Progress on the Triptych

•April 14, 2023 • 3 Comments

I had high hopes that I would be able to take a few weeks off from my day job and concentrate solely on this commission. Alas, that is not what happened. the design process took too long and I didn’t manage my time well, to be frank. My day job was running into some major hurdles and I was in a pattern of start/stop with both projects. apparently, I know longer work well under those conditions. who knew?

Time passed and the design was finalized, glass selected, and I took the patterns to be duplicated. Unfortunately the copies were not a true 100% reproduction and I ended up doing copies by hand. with a 400 pc pattern, it’s tedious. two copies, three patterns. ugh.

but anyway…it’s very exciting to be working on something this large. Three panels, each 2′ x 4′ finished size. The main theme is sunflowers, with a wildflower accent. The client keeps bees, so I’ve worked in a bee and a honeycomb accent in the background. I’ve gotten the middle panel ground and am in the process of foiling. I have piles of this project all over the house =)

Probably, once it is ready for solder, I will take a day off to do that. I’ll need to run up to Delphi for some rebar to put across the back (for stability) and a couple more pieces of framing material. It’s been fantastic to work with all the color… not so much texture, but color. it’ll be up high so texture won’t have as much impact.

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Hello, I’ve missed you =)

•March 10, 2023 • 2 Comments

It’s Friday, March 10th, 2023. I think it’s been close to two full years since I wrote anything here. so much has happened… but lets just jump into the present, shall we?

A few months ago I secured a huge commission. Three panels with a sunflower motif, to go into a second story window in a great room. The design process took about a month, and to be honest, I’m still tweaking things here and there.

I had to tack it up on my bedroom wall, it was so long. this is the first go around with the design. it’s really exciting to be working on something so large. those sunflower petals are going to be so quick to bring, lol. there are plenty of tiny pieces, kind of a dismaying number to be frank, and many pieces that’ll need to be cut on the ring saw.

this is closer to the final pattern. I reworked the wildflowers on the lower left panel so they are mixed together instead of standing for a portrait, and I am very pleased with the result of that redesign. I was going to do them one at a time, beginning in the middle, but it turns out that I really need to cut most of it out at the same time. the sunflowers at least. the main color the clients chose is using up all of the sheets I have: 4 2×2′ and 2 16×20. I really hope do not have to purchase additional glass, the irony might be more than I can handle.

I’ve learned a few things from this commission, regarding bidding. More on that later. time to get going on this snowy day.

Be well, enthusiasts!

Deep dive

•March 12, 2021 • Leave a Comment

Just passed the one month mark, here in Michigan. I spent a bazillion hours on the computer figuring out how to register a business, and apply for my wholesale license, in the state and my county. It’s quite the process. way more involved than getting a new license and registering my vehicle. It has to be done though, to be legit.

The studio is set up, mostly, and I sat down yesterday and began drawings for a couple of commissions, and one that will be for sale. god, it felt good to drop into the zone. I’ve had such a hard time finding the zone through the moving process. I was a little worried that it had taken a permanent vacay, but nope, it’s still there. it was only dormant, like the landscape here.

the space here is 9x 12 maybe, so a bit more than half the size of my previous workspace. fortunately, all the parts seem to be fitting into a space as though preordained. Even Mookie approves of the new digs. I am hoping to purchase an additional grinder, a disc grinder, which will allow me to easily grind straight edges without my habitual bit bite here and there. that will possibly be delayed as the suppliers are reluctant to grant me the account until I have my resale cert in hand. never hurts to ask though, right?

there are a few suppliers to choose from, relatively nearby. Delphi is in Lansing, about 40 miles away. Ed Hoy International is in Chicago, 3 hours away, and another, called Franklin Art Glass, which is in Cincinnati Ohio, at 3.5 hours away. I’ll have to look into the differences between them all. Forty minutes vs 3 hours isn’t a difficult choice, especially with my gas guzzler of a vehicle.

I’m hoping to appear here more regularly as I put more of my time into glass, the making of it and the marketing of it. thanks for coming along for the ride.

didn’t I just do this?

•January 3, 2021 • Leave a Comment

beginning the process of packing up the studio for the move. I have been dreading this. just dreading it. I feel like I just moved into it. which is true now that I think about it. I began building it the year of the fire, 2018. I had it’s blessing ceremony and open house in July 2019. so yeah, I did just do all of this.

