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Steider Studios.Prairie Star Designs. Fence Project

I love working with metal artist Tom Herrera of  Prairie Star Designs because his projects are always interesting and creative.  You can read about Tom’s process in creating this trellis and gate on his blog at Prairie Star Designs.  You’ll want to scroll down to May 6th, “Sanoe’s Trellis and Gate” to read about Tom’s process in this project, but you’ll enjoy his other posts too.

Steider Studios.1.Samples cut out

My process began with meeting Linda, Tom’s client and sorting out her ideas and color schemes.  She came to my studio sale and chose colors for sunsets and bodies of water as well as several reds for hearts.  She brought a photo of a sunset and we chose watery colors from my color bars and samples in my studio.

Steider Studos1.5.Yellow Samples Ready to Design

I always start with samples, for a client to choose from, so tried several combinations of yellow for my sunset background…and several shades of watery blues for the panels depicting water.

Steider Studios.2.Samples in Process

Three layers of sheet glass, topped with heavy doses of Bullseye’s powder colors in striations matching the sunset photo and my water sample that Linda had seen in my studio.   I drew lines through the watery panels to show movement.

Steider Studios.3.Test Panels set up in Kiln

The glass is dammed in my Paragon kiln with fiber paper between the samples to keep them separated.

Steider Studios.4.Red Panels fired in kiln

In addition to sunset and water, Linda wanted to incorporate hearts into her fence.  After she chose which red she liked best from my samples, I stacked and fired my three layer combination.  It was simpler for us to frame squares of glass with heart shaped cut outs in metal, rather than me cutting perfect hearts and tediously damming them in my kiln; then Tom having to bend metal around them to frame.

Steider Studios.5.Aqua Panels in Process

After seeing my samples, Linda chose to eliminate sunsets from her trellis gate so the red hearts would have serene watery blues on each side of each heart.

Steider Studios.5.Turquoise Panels Process

Linda liked the deepest aquamarine and turquoise combinations especially those with lines showing watery motion.  With Linda’s decisions made, I blew up my samples to Tom’s size specifications keeping my designs as accurate as possible.

Steider Studios.6.Final Panel in Kiln.Tom's Fence Project

Because I STILL have not repaired my larger Skutt kiln, I had to fire each set of panels separately which added time on my end of the project.  I was already behind schedule due to custom work prior to this project and too many spring shows.

Steider Studios.Tom's Gate Aqua Panel 1

We were all happy with the watery aqua panels, especially how they glow under sunlight.

Steider Studios.Tom's Gate Red Panel 1.jpg

The red absolutely shimmers!  I was annoyed that I had a couple specks of kiln brick dust but it landed where metal would cover it and was so small that when held up to the sun we couldn’t see it, so decided to not shoot for perfection.

Steider Studios.Tom's Gate Turquoise Panel 2.jpg

The darker turquoise panels also turned out gorgeous, especially when held up to the sun.

Steider Studios.Mock up for Tom's Gate

The final arrangement of panels and hearts.

Steider Studios.Prairie Star Designs. Fence Project

And once again, the finished project.  I love it!!  I want one!  Thanks Tom Herrera for your faith in my work.  It is a pleasure to work with you!

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As Promised….

May 27, 2010

…from my September ’09 “Progression-of-a-project” post, here is the finished project, finally installed this month in the Japanese Garden, located at the OSU Extension office in Hood River.  It’s a small portion of the Master Gardener’s Learning Garden which sits above the Experiment Station orchard.  My glass insert plays a supporting role in Tom Herrera’s sculpture and I’m honored to have it there.  A lovely setting, wouldn’t you say?


80 colorful panels of glass swivel and sway in the skylight at the entrance of Henkle Middle School in White Salmon.   They were produced by three classes of 5th and 6th graders led by their art teacher, Betsy Petrick.  The project wouldn’t have been possible without funding from the Washington State Arts Commission and the Oregon Glass Guild.

I met with Mrs. Petrick in early February to discuss and plan the project, originally a glass mobile.  Safety issues and technical aspects overcome, and supplies purchased we began our journey the first Monday in March.

The students studied Jackson Pollock and Alexander Calder while I cut up sheets of Bullseye Glass.  Faye Malench produced hand pulled stringer for us; and I contacted Tom Herrera to get started on the support structure.

