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Field of sunflowers, north of Sacramento

My husband & I headed for Sacramento to see his folks and decided to take the scenic route home, turning an otherwise long tedious drive into a mini vacation.  Returning north on Hwy 97 we planned to stop at all the landmarks I remembered from my childhood family vacations driving from Southern California to visit relatives in the Pacific Northwest.

Mt. Shasta

Our family always traveled on Highway 97 and thrilled at many landmarks along our route.  We’d usually spend the night in Redding or Red Bluff, the halfway point – wow have those towns grown up & turned into big cities!    Doris was the last California city heading north and my mom loved Doris Day.  We’d  scream with delight as we reached her.  The Klamath River felt so much larger and longer when I was 9, 10 and 11 than it did this week.  It was exhilarating to see many white cranes and a couple of bald eagles along the river.

Crater Lake

Mom never stopped at Crater Lake because she wanted to reach her sister’s house (where we stayed) in South Central Washington by nightfall. Crater Lake was a ‘definite destination’ on this trip with my husband and it did not disappoint.  The lake was majestically beautiful and a stop I’d strongly recommend, with breathtaking views in every direction.

Vista from Crater Lake

Most of my childhood Highway 97 memories are a blurry monotony of pine forest seen from the back seat, eyes wide open watching for deer.  It was oh so lovely for my husband to stop at my every whim.

Heron at Grass Lake

There was one stop however that my sister and I could not, would not miss if we had anything to say about it.  Just beyond Crater Lake sat a destination that no kid of that era, driving along Highway 97 could resist.  We’d start working on Mom to stop there as soon as we piled into the car in the morning.  She rarely wanted to stop, but it was the only way she could get two road weary, whiny, needling kids to give her peace for the duration of our yearly trek.  Thunderbeast Park. 

My husband was primed and ready to stop, pay the entrance fee and maybe even spend ‘quality time’ in the tourist trap gift shop that I remember so fondly as a pre-teen.  Alas Thunderbeast Park is gone!  Replaced with a chrome shop for trucks!  There’s one lonely decrepit  Thunderbeast left along the highway beckoning truckers with the chrome shop sign.  I was very disappointed to say the least.

Compelled to find out what happened when we got home, I began my internet search.  The only information I could find, other than personal blogs just like mine asking what happened was this post on RoadsideAmerica.com:

Roadside America says Thunderbeast Park, built in 1962 closed sometime before 1996 when they visited.

I also found a bit of information about the cement beasts and their creator, Ernie Nelson (who also built Prehistoric Gardens on the Oregon Coast in 1953) here:

Littlest Sister at Thunderbeast Park, 1974

Then I searched my old photo albums and to my dismay, even though I remember many photos taken there, could only find these two taken when my two sisters and I drove back to California on our own in 1974.  Sheesh, was I old enough to drive that far?  With no adult supervision?!!

1974, one of the beasts and me

I’ve had a fun summer and hope you  have too, but it’s time to get back to work with fresh summer inspiration…

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The 2011 Gathering of the Guilds took place this past weekend at the Portland Convention Center.  It’s the largest event of it’s kind, run by artists for artists in the Pacific Northwest.  The show includes Portland Handweavers GuildGuild of Oregon Woodworkers, Creative Metal Arts GuildPortland Bead Society, and Oregon Glass Guild.  It was initiated 28 years ago by the Oregon Potters Association and we other guildss have joined slowly over the last 10 to 15 years.

Above is my booth just before the Glass Gallery show opened.   It took awhile to get it to this point.  I’ll show you:

A group of Oregon Glass Guild volunteers ready to assist in the big empty building as artists arrive.

Alice Geyer, our State President along with Gayle Larsen from the Mid Valley Chapter arrive bringing a truckload of artwork.  And all the ingredients needed for our Pavilion!

The pipe and drape goes up while more artists arrive and unload their work.

Once the pipe & drape is set up we can start building our booths.  My walls & lights have to go up first.  No, I don’t turn them on until the show starts!

It’s easier if I display my wall art prior to setting up tables.  At this point, my neighbors haven’t arrived, so I can spread out.  As have the pavilion folks that are also setting up and painting pedestals.

Most of my work is unpacked, lots of tweaking yet to be done.  Where are my neighbors?

So close, but in my haste I didn’t notice  the sloppy edge of a table covering, so I had to remove the glass and pull down the table covering.  A few more things to stash and my booth will be ready.  Let the show begin!

In random order, a few of my friends and neighbors at the show.  Alexandra Farnham
shared a booth with Vandy Hall.  Blown glass.

Dianne Muhly’s booth ready for customers.  Fused glass.

Ken Hashagen and Julie Vincent of Corte Glass ready for action!  Sharing a booth with Kathy Engholm of Indigo Crow Studio.  Fused glass.

My friend Carolyn Crystal, a torch-worker had crowds all weekend……

…as did Cynthia Morgan, Becky Magnuson and Carol Carson who shared a booth.  Fused and cast glass.

Jim Aden of Jaidenglass was there early to help set up and stayed late to help clean up.  My thanks to Jim and Dean Wirst for loading my car when the show came down!