I’m glad I built it, because I have wanted too for a decade or so. I doubt I will ever do so again though, lol. I certainly won’t construct it out of old windows. modern windows with double glazing and thermal shielding are great modern improvements. the studio is fun and lovely to look at, but unusable except before 10 am for the entirety of the summer. in winter it is super cold. I can run a heater but the windows are so leaky you can’t really get it to stay warm.

spring and fall, though…it’s a delight to sit out and work. to watch the sunlight swing around the globe, illuminating different parts of the studio. To listen to the birds squabble over food or territory, or just sing out their joy. to sit inside, dry and comfy, while rain beats down…those times have been great. I guess I could see myself building another, but with modern materials.

dust is also an issue, as is ash. it’s odd to consider that ash is problem, but it sure as hell is. it didn’t matter so much 2018 when there were no contents. 2019 was a relatively ash-free year. but this year. this year has been bad. everything out there is covered in a fine layer of ash. or not so fine, in some places. I brought a bunch of the containers and storage bins in and piled them up in the kitchen, to be cleaned and sorted. the next day, after waking, I head to the kitchen to make coffee and it smelled like and old campfire in there. not cool.

I went out yesterday to cut down all my 2ft x 4ft pieces of spectrum, to more manageable sizes. I ended up cleaning about half of the sheets before cutting them. that’ll be a serious chore with the smaller pieces. I think maybe I’ll roll out the compressor and use the air hose to take off most of the grit before I pack. I am not washing every piece. aint nobody got time for dat…four weeks till moving day. good lord. it’s really happening.

My little helper

•December 4, 2020 • Leave a Comment

My kitty Mookie likes to hang out in the studio. She has a bed on the table, but often she likes to just come lay down in the middle of things (I allow it as long as I’m not soldering or applying flux).

ignoring her fancy bed in favor of the hard tabletop

sometimes she needs love, others she just wants to hang out and be a cat. There’s a bad feeder in the tree outside, so she’ll lay there and watch them, then explode into furry action when she thinks she has a chance of catching one.

I did a several smalls over the summer: gifts for people who had lost pets, a couple of pieces I made for myself, a bunch of animal paws for people who were shopping for Christmas early. sometimes it’s nice to do a little quickie piece after a big complex piece, like the mermaid in the pic.

Memorial hearts
Crystals for a witchy friend
an order of paws for christmas

It’s nice having company out there. Cats are the perfect companion, they never complain about the mess.

Lisa’s Oak

•December 2, 2020 • Leave a Comment

I had a request for this commission possibly as long as a year ago, in May. I had a lot of trouble finding the motivation to draw. I finally stopped at an oak I pass daily, and took some photos. the original piece was supposed to be smaller but I talked her into going a bit bigger so I could get the detail.

everything was blooming here, so I chose to have the hillsides full of color. that was fun and I think it really contributed to the final look, giving the whole panel some depth.

this one turned out to be one I would have liked to keep =) about 18×22 when finished.

such a surrealistic year

•December 2, 2020 • Leave a Comment

Along with possibly millions of other people around the world, I feel like I am living in a parallel universe. My day job is as a small business owner, I am a self-employed esthetician, with a small but thriving practice in a small rural town in far Northern California. When the shutdown first happened, for the first 6 weeks, it was panic/chaos mode. trying to navigate the EDD, the SBA funding info (which was changing every 3 days) and basically just trying to not completely freak out. By May I had those things lined up and was able to fully exhale without anxiety for the first time in almost 2 months.

May was a great month for me. I spent hours and hours in the studio, sometimes 12 hours a day. I was creating like crazy. I was selling little bits and bobs and had a couple commissions. Then June arrived, along with all the talk about going back to work, and the anxiety set in again. I went back to work June 30th, working part time up as the county went thru the shutdown/reopen/shutdown cycle until I called it quits Sept 1st. by then, clients were cancelling because of exposure to someone who tested positive and it was just too much, dealing with all the uncertainty.

