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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
I think I was pretty broken and lost -actually I know I was when I discovered glass. I have my mom to thank for that (the discovery of glass, not my broken heart). She has always been someone who has been curious of making and I guess I have a bit of that in myself. I know I am afraid of the new, of change. I think it’s just part of my controlling nature.
I think that loss and death is part of life, no one seems to get through life avoiding it. It hurts. And it changes you. I find comfort in the natural, in the universe, faith, essential oils, and studying the 7 Chakras and its healing powers.
My mom was the one that brought up the idea of the Chakra colors in the hotshop – talk about bringing something so beautiful and relaxing into my happy place. Well it wasn’t! Let me tell you – 7 colors were not fun to blow out at once – I felt like a newbie for the entire blow slot on Sunday! It was awful.
But! After a good sleep I tried again. The results were amazing. I am so in love with the bright vibrant colors – they just say love and positive energy!