Wednesday, April 15, 2015

New experiments

Now that the studio remodel is done and all the new equipment is up and running, I can start to follow up on experiments I began at the residency in New Mexico last fall. Here are some results!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

back in business

The kiln is "on" and after a long wait, the newly expanded workshop is open for business. Here is one of my pieces as it catches the light and mingles with its neighbors.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


We are about a week away from having a fully operational glass studio, so I am playing around with images of my glass to whet my appetite.

The angular piece was made at Pilchuck a year and a half ago, and it sits upon a part of an iceberg piece I made for the "Greenland Diary" show. There's a lot of ice-work yearning to be set free in the glass out there, and I intend to do my best to allow it to bust out and express itself with aplomb.

Meanwhile, I am exploring some texture studies I did at Pilchuck
--all experiments in low firing temps to maintain that wonderful grainy look.

Monday, February 2, 2015

what to do when your workshop is down...

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, so by my calculations I have almost three months of fondness coming from readers of this blog.

My hiatus from glass has been caused by the construction of an expanded workshop. I became tool-centric this past year and absolutely needed to add a sandblaster and a wet angle grinder to my bag of tricks. Yippee, we are almost there -- just awaiting arrival of the monster air compressor that will make those tools operate with the efficiency of the Pilchuck coldworking room.

Meanwhile, I tried my hand at painting with smoke, inspired by the strange and compelling geological formations at Plaza Blanca, New Mexico. Here is my initial attempt:

I have in mind some application to glassworks, but that process is still percolating,

Meanwhile, to whet my art-appetite, my husband and I undertook to redesign our front yard. Nasty raccoons made a meal of the last of the goldfish in our pond, and faced with the prospect of providing fodder for the local foragers or just getting rid of the pond, the latter seemed the logical option.

The drought made that decision easy. The pond and waterfall consumed water, a forbidden enterprise in these parts. So, here is the new space. I will be making glass to suspend from the black frames (design yet undecided). Cables can be used to stablize the glass. Who knows whether the Santa Ana winds will destabilize the cable system...

We had a grand time designing and building this. The stone in front has a recirculating pump (read:water saver). Plants are all succulents.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

always, for Veteran's Day, Daddy

                                                                 Arlington National Cemetery

Sunday, November 2, 2014

the artists' residency

                                                            Plaza Blanca, New Mexico
A huge gap in postings, I know.

In April, I received an email that would bring me bountiful gifts and change me in myriad good ways. It was from two glass artists, Steve Klein and Richard Parrish, inviting me to apply for an artists' residency.

I had taken lots of glass classes, but had never had a residency, and certainly had never been invited to apply for anything like that. I knew the work of both Steve and Richard, and had actually attended a show they had in Los Angeles a few years ago. Therefore... I seriously wondered if this was a spam email, because it certainly couldn't have been addressed to me personally.

Well, long story short, it was - one of the most astounding things that has even happened to me. Suffice it to say that I accepted the invitation to apply, applied, and was taken into the fold with 11 other artists by these two art-souls who would guide us through what would be one of the most incredible and indescribable experiences of our collective lives.

                                                painting with watercolor (a first for me) at Plaza Blanca

                                                              my stab-at-watercolor in situ (see above, I don't do watercolor)

The residency had stated goals, articulated by the organizers, aka Steve and Richard:

We will spend our first six nights in residence at Ghost Ranch near Abiquiu and finish the residency staying in Santa Fe.  The time at Ghost Ranch will be spent exploring the magnificent and dramatic area in and around Abiquiu, Santa Fe and Taos, photographing, drawing, and in group discussions, focusing on the experience of this particular place. We’ll explore and appreciate the built environment as well as the natural environment. The intent is to gather knowledge, understanding and ideas that will inform kiln glass work.  The kiln glass work will begin in the facilities at the Bullseye Resource Center in Santa Fe.

The intent is not to make finished work but to explore ideas through drawing, model making, sampling, testing, and critique.  The residency will include daily meetings to assess, share, review, and comment on all of the projects as a group.  We believe that through an intense and personally directed work schedule in the beautiful, rugged and inspiring environment of the high desert of New Mexico, along with individual and group critiques, all participants can grow as artists and add thought and maturity to their work.

