Home

Rainbows of Earrings

November 25, 2012


I finished 8.5 dozen earrings in time for the Soroptimist Extravaganza Sale!  Sold quite a few!  I love wearing bright, lightweight, colorful earrings & get loads of compliments when I do!  You can too!!  I’ll have more time to add these to my  Zibbet Shop  in January, but if you’d like a pair or two before then just send me a note & tell me which ones you’d like.

If you need something to do in Portland OR, Dec 7 & 8, come see all my new earrings!  Hope to see you at the Multnomah Arts Center, in the Gym!  Until then, I have hundreds more to finish up and add to these collections!!

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.

Advertisements

For my studio sale I pack up all my personal possessions and turn my cabin into a Glass Gallery.  Usually it’s only for a Sunday afternoon.  As you read in my last post, this year I’m participating in back to back weekend studio tours, so my living area will look like this for a week!  I love seeing all my work surrounding me instead of boxed up waiting for the next art show, but my dog is used to having her toys thrown for her evening entertainment.  Not this week!  

My studio has all my experiments, and seconds displayed along with tools and mica for glass artists that I sell.  This means I can’t work for a week.  Guess it’s a good time for a staycation!  You’ll find me in the garden….

Oh, and if you didn’t get to the Gorge Artists Open Studios Tour, you can still come up and see my work during the White Salmon Artists Studios Open House on Saturday May 21 from 10 am to 5 pm.

March Madness

March 13, 2011

In the midst of Japan’s tragic earthquake and tsunami, the rest of us must continue moving forward.  My heart is heavy for all those who lost loved ones so I’m participating in several small ways to help those left behind.

I bought a couple raffle tickets to help a japanese potter & his village rebuild through Heath Ceramics in Sausalito. Only $10 and you might win the limited edition Commune Canister hand thrown at Heath Ceramics worth $500. You only have until Monday, March 14th, so hurry!

Here’s an easy way everyone can help. Send in the dogs! One click on the ‘like’ button & you’ve added $1 to the campaign without using your own $1. It’s a Facebook page called ‘Dog Bless You’. I hope you’ll ‘like’ it.

As I find more creative ways to help, I’ll post them on my Facebook page.  Please check there when you have a chance to see if I’ve discovered anything else.  My friend, Karen posted this list of projects already set up by the Red Cross, Medical Corps, Save the Children, and more that need funding for Japan.

As for my studio moving forward in the aftermath, I don’t think I’ve ever had a busier March!  New venues and fresh work set up in my regular shops.  This past week I dropped off new work for Hood River Jewelers.  The display isn’t finished because it will be moved in front of the window in a few days (btw, the large blue, white & black platter isn’t mine but we left it in the display).  If you’re in Hood River, please visit  Chris, Julie and Theresa and let them know I sent you!

Each March I prepare for the Glass Craft and Bead Expo by packing & shipping about a dozen boxes.  Filled with tools, examples, and supplies the majority of boxes are 16″ cube and weigh about 30 pounds.  Yes, 30.  It’s how I prepare for my gardening season!

Deciding what to take and what to leave is never easy for me.  I want to expose students to as much as possible in our short time together!  I think my Build a Better Pocket class is almost full.

There’s still plenty of room in my Beautiful Butterflies class.  Maybe I can entice you to take it?  If you couldn’t get into my Exploring Glass Powders class, I’ll cover many of the same principles in this class.

Play Date with Paste is filling, but it’s the first day of the Expo on Wednesday and many of you won’t arrive until Friday.  Taking any of my classes or not, I hope you’ll stop in my classroom to say ‘hi’.  Later in the afternoon is best because the students (my priority) will be well on their way by then.

A last note on the quake.   This link, from the NY Times, shows photos before and after the disaster.  Use the sliders to see satellite images of each town before and after.

Edit: This link for Mashable shows 7 ways to help or donate using social media.

This link for Charity Navigator lists ratings for the best orgnizations to help.

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.

March Musings

March 4, 2011

I am happy to announce my colorful art glass jewelry is now available for purchase at J D Smith Jewelers in The Dalles Oregon.  The owner, Jason and I have been talking about working together since last summer.  Our schedules finally aligned to make it happen and I couldn’t be more thrilled!

Jason has been in the jewelry business much longer than you might think judging by his youthful appearance and ‘with it’ attitude.  He has an artist’s eye and it shows when you walk into his fabulous store.  If you’re in the Pacific Northwest make a point of stopping in.

The last few weeks you know I’ve been preparing for the Glass Craft and Bead Expo.  I finally have all the student glass cut up and packed, and everything I ordered has been arriving daily.  I am sorry for our UPS driver who has to trudge down my very long driveway through the snow.  Everything must be shipped next week, so it will be me carrying it all back up.  I’d love to find a few more students for my Beautiful Butterflies class, so if you know anyone who might be interested, I’d sure appreciate it if you’d share this post.  The emphasis will be pattern making, imagery replication and working with powdered glass.

