Holy Tumblers Batman!

What a great time I have been having in the hot shop these past couple of months – with the upcoming garden shows I am doing I feel a little pressure now to complete some Tidal Balls and Sea Stars…. BUT! I made tumblers.
I love the thought of functional vs. things.  What is the purpose of a crystal glass that sits in the cabinet and collects dust? Please promise me, if you fall in love with one of my cups that you use it! Use it for your chocolate milk, juice, soda water… wine! Use it.  That is why I made it.  Maybe I’ll interview potential buyers and ask “and what is your intention with this handmade cup?”

I attended a Rock & Gem Show in Port Alberni a while ago and purchased some beautiful crystals – I wish glass was compatible with natural stones but it isn’t.  But I couldn’t get it out of my head, glass and crystals – the healings, the raw beauty.  So I experimented – yes I did.  I took time to relearn, learn, and let go and try something new.  And as most experiments go the first few tries are ugly but you see the idea, the potential and you keep at it.  For the first time in a very long time I got out my sketch book and I started scribbling ideas. Functional/healing – crystals. Something was there.  I used clear glass to really feature the crystal, the crystal of choice of course is amethyst, one of my favourites.  My thought is the person drawn to the cup is looking for the energy from the stone, whichever you’re attracted to whether it be amethyst, clear quartz, rose quartz, etc. you would get what you needed when you drink from the glass, and when your thumb makes connection with the stone.  Perhaps thats function on a whole new level?

I didn’t stop there – I have been playing with the chakra colours for a little over a year now and I thought how can I incorporate that into my functional tumblers – well.  I made murrini– its layers of colour pulled to create repeating patterns in glass.  Some glass blowers are pretty serious about their murrini and cane pulling but I am a little more laxadaisy (made up word?) and enough the organic look of glass vs. the perfect and disciplined.  Regardless, I made Chakra coloured murrini and had been experimenting with that and decided to start there – chakra murrini tumblers.  And maybe a crystal, a rose quartz crystal.  The color blew out and at first I was disappointed but now I love how the colors blend like they are painted with a brush.  They are soft and each are different.  These might be my favourites if I had to choose.

Continuing with the chakra colours I thought maybe the murrini isn’t saying what I am trying to show – so I poured the frit (glass colour) on my table in a line and rolled my pipe on top to pick up every colour of the chakra and continue that way.  Love.  Needless to say they turned out beautiful and am excited to make more.  

 

 

 

 

 

These guys will be on display among other new pieces yours truly and Vicki have come up with at our up coming show – where you ask? Why Kitty Coleman Woodland Gardens Art & Bloom Festival of course! May 18, 19, & 20.  Saturday & Sunday 10am – 5pm and Monday 10am – 4pm.  

TLG’s got the Blues

Not the sad blues! I charged the furnace with every piece of glass I could find that didn’t work out or scraps from the pipes of any colour including white, black, green, pink… any colour I have ever worked with in the hot shop I saved in buckets just for this week.

To charge the furnace you have to heat the glass up to 530 degrees to keep it from blowing up in the furnace and damaging the elements. This is all the recycled glass from the buckets – its an all day event.

I ended up with 8 big buckets of glass that really should have gone into the garbage but to glass blowers – glass is precious.  It is expensive and is coveted.  As a result all the glass in the furnace is now blue.  A beautiful transparent blue that makes for great castings.

If given the choice I would rather sand cast over blowing any day.  Don’t get me wrong I don’t mind making balls and jelly fish but the casting – there is no comparison really.
Barnacles and an oyster shell from the first day of casting – beautiful blue right?!

Because the castings are so thick it takes longer to come down in temperature – the wait is approximately 2 days.  But oh so worth it!
Photo credits and video credits go to by brother Dakota… my family, my assistant, my rock.

Red Roses

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. ~ William Arthur Ward

Today was a great day, weather wise it was perfect, breakfast was delicious, I saw my family, and I got to blow glass.  I was so grateful to my friend Bob McLeod for reaching out to me a few weeks ago when my Emma’s element broke and offered me access to his studio.  What I didn’t expect was to meet another glass blower, Suzi! It’s been a long time, like ten years since I got to assist someone in the hotshop, run ideas by another like minded person – it was just a great day!
I worked on some special pieces today, Christmas gifts to others.  Tonight, reflecting on my day, and the loss that has surrounded my friends I just need everyone in my life to know they are important to me.  That I do love you.

The Sea Star is said to be sensory creatures, nerves that run from their center to the tip of their limbs. It facilitates feelings such as strong, patient, magical, renewing, healing, sensitive, perception to name a few.

This past year with TideLine has been another successful year and your continued love and support is appreciated.  We, Vicki and myself just feel so blessed and look forward to another year creating with glass.  So Thank you! Happy Holidays, kiss your loved ones, and Merry Christmas!

