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Three quarters of the way into January, this year is starting off even faster than last year.  I began the new year with a new tool.  Hello to my new custom flat lap built by John Groth of Waterjet Designs.  Loaded it into my Honda Pilot at John’s shop, then unloaded it into the snowy winter weather and slid it down the hill on top of a cardboard sled.  250 pounds of steel, motor and tire with brushes to help keep water splashing at a minimum and pipe insulation for an armrest.  No mishaps along the way and we managed to get it in the building standing upright with little damage to body or soul.  Bank account damage yes, but that was to be expected.

The discs just arrived from His Glassworks so I’m ready to roll.  Well …. almost.

The building is formerly a potting shed, soon to be my coldworking room.  It is about 10 feet away from my studio annex where my kilns are kept busy year round in a covered patio.  The trench is dug to bring electricity to my ‘coldworking room’ (I’ll have to get used to saying that!) and I can hook up water via a hose and water heater for now.  This summer I’ll have to insulate the building so I can use it year round.

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In other news my work was included in a blog article today along with Raphael SchnepfEllen AbbottMarcy Lamberson, and Alexandra Farnham.  Written by Linda Hedrick who writes about a range of topics at Cerebral Boinkfest, (as she states: A blog about the arts, books, flora and fauna, vittles, and whatever comes to mind), I especially enjoy her articles on historical women.  “The Art of Studio Glass” is a synopsis of studio glass today and I was thrilled to be included.  I added a copy (with Linda’s permission) to my own blog under “Publicity-is-Always-Good“.

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I’ve also been adding links to my glass shop via my blog pages under Glass Hearts Available Here.  And building up inventory in my little glass shop.  Of course what’s in the shop doesn’t begin to show you how much inventory I’ve built up.  So, each week, a bit more gets photographed, listed, and described in a way that will hopefully entice you to purchase.  Sparkle and shimmer seem to be my adjectives of choice as I’ve used them so often lately.  How else can I describe my sparkly, shimmery earrings and bracelets?

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And lastly, I’m keeping busy with a couple of small corporate gift type jobs.  Interesting projects, I’ll post more about them as they evolve.  One is exploratory, for which I’m competing with other glass artists and will submit my ideas to the corporation soon.

Another is an exciting opportunity that I’ve been working on for over a year and instigated by an old friend from childhood.  He’s not ready to go public yet, so I can’t tell you any more about it … for now.

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2011.  I hope it’s successful, profitable, adventurous and most of all fun for everyone.

Annual Studio Sale Coming Up

November 20, 2010

My annual studio sale is two weeks away!  I’ve made kiln load after kiln load of new glass to show you.  If you’re in the Pacific Northwest…or more specifically the Columbia River Gorge, please stop in!  Send me note with you e-mail address and I’ll send you directions.

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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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!

HR Jewelers Display

Last week was spent producing new work and ornaments, then packing up and delivering in time for the holiday season.  New work is now available at Fireborne GlassPittock Mansion and Hood River Jewelers.  Next week watch for new work at The Dalles Art Center, Columbia Art Gallery, and a new venue for me that I’m excited about, Mystique in Pioneer Place on the lower floor.  It’s a beautiful setting and I can’t get my work there soon enough!

Shown in this display are (from top to bottom) works from my Celestial and Big Bird series and a couple botanical candleholders; SunDrops series, more candleholders and Puzzle vases; Celestial and WindDancing series with candleholders; Coasters, Boxes, and Earth series; and ColorPlay series on the lowest shelf.

Progression of a Project:

September 21, 2009

Insert for Japanese garden sculpture.

Insert for Japanese garden sculpture.  Project for Tom Hererra.

Fellow artist and sculptor Tom Herrera had me make some glass inserts for his metal work recently.  I’ve made dragonfly wings, a couple sea turtles, a deco style guitar replica, and the latest was an insert for a sculpture he’s making for the Master Gardeners’ new Japanese Garden.

He brought me a drawing of his sculpture and we discussed his vision which included the use of triangles and warm rich color.  He wanted a half inch thick  7″ square that would be finished with a half inch metal frame.  Translucency was of utmost importance.

