Saturday, April 3, 2010

So Many Possibilities!

It's been a few days and a couple of fusing firings, but each in its own time.  This firing was a center piece for a wall jewel.  I wanted to create bubbles with baking soda.  Went a little heavy handed and got a large bubble that imploded and a smaller one that the surface just dented.  I ground the piece to fit.  I like the effect.  It has distinct possibilities.  I have to smoke the piece to get a real sense of what it will look like.  Colour?  Another consideration.  So many possibilities, so little time.!  Sigh...

Here is the piece with light going through it.

One technical detail to sort out yet is the bubble that imploded had very sharp edges.  Fire polish?

A day with possibilities presenting themselves is one to be thankful for!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Blowing Bubbles

Well, I got my first results on trying to create bubbles using baking soda. I got bubbles! Unfortunately, I used too much baking soda and one of the pieces imploded. I didn't mind the result. The second test, on which I used a smaller amount of baking soda, the largest bubble was sunken, but hadn't imploded. They are kind of fun. I'm testing today with brushed on small amount of baking soda and baking soda diluted with water. We'll see what we get...

I also tested using other metals sandwiched between glass. Stainless steel, brass and steel wool. Interesting, but nothing that really caught my attention. Here's to tomorrow's results. 

Here's to cutting my fingers.  If I bleed, I know I'm still alive.  That's always a good thing.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Meeting with my Mentor

Yesterday Lee Brady came for a play date.  He brought more glass with him from his own stock that I will have to replace when my order comes in.  Yipee!  New colours to play with.

I had a partially finished sculptural piece to show him.  We had considerable discussion with regard to what possible solutions could exist for the interior space and developed a work plan for the experimentation.  Initially, I will work with clear glass, trying various textural options, as well as creating forms of various sizes and shapes for creating pockets.  It will be interesting to see the results.  

We also discussed our final project.  We are going to try to set up a visit with Joan and Al Hiebert at their glass blowing facility, to try sand casting. 

Normally, my day in the studio is relatively interruption free, but yesterday, it was like I had a revolving door on the studio.  Friends dropped in.  Shoppers wanted to meet me.  Staff had a million questions.  I felt badly that Lee came all this way to work with me and here we had constant interruptions.  Such is life!

I am thankful that I have people in my life, even when it becomes an interruption. 

Monday, March 22, 2010

More Lemonade

Yesterday's blog was a lead in for the results of the last fusing.  I trapped air, causing a large air bubble in the piece.  The first step was to figure out why it happened...I failed to leave an escape route for the air, hence it was trapped...then to view the aesthetics to see how I felt about it.  I excitedly realized that it provided an opportunity to create a interior surface that might work well with my sculptures.  So I cracked the bubble and added a found object.  I really like what I ended up with.  I believe that I will follow this new track to see where it leads!

It's wonderful to see a whole new avenue open up to you and then to run with it.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Turning disappointments into adventures

We all try things that fail, or don't quite work.  I learned a valuable lesson from a piece that I submitted to a jurying.  The jurors (2) didn't like the piece but couldn't explain what it was that they didn't like about it.  Rather than being devastated about their comments, I took the piece home and hung it on the wall in my studio.  I didn't mind the piece, but I wanted to understand where they were coming from.  For a month I walked past it and thought about it.  Eventually, I removed some manufactured crystals out of the piece and replaced them with tumbled rocks.  That was it.  The man made, machined aspect of the crystals jarred against the subtle nature of the piece and made it uncomfortable.  The rocks complimented the earthiness of the work.  Suddenly I had a sculpture that went from ok to incredible. 

Turning lemons into lemonade is just another way of looking at life.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


There is much to be said for play.  The ability to freely put things together without care for it being right or wrong, or whether or not it will work.  To enjoy and explore possibilities.  It's something that we don't have enough of in our lives.  Remember when you were a child, skipping along singing because that was the way that you felt?  Pure joy and happiness. 

That's the beauty of doing something new.  There is no known.  No right or wrong.  Just do.  Perhaps that is what I need to do more of.  Doing. 

As Yoda said "do or do not".  I choose to do. 

Friday, March 19, 2010

Creating Habits

I am constantly trying to improve myself. Right now, I am trying to do so by creating new, and modifying old, habits. For instance, I constantly battle my weight. So for the past two weeks, I have been trying to drink 8 glasses of water a day. I'm doing pretty good at it, albeit, with having to run to the bathroom constantly. Now if I don't drink that much water, I find that I thirst.

Behaviour modification works in the studio as well. I have two things that I am working on in the studio. The first is trying to keep the store/showroom cleaner. So everyday I clean, dust and re-arrange one shelf. That way the task is not so daunting. The other is sitting at the computer first thing in the morning and writing this blog. Will I fall off the path? No doubt. The big thing is jumping right back on.