Lyn Kennison’s Blue Eyed Creations booth.  Fused glass.

Jane Godfrey about to make a sale.  She and Sondra Radcliffe, both of Ambiente Art Glass have wonderful stained and kilnformed work.

Ann Cavanaugh and Joann Wellner shared a large space.  Kilnformed Glass.

My booth neighbor, Eli of Mazet Studios had a crowd all weekend and was still selling after the show closed!  Very impressive work from his torch.

Debra Fenzl of MSR Studio.  Her beautiful torchwork won a prize in the pavillion.

Dennis Hoerauf of Nature of Glass.  I love his blown glass!

Sue Purr Designs, Sue Bradley makes cat glass in her kiln.

My friend Serena Smith working her booth filled with lampworked beads.  She was also the Glass Pavilion Chair this year.

I thought the Group Booth was particularly beautiful this year, chaired by Greg Frye.   Greg with Cindy Lacey.

Don Bietschek of Aquila Glass School was excellent at running the demo area this year.

Our  Glass Pavilion was gorgeous!  Thanks Serena & crew including Jim & Jayne Simmons who ran out to buy more paint!

This event is a huge undertaking with many people taking the reins of important tasks in order to stage a premier glass show.

I’m simply going to list their names and tasks, but want you to know they all contributed so much more than just chairing a committee.  Indefatigable comes to mind:

Charlene Fort, our Queen Bee, heading up the entire Gathering of the Guilds as well as our Show Chair for  Oregon Glass Guild.

Mike Yamrick (State Treasurer) – he who writes the checks and cashes us out!

Susan Arnot and Jayne Simmons…advertising and PR.  Did you see our Facebook page?  It’s not too late to ‘like’ us – we plan to post upcoming events there for you to follow!

Serena Smith took on the monumental task of organizing and setting up the pavilion.

Don Bietschek organized the demonstrations, including the recruitment of demonstrators.

Alice Geyer and Gayle Larsen led the mosaic portion of the demonstration.  The finished mosaic will be donated to a women’s shelter in The Dalles, OR.

Victoria Miller donated the mosaic that was displayed and raffled in the Information Booth.

Lesley Kelley organized the volunteers and I can tell you she is organized.  Her husband, Kevin was the go-to guy for errands, ran the credit card machine, and even worked security – following potential perpetrators of petty theft around the building.

Donna La Plante produced the beautiful postcards and helped set up the floor plan.

Jim Piazza and Bill Cooper were instrumental in setting up the pavilion and running the information booth.  Not to mention their sleuthing skills at following would-be-shoplifters.

Jim (our unofficial photographer) and Jayne Simmons worked tirelessly setting up the pavilion and doing all sorts of odd jobs throughout the weekend.

There are so many more people involved, I’m sure I’ve left out a number of folks.  It’s a volunteer organization and we all volunteer to make the show happen.  Those above gave their time to perform major tasks without which, there would be no show!  I applaud everyone involved for a show well done!!

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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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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.

Installed!

March 12, 2010

Here it is, the final photos for the last few weeks of work and my two previous posts.  Tom Herrera’s fence installed at the Windy Flats Walkway and Viewpoint at Maryhill Museum, with my glass inserts.

Detail above and side view below.

Join us for the dedication March 20th at 4pm.  Maryhill Museum is on Hwy 14 just off Hwy 97, near Goldendale Washington in the Pacific Northwest.  I’ll be there, will you?

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Taking the Scenic Route

January 17, 2010

After a quick half-day Glass Clay class yesterday at GlassHopper Patterns, I decided to take the scenic route home on the old highway along the Columbia River.

It was a cloudy, misty, gray day ~ perfect for photographing landscapes for my 365 One Day at a Time project.

I thought it would clear my mind and provide inspiration for this week in the studio where I’ll be working towards a gallery show, “Red“, opening in February at the Columbia Art Gallery in Hood River.

I know, I know, these shots are all forest-filled greens and white waterfalls; try to think ‘after-image’.  And look at all the red branches and twigs!  Not to mention all the color you can see when squinting your eyes at the falls and forest floor!!

It’s been awhile since I’ve been to the waterfalls and I’d forgotten the powerful sound of  water roaring down the side of a mountain.

When standing in front of a serious waterfall, the roar is deafening, your heart pounds, your eyes are mesmerized by the water dancing downward while the mist cascades over you.

I finally took the lens cap off and started shooting.

Trying to capture the entire landscape as well as smaller, interesting parts of it, I was looking for an interesting angle that hasn’t been noticed before.

In the end, of course it’s all been documented by many others before me, but I had a wonderful time photographing my personal view of a day in the Pacific Northwest.

I hope you enjoy my results and can find inspiration from them.

The top and last photos are Multnomah Falls, in the middle of where I started my tour – at Wahkeena Falls with the rocky bottom; and ended it at Horsetail Falls with the ultra mossy trees.  If you click on the photos you can read the photo titles telling which is which.  Please feel free to comment as I love knowing what you think about what I’m posting.  Whether inspirational landscape photos, glass news and info, upcoming classes or anything else!

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