Saturday, May 30, 2009

Happily Getting Lost in Glass

Fairy Light2001

Angles 2002

Welcome to my 3 part series of working with PMC and Fused glass
I have been making and selling glass buttons and glass cabachons for the last 14 years.
I adore glass and color and working with a kiln . I can spend hours cutting, assembling and dreaming my way into glass bliss.


Sunday was a day of perfect weather, much needed after our seemingly endless winter. The guild was meeting at my studio and we were walking on the wild side.
Glass and metal a seductive combination in my world. I had cleaned and straightened the studio preparing room for those attending to cut glass.

We began this adventure a year ago with PMC Paper and paper punches. Beginning with clever shapes of all sorts placed in the kiln and fired at 1650 for 10 minutes.
The paper punches available are amazing and we have several members who are also card makers and work with all sorts of art supplies to create some amazing cards and ATC’s
I have been very lucky to have been given some of the fore a mentioned items and I have them tucked away in a special box so I can pull them out when I need a bit of cheering up.

Anyway the PMC Paper after firing becomes pure silver and armed with these shapes we created some small pieces to create jewelry with or just admire.

For some this was the first time they had cut glass. It is rather intimidating to see a sheet of glass and the rather small tool you are given to cut with. But after a few lessons… a good surface and a ruler they were cutting like pros.

· cut
· clean
· assemble
Just like making a glass sandwich.
Placing glass - PMC Paper- clear glass top
. A weee drop of white school glue if necessary and then off to the kiln.

I have discovered through many, many, many firings in the last 10 years the very best method for me. Every kiln is a bit different and you must use what works for you but here is my journey.

Late afternoon I head out to the studio to begin the firing of the exuberant piles of glass sandwiches created on Sunday.
I needed to prepare my Kiln shelf.
I mixed equal amounts of kiln wash and water stirring to the consistency of pancake batter. Applied with a hake brush painting first in a up and down direction , dry then painting side to side.
When that dried I hand sand the surface( meaning I just use the palm of my hand ) to smooth of any lines or ridges.
I placed the shelf in the kiln turned it on low, left the kiln door open and dried the kiln wash. After about an hour I turned off the kiln and loaded the first load.

There were 4 trays filled with goodies I searched each and picked out all pieces that were only 2 layers thick not including the silver or copper pieces added.

Evenly placing the items on the shelf about ¾ of an inch apart
I then photographed the load.
(It is always a surprise what changes occur during firing. )
Turn on the kiln dial to low

Partially closed the kiln door leaving a 2 inch gap and left out the vent plug noted the time and returned to my house. This heating time releases all gases from glue,glass cleaners ect and keeps your glass clear.
After 1 hour back to the studio If the kiln has reached 500 then I close the kiln door put in the vent plug leaving the kiln on low and turned out the lights.

Nighty Night

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Good Night Irene

Mother’s Day took on a different tone this year.
Last year the two woman who figured prominently in our family both passed away in the latter part of 2008. My Mother lived several States away and Dear Ruthie was our dear Friend adopted Grandmother and all around loving sweetheart whom we shared holidays with for 25 years.
There have been many changes but the thing that struck deepest in my heart is not having anyone to find just the right gift for. One of my greatest joys in life is playing the part of Fairy Godmother and granting wishes to people who are dear to my heart.
Holidays have never been very traditional around our house. We follow a different pace and usually fit the day around the current chaos of owning your own service business being on 24 hour call.
Not to say we didn’t try to be sort of traditional
This year new events took place to help me fill the void from the absence of these 2 women in my life.
My dear Friend Kathy invited us up to the 11th annual Camano Island Studio Tour, which she and her husband Peter were helping with. The drive was about 2 hours from our house and we were very excited about meeting all the local artists and seeing all of the incredible work they produce as well as how they set up their studios.
There were about 35 Artists and the whole Island was involved. We were able to see about 5 different places in the short amount of time we allotted. (Next year I plan on staying the entire weekend.)
We started out at a Gallery By The Bay .
There was a fun collection of paintings and Cheeky ceramics’ including some great crows.
As well as some engaging paintings of Belly Dancers by Dianna Shyne.
( You know how I feel about belly dance) She told us the painting were from the perspective of a three year old who wandered into a group of dancers and got caught up in the swirl ,color and tinkle of belly dance movement at the annual solstice parade in Fremont.
Let me tell you they are delightful!!!
Then off we went to see marvelous watercolors by Juanita Hagberg.
Next Stanwood House Gallery & Art Center
Chaim Bezalel’s porcelain bowls as mixed media with photography of interesting things. They had some beautiful paintings as well as Native American bead work.
Then…. oh be still my heart.. up a winding road to John Ebner’s garden and ok his studio too.
This was a magnificent garden planted with hundreds and hundreds of tulip bulbs as well as lilies still in the teenage time of their lives. The entire garden was a work of art by its self.

His studio and had beautiful water colors of NW places displayed everywhere
I purchased a giclee of “Sunrise at Deception Pass”. (One of my favorite places)
Next Kathy Hutchinson Weaving Studio and our eyes were treated to magnificent color combinations of beautifully woven articles of clothing. I wanted to take home an armful and it was all I could do not to rub my face in the softness.
Alas time was slipping away and we had to wave bye-bye and head back to the City for our next appointment but on the way off the Island we popped by
Marc Boutte’ Glass yummy hand-blown and sculptured glass and as a final treat
Lance Carlton Recycled Metal Sculpture set out on the grass among the flowering Fruit Trees.
It was a great way to spend Mothers day it helped add juice to my creative self and meet new artists as well as spend time with lovely friends who also managed to give as a bathroom break as well as lunch on the run. Thanks For a great Day

If you are interested in any of the fore mentioned Artists check my links to find them

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You can help me reach one of my goals which is to to network and connect with you dear reader

Thursday, May 07, 2009


What do those words bring to mind? Fresh strawberries warm from the sun. A tomato picked out of your backyard garden. Blackberries picked on a hike while resting in the shade on a warm September afternoon.
Those moments hold great promise I notice the fragrance wafting off the object of my desire, the pure color enhancing the moment and then the time of truth the taste. Did all of the triggers in my mind prepare me for the moment of bliss or did I get a shock of sour, stale or unripe.
For me creating my art has the same path. Often I find myself struggling to create or even thing creative thoughts. I need to get juiced up. I need the interaction with other artists who understand some projects are merely juice to get the creative mind in gear and making the place ready for a creative juicy ripe bite of my own artistic ideas.

Which leads me to my blog You will be noticing the new look and more information about me, while I am taking the class and the changes that are occurring from the Blog Triage Drs. Alyson and Cynthia. Each class session sets out new ways to look at what is there and how to make it better and better. Some things have been very simple while I feel like I am moving thru molasses for others. But what is most important is that I am excited to write and share things with you.
The following pictures are of my juicing up project to get in motivated for other things. My goal this year is to spend more time in my studio creating, using all of the lovely tools and products I have been collecting and stashing for too many years to count, with the promise I will get back to that and create something wonderful. Well the time has come and here I go…
I found these wooden shoes at an estate sale and I am currently in the mosaic phase. I have several large out projects to complete and the shoes are paving the way so to speak. I will keep you posted on the progress of my other projects