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On March 12th a 9.0 earthquake and resulting tsunami hit Japan, wiping out many coastal towns.  I cannot fathom the heartache of those who lost entire families in this tragedy.  And I can’t stop thinking about it.

In the days that followed, I considered what I could do to help.  You can read my thoughts in this previous post.  I decided to make some sushi sets to sell in my Artfire Shop.

I started by sketching some patterns and designs, then ran some quick small tests to see which I liked best.  After narrowing it to these three designs, I asked for help from my Facebook friends to decide which sets to make.  They had to be made in between previously committed projects and classes I was teaching.

The two selected designs were scaled up and made into 6″ sushi plates with matching sauce dishes.

When I posted results on my Facebook Page, my friend Katie offered sushi presses that Wayne (of Sticks & Stones) had made to go with my sets.  A perfect addition, I happily accepted.

The sets are $95 each and consist of two plates that are 6″, two cute little sauce dishes that are 3.5″ to 4″ and the beautiful 3 part Sushi Press.  A sweet set for two, I think it will be quite romantic using them!  Or for family fare you’ll need two sets.

Click here to purchase the set above (Whirl Design on Black)

If you’d rather have the Whirl Design on white, you can purchase it by clicking this link.

If you like the white background, you can purchase the Wave and Lotus Design with a click on this link.

And if you like the black background with the Wave and Lotus Design shown at the top of this post, you can click here to purchase it.

I’ve given my time and talent, along with Wayne and Katie Cordrey to produce these beautiful sets.  I hope you’ll consider purchasing one or two.  100% of your purchase price will go directly to relief efforts.

Did I tell you the carving on the sushi press is the Japanese character for ‘peace’?

Peace to you and yours.  xoxoxo

Triple Red Success!

February 3, 2010

Preparing for ‘Red: From Alizarin to Crimson’, at Columbia Arts, my second attempt at the red bowl was a success.  Not that I had any doubts, of course, as I returned to my usual drop ring style instead of a bowl mold.  ‘Red Cells’ is a shallow bowl, with a one inch drop.

The detail shot shows 22k ‘cells’.

If you remember from my last post, the first Red bowl blew a very large bubble right in the center while slumping, so I put it aside and started over.  Usually it’s easier and faster to just start over than it is to try to repair something.

I also had a second piece, ‘Plan B – Back to Square One’ underway, cutting squares to assemble into a bargello design.  Plan B came out of it’s first firing with devit.  Drat!  I had cleaned and dried thorougly, yet all of the dark red opaque squares were devitrified.  Plus I could see marks from the klyr fire (a glue for glass), a first for me, as I’ve always had klyr fire burn out cleanly.

Instead of a quick fuse & slump, I now had to mask the devit and refire.  Most people choose an overglaze for this task, but I advocate the use of clear powder.  Dusted with a fine layer of clear powder, back into the kiln it went.  At the same time ‘second attempt ‘Red Cells’ was slumping through a drop ring in another kiln.

Once ‘second attempt’ (as I fondly called it) was in the kiln for it’s final shaping, and Red plan B was in the kiln for it’s second firing, I turned my attention to the failed piece to see how I could resolve that big bubble.

Instead of letting heat and gravity flatten it onto a kiln shelf, where I might then have to grind the edges again into a perfect circle, I decided to place it into a shallow mold to see if I could get away with only one firing instead of two.

Firing slowly at 100 degrees per hour, I had to schedule it so I would be there viewing the bowl at process temperature.  There I was at 10pm monitoring it’s progress every five minutes, ready to reach in and push the bubble down if necessary (suited up with protective gear for the task).  After 60 minutes at 1200º, it had slowly slumped into the platter shape with the large center bubble finally settled snugly down into the mold.

So my success is threefold:  My second try at the red bowl, ‘Red Cells‘ turned out and was delivered in time for the show; a second piece, ‘Back to Square One’ turned out quite well, although not in time for the show; and my first attempt, which became ‘Red Cells II’, was saved and delivered just at deadline but still in time for the show!

If you’re in Hood River for February’s First Friday (Feb 5), do stop in & say hello!!  Columbia Arts,  Cascade and Third; from 6 to 8 p.m.  Oh, and wear RED!  Red ribbons and red prizes will be awarded for “Best of Show” and “Best of Dress.” Plus, you’ll be able to enjoy creative red refreshments!!  Hope to see you there!

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What’s Up?!

January 29, 2010

Thanks to Doris for prompting me to get another post out.  I think about my next post all the time, but the kiln gods sometimes have a way of interferring with my plans.  Like the above bowl.  If you follow my ‘365 blog, you already know what happened here.  Giant bubble has me starting this project all over.

So here it is again, my second attempt at perfection.  Not that I really think I’ll ever achieve perfection, but we can try, right?!  In the meantime I usually have a Plan B, so besides playing with powders I’ve gone back to ‘Square One’, which you can see below.  Stacks of squares ready to arrange into a sushi plate.

Both of these projects will go to ‘Red’, the February show at Columbia Arts in Hood River.  That is if they turn out!!

Invited to participate in another Hood River show at The Pines 1852 Art Gallery, titled “The Red Alert” I already have these smaller bowls ready to go.

Preparing for two art shows, making hearts for friends, more glass boxes, and photographing one image every day for my 365 project, not to mention posting occasionally on  my garden blog has kept me tremendously busy.

Although I still consider myself inept at all things computer related, I am slowly educating myself a little each day.  Sometimes it’s an ‘aha’ enlightening moment and sometimes it’s a red-faced ‘I hope nobody saw me do that’ moment.  It’s a good thing I can laugh at myself, because believe me I spend a lot of time laughing!

The two current Red projects on my workbench.

Bumbling my way through blogging, I rarely change any parts of my format because I don’t want to mess things up.  I recently discovered I could subscribe and have my blog delivered in an email each time I posted!  I think you can subscribe too! Please let me know how my new subscription service at the top right of the screen works for you.  One new thing learned on the computer today, so I can get back to the studio!

Had to set up an extra table to work on glass boxes and hearts!

But first I want to share why I added my third blog, 365 One Day at a Time to my already overfilled schedule.  A long time friend who happens to be a photographer and recent inductee to the Shutter Sisters Blog pulled me into taking and posting one photo a day for 365 days.  After consideration I decided it might be fun because I love taking pictures but I wondered if I could stick to it.  I have to tell you, I am having so much fun with it that I’d rather be outside photographing than in the studio.  Yes, I said it, there’s somewhere I’d rather be than the studio!!  Well sometimes.  When I don’t have a deadline looming.  Anyone can join in.  You can do it just for yourself too, without the pressure of posting daily.  Give it a try.  A couple friends you might know who’ve jumped in are Terrie,  Barb, and Katie.

I am so honored that you stopped by to read my blog.  I truly appreciate it and hope I’ve made you smile or given you an idea about something new or beautiful.

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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New Boxes are in!

May 20, 2009

Red Yellow Blue

Red Yellow Blue

As promised here are the boxes that were finished, just in time for the Columbia Gorge Art Festival. I had to re-make the lids – the first time through I overfired them, making the embellishments too flat.  The frog lid was especially sad as a flattened embellishment.

Princely Green

Princely Green

When I teach at D&L Art Glass in Denver this July, I’ll be leading students through the process of making these wonderful boxes using powdered glass for color.  New ideas abound as I fill the Lidded Box Molds again, making the next round of boxes.

I’ll show the next round soon, but must first spend some time filling up my on-line shop and firing more glass for the upcoming Art in the Garden show!

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