After researching Japanese Garden Design, I chose to concentrate on water and stone as my elements and sketched out a few possibilities.  My color choices representing stone are in keeping with Tom’s vision.

Building the layers

Building the layers

In the photo above, I’m building the layers of ‘water’ using Bullseye’s 1116 Turquoise on top of  clear irid with the irid up so it will sparkle without the glare of the coating being so obvious.  I use this approach often as I love the sparkle of irid but it’s a more subtle effect.

Capping the triangles with more irid.

Capping the triangles with more irid.

Next I clear capped with more iridescent clear glass, but this time the irid is facing down.  Again, this is for subtlety and so the face of the project matches the back.  I frequently check my notes and sketches making sure the design in my head translated to paper is corresponding with the glass (turning out the way I want it to).

Filling in the stone path.

Filling in the stone path.

Now ready to fill in the ‘path’, I’ve mixed 3 to 5 colors each of gray & brown -02 frit (medium) in translucent and opaque; purple and pink -02 frit in translucent and opaque; and a couple off white opaques.  I mix them ahead of time for a more even application of color, alternating between the mixes as I fill the path.

 

 

 

 

 

Ready to fire.

Ready to fire.

The final step is topping the path off with clear frit (I used -03, course) so it matches the front and back with a layer of clear glass to look through before the eye sees color.  You can see the set up inside my kiln, just prior to firing, surrounded with fiber paper and held in place with cut up kiln shelf.

Finished.

Finished.

Forgive the quality of the final image, I was at the end of my deadline so this was taken atop a neutral canvas bag as I delivered it to Tom at Starbucks where we meet for deliveries.  The top image shows how the piece glows in the sunlight which is how it will be viewed.  In this photo I wanted to capture the iridescence.  Tom promises to get a photo to me when it’s installed and I’ll post it here.  When Tom gets his blog going, I promise to link to it so you can see his work!

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Red-&-Black-Earrings-Charted

Please forgive the lighting!

I’ve been too long in my garden, but did get my imagination refreshed and my creative spirit reloaded. If you’d like to see what’s been going on in my garden you can see I’ve done a lot of work out there and I am rewarded each evening as I stroll through!

Back in the studio, I’ve been working on orders, most of which are overdue. One is a pair of earrings for a wonderfully patient woman who I met at Pittock Mansion during their Featured Artist evening. Most people would simply make the pair of earrings for her. We discussed what she wants, I understand her desires, yet my mind starts wandering and wondering what if…..

What if the red drop is longer or shorter, skinnnier or wider. What if the black square isn’t entirely square. What if it’s offset? How will it look in opaque glass or will it look better in translucent glass and if I use translucent glass should I use irid? If I DO use irid, should the irid face front or back? And look at the gold and silver on that black irid! What if I put together some black irid facing back with some black irid accents facing front; and what if I arrange them just the opposite of that! THEN let’s reverse all those queries & put red squares on black drops & follow the same questions down yet another path!

Before firing

Before firing

Normally for a larger project these questions are all answered in a set of tests on a small scale before beginning the project. Since the project in this case is already small, I explore all the possiblilities in my earring format of choice and end up with an entire tray of new earrings. Not all of them turn out to my high expectations, but enough do that I’m busy for the following 2 days cleaning, attaching findings and finishing with all the ear wire choices I have to make! The rest go into my ‘dump box’ and will eventually be recycled when I find a good project to include them in.

red-earrings-not-fired-yet

Red earrings not yet fired

Black irid before firing

Black irid before firing

black-earrings-not-fired

Black earrings not yet fired

I hope to get all my new earrings properly photographed and added to my on-line shop soon … very soon! If you can’t wait, please send me a note & we can get them to you sooner rather than later! Yes, this was an obvious commercial plug!!

Detail-Opaque-glass

Translucent red fired

Translucent red fired

Thanks for stopping in, you’re welcome to leave a comment, and I’m always happy to answer questions. It’s fun for me to see who’s been here reading my blog!

Dimensional view

Dimensional view

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