The students sketched their ideas after I introduced them to glass, the possibilities and parameters.  We addressed safety issues each day, then began…

Students waited their turn in line to select frit and stringer.  After the first session Mrs. Petrick and I realized we needed more help to dispense glass quicker and have more contact with students as they built their panels.

My friends, Charlene and Angela agreed to join the fun.

Students placed a clear panel of glass over their drawing, then bent high temp wire into an omega shape and glued it on the top center of their panel.  They either buried it with frit or placed a small piece of sheet glass over it so it would become embedded in the glass.

Students took limited amounts of frit and stringer back to their sketch, applied it then went back for more glass.  We used Thompson Klyr-fire to hold the frit and stringer in place during transport.

The extra help from Charlene & Angela freed Mrs. Petrick & me to better help the students.

The panels were transported to my studio kilns for firing.  A Paragon above and Skutt below.  Each student also made a small pendant to keep for themselves.

My three kilns were loaded and reloaded several times for 80 panels.

First group finished.  We used a process temperature of 1385º to retain texture.

Second group finished.  A few of the panels had to be re-fired as the wire wasn’t completely buried in frit.

Third group finished.  Thanks to Valerie Adams for leading me to Flex-Tec, an anti-shatter coating that I painted on all the panels after they were fired.  Thanks especially to Mark at His Glassworks for holding my hand during my learning curve.  Finally, fishing swivels were attached to the embedded wire so the panels would twist and we were ready to install.

Metal artist Tom Herrera designed and produced the metal supports.  Henkle’s Jim Mansfield drilled all the holes and clear-coated for us, then installed the supports within one day!

Mrs. Petrick and I each took two sides of the skylight and arranged panels so the colors would flow and the relative visual weight  of each panel would balance.

The ‘man-lifter’ felt much safer to use than the ladders!  As we installed each panel it was fun to hear all the positive comments as students and staff walked by.  “There’s mine!” each of the art students said as they spotted theirs, pointing it out to their friends.

We found a rhythm inserting the metal wires, twisting to secure and moving on to the next panel.

In less than two hours all panels were hung.

I went back the following morning to snip off the excess wire, completing the project.

Detail…

More detail…

Good thing many of my photos were blurry or you’d be looking at even more detail shots!

As we finished Mrs. Petrick pondered the possibility of adding more rows of panels, moving up the skylight each year.  Wouldn’t that be fun!?!!

One of the best parts of a project like this, is watching the kids come to know and understand glass and it’s seemingly limitless possibilities.  You can see their enthusiasm for the media grow and their pride in ownership when we’ve completed the project.  Some kids are already interested, curious and willing to learn.  Other kids are afraid they’ll cut themselves, or display disinterest because they already think they have no artistic ability.  Some are tired because they haven’t had enough sleep or worried about an upcoming test and can’t concentrate on the task at hand.

With heartfelt joy I tell you by the end of  a project like this, there is a smile on every kid’s face, full of pride and authority from their newfound knowledge.  It’s that beaming smile I always remember beyond the project.

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Maryhill Museum threw a great party last night for the opening of their 70th season!

This is the epilogue of my fence project, but not the last of Maryhill for me.  With their focus on glass this year, I’ve been invited to participate in a tour of glass studios.  My studio is too tiny to fit a busload of people, but my friend Terri has offered her studio and we are already working on some great plans for those taking the tour.  More about that in a future post.

The bronze plaque, now in place, is a beautifully crafted testament to all involved in this project.  I am so grateful to the donors and sponsors, who made this opportunity possible.  David and Roseangela Capobianco, the Arthur G. Dunn Guild of Seattle, Cannon Power Group, Gunkel Construction, and of course, Tom Herrera for including my glass!

I can’t wait to see the William Morris exhibit this summer, and Tacoma’s Museum of Glass is bringing it’s mobile hot shop in June.  Not to mention the spotlight on local glass artists with the Oregon Glass Guild at Maryhill’s Arts Festival in August.

In addition to the incredible art and fascinating history this great museum holds, the surrounding views of the Columbia River are incredible.

The grounds at Maryhill host a plethora of peacocks that you can’t help falling in love with.

