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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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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!!

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Dave Winship of Glass Craft Inc and I have chatted about using Steider Studios Glass Medium with recycled powdered borosilicate glass since I first introduced this medium three years ago.  We’ve run many experiments, culminating in a recent batch of shells that Dave made and sent out to boro lampworkers to further embellish.  The shell above is embellished by Beau Tsai, an amazing artist.

The borosilicate glass shells were made by Dave Winship using Steider Studios Glass Medium, frozen in candy molds then fired at low temperatures.  The piece above was further embellished by Jennifer Umphress, another incredible artist.

“The consensus is that getting the virgin material to lamp onto the freeze & fuse matrix is tricky, but nonetheless possible.”   Photo above is Mike Shelbo’s enhanced version of Dave’s shell.

Imaginative photo above is by John Spencer of Blackey Glassworx.

The temperatures Dave used for boro freeze & fuse shells was in the 1500f to 1600f range, soaking for up to 30 minutes.  Dave advises “Of course the various process temperature and soak times lead to differences in shrinkage and loss of detail – but those are the general profiles folks can experiment with.”

Photo above is Little B’s enhanced version of Dave Winship’s shell form using borosilicate glass and Steider Studios Glass Medium.

Dave has worked for years with Bob Kirby, a very knowledgeable engineer to commodify the recycling of boro. “Bob’s YouTube channel is pure gold”

If you’re unfamiliar with Steider Studios Glass Medium, I use it with soft glass powder to make a paste that I can sculpt, make paste pattern bars; and press into candy molds for freeze and fuse.  As you can see in the photos above its adaptable to borosilicate glass powder as well.

Here are a couple tutorials I’ve written about  using it with soft glass:  Glass Clay, a Step by Step Tutorial using Steider Studios Glass Medium and Using Steider Studios Glass Medium in Candy Molds

Effective 4.1.15 this part of my business is for sale.  I have just sold the last of SSGM and will not be re-ordering supplies to continue selling it.  If I find a buyer I will re-direct all links to the new owner so that my hard work doesn’t fade away.  Thank you so much for supporting my efforts all these years.

Purchase boro powder from Dave Winship of Glass Craft Inc.

Teaching at Half Moon Creek Gallery in Palmer Alaska for the third time, we landed in Anchorage with a side trip to Homer  scheduled first.  Cloud covered, we could see hints of blue sky causing our spirits to soar.  Each previous working vacation has been rainy, cloudy, and generally stormy.


As the sun came out, we knew this trip – our third – would be charmed.

Especially when we saw a moose along the highway before we’d been in Alaska a full day!

As we pulled into Homer, it was a bit dark, but hey….it was 10pm!

We splurged and stayed at Land’s End Resort Hotel, the last building on the Homer Spit.

Our room had a fantastic view and I braved the cold wind, going out on our deck often to breathe in the sea and sky.

Our first full day was long and early, beginning with a halibut fishing trip for my better half.  I had booked a birding excursion, but my trip was cancelled due to high seas.  So I Looked for eagles birds  on land….

…found some seagulls in a parking lot at 6:30 am after dropping my hubby off at the docks, then decided to treat myself to a latte since most of the birds were still asleep.

At Two Sisters Bakery I found one of the best mocha’s I’ve ever had!  Took their shelter from the rain, a warm cinnamon roll and a little wi-fi.

Next I went on a guided hike at the Wynn Nature Center and since I was the only one at 10 am I had a naturalist all to myself for an informative and personalized tour.

The views from Skyline Drive on my way back into town were breathtaking and I still had time to use my plastic at all the galleries, gift shops and book stores in Homer.

Back to my tireless hunt for birds along the sandy shore of the spit…

…found plenty of seagulls….

…and finally….the following day on our way out of town….

…after countless blurry images, this guy decided to pose for a few shots.  He wasn’t happy about it, but he did and I was grateful.

Later that afternoon in Girdwood, we took a short hike at the Historic Crow Creek Gold Mine, ending at the creek’s edge.  We stayed at a B & B and our evening meal just across the street at Double Musky Inn was one of the best ever. Thanks to everyone who recommended it!

Girdwood hosts the Alyeska Resort with an Arial Tram that takes you to the top of Mt. Alyeska, 2300 feet up in seven minutes….. with astonishing views.  When we were here last year it was closed due to high winds, so I was really looking forward to going up.

Not wanting to break our record of clouds and rain in Alaska, this was the clearest shot I had of  Turnagain Arm from the top of Mt. Alyeska.  Exhilarating, nonetheless!