I thought, ok, great, I’ll work glass…but yo! the creative juices have been non-existent. to be fair, we had a late start to fire season and then it all caught on fire literally the same day (statewide dry lightning strikes. 11,000 of them. really) resulting in several groups of people whom I love, having to evacuate. and the smoke. ugh. this is my front yard one day as smoke from a fire 30 miles south moved north. this was 9am, and by 11 it was dark like 7pm at night.

Sept 9, 2020 Tehama co fire smoke cloud approaching

I’m also selling my home and preparing for a huge move. Doing improvements like painting and flooring and installing deck railing. My creativity has taken a backseat. I’ll feel the need to create and I’ll head out to the studio and then, like a rapidly leaking tire phsssssssssssssst my oomph leaks away.

I had all that time to post here and write, but I didn’t. I’m going to make an effort over these next few weeks to get some fresh content up on this website. Thanks for checkin in, thanks for sticking with it.

the never-ending organization

•May 27, 2020 • Leave a Comment

I’ve taken a break from glass for a couple days. Had some other things I wanted/needed to accomplish.

I love the studio, but there are some drawbacks. Moisture is an issue. I’d always had my tools on a spinner rack, exposed to the air. since they’ve been in the studio, they’ve rusted quite a bit. Patterns and my drawing paper absorb moisture and curl or get pebbly. its not tan issue when it’s dry, of course, but it absolutely is when it is rainy. and it has been quite rainy over the past two weeks. then there’s the issue of the leaky-ass windows themselves. I really need to seal them all with a bead of silicone on the outside. that’s going to be a looooooong, ongoing chore.

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Then there’s the dust. The studio isn’t air tight, by any means. it’s also fairly windy where I live, and now is the especially windy season. whenever it’s time for the cottonwoods to release their fluff, it’s the windy season. mind you, we have like 6 windy seasons. so dust and bits of leaf and bugs and stuff find there way into the studio. every two or three weeks, it needs a good dusting and vacuuming. honestly it’s a pain in the keister.

lastly, it’s the never ending organization. trying to find a good living spot for all the stuff. all the miscellaneous stuff that I’ve collected in connection with this hobby, over the past 15 years. lots of random glass, and beads, and tools, and bits of brass adornments. lead trumpets, and bevels, and jewels. chain, cleaning cloths, assorted chemicals. it’s a fair amount of stuff. slowly, I’m getting it sorted and put away.

this weekend will be split between glass and yard. it’s my birthday weekend, and since shelter in place is still in effect, I’m going to hunker down and indulge. have safe weekend, people, and happy glassing.

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damnit

•May 27, 2020 • Leave a Comment

I keep accidentally writing and posting glass stuff in my personal blog. sigh.

glass glass glass. all day. everyday.

•May 14, 2020 • 1 Comment

Five weeks have passed since my last post. I was going to try and post daily, but… So it’s 5 weeks on, cruising up to 60 days of shutdown, and I have finally found my groove.

I’ve sold all the completed pieces that I had to sell. I’ve completed 3 small commissions. no, wait…4. I did two small pet memorial pieces and mailed them off. I’m currently working on one commission, and am waiting for a deposit on another. I’ve also got two ‘thank you’ pieces that I’m working on, for people who have been really awesome humans.

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It’s been great. I’m not going to lie. once the financial aspect was resolved, it’s been super. I’ve been drawing patterns…(oh wait, 5 commissions. the tree.) which normally I’m scared to do. I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone. in regards to design, with the next commission piece. it contains a dandelion gone to seed, which you really cannot do in glass, so I’m going to do a wire overlay. the piece I’m working on now contains pine needles, so I’ve got to figure out how to represent that. it’s great stuff.

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I’ve been working in organizing the studio, as well. the scrap glass issue needed to be handled. the storage for them was not a smart use of space. I cut off a rolling wire rack to fit under one of the glass storage shelves, and was able to get them all on that. so it rolls under and tucks away. I rehung the doors on the studio so they are hung barn door style now. the weight of the glass, combined with the age of the wood, was too much for a side hang, and they were coming apart at the seams. hanging them along their long board seems to have fixed the issue. I’ve hung up the bug screen now too, and that is helping. next week, I’ll move the other set of doors to the inside track, and hang those screens as well. the bugs at night are ridiculous. I had some sort of freakish termite looking thing whacking me in the face over and over the other night. I don’t like to kill them cuz they are only doing their thing. I finally went inside.