I’ve tried capturing them with my camera, with pastels, fiber and glass……

None of my renditions reflect their iridescence, personalities or regality as the birds themselves.  The perfect feathered friends of Maryhill.

Join me at these events and more at Maryhill Museum.  There’s a nominal admission fee or better yet, become a member.

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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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It’s been a whirlwind romance for this project, with a very short timeframe.  Tom Herrera is transforming a fence retrieved from Sam Hill‘s Seattle estate and installing it at Maryhill Museum’s new Windy Flats Walkway and Viewpoint.  He’s asked me to produce 4 glass inserts, for the ends and center of the fence.  So, with no time for research, I pulled earlier visits to Maryhill from my memory banks.  I always loved the Loie Fuller exhibits and made a quilt honoring her back in my fiber arts days.  I have also photographed and rendered the peacock population in pastels many times, trying to capture the lovely iridescence.  Tom’s only prerequisites….colorful and 1/2″ thick!

With those thoughts in my mind, I played with fine frit and powdered glass on sheet substrate to see which would yield a better result.  Above photo on the left is the powder test already fired and on the right is the frit test ready for its first firing.

The frit wasn’t as crisp as the powder, when stacked and fused into four layers, so I chose powder, the finished sample pictured above.

Above are the 20″ panels and below are the 12″ panels, stacked and almost ready to load into the kiln for the final firing.

I was so involved with the process that I didn’t remember to photograph all the steps along the way.  Cutting the glass, sifting the powder, then drawing lines through.

Two views of the 20″ panels, cleaned after the first firing and ready to stack & fuse together.

Below are the 12″ panels, after the first firing.

Side view of 20″ panels, topped with clear iridescent glass for a sparkly effect.

Loaded into the kiln, held in place with kiln furniture to prevent the glass from flowing when heated to process temperature.  That’s where the project is now.  And will be for another day.  Waiting with crossed fingers and toes hoping  it comes out as planned, that nothing goes wrong in the kiln.  The project is due out of the kiln on delivery day, so there’s no time for error.  Which is why I chose an excruciatingly long firing cycle, ramping up at 100 degrees per hour.

I’ll post the final outcome with sun glowing through the panels which is how you’ll see it at Maryhill.  Better yet, join us Saturday, March 20th for Maryhill Museum’s opening event.  The dedication of the new Windy Flats Walkway and Viewpoint will be at 4 p.m.

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Happenings of late….

August 27, 2009

Glass Clay, Pate de Verre

Glass Clay, Pate de Verre

You might wonder what I’ve been so busy with that kept me from posting for the last couple of weeks.  Welllll, I’ve been compiling my fall class schedule and you can see all the new additions on my Upcoming Classes page!

A surprise venue thanks to a VERY interested potential student, Joyce, will be held at the studio of GlassHopper Patterns in Portland, OR.  I usually only see Georgia at the Glass Craft & Bead Expo in Las Vegas, even though she’s just downriver from me.  Georgia is a joy to be with so I know this class will hold unlimited fun for all and look forward to teaching there!  If you’re interested in having fun with ‘Glass Clay’, join us!

I’ve also been gathering work for an upcoming show in September at the The Golden Art Gallery in Goldendale Washington!  It’s a show of Oregon Glass Guild members, and the gallery is a delightful spot to showcase glass, with great lighting and visual space.  I’ll edit this post when I know more details for  an opening reception date and time.  The show runs through the month of September.

Working with local metal sculptor Tom Herrera, I’ve been producing glass inserts for a few of his sculptures.  I will post photos here as soon as he retrieves them from his camera.  He likes what I’ve come up with to fit his criteria and I like his sculptures, so this could be the beginning of many more.

I’ve written a magazine article for Glass Craftsman which will be in their next issue if all goes well.  It’s about the way I make color charts for referencing various thicknesses of powdered glass.  The editor, Judith Conway of Vitrum Studio is fabulous to work with and makes my words flow!

Last but certainly not least, I’ve been filling orders here and there, always grateful for that steady ‘bread & butter’ that keeps an artist’s head above water!  A hearty thank you to those who buy original artwork for gifts, home & garden decor, and personal adornment.  Also thanks to the artists who buy tools and supplies from me.  I appreciate you choosing me as your source for mica, liquid gold, tools and glass!

Next I’ll be working on adding jewelry to my on-line shop!

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