I am thankful that I have the power to make changes in my life.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Artist Trading Cards

Last year, I had an opportunity to connect with artists in a different way. I took part in a project called Artist Trading Cards in Regina. Sponsored by the MacKenzie Art Gallery and the Regina Artist Trading Card Collective, artists were asked to submit 6, 3 .5 x 2.5 inch small works of art to an exhibition. At the end of the show your work is then traded with other artist's work and I received 6 wonderful little jewels to start my collection. What I had sent in last year were 6 small ceramic cards. This year I'm going to do 6 cards in glass.

One of the features that some artists included with their works is their name, address and date, a feature that I really like. Working in glass makes this challenging. I think that if I add a copper wire to each that I can attach a card to, it will allow me to provide that info without detracting from the piece itself. It will be fun creating these new little works of art!

I am grateful for opportunities to connect with other artists.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I have to be the Queen of procrastination. Any excuse will do. The funny thing is that when I get busy writing these blogs, I really enjoy doing them. The problem is making the time to do them. And the excuses! These days it has been that I have so much to catch up on. Well, rather than procrastinate any longer worrying about what I've missed writing about, I thought that I would just jump in on today.

So, what is new and exciting? I just put in my order for some more Bullseye Glass. So many choices, so little $. I can't remember if I wrote about the shock of my first order. I'm used to dealing with clay which is relatively inexpensive. Glass! Oh my God! I ordered 3 sheets of Cathedral glass, 4 bottles of frit and a cutter and it was $200 (and I got a very good price. It should have been twice that much). Lee told me not to think about it as I would drive myself crazy. So I approached the second round with a stouter heart and a limited budget. It does, however, make you think about what you truly want. But the colours! I want them all!

I am thankful for choices and a myriad of colour to choose from.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I love a surprise!

On one of our last walks we came upon some venetian ruins. They consisted of 4 separate buildings overlooking an incredible valley. After chasing out the goats, we went exploring and discovered an amazing place. What it must have looked like in all its splendor! One of the buildings looked like it might have been the church and was immediately declared by me to be the perfect future studio. Oh to win the lottery. What a dream that is!

There is nothing better than coming around a corner and finding a delightful surprise!

Friday, February 12, 2010


One of the things that I was hoping to get out of my trip to Greece, on an artistic level, was inspiration. While I don't think that I was "struck by a thunder bolt", I did find things that I resonated with. The interesting thing is that it solidified/confirmed the direction that I have been taking in my work.

On a walk around Chalki, we came upon St. George Diasoritis Byzantine church. It was spectacular. I loved the texture, colour and the juxtaposition of angles. My only disappointment was that it was locked as it was off season. Apparently the interior is as interesting as the exterior.

This is an image I am going to print up and hang on my wall for inspiration. It would be fun to try to capture its essence in a piece. At this point in time, I have no idea as to what I would create or how I would build it, but I will look at it every day. And perhaps, just perhaps, it will percolate through my subconscious and soon come into being. The world works in mysterious ways...

Here's to finding delightful treats for the soul.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Interesting architecture.

The island of Naxos was invaded by just about everybody at some point or another. The most interesting to me was the Venetians and the contrasting architecture that they left behind. In the main town, Chora, high up on the hill sits a Venetian "kastro", surrounded by traditional Greek homes painted white with blue doors and shutters. The castles resemble fortress like structures with high walls, small windows and are made out of stone. Very different from the light, airy, Grecian homes. I think that it was the colour and texture of these structures that drew me to them. It reminded me of the pit fired work that I have been doing. How do I incorporate what I have seen and experienced into new work? Do I just let it percolate for a while and see what happens? I don't think it is something that you can force. We'll just have to wait and see.

Here's to experiences that enrich your life. Ευθυμίες! (Cheers!)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The colours really are like no where else!

I had heard that about Greece. That the colour there is truly like no where else. The blues are bluer and the greens greener. Well, it is true. We spent most of our holiday hiking on the island of Naxos. in the Cyclades, in the Agean sea. It is primarily agricultural and not yet totally inundated with "tourista". Mind you, we were off season and based in a very small village (of 48) in the middle of the island. The scenery and views were spectacular! We hiked 10-12 kilometers a day, mostly up and down. I wonder how much of this experience will translate into my work?

I am thankful that we were able to afford this trip to Greece.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Like a bad penny, I'm back

It's unbelievable that it's been over two months since I've posted. Much water has passed under the bridge since then. There are many excuses for not posting but the truth is, it is very easy to get out of the habit. Christmas season is always a busy time for crafts people. Then I actually took a couple of weeks off to go to Ontario and Quebec for Christmas to visit family. Lastly, I was off to Greece for my first real holiday in twenty seven years! Never go anywhere and all of a sudden I'm living in airports. And don't get me started on lost luggage!

No more excuses. Back to daily diatribes on who knows what.

I am grateful for family, friends and adventures!