The residency program is not a traditional workshop or class. It is an opportunity for immersion into one's own work. The focus of the residency is idea driven work, not technique driven work. In this sense, no particular technique is taught. Conversely, all members of the group are quite knowledgeable about kiln glass and support each other's quest for new ways of thinking and making. All participants actively contribute to the group while working on self directed projects.

We are inviting experienced artists who are interested in this topic to participate.  

                                                                                      a study in grays
 I am a pretty introverted sort (unless I am delivering a classroom lecture), so this would be a stretch for me. To top that off, I was going to have to room with someone I had never met before. Zounds. A big positive was that Bullseye Glass Co. was partially underwriting the residency, and the kid-in-candy-store image of having all that glass to play with was simply irresistible... be continued...

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Ebony, the blues, and glass art

Ebony Blaze, a fabulous blues singer, is giving a concert this Thursday (the 25th) at Studio Channel Islands Art Center.

She asked me to make some new works (in blue[s], of course) for the reception that will be held that night at the art center.

The first piece (first two photos) is Ebony Blue Crescendo, inspired by the power of Ebony's voice and her ability to convey at once strength and vulnerability.

The second piece, Ebony Blue Notes, is an homage (of sorts) to the music staff itself, and the original works Ebony will be performing.

A third piece is in the kiln and I am hoping it will be finished in time for the concert. All works are mounted on Italian marble -- ebony black, of course.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

glass presentation

The exhibit came down yesterday. One of the last visitors was a Navy retiree who had his own fascinating stories to tell. It was really sweet to exchange stories of Navy life from our different perspectives, and he was very interested in the Greenland Diary and the artwork. Lucky me. This show has been full of these kind of stories. The best.

I experimented with different types of presentation in this outing. I wanted the glass to have a little more of its own air, breathing room. So several of the pieces were mounted on beautiful slabs of stone. Those were in turn placed on acrylic risers that I had fabricated by a local plastics company.

The response to this presentation was very positive. Five of the pieces sold, woo hoo! I will definitely use this method in the future.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

the reception, oh my

It has been three weeks since the reception. The response has been beyond any I could have imagined, and has been multilayered.

People have reacted to the diary in many ways -- thoughtfully, inquisitively, self-reflectively, emotionally. And those adjectives also describe some of the reactions to the artworks that were inspired by the diary. I have spent much time in reflection, first, in thanks, and second, in pondering what my goals were and how these responses have exceeded and encompassed any goals I set.

I will share photos over the next few days. As you might imagine, I am a bit (or not a bit) overwhelmed by this experience, in a good way.

The first set of photos shows the textile installation. This is about 25 feet long and has photos from my dad's Greenland voyage through the ice, as well as pages from his diary, both in his hand and transcribed in type.

The shape of the installation -- waves -- of course was intentional. When I bought the white base fabric, the sales lady marveled at its color, which she described as "pure Arctic white." That sent happy chills through my body.

But people's responses were more concrete and insightful than my intent -- "an Arctic wave, frozen in time," "liturgical," "reverent,"  "still."

I had put diary excerpts on the wall behind the wave -- those excerpts provided the titles of the glassworks inspired by the diary. The glasswork in the middle has an image from the Life magazine cover story on the expedition, as well as a page from the diary.

People asked so many questions about the diary entries, good questions. I had not thought that so many would actually take the time to do this. They were intrigued by the Greenland expedition, intrigued by the history this reflected, intrigued by what my dad wrote. This level of involvement was a sweet gift.

I had worried that this exhibit might be seen as too personal -- but one friend wrote me that though it was a personal exhibit, it was not too personal to make her uncomfortable. How lovely she wrote me this; how lovely she took the time to write at all.

The woman in pink had asked that I remove the acrylic riser from underneath that vase, so she could see its interior. I happily complied -- she wanted to be able to see how the glass inside the vase was different from the glass outside. I loved that she asked!

The beauty to my left in the last photo is Katherine Cooksey, from Studio Channel Islands Art Center, where the exhibit is showing. She just left to begin work on an MFA at Pratt Institute in New York. She is as sweet as she is pretty.

More to follow...

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