Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cool Down with a Cool Drink

It's been so hot. All I want to do is cool down. Although normally I might enjoy a glass of red wine with dinner this is the time of year to hear ice clinking in your glass. The Greyhound is a simple and refreshing grapefruit cocktail that makes a fabulous summertime treat. Thank you Louise for the locally grown organic grapefruits. I can't imagine you would disapprove of my use of them.
  • 2 oz vodka,  I suggest trying Texas local Enchanted Rock
  • 4-5 oz grapefruit juice, fresh squeezed is preferable
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon or lime wedge for garnish
  • Pour the ingredients into a highball glass with ice cubes.
  • Stir
  • Garnish with a lemon or lime wedge 
  • Sit back, relax and remember to drink responsibly

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Pattern Bar Workshop

This weekend was two days packed full of pattern bars in a workshop I facilitated at Wired Designs Studio. We started Saturday with the traditional Roman pattern bar and then dove into totem pole, bookend and progressive pattens. Here is a little taste of what that looked like
the first firing - Day 1

Being cut on the saw - Day 2

Using the pattern bars we had just sliced and washed we stated work on projects using these fabulous elements as key design components. By the end of day two there was work back in the kilns ready for firing number two.
 Planning the use of the progressive pattern bar shown above right
Examples of student work

Friday, August 26, 2011

Sana, Sana, Colita de Rana

If you work with glass it is inevitable you will get cut. Lord knows I've had my share of scraps. Common sense is the best preventative medicine to keep you clear of anything other then a superficial cut. But even ordinary cuts and scrapes deserve attention. If it happens to you this it what it boils down to:

Stop the bleeding.  No matter how engrossed  you are in your project stop. Apply gentle pressure with a clean cloth or bandage. Most minor cuts stop bleeding on there own with in a few minutes but if it doesn't consider it a sign to seek medical attention. 

Clean the wound. Rinse out the wound with water.  Use a pair of tweezers cleaned with alcohol to remove any offending glass splinters.  Thorough cleaning reduces the risk of infection. After you clean the wound, you may decide to apply a thin layer of an antibiotic cream or ointment to discourage infection. 

Cover the wound. Bandages can help keep the wound clean and keep harmful bacteria out. After the wound has healed enough to make infection unlikely, exposure to the air will speed wound healing. Change the dressing at least daily or whenever it becomes wet or dirty. Signs of infection (i.e. redness, increasing pain, drainage, warmth or swelling) are red flags to seek medical attention.

I'm no doctor. These are the common sense things mom taught use when we scrapped our knees as kids and it still applies. Don't just take my word for it.  If in doubt seek assistance. Keep a first aid kit handy with all the things you may need to treat minor cuts and scrapes like; bandages and butterfly tape, tweezers, antibiotic ointment, finger cots, etc. Any good boy scout will tell you to be prepared.
Sana, sana
Colita de rana
Si no se sanas hoy
Sanaras manana

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Right Under Your Feet

How many people do you think walk down this path and never even notice the color, character and  texture right under there feet? Too busy to notice or maybe they just don't care. We miss out when we lose sight of the details around us. It's just the dirty old street anyway right?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Under the Influence

Influenced by my recent read of a book on type design and a desire to see beauty in this drought this is what I ended up with for my Sweet Shot Tuesday. I'm wondering if I have source material for something here with the combination of metal, texture, and earth tones. Maybe, maybe not...
Picked up An A-Z of Type Designers at a local book store on a whim. Flipping through it reminded me of that old sage advice, "it's not what you say but how you say it". I used to think that just meant word choice. Later I realized tone, pace and inflection carry the message. They are the package which delivers the words you choose. For the written word the type takes on that role. I find that fascinating.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Wherefore "Art" Thou?

Call for Artists
Art281 Juried Art Show & Sale
The San Antonio Glass Art Guild (SAGAG) is putting out a call to artists for the third annual Art281 Art Show & Sale being held Saturday, October 8, from 10 - 6 at My Place Bar & Grille.  Artwork must be handmade, high quality pieces. “We have a number of excellent glass artists who have already juried in, but we would like to expand our reach and showcase more of the many talented  painters, sculptors, potters, photographers, and fiber artists in our region. We encourage artists of all disciplines to apply. In addition, arts organizations are welcome to host informational booths for their groups.
Art281 will be held rain or shine on the grounds of My Place Bar & Grille in Bulverde, Texas. Information and applications are available at

Vitrigraph Twisted Cane

Bucket full of twisted vitrigraph cane
kiln reaching 1786 degrees Fahrenheit
Because Texas isn't hot enough already, might as well crank up that kiln full and start pulling some vitrigraph. Sam and I set up my little Olympic Hot Box kiln  to pull some pretty sweet black, white and coral wig wag (twisted back and forth) cane. Granted sitting on a step ladder is not the most ergonomic choice but it got the job done.  Now what is to be done with this cane? Thought I might use some in a glass weave I've started.
For more information about vitrigraph:
- Consider a skill building workshop at Wired Designs Studio, vitrigraph is  scheduled for October 6th

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Red Hot

Seems like everyone, even the cows, are looking for a cool spot in the shade to bet this summer heat. I can't say that I blame them. I was recently asked why I hadn't produced more new work this month. Before I could think through a proper response I blurted out, "it's hot". Working up the motivation to go out into my unconditioned workspace to load kilns doesn't come easy when they call those level II heat advisories. What new work I have completed recently is most definitely influenced by this "red hot" south Texas summer we are having.

