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I must be in a summer daze.  Home from Alaska where I taught at Half Moon Creek Gallery, I managed to unpack and catch up with mail and messages but that’s about all I’ve been able to muster.  Oh I pulled a couple of weeds and straightened my studio and even sorted through the hundreds of pictures I took.  Yes, hundreds.  As in over 1000!  Once again, it was the trip of a lifetime.  Here are a few highlights:

I was in Palmer teaching my ‘Powderology‘ workshop and once again Half Moon Creek provided amazing and talented students for me.

Is it any wonder I love teaching there?  In addition to a large, well lit, well equipped space, they indulge my every whim!

Student samples getting loaded into one kiln.  Two additional kilns to load.

One morning we left for class early to enjoy the scenery and found this moose browsing along the old Glen Highway.  I was so excited that he posed for me as long as he did before turning and ambling down the highway!  No doubt students thought I was crazy, showing them my moose photos!

Day three of Powderology class found everyone hard at work trying to get as much as they could out of our last day together.  I think they all came away very satisfied.  They produced wonderful samples, expanded their repertoire, and are heading in new directions.

We had a few days between week-end workshops, so headed to the Matanuska Glacier.  We realized too late that we were on the wrong highway, so just enjoyed our drive and lunched at the Wildflower Cafe in Talkeetna instead.


The following day, determined to touch a glacier, we stopped at Exit Glacier on our way to Seward.

Following a trail in the rain, I had the whole place to myself.

The glacier is huge & surprising colorful on such a gray rainy day.

For perspective, can you see the hikers at the base of Exit Glacier?

The road was flooded when we drove in to the glacier, but going back out, it was worse!

Our wildlife cruise was cancelled due to high seas, so when offered a 4 hour tour of Resurrection Bay we took it, determined to make the most of our time in Seward.  It poured, and while most passengers stayed below guess where I was?!  Yes, getting soaked on deck looking for whales.   See them?

The whales were so far away and the bay so rough that all my photos are too blurry to share, but we found this bank of Sea Lions!

At the end of 4 hours I was soaked inside my rain gear.  My camera viewer was so foggy I could hardly see the image, so wasn’t sure I’d captured these sea otters.  You know I wouldn’t have missed it and had a fabulous day in spite of weather and cancellations.

Since we now had extra time, I was thrilled that we’d stop to take Alyeska Tram up to the top!  Alas, it was closed due to high winds.  We put it on our list for next year.  Yep, looks like I’ll be back.

A good night’s rest and we were off the next day to Denali National Park.  Overcast, but no rain!

Along the Alaskan highways fireweed blends bright pink into the landscape.

From our lodge perched high above Nenana Canyon, this is the road to Denali National Park.

Nestled into our bus tour at Denali we searched the scenic vistas for the ‘Big Five’ wildlife we hoped to see.  Bears, wolves, caribou, Dahl sheep and moose.

Dahl sheep were the first of the big five, but from afar they were mere flecks of white on a green field.

We spotted two groups of Caribou – Yay, checked off 2 of the big five.  Concealed in a bus we were too far away from the majestic animals to get much detail.

Around a corner and over a bridge we came upon the highlight of our trip.  An argument between a bear and a wolf over a caribou carcass.  There was a young grizzly and a second wolf also trying to get close but the older grizzly would have no guests at this meal.  Numbers 3 & 4 of our big five located together!  Park officials thought the wolves had killed the caribou two days earlier and the grizzly had claimed it.

A compilation of the younger grizzly trying to run the wolves off.  You didn’t think I’d post all 300 shots did you?

All in all, we saw 10 grizzlies including this last one at the edge of the road, eating berries!  We also saw #5 of the big five, a moose, but since I already showed you my shot taken earlier in the week I’ll refrain from posting another.  No rain, but guess what…it snowed!  We didn’t get a glimpse of the mountain, but we were so thrilled with our time in Denali National Park.  An incredible experience.

Back at Half Moon Creek for my next class, with several returning and a few new students learning how to Build a Better Pocket.  This, after all, was the reason for my trip to Alaska!!

Loading the kilns with student work…..

