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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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One of my favorite stores, Artisan’s Jewelery and Gallery asked me for green earrings.  Anyone else might have made a dozen pair, but I wanted to explore as many design options as possible.

I pulled out all my Bullseye green sheet glass and only eliminated a couple of shades because they were so close in tone.  Next, I cut each green into two lengths:  a long dangle and a short dangle.  Normally I would make a wider variety of lengths, but I was exploring color combinations, not lengths.

I cut out six pair of each length from each color, taking a few days to get them all cut, cleaned and placed on my work bench.  I had a wonderful selection of opaque and translucent greens to play with.

Next I chose design options by auditioning different dichro patterns and colors on top of each sheet of green.

For my own entertainment I also cut lengths of patterned and textured dichroic glass to make earrings that I know will sell quickly.

In addition to squares of patterned and colorful dichroic glass I used frit balls, decals, and sliced cane for adornment.  When I had enough earrings to fill a kiln I fired them and continued making more.  I ended up with about twelve dozen pair.  A gross of green glass earrings!  Plus some dichroic and a couple of strays I picked up along the way.

 

I finished all the earrings in batches of one or two dozen, starting with those I liked best for Artisan’s (and friends who came up to purchase), cleaning up any rough edges and checking for quality control.

I then glued on findings to attach the earring wires.  I use E6000 and let it cure 48 hours, then clean off the excess glue with a razor blade.  Not a fun task, but as I tell students – the back should look as nice as the front.

The final step is choosing which colorful niobium ear wires go with each pair of earrings.  Or in some cases sterling silver.  I rarely use 14k anymore due to the cost, but I keep it on hand for those folks who prefer quality gold.

As soon as the last set of green earrings were finished, I pulled out all my other colors of sheet glass and cut earring lengths!  I’m excited to make earrings in all the shades of yellow, orange, purple, blue and red (in that order) that I have.  Also more dichroic earrings because I’m so drawn to shiny sparkle patterns and I have a new sheet to try!

Fall show season will be here soon, and I need to place all these finished earrings into my online shops; but for now I’m squeezing in every bit of garden time I can with my cameras and flowers while the sun is shining.  You can see my garden at An Artist’s Garden.

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Fall has Fallen……

October 9, 2011

……and I’m not ready!  Not ready to say goodbye to Summer; not ready to put away my garden; not ready to gear up for holiday shows; not ready for classes; and really not ready for cold, dark or dreary.  But alas, fall arrives every year before I’m ready, and I manage to hustle through it.  So, here we go….

My ‘Basic Kinlforming’ class will start in just a week at The Dalles Art Center.  I picked up colorful new glass at Bullseye a week ago for this class to play with.  To register call Carmen or Jennifer at 541.296.4759.  Returning students always welcome!

Holiday shows I’m participating in are the annual Soroptimist’s Artisan Shopping Extravaganza.  This year it’s on November 27th from 10am until 4pm inside The Gorge Room at the Best Western Hood River Inn.  I’ll have wall pocket vases, jewelry, miniature bowls, and more.  Hope you’ll come say hello & see my new work!

I wouldn’t miss the Small Works’ annual holiday show at Columbia Art Gallery in Hood River.  The show runs December 2 – 29 with an opening reception on Friday December 2nd from 6 to 8pm.  Small works of art that make wonderful gifts is what you’ll find at this temptational show (yes, a made up word and I like it!).

I signed up for a booth at the Yard, Garden and Patio Show at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland next Feb 17 – 19!  I’m very excited about it and have new ideas for garden art that will be fun to make.  The sketches are done & I’ve begun work on the prototypes.  Plus I’ll have 3 days to buy plants, what a fun-filled opportunity!

In light of Steve Jobs passing, I must pay homage to those who inspired and mentored me.  Years ago I tracked down my high school art teacher to thank him for his role in my creative path.  If given an opportunity, don’t miss taking a class from these glass greats:

If you have’t already, take a moment to tell someone inspirational in your life how they helped you grow, enabled you, lit that creative spark or otherwise made a difference in your journey.

I haven’t said it in awhile & want you to know I’m humbled you read my words.  Especially knowing I can say it so much better visually.  In glass.  In color.  Playfully and joyfully.

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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Good News, Bad News

October 23, 2010

Opening the kiln lid is like Christmas every morning.