My handmade wall pocket vases are displayed at Good News Gardening in Hood River through the end of this month.  I decided to install wall pockets alone instead of including butterflies and ladybugs due to the hanging system.  Screw eyes are anchored at the top of the wall and spaced in such a way that my little critters would be lonely so far apart from each other.  I do need to go back and fill the vases with flowers, but if you have a chance to try the lunch menu at The Garden Cafe I promise you’ll enjoy it!

‘Cat’s Meow’

I finally returned to my ‘Raining Cats and Dogs’ series for The Dalles Art Center’s show “Raining Cats and Dogs and Frogs”, running through March.  Perfect, don’t you think?  Of course I pulled this 15″ finished platter (photo was taken before slumping) out of the kiln the day before due date!  Three sweet little 6″ plates were also fused but not cold-worked or slumped yet.  More work for after the Expo.  I hope to have them ready for Oregon Glass Guild’s “Glass Gallery” at the end of April.

One last note:  Lately I’ve had a lot of mica sales in my ArtFire shop, so I’ve moved the mica tutorial that I’ve been slowly polishing from the ‘backburner’ to the ‘get it done sooner’ page.  It’s almost finished, I just need better photos…which I’ll take after I clear all the ‘Expo’ paraphernalia out of my studio.

See you inLas Vegas?

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.

My show at The Dalles Art Center opens Thursday evening, October 7th, where I’m premiering my new Glacier Series. The reception is from 5 pm to 7 pm on the 7th, and I’d love to see you there if you’re in the area.  My artwork along with Anthony Kiser’s and Scott Berger’s has been installed and runs through Oct. 23rd.

Many of you know that 1000 Markets has closed and I’ve been scrambling to find a replacement venue.  Our shops were transferred to Bonanza, for which I am grateful – uploading photos and descriptions, sizes and prices of every available piece of work can be tedious.  I’m not sure however, if Bonanza is a good fit for my work.  That’s where I temporarily parked my glass medium.  (Edit:  it’s now available at Artfire).  I plan to sell my other tools and supplies for glassworkers also that you may  have seen (and some of you have phoned to purchase) on my website.

After investigating price, ambience, ease of use, and what other artists are showing, I decided to try Artfire.  It has Art in it’s name – isn’t that a good thing?  And I can sell art supplies there.  One of the advantages to Artfire is I can have a kiosk on my Facebook Page!  After each long studio day this week I managed to get a front page open and upload a couple photos and descriptions.  As I said, this is tedious, even though it’s a simple copy & paste plus upload photos that are already cropped and sized.

Midweek I stumbled across a post in a 1Km Refugee forum that Zibbet had also imported all our shops like Bonanza did.  We have until Oct. 5th to open a shop there and utilize their import of our items.  I decided to jump in and try it & am so glad I did.  I think I’m going to love it.  The owner has already given me a new classification for my recycled glass wall pockets that didn’t fit any categories.

For now, I think I’ll leave the Bonanza shop up to see how it plays out, but my real comparison will be between Artfire and Zibbet.  Which of the three do you like best?  I’d love to have your feedback!

There are a couple other places I’d like to try out, but like everything else right now they’ll be on the  back burner waiting their turn.  Are you selling on-line?  Where?  Go ahead – plug in a link to your shop so everyone can see it in the comments section below.

Here are a few of those places I’m looking at, in the order that I’m going to take a closer look (if I ever have a spare moment again):

Cargoh

Big Cartel

Supermarket HQ

Rtist

Shop Handmade

Made it Myself

Craft is Art

I have signed up for Etsy also, but it didn’t seem intuitive to me.  It’s another one I will probably get back to.  Do you have recommendations or criticisms of any?

By the way, my banner for Bonanza was given to me by Alilbirdy2, another Bonanza member.  She thought my plain banner (the one I’m using for Zibbet) needed tweaking.  I used a combination of hers and mine for Artfire.  Not a graphic designer, I’m always appreciative of any help!

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.

After mixing my glass paste, or glass clay as discussed here, I might choose to use candy or soap molds to form little critters instead of hand sculpting them.  I can make multiples in minutes instead of painstakingly trying to reproduce each one by hand.

When using candy molds, I can’t always find the shapes I want.  Recently I discovered that a friend from high school has a candy mold store, “Get Suckered” with thousands of molds to choose from!

By the way, you can mix colors to produce almost any color under the sun.  Keep in mind you still can’t mix red and blue and expect purple…no you can’t… you’ll get brown.  You’ll also get brown if you mix any of the reactive colors together, but there are some lovely browns to be had.  You CAN, get hundreds (maybe thousands) of shades of green.  And blue.  You can get rich shades of each color by mixing in a small portion of it’s opposite.  You can also alter the color by mixing in small amounts of colored mica.  I use one heaping spoonful of powdered glass to one tiny spoon (see the tiny spoon on my website) of mica.  You can also dilute colors by mixing with clear.  Start with a 50:50 mix, then add more clear in repeatable increments.  The color possibilities are endless.

