce dishes.

When I posted results on my Facebook Page, my friend Katie offered sushi presses that Wayne (of Sticks & Stones) had made to go with my sets.  A perfect addition, I happily accepted.

The sets are $95 each and consist of two plates that are 6″, two cute little sauce dishes that are 3.5″ to 4″ and the beautiful 3 part Sushi Press.  A sweet set for two, I think it will be quite romantic using them!  Or for family fare you’ll need two sets.

Click here to purchase the set above (Whirl Design on Black)

If you’d rather have the Whirl Design on white, you can purchase it by clicking this link.

If you like the white background, you can purchase the Wave and Lotus Design with a click on this link.

And if you like the black background with the Wave and Lotus Design shown at the top of this post, you can click here to purchase it.

I’ve given my time and talent, along with Wayne and Katie Cordrey to produce these beautiful sets.  I hope you’ll consider purchasing one or two.  100% of your purchase price will go directly to relief efforts.

Did I tell you the carving on the sushi press is the Japanese character for ‘peace’?

Peace to you and yours.  xoxoxo

Last year my best friend Debbie began a holiday tradition for both our families.  We gathered in her kitchen to bake cookies, the two of us plus 6 grandkids.  This year we made gingerbread houses and ginger people to live in the houses.  Missing one grandson due to a play rehearsal, above is my group and below is a collage of our day together.

Happiest of holidays to you & yours!

 

Special Holiday Pricing just posted!  Join me on Maui swimming with sea turtles, running barefoot through the sand, whale watching, snorkeling with dolphins…. oh, and playing with some powdered glass, too!  Join me at Akimbo Studios  for a special version of Powderology plus Clay Play together on Maui for five days of joyful creative fun!

Take advantage of the low airfares, book now!  Tell me you’ll be there!!

Imagine the first day … snorkeling with dolphins in the clear blue water, soaking in the warm rays of sun and feeling the soft white sand between your toes.  Bring your camera and sketchbook to record every inspirational moment to use in class.  Palm trees swaying in a breeze,  ocean swells, sea shells, botanicals, marine creatures and so much more.  We’ll capture the color, flavor and aroma of our experiences.   Prepare for the ultimate creative experience as only Hawaii can offer, ending with a sunset catamaran cruise.

You don’t have to be an artist or know how to work with glass.  I’ll teach you to do both.  I promise.  It’ll be fun.  You’ll love it.  I’ll love it.  And we’ll be forever connected to Maui and each other after this magical experience.  Join me!!

Taking the Scenic Route

January 17, 2010

After a quick half-day Glass Clay class yesterday at GlassHopper Patterns, I decided to take the scenic route home on the old highway along the Columbia River.

It was a cloudy, misty, gray day ~ perfect for photographing landscapes for my 365 One Day at a Time project.

I thought it would clear my mind and provide inspiration for this week in the studio where I’ll be working towards a gallery show, “Red“, opening in February at the Columbia Art Gallery in Hood River.

I know, I know, these shots are all forest-filled greens and white waterfalls; try to think ‘after-image’.  And look at all the red branches and twigs!  Not to mention all the color you can see when squinting your eyes at the falls and forest floor!!

It’s been awhile since I’ve been to the waterfalls and I’d forgotten the powerful sound of  water roaring down the side of a mountain.

When standing in front of a serious waterfall, the roar is deafening, your heart pounds, your eyes are mesmerized by the water dancing downward while the mist cascades over you.

I finally took the lens cap off and started shooting.

Trying to capture the entire landscape as well as smaller, interesting parts of it, I was looking for an interesting angle that hasn’t been noticed before.

In the end, of course it’s all been documented by many others before me, but I had a wonderful time photographing my personal view of a day in the Pacific Northwest.

I hope you enjoy my results and can find inspiration from them.

The top and last photos are Multnomah Falls, in the middle of where I started my tour – at Wahkeena Falls with the rocky bottom; and ended it at Horsetail Falls with the ultra mossy trees.  If you click on the photos you can read the photo titles telling which is which.  Please feel free to comment as I love knowing what you think about what I’m posting.  Whether inspirational landscape photos, glass news and info, upcoming classes or anything else!

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.

Butterflies are Free…

November 4, 2009

…If your name is Diana and you’re my sister’s Best Friend!

Di's Yellow B'flies

Diana has been patiently waiting for her butterfly since August.  She happens to be my sister’s best friend and asked me casually while I was visiting my sister if I’d make her a butterfly.  Not one to turn down any opportunity to add original art glass to someone’s home, of course I said yes, knowing full well that I had a hectic schedule awaiting my return home.  Butterflies are small and I knew I could easily fit them into my work schedule.  Couldn’t I?  I love these colorful butterflies and my stock of them was almost extinct, so it was time to make some new ones anyway.

Di's prototypes

Notice how I say them and these, not it?  If you’ve followed my blog, you know that I can’t just make one’ of anything, so finding a day to make up a kiln load of butterfly bodies, just couldn’t be done!  I wanted Di to have a good selection to choose from so I needed to make not just one, but a kiln-load of butterflies.  Diana saw three prototypes from which to choose the style and color she wanted; then waited again until I could finally find a day to get the bodies made.

white butterfly bodies

Fitting them in between projects became problematic because they require a different firing schedule than the rest of the work that generally ships out of my studio.  Oh, I got their little bodies made up & fired; it was the final firing with the color and wing patterns that took some time to work into my schedule.  Here they are after the first firing joining the wings to their bodies.  My canvas ready to ‘paint with glass powders’.

butterflies in progress

Working with glass powder is a fragile way of working with glass.  The slightest puff of wind or bump in the studio can ruin your design, so I had to fit them into a day where nothing else was happening and I had an available kiln ready to accept them immediately after building each one.  I didn’t want them lying around my studio waiting for disaster to happen.  When working with powders I like to have a color reference and all my tools within reach.

Di's powdery b'flies

The glass powder is sifted on.  Lines are drawn in.  Diana wanted yellow, orange and lime green.  I used Bullseye glass 1120, translucent Canary yellow as my base color with 0025 Tangerine and 0126 Spring Green opal (not translucent) accents.

powdery red b'fliesI also wanted to duplicate the model in my Butterfly Encyclopedia, so used translucent 1122 Red with Tangerine opal.  Then I began wondering how it would look with 0334 Gold Purple and 0147 Cobalt Blue opal accents.

powdered butterfliesNot to mention how would it look as a pink using 1332 Fuchsia with 0334 Gold Purple accents; or a blue using 1464 True Blue with Spring Green accents; and 1442 Neo Lavender with Gold Purple accents!  Alas, after that I was out of bodies again since I’d only made nine blanks, so my explorations had to end.  For now anyway.

small Red b'fliesAnd here’s how they look after firing.  All they need now is a signature and they’re out the door.  My original versions pretty much stuck to depictions straight out of the encyclopedia, mimicking true-to-life butterflies.  My approach this time exploring color and line was less tedious and much more fun!!!

small Blue, Lavender, Pink b'flies

Diana plans to hang hers in the dining room for wall decor.  I like to place my butterflies in my garden strategically where I need spots of color, wrapping the copper spirals around small branches of trees and shrubs.  I also keep one in my ‘Pretty Powder Room’.  Other glass butterfly owners have hung them in windows, set them in planters, and rested them on counters.  Where would you keep yours?

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