The Alyeska Hotel, viewed during the tram’s descent….which might be a bit scary if you’re in the front.  OK, yes I was scared, but only for a minute, and there were children onboard, so I smiled valiantly, held on tightly and loved every moment even though my white knuckles implied otherwise.

The gardens at Hotel Alyeska are spectacular….the roads in downtown Girdwood are under construction, so I just grabbed a latte and we continued our northern journey.

Almost to Anchorage we stopped at Potter Marsh, the southern end of the Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge with incredible views of Turnagain Arm.

Alas, I wasn’t having a lot of luck with my birding adventure this week, but I did find a few feathered friends to photograph.

The scenery was breathtaking … as it always is … in Alaska … despite gray conditions.

Our next stop enroute to Palmer was the Alaska Botanical Garden in Anchorage.  A lovely short hike with a warning that bears were in the area; but the only wildlife we saw were mosquitoes.  Fortunately I had citronella oil with me.

Can you tell I am completely enamored with the Himalayan Blue Poppy (Meconopsis)!  I’ve tried growing them to no avail, but here in Alaska they thrive.

With time for one more stop before arriving in Palmer, we chose to hike at the Eagle River Nature Center (you know I was hoping to see an eagle!).

We found baby swallows, but no eagles in sight.  The setting was gorgeous and we had a great hike!

My Powderology class is the reason for my being in Alaska.  Two days, ten students, 4 kilns filled twice, and a ton of fun at Half Moon Creek in Palmer!  Once again, I had a set of talented people unafraid to take risks, play and explore.  Does anyone in Alaska know what can’t means?  I think not!

A collaged collection of student work, I did not pick up my camera as often as planned.  We start having fun and I forget to document!  It was one of those magical classes where everyone connected, shared ideas, and laughed together.

And we all excitedly gasped as the kilns were opened in the morning!

Our trip to Palmer wouldn’t be complete without a drive up to Hatcher Pass for stunning views.  One last treat by our lovely hosts at Simon’s in Anchorage with a panoramic view of Cook Inlet, then back to our B & B to pack up.  All in all, the third time WAS a charm!  We loved every moment and want to again thank Half Moon Creek for offering another opportunity for an amazing adventure!!

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I LOVE LA

June 10, 2012

I LOVE L. A.  August 18 & 19 you’ll find me teaching Powderology – Exploring Glass Powders in the LA area at Pacific Art Glass!  Hope you can join me, I promise to make this weekend workshop FUN, adventurous, and informative.  I’m really looking forward to seeing a sandy WARM beach, palm trees, and YOU!  Join us!!

Pacific Art Glass is only 20 minutes from LAX, at 125 West 157th Street in Gardena.  For registration, please call 310.516.7828; or 800.354.5277,  or email:   info@pacificartglass.com,   or click:  *Register for my class at Pacific Art Glass

Powderology is the Exploration of Glass Powders in as many ways as we have time for.  You’ll get a lot accomplished in just two days!  You may have heard I bring a lot of examples with me; but I really like to have you explore powders in the subject matter that interests you.  If you bring photos (your own or from magazines), I’ll help you make samples that are relevant to your own journey.  How to find or mix the right colors, texture, use a painterly approach for realistic rendering, surface design, mixing in a bit of glitz and more.

See you there!!!  Did I already say it? …. I love L. A.!!!  August 18 & 19  *Register for my class at Pacific Art Glass

 

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

The Glass Craft and Bead Expo hosts a trade show that delights the eye and can bankrupt your wallet.  I have wholesale accounts with many of the suppliers, so try to not overwhelm my credit card while checking out all the new tools and supplies.

I confess I did come home with a few new toys…mostly from His Glassworks.

You can take quick classes on the spot at some of the booths, most of which are free.

Or you can register for a hands on workshop and take home valuable information.  Plus samples that you make in class and tons of notes to duplicate the projects in your own studio.

I couldn’t teach my classes without the support of Paragon Kilns.

Nor could I conduct a class without the generous support of Bullseye Glass!

The wonderful team at Delphi gave my students a host of design accoutrements for our projects.

Last, but not least, my students wouldn’t be able to ‘finish’ their projects without the support of Glastar!  I truly appreciate the generous support of these companies.

When teaching, it’s difficult remembering to pick up my camera, so there are only a few shots of my classes.

Most of my photos are during lunch, or after class and definitely on the run!

My students this year, without exception were incredibly talented, intelligent and FUN!

Thank you for taking my classes, I hope you’ll keep in touch and remember I’m available for you anytime.

I’ve spent this week catching up on processing and shipping orders and just yesterday finished unpacking.  I love teaching on the road, but am always glad to be home.

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