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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!

If you like this post, sign up to receive an email for future posts so you don’t miss anything.  It’s easy, just click the box at the top right of this page that says ‘Sign me up!’ and type in your email.  It’s right under the yellow close-up photo of my work.

  

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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1000 Markets announced yesterday that it had been acquired by Bonanzle….and will be changing it’s name to Bonanza.  I’m not sure how I feel about my little shop in ‘Bonanza’ compared to my little shop at ‘1000 Markets.  Not feeling so great about it right now, especially when I go to their site.  I decided to go along for the ride during the transition as I have no time at the moment to research my options.   Many other venues are being bandied about by the artists represented at 1000 Markets that I’ll look into after my current jobs are all delivered.  What are your suggestions?

One of the more important results of that transaction? Just when I was having so much fun with Bixbe, it’s over before the fat lady sang.  Yep, all that effort learning how to use Bixbe and installing the new ‘Buy’ pages here is about to be dust in the wind.  After only a week of being able to click the button to purchase SteiderStudios Glass Medium (or anything else), we have to go back to phoning or mailing in your order.

……..Edit:  I now have live links for my new ArtFire shop where you have several options to purchase .

You can Purchase the Economy size here. Or the Regular size here. Or just a sample here.

If you’re overseas, you can send me a note from the Artfire page and I can add a shipping option for you.  I think I’m going to like Artfire!

I truly appreciate all your support and can’t wait to see what you’re making with SSGM.

Next post I’ll be back with photos of all the lovely bowls in the kiln for my show at The Dalles Art Center and the Museum of Glass in Tacoma!

My Dance Card Overflows…

September 16, 2010

“Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ … into the future”

How did the first fifteen days of September slip by so fast?  I’ll tell you!

September started off with a large order for my Celestial Series bowls from the Museum of Glass gift shop in Tacoma.  I can’t tell you how thrilled I am, especially since their focus is on blown glass, not kilnformed!  I spent days just cutting out the blanks for almost 5 dozen pieces, while doing a Happy Dance in my studio.  I can’t wait to see the display of bright colorful Celestial Bowls in their beautiful and well-lit gift shop.  I’ll deliver my work the first part of October and I hope you can go see …. I mean …. go buy it and take it home with you.

The first part of October also rings in with a gallery show at The Dalles Art Center.  I’ve planned and prepared for months and will be showing with Anthony Kiser and Scott Berger.  The opening is a first Thursday celebration, October 7th from 5 to 7pm.  Hope to see some of you there – come see my sparkly new work!

Along with my busy production schedule, preparations are underway for an intense class schedule in October.  If you’re interested in learning how to work with powdered glass and you’re in the Portland area, join us at Aquila Glass School for my two-day Powderology class on October 9 & 10.  It’s the first time I’ve been hosted in Portland – Thank you Don & Scott for inviting me!

If you’re interested in learning the basics of glass fusing, join us at The Dalles Art Center on Tuesday evenings, starting next week for my Glass-Fusing-for-Beginners class.  Or sign up for the Hood River Community Ed Beginning Glass Fusing and Intermediate Studies for the Returning Student on Wednesday evenings.  I promise you’ll have FUN and I’ll teach you so much that you’ll be able to set up your own glass studio if desired!

In November I’m excited I’ll be traveling to Austin Texas where I’ll present Powderology at Blue Moon Glassworks.  Traveling classes are fun, exciting, and intense because there’s so much to pack into such a short time frame.  If you’re in the area I hope you’ll join us!  This will be my first time in Texas – what are the ‘must see tourist attractions’ that I won’t want to miss?  Thank you Rose & Jim Berry, for hosting me – I can’t wait!

And there’s so much more…..but for now I must get back to the studio & produce all that work I’ve promised … so I can ‘Fly like an Eagle’……

Effective 4.1.15 this part of my business is closed.  I have sold the last of SSGM and it is no longer available. Thank you so much for supporting my efforts all these years.

I’ve been asked often lately about making glass clay (glass paste), so thought I’d give you a quick review:  what it is and how I make it.  I’ve taught this technique nationally since 2004, at the Art Glass Association Conference in Portland Oregon.  This is the first year in the last six that I did not teach Glass Clay (or Pate de Verre Without Molds) at the Las Vegas Glass Craft & Bead Expo!

Essentially glass clay is glass paste, another form of Pâte de Verre, but without having to make molds.  Certainly not a traditional technique, but a fun, easy, fast way to make small glass sculptures, buttons, beads, and more!

I make a clay-like substance, glass paste, by mixing powdered glass with a liquid binder or medium.  I prefer to use Steider Studios Glass Medium™.  After testing many different materials my new Medium burns out cleaner than anything I’ve ever tried, while still being able to carve more detail into it after it’s dry and before firing.  Most people use CMC, and I’ve heard of and tested many other concoctions that may or may not work for you, but rather than go into them all I’m going to just tell you how I make it, using the best Medium I’ve ever tried.

I mix Steider Studios Glass Medium™ with room temperature or warm tap water (if your water contains heavy mineral deposits, you can use distilled water, but it takes longer to set up…as long as a couple of days!):  Fill a clean jar with a cup of water.  Sprinkle in one teaspoon of Medium for a very thick paste.  (If you live in higher elevations, you’ll need two teaspoons.)

