Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Autumn Continues

For once, November is not holding us hostage with the typical chilly, overcast, pre-winter blahs as usual. As any Ohioan knows, if you don't like the weather today just wait 'til tomorrow. We are having balmy days with incredible clear blue skies.

Fall also brings us beautiful night skies. Living in the country away from town's bright lights allows us to enjoy the season's crisp, clear nights with awe-inspiring views of the constellations, and not often seen views of the Milky Way. If you live near town and don't get to enjoy the night skies, you really should make an effort to get "out of town" to relive your childhood, when the smaller towns and cities and their lights didn't impede enjoying the night sky.

I've attached a picture of a recent 16 inch bowl entitled "Autumn," made just prior to fall in anticipation of the turning of the leaves. One of my favorite times of year, making this bowl allows me to enjoy the fall colors all year long. The bowl is made by sifting and sprinkling powders & different sized frits over a clear base. The black edge is done by breaking out the ring from a larger round (the hardest part of making the bowl.) This piece has my favorite finish-a sandblasted look that gives the appearance of fine leather or eggshells.

I'm going to take a quick walk to enjoy the evening while the weather is so nice. December is just around the corner and I can't imagine there is any chance Ohio will give us gentle days like these!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

New Family Addition!

Allow me to introduce you to Sophie, the newest member of our family. She joins Sam (black lab) and Hoover (stray that adopted us) to become the third dog in our pack.

Memorial Day weekend we lost our 11 year old lab, Reba. It took lots of coaxing before I was talked into a new puppy. Whoa! I'm eleven years older and not as fast as I used to be! This little girl can move-and getting up off the floor isn't as easy, either.

She has the bladder of a peanut and is going to be a little harder to train than Reba, but she is so cute that it makes up for it (at least for now!) In the picture she looks so innocent, but believe me, she has a little devil in her, too. Sam, being older, is somewhat leery of her but Hoover thinks she is great fun for playing chase. Hopefully in a few weeks we'll get back into a "groove" and life will be somewhat normal.

I'm putting the finishing touches on some glass projects for my last show of the year, which is a small show that benefits our local hospice. Work for now is during naptime:-)

Monday, October 5, 2009

And Now We Return to Our Regularly Scheduled Program

How could this much time pass so quickly?Ok, ok! I know I am remiss regarding my blog-I just can't seem to dedicate time to it like I should. I am running out of excuses! Yes, it was a busy summer, but a year?! (Well, almost a year.)

Due to the economy I didn't sign up for as many art shows for 2009 as I would usually. This was a good thing. The shows I've done have had fewer people buying less. I just completed the Pyramid Hill Art Fair and a combination of bad weather and the economy (I assume) kept the crowd non-existant on Saturday and light on Sunday. I love this show as it is in my hometown area and I enjoy visiting with relatives and old friends. The park is an amazing collection of modern sculptural art in a beautiful wooded setting. I did meet some great people and enjoyed explaining how I fuse glass.
I have been designing more large bowls lately. I still enjoy making strip bowls, but they can be labor intensive, so the one I have up today is somewhat simplified. This is part of my windows series. On this piece, behind the window is a painted "landscape" in companion colors that draws your eye to the center. I know it looks flat, but when trying to photograph it I found that the best part was lost when viewed from the side. The bowl is a little larger than 15 inches in diameter and stands about 4 inches high. If the black lines look crooked, I assure you they are not, it is just the slope of the bowl showing.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Bit of Jewelry

Today I've decided to post a few jewelry pictures. While I started fusing glass making larger plates & bowls, I've found that designing jewelry is a nice change of pace and helps keep my work fresh, both for me and my customers. I enjoy making one-of-a-kind type pieces. Or perhaps 10-of-a-kind, though I don't like repeating work too often. I have a pretty good following and what the buyers like are the individuality of my pieces.

They also like to see what I'm doing between shows. So I've decided to bite the bullet and occasionally post a few pix. If you are interested in any pieces, you can always email me. The pieces go out as fast as they come in, so I can't guarantee what is in stock at any one time, but I can always email you pix of other pieces I do have in stock. My email address is located in my profile.