I’ll start with the bad……

Fireborne Glass Gallery is closing its doors today.  I’ve shown there since 2001  and have always felt partial to it.  Cool little gallery downtown Portland.  I became good friends with the original owners, Lisa and Myrna and was the instigator who introduced the current owners, Becky and Len to the gallery when it was up for sale.  I thought Becky would be a fabulous gallery director/owner and I was right.  She’s sophisticated, charming, and always has a friendly smile for you.  I was thrilled when Becky and Len decided to buy it.  I’ll still see Becky because we’re friends and Oregon Glass Guild members, but I’ll sure miss Fireborne.

You know me, I can’t dwell on sad news for long….The GOOD news is I delivered almost five dozen bowls and miniatures to the Museum of Glass Store in Tacoma on Friday.  I received the order last month and worked hard to get it finished while also producing for my gallery show at The Dalles Art Center this month.  If you are near Tacoma or The Dalles, please go see all my beautiful iridescent new bowls!!

More sad news, we had to cancel Powderology at Blue Moon Glassworks in Austin.  Unfortunately not enough students signed up to make it happen.  I was looking forward to my first foray into Texas, but I’ll get there another time.  I’m sorry to disappoint those who had signed up.

Finishing with Good News, my classes in Portland and The Dalles were fun-filled, energetic and most importantly successful for the students!  Aquila Glass School hosted my Powderology class mid month where I had extraordinarily creative students.  What a great resource Aquila is!  My Basic Kiln-forming, 6 week introductory class at The Dalles Art Center will finish up at the end of the month and I’m pretty sure we have new converts to the world of glass.  Thank you both for hosting me, I had a wonderful time.

As an aside, my comparisons of Artfire and Zibbet are going very well.  In the evenings I’ve added small works like buttons and stars as time allows.  I’ve even sold a couple of things!  I’m learning more about SEO (search engine optimization) and tweaking both shops with each new page of information I read.  Do you have advice for selling on-line?  I’d love to hear it!

 

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Welcome to Palmer Alaska

Half Moon Creek is an amazing glass gallery, Bullseye Resource Center and studio.  The owner/partners treated me like a queen and lined up a full class of incredible students.  Four days together without a hitch or a glitch.  I adored each student and the tiles they produced were nothing short of inspirational.  I can’t stop thinking about my experience, it was one of those adventures that I’ll remember the rest of my life.  The land and the people.

After landing in Anchorage, we headed south along the shore.

I’ll try not to overload you with over 1000 photos that I took, but only a few to tantalize.  I arrived a day early and took a quick trip south of Anchorage to find glaciers, whales, bear, moose, eagles, and everything wild that I’d read about Alaska.

broken off glacier

I found a glacier just before going into the tunnel leading to Whittier.  Or a piece of one, broken off, I later learned.

Elk at Wildlife Refuge, south of Anchorage, Alaska

I found elk, bison, caribou, and moose at the wildlife refuge but never saw one in the wild.  Didn’t see any bears either.  I was really looking forward to seeing a bear.

I took hundreds of photos, but don’t want to spend my time processing & editing!

It rained and clouds settled in during my entire week there, with rare exceptions.  I didn’t care, I was THERE.  In Alaska!  I planned to experience every moment, in the moment from my class to the daily treks after class.  The sun only sets for a couple of hours in August, so I had all day to teach and all night to explore.

Morning of Museums around Palmer & Wasilla

We played tourist to the hilt, going to all the museums in Palmer & Wasilla before class began and generally exploring the area.

Summit Lake in Clouds

Hatcher Pass was so cloudy and rainy we couldn’t see Summit Lake just beyond the wildflowers!  Can you see it?  We didn’t see Independence Mine either!

Little Susitna River

Which river photo to show from our drive back to town…..how about this one!

Knik Glacier from our B & B

View of Knik Glacier from our B & B….

Knik Glacier with telephoto

And zoomed in.  A spectacular view every day in spite of clouds or rain.

First day of class

Day one in class saw a full slate of students working diligently, modeling glass paste and getting to know one another.  Chris and Christian had the studio well stocked and our every wish was their command!  Not to mention the catered lunch with truffles for dessert!

Using Steider Studios Glass Medium as a binder for small components

We had one kiln filled with beads, buttons & cabs; and another kiln filled with small sculptures.

Susitna River

Day two, I forgot to pick up my camera in class, we were so busy producing samples and discussing possibilities.  That evening, still playing the role of tourist by night, we drove out to Talkeetna, the staging camp for Denali, hoping to see Mt. McKinley.  No sun, no mountain view.  But the clouds made for a dramatic view of the river!

Will the sun shine today?

Day three of class … yep, more clouds with a wink of the sun.

Samples from Day 1 Powderology

These are samples from day one of Powderology, our second day together. Two more kilns full of tests yet to view and discuss!

