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!

 

The last of the clear

I dunno if you’re aware out there but there is a bit of glass crisis… Spectrum 96 cullet is a thing of the past.  What is Spectrum 96 cullet you ask? Spectrum is a glass brand, 96 is the coefficient rate of expansion… its the science behind melting glass and cullet is the glass chunks you melt down in the furnace to blow with.  I have a full furnace of clear glass melting right now – like I said the last of the clear.

Friday, Saturday, & Sunday I will be using the rest of the precious clear glass and then charging the furnace with the recycled ugly glass until I can solve my glass dilemma.

If you have been in contact about memorial orbs this weekend is the weekend to make it happen – after I use the recycled glass, the glass will no longer be clear it will be a transparent steel blue in color and not idea for memorial pieces.

I plan on making urchins, sea stars and maybe a few other things… I am looking forward to the this weekend, the warmth, and just being home.  Stay tuned for pictures!

June One

Seconds ready to go back into the furnace and be melted down!

I have had such a great week in the hotshop! The weather has been amazing, the glass has been cooperative, and my mind is relaxed.  What else can a girl ask for!
Glass is becoming more and more harder to find.  The glass I use is no longer made – and most would think its just glass! I have some old wine bottles you can have.  Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that.  So – instead of panicking (again) I have done what I should have been doing all along was sort my clear, and recharge as I go using half new glass half upcycled.  But anyone who knows me knows I am a bit of princess.  Regardless, I spent a day sandblasting the seconds and charged the furnace with the used glass.  Not only did it clean up my shop a bit, it freed up my favorite bowl and has allowed me a few more days of blowing with nice, clean clear glass!

 

 

 

My week has been spent making Tidal Balls, some pieces for some Garden Art, and well terrariums.  I want to create functional.  I wanted something new.  Sometimes – a nerd moment I will walk the garden centers, and look at all the beautiful plants.  I even bought a few for my balcony when I saw the air plants.  Then I found myself on Pinterest.  Anyway – I tried it.  I like it.  I call it the TidalPus.  You know like the Octopus but Tidal for Tideline… I’ll stop.  These plants are misted a couple of times a week – no dirt, no fuss.  My kind of plant!
Want to see them in person? Vicki and I will be at the Nanoose Bay Art in the Garden Show June 23 & 24!

 

 

Colored Memorials.  I did the photo in B&W to respect the family. 

What else have I been up to? Memorials.  I have met some beautiful people that have shared their stories of their loved ones with me.  I feel grateful I can create these treasures for people and maybe help a bit with the healing of their loss.
This week I did some with color, and some without.  All of them turn out beautiful.

Clear mind and round balls!

My faithful girl Lily watching me… hoping I’d leave my happy place and join her in the backyard in her happy place… with the frisbee.

Some people run, walk, swim, and even knit or read to clear their mind and get into their zen space.  I try to meditate and relax, even write gratitude lists just to get close to my zen space.  Lately nothing has worked.  I never thought I was a person that had anxiety but I could feel how tense and worried I was all the time- maybe it’s been the broken heart I have been nursing, the loss of my dog, stress of work, or maybe the combination.  But that heaviness I feel every day is exhausting.
I found my zen two days ago while standing in front of the glory hole, focusing only on turning my pipe.  My only job in the hotshop is to pay attention to the molten glass and keeping it on center.  I am forced to focus on my body, the movements, the rhythm, relaxing my jacks, and controlling my breath.  I found my zen two days in a row – my essential oils, fancy teas, and crystals couldn’t get me there but the company of Emma and my favorite pipe did.  I have logged 12 hours this week in the hotshop so far – and totally worth it. What have I made? Tidal balls.  I needed to.  I craved the simpleness, the success, and the repetitiveness of making them.  The focus and control I was forced to maintain when the soft color mixed with the hard color…
I look forward to another day in the hotshop where I can lose my thoughts, listen to music, and literally feel warm all day!

More about Sea Stars

I can’t stop making them! I have made purple ones, blue ones, green ones, even black! I can not stop! I have added some hangers to them so that they can be hung on the wall – I have adopted a few of them for my own wall… I might need a couple more!

 

Weekend Update

Sea stars – I have become obsessed with them! I have spent days practicing the Sea Stars and I think I may have figured them out while experimenting with different color combinations… I will post pictures soon.  14095831_10157275515745335_4090003320257262911_n

 

 

The glass world can get lonely at times – and when someone shows an interest in this hot sport you tend to get a little excited! Yesterday I invited a young guy into the studio who expressed some interest in the molten material.  He reminded me of my first days in the shop – when all you would hear is “turn, keep turning, heat it up, get it hotter, turn, its too cold”.   He reminded me of the love you must have, and the curiosity that forces you to endure the difficult material.  For a first timer his paper weights turned out pretty awesome!

 

 

“Glassblowing is an animal unto itself. It requires skill, knowledge, physical strength and respect.” – William Morris