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.

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!

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.

A Nanoose kind of fun!

Art in the Garden this past weekend in Nanoose Bay was amazing.  If felt so good to not only prepare the weeks prior but to set up our tables and arrange our artworks for people to view and talk about with just felt – well natural.  It felt like home.  It is what we do.  What we are meant to do.13619883_10153737900192285_1810350888920723223_n
Vicki’s Driftlines were a success.  This was the second showing for them and the response from the public was so encouraging and rewarding.  She even took it a step further and incorporated sandcasting made by yours truly.

The Jelly fish were a hit.  And the tidal balls as usual.  My favorite though was the sandcasting burl my father put together.   13619997_10153737900517285_522226668037173290_nThank you for all that came to say hello and support me and Mother! Thank you to Leslie for such an awesome and successful venue.  Beautiful scenery and talented artisans that made our weekend a memorable one!