When you have your glass paste, or clay mixed (see this post for mixing the medium and powdered glass – don’t forget to wear your respirator or disposable particulate mask) use a palette knife to press the paste firmly into your mold.  If using clear molds, you can carefully turn it over (or hold it above your head and look up at the underside) to be sure you’ve pressed out all the air bubbles.  If you see a bubble, press firmly into that spot until you press the bubble out.  You can also pack the paste a little at a time, in layers to avoid trapping bubbles.  This method is especially helpful for larger molds.

Place the filled mold into a baggie and seal it so you don’t have granules of glass escaping into your freezer.  Freeze for an hour or so, then promptly remove and pop the components out by gently pressing on the back of the mold.  Carefully place the frozen components onto paper towels to dry.

I like to use a food dehydrator to speed up the drying process.  When teaching a one-day workshop, we have to use hair dryers to speed up the drying process.  If you don’t have a dehydrator, simply set your pieces aside for a few days and let them dry naturally.

Once dry, glass clay is very fragile, like a meringue cookie so use care in handling it.  Gently peel off the paper towel from the bottom.  Using an emery board and wearing your respirator, file off any rough edges along the bottom.  Use a wooden skewer to sand off any rough spots in your details.  You can use a skewer or a dental tool to carve in additional lines if desired.  Just remember to take care as it’s fragile.  Did I already say it’s fragile?  It’s very fragile!

Refer back to my original tutorial for finishing techniques and firing tips.

The advantage to using Glass Medium instead of a slurry without a binder is that you can coldwork your edges and carve in additional detail prior to firing.  You end up with a nicer finish on your fired glass candy mold sculpture.

What to do with them?  I like giving them as a token to someone who has purchased my work.  I put them in my garden, Use as drawer pulls; openers on jewelry boxes; glue a bail on, wire wrap, or drill a hole and wear as jewelry, ….what do you do with yours?

By the way, my next post will be announcing the product launch, at long last … Steider Studios Glass Medium!

This small herd of turtles is how it felt waiting for the finish line, aka launch date!

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.

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.

What’s in a Name?

May 19, 2010

Reflections of the Columbia Gorge Art Festival…..

I’ve sold my work at the annual Columbia Gorge Art Festival for at least ten years and always have fun because of the people.  The Corbett Education Foundation volunteers treat the artists as family.  Student helpers who gain community service points help us unload and set up.  A cadre of BBQ chefs bring us burgers and hot dogs & sometimes entertain us!

Many of the participating artists have been here just as long, making it also a yearly reunion of long time friends and acquaintance.  We catch up on our families, show off our newest work and share business information.  Where’s the next show, which galleries are taking on new artists, marketing tips, nurturing those who need a boost, discuss interesting techniques, and general brain-storming of new ideas.

One topic this year was name calling.  Oh I don’t mean badmouthing, I mean what we title ourselves….artist, artisan, artiste, craftsman… And what about subtitles …woodworker, painter, potter, photographer … glassist.  Yes…glassist, Cynthia morgan’s term.  I like it and am trying it on for size as a subtitle instead of glass-worker, fuser or kiln-former.

Cindy Cossu calls herself an artist now, but felt she didn’t deserve the title until she had a few shows under her belt.  People who purchased her work bolstered her confidence beyond the admiration of friends and family.  “As I gained confidence, I grew into the title”.

Many of the artists, when asked ‘what do you call yourself’’, immediately responded “I’m an artist”.  When asked how long they’ve held that title, typical answers were “all my life” and reminisced a childhood experience about making and giving or selling their art to relatives and friends.

Lisa Rose Musselwhite has always been an artist.  Jim Stocker (his page isn’t quite ready, so keep checking back to see his fabulous raku and jewelry) told of designing and building sand candles when he was 13.

Dave Palomino, also a musician, said that others called him an artist before he did, but “eventually I began to believe in myself and believe them”.

My experience is a little of both Cindy’s and Dave’s.  I remember my face redden when I heard someone refer to me as an artist because I didn’t feel I filled those shoes.  I wasn’t qualified because I didn’t go to art school.  I was creative yes, but an artist?  I was in my thirties when I felt comfortable with the mantle and have run with it ever since.

I’ve played with all kinds of media including fiber, clay, glass, cement, oils, acrylics, watercolors, pastels, ink, dyes and more.

My high school teachers encouraged me to travel a creative path when they purchased my tie-dyed macrame’ belts almost 4 decades ago.

I’ve screenprinted, monoprinted, painted, beaded, torched, and airbrushed since then. Living my childhood dream life as an artist, and for close to fifteen years as a ‘glassist’.

What do you call yourself …and why?  Have you always felt that way or did it take time?  I appreciate time to answer and your courage in answering, I really want to know!

%d bloggers like this: