Cyber Wha?

Good Morning Monday!

Can I just say yesterday was such a great day!  Not only because I got to blow some glass and stay warm in this wintery weather but I met some pretty cool people.  It’s orb season so I am getting the opportunity to meet with new people, although their circumstances aren’t the best it’s been really nice hearing their stories, experiences, and sharing some laughs and even some tears.  Everyone that I have invited into my shop has been so interested in my love of hot glass – the questions, the conversations just warms my heart.
And what was pretty special too was seeing the familiar faces, laughing and reminiscing over ugly pieces I have made – but at the time I thought they were master pieces.  Thank you for your never-ending support! What will I think of my Tumblers I did yesterday 10 yrs from now?!?!
And while I am on this gratitude trip – Facebook.  My goodness is that an amazing tool.  Everyday I continue to learn about social media and the power it holds – the people it introduces me too.  It is just really cool and TLG is pretty thankful! My goal right now is to get the TideLine Fan Page up to 5000 likes by the New Year.  Can we do it? There is a free draw on there for a Tidal Ball thats racking up the “Likes” right now – so I don’t think its that far of a stretch! 

How can you help? Invite your friends to like, comment on a post so your newsfeed shows it, and if you have experienced Vicki & I’s services/art then write us up a friendly review! We really do appreciate you all! ❤️

Handmade Rule

I love buying handmade – I love the atmosphere of markets and shows.  The talent always amazes me, and speaking with the maker is always rewarding.  Because a maker is passionate about their product whereas at the big box store the “kid” at their evenings & weekends job doesn’t care about the product on the shelf… and why should they? Thats the CEO’s job right?
I may have already told you but my family has implemented the “You have to make your gifts” umm ok really what am I going to make? And you’re probably thinking well duh you’re a glassblower blow the gal a ball and she will be happy.  Yea, no.  My mom takes what she wants usually when I am not looking. And my dad loves my tumblers – he takes the big ones that hold the most chocolate milk so thats out too.  And my brothers – they smile that polite smile they have to when my parents are looking and say thanks when I give them a paper weight or something.  So what will I make them? I am open to your suggestions and I have no integrity when it comes to this sort of thing so Ill probably cheat a little bit!

TLG Studio is open daily 10-4 for your shopping needs and we are pretty flexible if there is a time you’d rather – its the “be simple” business mantra… why make things difficult? Just give us a heads up.
And open 24 hrs a day is our Etsy shop!

We also have a good representation at the Raven Song Gallery AND at the French Creek Collective on Shoppers Row downtown CAMPBELL RIVER as well as the Artisans Studio on Commercial St. in Nanaimo.  

Monday Funday!

A few things:

  1. The sun is shining and that always makes for a great start to a day, a Monday, and a week! So yay for warm sun!
  2. The Studio is open today 10am – 4pm.  We’d love to see you.  Lots to choose from for Christmas tree ornaments like Angels, Paws, Trees… And some pretty unique jewellery pieces and glass pieces that make for cool gifts!
  3. My family has come up with a “Handmade Gifts” this year… meaning we have to make our gifts to each other *groan*.  What will I make…. needless to say Emma is being turned on today and the glass furnace should be up to temperature by Friday.
  4. Some available appointments for Memorial Orbs… and by some I mean limited this is a unplanned & short notice for all parties.  I do apologize but I am excited to get back into the heat.
  5. Custom Jelly Fish – you wanted Purple? Email me.  You wanted Blue with red… email me. You wanted Yellow with purple (ew but ok) email me.  I will do some custom but this will require a deposit.
  6. The Johnson pack: Lily 6 yrs old, Gary 1.5 yrs old, Pearl & Karen 4 months

    Vicki added to the pack yesterday so today I will be spending my beautiful Monday getting my fill of sweet puppy kisses from Karen & Pearl.

Bonfire heart

That’s a song, Bonfire Heart by James Blunt.  If you know me, you know my story.  You know that the hot shop is my true love, where I feel myself, where I feel whole, where I belong.  We fight – me and the hot shop, sometimes we get violent and I get burned.  But its where I always return to.  It’s where at my darkest moments it makes me focus, express myself and sweat it out until the point of exhaustion which helps me to have a good sleep.  It works my body so hard during the blow slot that I don’t feel how sore my muscles are until the next day or two.

I quit my job a week ago.  I no longer felt safe, I no longer felt like I belonged, and it served me no purpose.  With that comes a lot of healing to be done, some thinking, stressing, planning, and more stressing.  What am I doing with my life? I think my blow slot yesterday demonstrated just that what exactly are you doing Toni Johnson…. what?! Well, I don’t know.  But lets try this and find out – what’s the worst that could happen when you experiment in the hot shop? Some flop and some turn into Jelly fish or sea urchins… some after numerous flops turn into sea stars.

I talked to my older brother the other day, sometimes I FaceTime him and drink my morning coffee and get my dose of sibling abuse or rather honesty.  He said why the ocean Tone? Not everyone likes the ocean.  Umm pardon?! WHO?! Give me names? But I don’t just love the ocean… although it is the most beautiful anyway I love fall.  I love the colours of fall.  I love the fresh start.  I love sweaters too.

I love when you walk in the trails and the branches and sticks intertwine and natures textures are just gorgeous.  I love that no matter how hard I try I can never get the perfect impression… I love how big the trees are.  And the smell.

Yesterday I made my mom and baby brother help me (they hate the heat).  I said I am playing with fire and I need someone to stand by with this bucket of water… they helped.  The hot shop smelled like a bonfire.  I smelled like a bonfire.  You couldn’t see through the smoke and one point, and as I was blowing the glass my eyes started to water.  It was perfect.  The pieces may or may not be but the day was perfect.

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.

Happy 2019!

TLG just celebrated its 14th year! What an adventure, the knowledge we have gained, and still the knowledge we seek is awesome.  Glass is where its at there is no two ways about it! 
To celebrate Vicki and I spent the day together in the hot shop casting.  We got out the ol’ sand box, got our hands dirty and we played.  We laughed, bounced ideas off each other and had a fantastic day creating.
We have some applications out for the summer shows – we are crossing our fingers and soon as we hear back we will let you know because! We have some new ideas and you’re going to want to see them!