 red HOT - Kiln Carved Bas-Relief available at Artisans of Rocky Hill
Yet another example of the  techniques students will learn in the Kiln Carved Workshop at the Kerr Arts & Cultural Center on October 22, 2011.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Kiln Carving Workshop

Kiln Carved Glass
At the Kerr Art & Cultural Center (KACC)
October 22   10:00 - 4:00

I am very excited to have the opportunity teach a workshop at the KACC. Students will learn to sculpt in glass using time, temperature and gravity as your tools.  Create images and textures in fiber paper used to form the impressions in glass to create your own bas relief sculptures.  This is a wonderful introduction to anyone interested in learning about kiln formed (fused) glass.  All supplies and firing fees are included.  Beginning and experienced fusers are welcome. To sign up contact the KACC at 830-895-2911 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            830-895-2911      end_of_the_skype_highlightin.. .

For more examples of this technique, check out some of my work on display at Artisans at Rocky Hill in Fredericksburg, Texas.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Calligraph Exchange

This evening was the San Antonio Calligraphy Guild's Annual Exchange. Members and local art suppliers come to sell or exchange items of interest to calligraphers, art journalist and bookbinders. I only meant to pop in a few minutes. By the time I left my arms were full with little goodies like nibs, stamps, ink samples and an assortment of straight edge handles all for less then today's lunch. The real treasures were some of the great books I picked up. A used copy of Lettering Arts by Joanne Fink and Judy Kastin is going more for online then I paid for the enter lot. I am particularly excited about the copy of The Mystic Art of Written Forms by Fredrick Neugebauer sitting on the top of the stack above.

Thank you to Asel Art Supply and Herweck's who came with supply's at discounted prices for SACG members. I left with paper, ink and nifty tools. Thank you.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Remembering one Stich at a Time

Felted Crochet Wool Scarf
The other night I decided to organize the plethora of yarn collecting in a closet. As I pulled everything out one lone ball rolled across the room. It was a ball of crayon colored virgin wool I picked up back in 2009 while in Portland for the Bullseye Education Conference BECON on casting. Strolling one morning through a farmers market I found, a small ball of wool from one of SuDan Farm's coopworth sheep named Orkney. It was practically calling me then (buy me, buy me) and now (isn't it time you do something with me?). So I did, both times. With a J hook and just 3.5 oz I quickly crocheted this spiral scarf which I then felted. With each double crochet I was reminded of that trip and now I'll get to wear my memories to keep me warm. Well, maybe not now since it's like 103 degrees outside but soon I hope.
Farmers Market - Portland, Oregon

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Stopping to Blow Bubbles

We spend our days completing tasks at work, managing our businesses, taking care of our family. Sometime we have to take a moment to do something just because  it's fun, like blowing bubbles,  and not because it ticks off some box on a check list. I'm going to do that by taking a few moments to look through my camera's lens at something that is not glass. Making this my first Sweet Shot Tuesday post.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Summer and Fall Fusing Workshops

Saturday was a full day of fun  facilitating a workshop of Essentials Fusing I students  as they created dicroic glass pendents and tack fused works of glass art at Wired Designs Studio. Spending the day with so may eager minds, I thought it would be good to share possible next steps for those of you who have had a taste of kilnfomed glass and want more. Here are a list of workshops I am scheduled to teach at Wired Designs Studio in August,September, October and November.
 Functional Plates, Platters and Bowls 
August 20 & 21
November 26 & 27
Students will begin by designing and creating their own flat glass tiles. In doing so they will learn about volume control,  firing schedules and how to cut glass circles. Students will cold work their tiles using the sandblaster, wet belt sanders. Lapidary grinding wheels and diamond pads. We will address mold selection and preparation in order to slump the finished tiles and beautiful one of a kind function plates, platters and bowls.
Pattern Bars 
August 27-28, 2011 
Learn how to apply this ancient concept to your modern day kiln formed work. We will explore a variety of possibilities to create designs that range from structured  and  geometric to organic and  tribal. You will  learn how to create, cut and lay out patters for use is future fused projects ranging from functional plates  to modern day jewelery.
 The Power of Powders 
September 17-18, 2011 
Learn to create imagery, depth, and drama in your work by incorporating exciting powder techniques. Students will create powder wafers, explore crackled powder techniques, uses positive and negative space to create custom designs and incorporate imagery into their fused glass projects. This specialty class will show you the true power that adding powder can have!
 Glass Casting 
September 24-25, 2011 
October 15-16, 2011 
Sculpt in clay; learn about mold making materials and techniques to create refractory molds; and how to measure, cut and cast glass billet for your specific mold. We will discuss the special considerations that go into a casting firing schedule, including how to heat, cool and anneal thick and uneven thicknesses of glass. Students will sculpt and cast their work in glass.
Liquid Glass 
October 29-30, 2011 
Explore Creating pot melts, Screen melts, high fires boiling and hot coming glass in the kiln. Come prepared to experiment and take home a wide variety of components that can be used in future work. A great way to take your scrape glass and turn it into interesting effects which can be used to create one of the kind windows in your functional and art glass work.
See something that interests you? Contact the ladies over at Wired Designs Studio at  (210) 495-4495 to sign up today. Space is limited.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Black and White

Some people see things as black and white. 
Others believe that truth is found in grays.
For me things are black and white only twisted.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What's growing in the garden?

Nothing these days. If this drought continues any longer I may have to resort to drastic measures just to keep what was the lawn from turning to dust. I bet there is water in there...