So the fall show season is upon us, and I will be at shows on many fall weekends. And yet I'm itching to offer more creative opportunities, for gift-making and stress-reducing and general fun-making.
So I'm experimenting with doing evening sessions, and have one planned for Thursday October 12th making jewelry, and another on Tuesday October 17th making plates. So since they're not afternoons, what should they be called? They're not classes, since they are just one session and the focus is on making a beautiful object and having fun, more than teaching.
Are they Creative Workshops? Creative Sessions? Is there another word that captures the essence of the experience? Let me know what you think!
People who have participated in a Creative afternoon asked me if I have additional afternoon workshops they could come to and make something different. I considered that idea, and decided that people who have gotten an afternoon of glass plate-making could probably make a bubble piece, in which you use thin "stringers" of glass to trap bubbles in a regular pattern. I was right -- the technique is challenging (making consistently parallel lines -- being OCD is helpful!) but not terribly complicated, and there are indefinite variables in size, colors and qualities of glass.
You can see some of the beautiful results below.
So what will be next? Once you have the basic understanding of how glass works (admittedly a 3-hour experience just scratches the surface) people make amazingly nice pieces, and with only a maximum of 6 people I am able to help everyone who's stuck or needs some assistance.
Suggestions or requests, anyone, for additional 3-hour glass workshops?
I thoroughly enjoy getting people hooked on glass, and can steer them to other art glass resources such as the Glen Echo Art Glass Center when they want to go to the next step.
Five people who live within a block and a half from my studio signed up for two different Creative Afternoons - and I didn't know them! Is it something in the air? Or perhaps creativity is just contagious!
Join in the fun! If you have neighbors, family or friends who would enjoy a creative afternoon making glass -- get together and save 10% if you have 4 to 6 people! Or come on your own and make new friends.
Throughout my career in the environment and clean energy, I have always been attracted to the "people" side, whether it was educating the public about solar and energy efficiency or developing programs to engage young people in saving energy in their schools and homes. (Even back in the 70's when I was building my own passive solar house, I taught woodworking at the UMass women's center.)
I seem to have the same inclination lately in my glass work, as I find that I love to help people experience the fun of glassmaking. I will never stop making art and that will probably continue to be my primary focus, but I also hope to expand the ways in which I bring other people into my studio to make glass art.
I am doing that through my "Creative Afternoons" in which up to 6 people make either plates or jewelry. These have been just delightful for me, and I believe everyone participating has had the same response. I hope to do that also in introductory fused glass classes -- 10 hours probably, divided into two 5-hour blocks or 5 2-hour blocks. And I have invited a talented neighborhood 9-year old to come work with me on occasion. Lots of joy to spread around!
Let me know if you are interested! I'm just getting classes started, but eager to have a small group and get going. And if you have a few friends you want to gather for a fun afternoon, we can find a time!
On Saturday my studio was graced with three sets of mothers and daughters, including a mom and her enthusiastic 9-year old, a mom with her mother-in-law, and my own daughter-in-law. What a treat! Everyone seemed to have a great time, and the plates are gorgeous! Most of the plates are still in the kiln, but below is one beauty.
My booth at the Maryland Christmas Show was right by the fabulous santa, so I had a front-row seat to the stream of toddlers dressed in charming holiday outfits and older kids holding their belief in Santa close to their chests like a precious charm. It was a fun time, and while the conversation was occasionally interrupted by the wail of a frightened child I enjoyed talking to the shoppers and browsers.
Every show has its own personality and favorite pieces, and this crowd was especially interested in the my Christmas tree ornaments, pendants and earrings. I originally made only the tree ornaments, but after the fifth person asked if they were pendants I went home and made a bunch of them into pendants and earrings! I'll have plenty of these on hand for the Studio Open House and Sale on the 10-11th.
This won't be a surprise to you -- but I think glass is really beautiful! (Check out joyofglass.com for more reasons.) And I have a lot of great small pieces in my studio that I love but don't know quite what to do with. So when my friend Rana asked me to make pocket pieces, I was intrigued. Pocket pieces? She explained that these are small pieces of beautiful glass that you can keep in your pocket. Not jewelry, not even key fobs (although I could put a hole in them) but just a small piece of art to have in your pocket.
I am in favor of anything that gets art glass out into the world, even if it's usually hidden in your pocket.
These are samples of what I would consider Pocket Pieces. I would charge $15 for small ones (dichro about 1"x1", non dichro a bit larger). Leave me a note and let me know what you think -- would you like glass in your pocket?
Join me at Art in the Park in Annapolis this weekend if you're in the area. Joy of Glass will be at Quiet Waters Park, 10 to 5 both days. There will be 70+ artists, as well as music and food. (Cost - $6 per car per day.)
Give a unique wedding remembrance box to your favorite bride and groom. The glass lids of these finely crafted hardwood boxes can highlight a photo or invitation (or both), and provide a special place to keep the precious objects that remind you of the joy of your wedding. Contact me if interested.
I was able to spent lots of time in the studio last month, so I cooked up some new styles and pieces. I'm most excited about creating an innovative technique that builds heavy, organic-looking silver "frames" behind which I mount glass using prongs and partial bezels.
My goal for these pieces is to balance my glass cabochons, which are often bright and dramatic, with a substantial silver frames so that neither overwhelms the other. Here are some of my new pendants, what do you think? Leave me a comment if you have an opinion!
And by the way, if you haven't yet visited Glen Echo, this is a great time to do so -- in addition to artist studios, try out the the merry-go-round and visit the puppet theater.
These two pieces illustrate the difference. I love having the option to fit the mood to each particular piece of glass and silver design.
Which effect is your favorite? Are you a sparkle person, or a glow person, or does it depend on your mood?
Don't miss this fabulous art glass show, opening April 8th at VisArts in Rockville, MD. This juried exhibition of fine art glass begins with a reception from 7 - 9 April 8th, and runs through May 1 at 155 Gibbs St. My Piece, The Tipping Point, is part of the show.
Special events on April 24th
Artist talk 2:00
Glass demonstrations from 1 - 4
Hope to see you there!
Creating beautiful art involves continually searching for the color, the pattern and texture that “clicks” — what i call the Ahh moment. When it’s right, I actually feel a body sense letting me know I’ve found it. I’m still learning, but its been rewarding to wait for — and to trust — that moment.
This piece is made of 6 layers of glass, each made up of 7or 8 different pieces with patterns and colors. It was great fun, if challenging, to put these puzzle pieces together layer by layer. I had to find many Ahh moments during the process, and ultimately achieved the overall sense of completion.
Does this resonate for you? Do you find an Ahh moment in your work, whether art or writing or another craft?
One of the wonderful qualities of glass is its depth -- using layers of transparent glass, your eye can wander around within a piece. I have used this quality in glass scenes, as in the landscape piece shown above in the header, and also in jewelry. Of course layers of glass make for a thick piece -- not always desirable in jewelry! So I have been working on create layers of dichroic (sparkly) glass that are still thin enough to make good jewelry. It's not easy to photograph these pieces because the camera doesn't know quite where to focus, but I do my best. My latest piece, below, was made with a base layer of red and three layers of transparent dichro. It's about 1" around and will be set in silver as a pendant.
I'm using this page to talk about the art and joy of working with glass and silver.