Chamomile Tea and bamboo leggings

Casted glass over a scallop shell for a beach memory piece

I was thinking about my life in general – I seem to be going through a transition, a cross roads if you will with my personal life, career, and school and was looking forward to this vacation time to clear my head.  Sweat it out was my attitude.  Answers come to me when I am in the hotshop, the heat, the music, the noise of the tools and the fan – some people jog – I blow.  I felt I needed this time and was looking forward to it.
Sunday I found the glass difficult to work with only because I have been charging the furnace with recycled glass making it blue and chordy which is not easy to work with.  I solved the issue by just shutting the glory hole off and casting for the afternoon – and what a nice time that was.  I cannot wait to complete the beach memory pieces – I actually planned another day to cast later on this week.  Emmma had other plans.
Yesterday I had a wonderful time in the hotshop, I had charged the furnace and blowing was a breeze.  I broke out some new color and did my thing.  Tried a few new ideas, sang to my latest playlist and turned my mind off to everything I couldn’t control.  And then – my hair caught fire when a “chunk” of glass hit the side of my head, exploded and stuck to my hair.  Thank God for safety glasses.  The smell reminded me of my science class with Mr. Check… but I still don’t know what the experiment was for! Regardless – it’s just hair and it was time for a change anyway and the burns down my shirt will heal with a little lavender oil.  I still classified my blow slot as a productive and therapeutic session!
Today I turned on everything and had a cup of coffee with my mom while I waited for things to heat up, we were talking about life and I think at that moment the universe must have finally been listening to me because with attitude I said “I don’t care, I don’t even like glass”… I lied universe! I lied!  Of course I like glass – hell I love glass.  It’s just funny how lately my words are taken so literal and leaves me disappointed, hurt and let down.  When I went out to the hotshop, I turned on the tunes to my latest anthem Committed by Ivory Layne, put on my ratty gross kevlar sleeve I’ve had since college, prepped my new blue lagoon color (my fav) and pulled out my favorite hot pipe from the pipe warmer.  I was ready to kick ass, art it up, and feel normal for a few hours.  When I tried the furnace door, it wouldn’t budge – my heart sank and I knew instantly, the tears welled, and suddenly my sucky life just got worse – Emma’s temp was down to 1730 degrees fahrenheit.  The glass was too cold.  I forced the door open to discover her bottom element broken.  There was nothing I could do but cry and well ignore the boot print on the front of Emma.
So now what? I can’t jog I have asthma (I don’t).
Is the universe out to get me? OR worse ignore me? Did the universe block me or ghost me? I am a logical and reasonable thinker, but one has to wonder after a while.
I’ll just sit here with my chamomile tea and come up with another plan.  We will work through this and past this – as mad and heartbroken as I am at Emma I still love her.

‘Tis the Season

I use to love this time of year – and I still do to some degree.  Now there are no babies, my niece and nephew are overseas, and Dakota reminds me constantly that he is an adult now.  I find this time of year hard, a reminder of my Nanny – I still have all her wrapping paper she insisted on storing.  Kinda makes me laugh because I haven’t had to buy any in years now so either I suck at gift giving, she gave a lot, or she was preparing never to run out of any wrapping paper for any occasion.  It’s a reminder of what should have been, what was, and just a reminder to be honest – hug your loved ones and be grateful.
I truly believe glass is my therapy.  I don’t know where I would have ended up if glass didn’t find me – and right now I really wish Emma was hot.  I try not to focus on loss – I really do.  My gratitude journal is becoming less and less, all my urchins are completed, my Jelly fish are made up, my closet is organized, and I even tried dating… I might have to take up exercising?!
What am I grateful for? You.  Everyone who has played a part in my life, glass career or not.  This year – the glass was amazing.  Vicki and I had so much fun getting ready for the garden shows: Kitty Coleman x Two, Nanoose Bay as well as the Filberg one last month.  We have met so many awesome people who have supported us since the beginning and that is a pretty good feeling.  So thank you!
And I am grateful for my parents that always ensure my crazy glass obsession happens – housing the hotshop and putting up with the “ridiculous” heat, turning off any electronics while Emma is running so we don’t lose power… finishing the pieces like gardens stakes, fixtures, and paying the gas bill.  I don’t know why they do so much but I do feel pretty blessed.

 

Loop this

What a great past few weeks in the hotshop! I made a lot of tidal balls… if you’re not close to Campbell River I did bring down a fresh batch to the Salish Sea Market in Bowser.  They are on display there with so many other talented artists! Great handmade LOCAL! gift ideas there! Stay tuned for more venues!
We will be attending Christmas at the Lodge & Holiday Market November 25 & 26 10am – 4pm at the Filberg Lodge in Comox! We will be sure to bring our new sparkly candle holders (or what is left of them), Driftlines, Christmas spiders, Tidal Balls, and sea stars to name a few.  So save the date!
What’s new you ask!? Just a new spin idea on an oldie… rhinestone urchins? I work in retail so I see the trends before the hit the salesfloor – I also like to design so I research trends, ideas, etc.  I’ll even go outside in the nature and study things like the beach – ask questions and try and answer what makes this piece of kelp beautiful.  It’s a thing I don’t do often enough lately but I do it to inspire me.  Anyway – sparkles are in.  Jewels are in.  So I tried it.  I like it.  I’ve only made a few – and will put them on display at the Filberg and see what the people say.
Anyway stay warm! I am spending the day in the Hotshop today and then turning Emma off for the rest of the year – bitter sweet.

Lucille Ball

My Dad always says being married to Vicki is like being married to Lucille Ball… because you never know what she’s going to get up to and into.  If you know Vicki – she is always trying something new, creating the trend, and coming up with something you’d never think of on your own.
Her last creation lives up to her reputation – candle holders… she has spent months mastering the technique, fine tuning it, experimenting, (in my side of the shop too) only to come up with these beauties.