I work in sterling silver and gold-filled wire. Glass is usually dichroic, but I also use pattern bars, pot melts and combing. I like working back and forth, from large glass to small. It keeps me from boredom and keeps ideas fresh. I think the jewelry pieces are little works of art. I hope you think so, too.

I never intended to make jewelry when I began fusing. At first it was just an interest in working with dichroic glass. Then I thought I'd make a few pieces to wear, to show my love of glass. I found I was pretty good at it. It was another layer to my craft. People like the pieces. Sales kept me in more glass. And they wanted more. So, I'll continue making jewelry until I tire out or the public tires of it or me. Hopefully not too soon on either point!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Self Portrait Book Published

It seems I'm playing catch-up this week. A few posts ago I mentioned I was part of a group of glass artists involved in a self-portrait project. Headed by Cynthia Oliver, we were invited to submit our renditon of our self-portrait.

If you'd like to see the portraits and read a little about the artists check out Cynthia's special blog. At the bottom of the page you can see info regarding ordering a copy if you like.

Glass Quilt Installed!

While it's been a while since I posted, you can be sure that I've been very busy in the studio. I've been working on some commissioned pieces which took up a bit of time, working them in with my regular pieces, plus jewelry is flying out so fast I'm having trouble keeping a good supply on hand. The farm is always top priority, especially in the summer, so sometimes the glass work takes second place, but it's always first in my mind, with ideas swirly around like bees on flowers.

I've been negligent in reporting that the glass quilt has been installed at the Sacred Heart Children's Hospital in Spokane, Washington. While few of us were able to attend the unveiling, Toni Johnson, the queen of coordinators kept all of us informed on the happening with many photos. What an amazing journey it has been! What started out as just a fun project to stretch our glass skills has turned into an incredible "real" quilt to be enjoyed by many. Toni generously allowed me to post several photos here. The three photos above show the piece during assembly, at the unveiling, and a closeup of the list of participants. I am honored to be a part of it. If you remember my piece is "Dancing Inferno." If you go back (a few) blog entries you can see a close up of it.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

How I Became "Hooked"

For those of you following my haphazard blog, today I'll tell you a little about myself. I live on an active farm in southern Ohio. We raise soybeans, corn, wheat and a LOT of hay. I've been married to my hubby for almost 35 years so we've got the partnership-thing down pat. He has always supported my artistic "hobbies" making me items I needed for whatever I was currently working on. I contribute by helping on the farm as needed.

For many years I did decorative painting on wood. When our other farm was sold we moved about 1 1/2 hours away to our new farm. On this property was a beautiful 150 year old brick Federal-style home. It was begging for stained glass windows. I had always wanting to learn copper foil stained glass and found a studio willing to show me the ropes.

While I never filled the house totally with stained glass, I did manage to work in it for about 10 years, with much of my bounty going to (I hope) happy relatives. The fusing craze was going on during the later part of these years and I got the bug. Originally, I only wanted to make fused items to incorporate into my stained glass, but that was not the end result.

From the first firing, I was hooked! There is something about melting and learning to control the glass that is somewhat addictive. I love combining colors, learning new techniques and exploring this fascinating medium. I never made another stained glass window. For that, I'm somewhat ashamed....until I open that kiln again to see what "cooked" overnight. Then the madness starts again!

Also surprising for me, when I painted on wood it was in a very "country" theme. Again, when I began working in stained glass I leaned toward florals, nature, and country themes. Not so with fusing. I do some florals, but in general I have gravitated towards a more modern style with cleaner lines focusing on space, color, and balance. It is a new outlet for me which I'm enjoying exploring. I have become accomplished enough to begin selling my sushi sets, bowls, plates, etc. at several juried shows with good reviews (and sales) by attendees.

I don't know how long this "ride" will be, but I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts. The glass bowl I am showing today is a combination of my "country" beginnings and my "modern" style of today. The technique is one demonstrated by glass artist Patty Gray. I was fortunate enough to spend 4 days under her direction at Delphi Glass in Michigan late last year. She is a wealth of knowledge and a generous teacher. If you have an opportunity to take a class from Patty you will not be disappointed. I've enjoyed making these bowls because they bring out a spontaneity that my work usually lacks. I tend to plan out many of my pieces, "sweating the details" but when I make these bowls I allow myself the freedom to play.