Viewing samples, comparing notes.

Excited students dove into their samples with gusto, curiosity, and risk-taking attitudes.  I think I surprised them with how much could be done with powdered glass!  I caught a couple of them talking about exhaustion!!

Matanuska Glacier

That evening we drove out to Matanuska Glacier.

I am so inspired by the colors I can’t wait to start my ‘Glacier Series’!

Still light at the B & B, I grabbed a few shots of surrounding color.

Last day of extended Powderology course

How many different ways can you visually say the same thing?  Using wafers; full vs tack fuse; kiln-carved; and so much more.

Working with glass powders

Last day of class everyone worked long and hard to finish all the experiments they wanted to tackle.  We filled three kilns plus a load of wafers earlier in the day.

At the end of the day…

Ten very happy students and one extremely happy instructor that last afternoon!  Who looks more spent, me or students?!!

Reindeer Farm

After class we headed out to the Reindeer Farm.  Had high hopes of seeing Santa, but alas he was vacationing in a warm sunny part of the globe, we were told!  Do you know how expensive it is to ship an antler home?  A gift for my garden!  OMG!

Our last morning the sun came out!

We woke to sunny skies on our last day.  Yes, this is what the sun looked like.  Did I say the landscape is incredible?  Awe-inspiring?  Beyond spectacular?  The memory takes my breath away.

Our view coming into Palmer Alaska

Our last drive into Palmer was gifted with a sun-filled sky….joy  still welling in my heart to see this photo of it!

Collage of projects

Back at Half Moon Creek unloading kilns, giving a final critique to everyone who could be there & packing up my tools & samples.  Wish I had been more diligent with photography in class to show you how much our students accomplished!

Hatcher Pass

Then we headed back to Hatcher Pass to see what we missed due to cloud cover the first part of the week.  I could show you a hundred more pictures, but will try to refrain!

One last view of the first glacier segment

And a speed trip back to Whittier, where it was still cloudy, and raining; accompanied with the eerie news of Senator Steven’s plane crash.

It was the trip of a lifetime and I can’t wait to go back.  For the incredible people, the enormous landscapes, and next time I really, really hope to see wildlife in the wild. Oh, and Denali.  And Valdez.  And Seward.  And Homer.  And bears!  Next summer I’ll  bring Powderology Plus back to Half Moon Creek!  Alaska is awesome, I can’t wait!!  Thank you Christian and Chris for the invitation, you were wonderful to work with!

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Telling Our Stories in Glass

….yet another fun adventure!  We had incredible students at Maryhill Museum’s Summer Art Institute, “Telling Our Stories in Glass” course.  Everyone made a fantastic tile in such a short amount of time!  These educators will go back to their classrooms inspired and ready to bring more art to their students.

Selecting Bullseye Glass

After learning about the types of glass available, participants selected what they wanted to work with from an assortment of Bullseye glass frit, stringer, confetti and sheet glass.  Thank you Bullseye Glass for discounting glass for these wonderful teachers, some of whom will offer a glass project in their own art programs.

Educators creating glass tiles.

Students then began building their tiles.

Building their tiles.

Tiles were made based on the stories participants wanted to share about their lives.

Design Decisions

Making design decisions…. Thank you Oregon Glass Guild for loaning us tools to use!

Layering the backgrounds, and building glass tiles that will be heated to tack and full fuse temperatures.

Maryhill Museum Summer Art Institute: Telling Our Stories in Glass

Finished glass tiles:  vertically, the left 3 rows were heated to 1385º, a tack fuse for texture; and the right 2 rows plus the bottom amber tile were heated to 1485º, a full fuse for a flat surface.

After class students toured my freshly scoured studio to see where and how I work.  Intrigued by all the samples lying around that I keep on hand for inspiration and instruction, they asked excellent questions about various processes.  Maryhill’s Executive Director, Colleen Schafroth brought a gift for me, “Maryhill Museum of Art” by Linda Brady Tesner, a book I’d been planning to buy about Maryhill’s history.  Thank you Colleen!

The day ended with a great meal at Everybody’s Brewing, downtown White Salmon!

Peacock at Maryhill Museum

A post about Maryhill Museum wouldn’t be complete without another peacock picture!  I love these birds!!

Next stop, Palmer Alaska where I’ll be teaching at Half Moon Creek!  Ready or not, here I come!!  Watch my upcoming class section for updates:  I’ll be coming to The Dalles and Portland Oregon as well as Austin Texas this fall; and contracts are already in for Las Vegas and Maui next spring!

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