Our last day together we pulled out some excellent pockets from the kilns.  I heard great reviews with smiles all around.  Another fabulous group of students that I hate to leave.  I do hope you’ll all keep in touch!

Amazing isn’t adequate to describe the talent, generosity, and imaginations I met while teaching for Half Moon Creek!  Go there if you have an opportunity, it’s an amazing studio, gallery, and resource center.  Thanks again for another wonderful time!

Our last day snow graced the higher elevations.  Snow on Aug 8th?   I learned it’s called ‘Termination Dust’, terminating the summer season.  I can’t wait to go back!

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I am thrilled to have my work included in this week’s Fantastic Five, a regular feature on
Zibbet’s blog showcasing five items chosen from the entire Zibbet shopping site.  Keep in mind there are more than 5000 yellow items alone!  Written by Judy Youngquest of Portable Graffiti Graphics Proofreader, and Wild Goose Chase, the Fantastic Five article is published weekly.  Thank you Judy!

I spent the last two weeks with young people who give the greatest joy to my life.  As usual, they were inspiring.  All-Star team practice, dance recitals and loads of fun between.

Home now, it’s back to work filling and shipping orders, producing new jewelry to replenish my dwindling supply; and preparing for Trout Lake Festival of the Arts, which arrives every year the third weekend in July.  You’ll find me inside the cool and shady rustic barn.

Early August you’ll find me teaching again for Half Moon Creek in Palmer Alaska.

Welcome to Palmer Alaska

I’ll be teaching ‘Powderology’ and ‘Build a Better Pocket’ (brief class descriptions can be found on my Class Listings page).  I can’t wait!!  Join me!!!!

I’ve spent the last few days of May uploading items into my Zibbet shop.  Mostly wall-pocket vases, but also a couple garden fairies and earrings.  I haven’t put a dent in the amount of work I have here that needs to be photographed and written about, then loaded into my shop.  I plan to use my non-garden-worthy days this summer to accomplish that task.

Most of the end of May was spent putting my cabin back together after back to back studio sale weekends….well, almost.  There’s much still to do, but I’ve got the major tasks accomplished.  We can toss the dog toys again, so it’s back to normal living.  And I can get back to work!  I have a couple interesting orders waiting on my workbench.  And I need to make more bracelets!

This last week I’ve been talking with a couple of studios about teaching.  Confirmed is Palmer Alaska at the beginning of August.  Yes, it’s true, I’ll be teaching for Half Moon Creek again.  How I love that studio/gallery and the ladies who own it.  Let me count the ways by sharing (again) my class from last summer in this post.  (Just in case you missed it the first time).

I love Alaska and can’t wait to go back!  I’ll be teaching Powderology again plus my ‘Build a Better Pocket’ class.  I think the classes will fill fast, so if you’re interested in joining me in Alaska (and I do hope you are), better contact Half Moon Creek soon!  I promise you’ll have a spectacular time!

Welcome to Palmer Alaska

June 25th will be the one year anniversary since I launched Steider Studios Glass Medium™.  I plan to have a follow up blog post showcasing how you are using it. I have a few photos that some of you sent me, and will be posting them unless I hear otherwise. If you’re using my medium, I want you to send me a photo or two for sharing – with links to your sites. Yes all your sites, I’ll promote you with wild abandon!

Whether you call it ‘glass clay’ or ‘glass paste’, I’ve seen some amazing work that’s being done with it & can’t wait to share it with you.  Send your photo(s) to me at:  Linda at SteiderStudios dot com.  Thank you!!

Most of you know that BECon is happening mid June and I’d been on the fence over whether to go or not.  I was looking forward to getting together with friends coming in from all over the world while they were here in Portland, only an hour and a half from where I live.  Alas, Granny decided for me that I definitely wont’ be there.  She wanted to rest eternally next to Grandpa in Rose Hills and as it happens Rose Hills was booked until mid June.

 Lastly, I’d like to invite you to a gallery show I’m participating in, ‘Get Centered‘ at  Columbia Arts in Hood River.  The reception is this First Friday, June 3rd from 6 to 8pm and runs through the 26th.  It’s a celebration of Columbia Arts’ first five years in the current space.  Some fascinating work was delivered today, don’t miss it!

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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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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.

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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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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!!

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