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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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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?

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Taking off

I am amazed at how busy this season has started out!  I’ll tell you about that in a minute, but first I want to talk about my play date.   I love big birds and when I see one (anywhere, anytime) I pull over, grab my always-close-at-hand-camera and take as many photos as the bird allows.  Mind you, this is a point and shoot camera…a good one, but nonetheless not one that can really capture a great shot unless the bird happens to be very close.  My friend Charlene feels the same way about stopping to photograph birds … or anything else for that matter, so I promised her a play date for her birthday.  She has a great camera with a telephoto lens, and I can hardly wait to see her photos.  I’ll share them with you by editing those she sends into the bottom of this post.

Through the branches, we could see 5 eagles

We found a great spot close to the Columbia River, but off the beaten path where a dozen or so eagles were soaring and circling a food source.  It was cold but clear and the thrill of watching and trying to photograph them made us forget about everything else.  In a way it was frustrating trying to get my little camera to do something it wasn’t made to do, so rather than fight it, I decided to enjoy the ride and shot what I could.

Landing strip

As you can see, this shot is blurry, but it was incredible to watch these large birds, symbols of freedom, land one after the other onto this tall, narrow snag.

Woolly Bear

As we left, I found something my camera was very good at photographing, a Woolly Bear!

The Dalles Dam

And a petty landscape.  We stopped for lunch at The Bistro, inside Waters Edge Health and Fitness Center where we happened to meet the director, who graciously showed us around.  It’s a wonderful facility including a spa, conference center, excercise room and so much more.

Back in the studio I have way too many projects going on.  Several private commissions, a couple of public and educational proposals just finished up and sent out, as well as gearing up for a busy ‘show’ season.

If you’re in the Hood River area, please stop into Good News Gardening during the month of March where Charlene Fort and I are sharing a wall to display our glass. I’ll have butterflies, fairies, ladybugs and wallpockets. What more could you want for the garden or to hold your garden’s treasures?  Have a bite to eat with friends at the cafe.  Oh, and they have plants too!

The end of March you’ll find me heading to Las Vegas for the big Glass Craft and Bead Expo.  I know I’ll see many of you there – be sure to say ‘hi’ when you see me!  You’re welcome to stop into my classroom in the late afternoon when we’re finishing up from our day’s work.  Better yet, sign up for a class!

The Pines Tasting Room in Hood River will be hosting a show in which all participating artists from the Gorge Artists Open Studios tour are featured.  You can stop in during the First Friday opening on April 1st, or anytime during the month of April to see an example of the studio tour artist’s work.  Taste some fabulous wine while you’re there!

Bite of the Gorge” takes place on April 9th, a feast of a fundraiser for Columbia Gorge Arts in Education.  Most artists paint a ceramic plate for the event, but I’ve been donating glass plates.  I’m better at glass than I am at painting ceramic and I want them to have my best.  Taste and silently bid on art.  Fun!

April closes with the huge Oregon Glass Guild “Glass Gallery” in Portland.  April 29 through May 1st.   There’s more….too much more, so for now, I’ll go back to creating glass to fill all my upcoming events.

Don’t forget, when Charlene sends her eagle photos, I’ll post them here.

By the way, if you like my posts, please feel free to click the appropriate buttons below to share with your friends!

It’s already the first of February and my classes at the Glass Craft and Bead Expo are filling up so it’s time to start ordering equipment and supplies.  Glass, check. Kilns, check. Grinders, check.  Class supplies, check. What am I missing, it’s too easy this year.

I always look for interesting new ways of working with powdered glass and accessories that will enhance student projects.  I was the first to introduce dicro slide in my classes and continue to include it.  This year I bought some fun murinni from Glacial Art Glass for students to play with and some cool new fine-line laser imagery from Dichroic Alchemy.  We always find time to play with chalks, dichro, mica, and more.

This year I’m teaching 4 different classes instead of any repeats (You can read about them on my ‘Class Listings’ page toward the top in the right hand column).  Without further ado, here they are:

Play Date with Paste:  learn how to sculpt, make pattern bars, and more with wet glass paste, aka glass clay.  Very fun.
Exploring Glass Powders:  an introduction to many ways of working with powdered glass.  I’m told this one can be overwhelming, there’s a lot of information to take in just one day.
Beautiful Butterflies:  create your own imaginative or realistic butterfly from the initial sketch to execution.  Includes making your own pattern.
Build a Better Pocket:  learn how to make your own original design with an assortment of decorating tools.

Each year gets better at the Glass Craft and Bead Expo. I love teaching and getting to know each of the people in my classes. I’ve had some truly gifted and talented students and made some great friends.

We’re at the South Point again making it ultra convenient to stay, play, dine, wine, and hang with other glassists.  March 30th through April 3rd in Las Vegas NV.  See you there?

This week flew by as I prepared and ordered supplies for my classes at the upcoming Glass Craft and Bead Expo, the Machine Embroiderers, and a middle school student project.  I still have much to do in getting ready, but am well on the way!  I shudder to think of what next month’s Visa bill will look like, but I’ll eventually be reimbursed for it all.  I love teaching others about glass and want students to have as many materials as possible available to play with.

I’ve been told my classes are fun and that my enthusiasm for the media and teaching are contagious.  Always thrilled to hear that, one of my main goals in a class indeed is for students to have fun.  Of course I want to emphasize the process or technique, but when you have fun learning you’ll want to learn more about the subject and hopefully do more of it.  My original goal in teaching glass techniques was to enlarge the glass community and that goal remains today.  Whether through basic kilnforming classes in my own community or specialized techniques out on the road I always have fun watching students eyes light up with understanding and delight as we pull projects from the kiln revealing their wonderful results.

Are you taking classes at the Las Vegas Expo?  Stop in and say hello!  Better yet, sign up for one of my classes!  (Yes that was a shameless plug!)  Or will you be at the Machine Embroiderers seminar?  I hope you’ll take my Glass Clay Class and learn to make your own buttons and cabochons!

Back to Boxes

May 6, 2009

 

Cast Glass Box with Lid

Cast Glass Box with Lid

My shipment of new box molds should be arriving any day now. I have the kidney shape that Craig at Colour de Verre (http://www.colourdeverre.com/index.php?cat=4) gave me and I’ve made a couple of them.  The box pictured here is a pink so dark that it almost appears black.  The lid embellishment is CdV’s Lotus Flower mold.  I have a new box in the kiln using clear frit with purple powder which will give it a ‘veined’ appearance & can’t wait to see how it turns out.  

I LOVE these lidded glass boxes!  I’ve tried making various glass boxes in my kiln to no avail for years, so am excited and happy to find a reusable casting mold that works.  The other shapes are round, elliptical, and rectangle.  The lids can be embellished with a cast accent, using another CdV mold or my own original mold, then tack fusing it to the lid.  

Frit Cast Glass Box with Embellished Lid

Frit Cast Glass Box with Embellished Lid

Don’t forget the auction in my previous post!  You have until this Friday, May 8th at midnight to bid on the puzzle vase.  I’m so thrilled with the response at this point that I’m throwing in an extra surprise for the lucky high bidding winner as a thank you!

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