Use a whisk or fork to stir until dissolved, then let stand 30 to 60 minutes to thicken, stirring occasionally.    I like it to be the consistency of jelly.  I have stored Steider Studios Glass Medium™ in my studio for over two years after mixing, but typically it’s used up within a week.  I have used other binders that developed mold and just so you know, the mold adds an interesting patina.  If you prefer a less gelatinous mix, by all means thin it with a little more water.  Also, if you’re planning to use it for liquid lines, you’ll want to dilute it.

Wearing a respirator or N95 disposable particulate mask, place your glass powder into a mixing bowl.  I prefer to use a small glass bowl, but often use a 4 or 8 ounce plastic food storage bowl.  Ratios of glass powder to Medium vary, depending on the powder.  Straight out of the jar glass powder can be as grainy as sand or as powdery as talc.

As a starting point I use 2:1, glass to Medium.  I’ll place 2 heaping spoonfuls of glass powder into my bowl, then drizzle 1 heaping spoonful of Steider Studios Glass Medium™ over the powder.

Using a palette knife or spoon mix well, mashing Steider Studios Glass Medium™ into the glass powder until it’s glossy.  It should be the consistency of cookie dough, or a wet pie crust, holding together when pinched or rolled into a ball.  If it’s too dry, your project will crack; add more medium a couple drops at a time.  If it’s too wet, your project will sink down into itself; sprinkle more powder into the mix, a little at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Once it’s mixed to a consistency that feels like clay or cookie dough you’re ready to play.  You have about 30 minutes working time to sculpt it, make pattern bars or press it into candy molds to freeze, then it begins to dry out.

I mix all my colors  before beginning to sculpt, and wrap each with plastic wrap to keep it wet until I’m ready to work.  I can store glass clay like this for weeks and have left it for up to a year.  It can be a bit sticky, so I work on top of waxed paper to stay as mess-free as possible.

For sculpting I use dental tools, metal and plastic sculpting tools, plastic make-up applicators, toothpicks, kitchen implements and whatever happens to be close at hand.

I’ve made faces, flowers, animals, and small open vessels and bowls.  These small sculptures can be used for door pulls, plant and garden decor, adornment for lidded boxes and much more.

You can press glass clay into candy molds, freeze for an hour or two, then pop it out of the molds.  The advantage to using Steider Studios Glass Medium™ for this application (known as ‘freeze and fuse’), is you can ‘cold work’ the edges and carve in additional detail before firing, after the piece is completely dry.

One of my favorite ways of working with glass clay is making paste pattern bars.  Have you played with polymer clay?  Play dough?  I use the same principles.

Roll it out (or roll it through a pasta machine) between sheets of waxed paper & stack layers of different colors, then slice, re-stack and slice again.

It’s easiest if you roll between two pieces of waxed paper because it can be sticky.

Make what I fondly call ‘Pig in a Blanket’ by making a rope, then wrapping it with a different colored ‘blanket’ that’s been rolled out flat.  Or roll your pigs into many blankets for ‘rings’ of color when you slice.

Pattern bars are sliced with a tissue slicing blade, rolling the bar one quarter turn after each slice so you don’t end up with one flat side.  Use these slices for buttons, beads, cabochons, or as decor for other glass projects just to give you a few ideas.

Make coils or ropes of clay, place different colored ropes next to each other for millefiore.

More food for thought:  add mica!  A little mica goes a long way.   Adorn with dicro slide!  Use a cute scrap-booking punch to cut shapes from Dicro Slide that enhance your design and apply just before firing.

To get a spiral effect, stack rolled out sections on top of each other.

Carefully peel off the wax paper, keeping it close to your work surface.

Then roll it up, smooth out and slice.  The ends will be uneven unless you roll out rectangular shapes instead of ovals.  I slice off the ends, roll them into balls, pushing the colors into a marbled pattern, then flatten them for buttons and cabs.

The next step is to let your projects dry on paper towels.  Use a food dehydrator, or just set them aside for a few days.  In a one day workshop we use hair dryers to speed the drying process.  Once dry, glass clay is very fragile, like a meringue cookie so use care in handling it.  Gently peel off the paper towel from the bottom.  Using an emery board and wearing your respirator, file off any rough edges along the bottom.  Use a wooden skewer to sand off any rough spots in your details.  You can use a skewer or a dental tool to carve in additional lines if desired.  Just remember to take care as it’s fragile.  Did I already say it’s fragile?  It’s very fragile!

When you’re ready to fire, try to fire like sizes and like colors together.  For larger projects or light colors, your soak time will be slightly longer.  I strongly recommend using a kiln that you can watch the progress so you’ll know when to stop and anneal, and you can note the process temperature in your kiln.  Your pieces are going to shrink approximately 25 to 30%, depending on your process temperature.  The longer you soak at process temperature, the glossier they’ll get and the more they’ll shrink.  Vent your kiln until it reaches 1000º while the binder is burning out.  You can ramp up AFAP, but I think it’s better to control the ramp up; and do start peeking around 1200º to 1250º.  Be sure to wear your safety glasses when looking inside the heated kiln.  In my kiln, depending on the size and color, my process temperature is 1300º with a 30 minute soak for small two to three-inch sculptures; or 1350º with a 13 minute soak for beads and buttons.  I anneal at 900º, using Bullseye’s annealing_thick_slabs chart for thickness.

I love introducing people to working with glass powders, whether wet or dry.

I hope you found this post useful.

Have Fun!  Be safe, wear that respirator and don’t forget your safety glasses!!

Effective 4.1.15 this part of my business is closed.  I have sold the last of SSGM and will not be re-ordering supplies.  Thank you so much for supporting my efforts all these years.

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