Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Noah's Ark Installation Started

Yesterday saw the beginning of the installation of the Noah's Ark Mural. Everything went very smoothly and it is looking amazing. Some of the animals glowed with the sun coming through the glass. The adhesive worked well and is still visiable until it is fully cured. Two of our regular long time students came to help out. We had a great time and enjoyed answering all the questions that visitors asked.
There were a few wonderful surprises as we installed the peices. When the ark was up with the sun shining through it, the colors cast onto the wall next to the window. The ark looked complete and there appeared to now be 4 parrots on top. We all stopped everything and just stared in amazement.
The dove in the center panel glowed in a way that sent chills. I had hoped for an effect like that but didn't imagine it to came off as wonderfully as it did.
Hopefully friday the installation will be finished. I have mixed feelings about that. On one hand I can't wait to see it all up there complete, but on the other, I will miss working on it. We have all come to look forward to seeing the next peice come out of the kiln. These animals have become dear friends and although they will have a wonderful home, we will miss them.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

To Feather or Not To Feather

The Noah's Ark project is coming along. Right now the peacock is on the work bench and the morning has been spent debating on just how much detail we want to do on it. The peacock will be the anchor piece for the right hand corner of the mural. I have been know to take it over the top from time to time but I do believe that the detail is called for in the tail. The head, neck and body have a layer of dicro as does the center of the eyes in the tail. It is a peacock after all and being over the top is what they are all about. So fine stringers are being broken and applied to give the impression of feathering. I Win! Show off that tail!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Kids and Butterflies

Last Tuesday we went to the Synagogue and had the children from the Hebrew school help create the butterflies for the Noah's Ark mural. Over 100 children showed up and working in pairs they glued brightly colored glass triangles onto the wings of the butterflies. Only 18 butterflies will be in the mural so the remainder will be given to the school to be displayed in the class rooms.

I enjoyed working with the children and answering all their questions about the project. I was surprised by the depth of their questions. What kind of glass, how do you fuse the glass together, is it like working and firing clay in a kiln, when will it be done and installed? Bright kids! Of course there were the requested to help with the animals that I had to turn down. I love the fact that they were so excited about the mural and they are now a part of it. Hopefully the project will have more meaning to them as they pass it on their way over time and remember the day they helped.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Meet Our Studio Manager

My daughter used to work at the local PETCO which was both good and bad for our family. The good was that she got an employee discount and we have more animals than most. The bad is that from time to time people would bring their unwanted pets into the store and leave them. Some times they would ask an employee if they would take them but most times they would just leave them in an isle. If the animal was healthy and friendly they would but them up for adoption. So if you see a little sticker around the place saying Adopt First, that means some one left a pet there.

From time to time an animal would be left that was either sick or abused and more often than not it would come home with my daughter for a little rehab and then back to be adopted. Well about a year ago she brought home a very pretty lovebird that she wanted to keep for herself. She open the cage and was promptly attacked by said bird. To the studio came the love bird to spend time with me being rehabed. The very first thing I did was open the cage to clean it and put fresh food & water in it. The bird flew out, landed on my shoulder and sank her beak into my throat drawing blood. We named her Spike, put on gloves and put her back into the cage.

Months of working with her saw a major improvement and she started eating out of my hand. She will sit on my shoulder and preen me. Fingers still are in danger in the studio but I am holding out hope.

Since it has been a year and we have established a working relationship, Spike is staying and now takes the job of studio manager very seriously. She over sees all work and if she doesn't like a design has been known to chew it up. If she feels we need a break, she will fly to the work bench and attack the tools and anyone who reaches for them.
So the next time you stop by the studio, make sure you say hi to Spike and it also helps if you bring a few sunflower seeds.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thank You To Our Students

2008 has been a wonderful year for sharing glass skills with our students. I enjoyed so much working with you all and hope you not only learned a thing or two but had as much fun as I did. Glass is not just a hobby for many of you but has become an addiction (remember... I warned you!) and you continued to push me into coming up with new techniques and workshops. Some of you down right nagged! That's OK ... you knew I would do it and loved the challenge.

With the holidays fast approaching and work piling up here in the studio, the time for class has come to an end for the year. Take heart, new workshops are being planed for next year and some can already be found on the studio's main web site.

I am happy to announce that I have been invited to hold a few kiln forming workshops at the Art League of Long Island in Dix Hills, New York next year. They want to expand their glass workshops beyond the basics and seem to be very supportive and excited about the possibilities I wish to bring there. For now they will be offering 3 of my workshops and if all goes well, different one will be scheduled in the spring. They are a wonderful organization and have a lot to offer in many different mediums. I received a tour of the facilities and was very impressed. Some very, very talented people. They also have a wonderful gallery that is very inspiring. Well worth a visit. Check out their web site to learn more about their organization.
So thank you for making this a great year for our workshops and classes and I hope to see you again soon.

The Noah's Ark Project

Glass has been flying all over the studio and the kiln has been going none stop. Our latest commission is for a fused art glass mural with Noah's Ark as the theme. Kiln formed pieces will be adhered do a series of five existing windows to complete a mural of Noah's Ark with the animals as the main focus. Each window measures approximately 40 inches wide by 59 inches tall. The clients have requested that large areas of the windows be left bare and that mostly transparent glass be used. The fused pieces are being contour fused so there is a lot of texture and dimension to the mural.

I am an animal lover so this project has been very dear to my heart and I am loving working on it. I can't wait to get to the studio each morning and open the kiln to see the latest pieces waiting inside. Today a pair of tigers were brought out of the kiln and came to life.

Tonight a pair of tucans and the dove of peace are sleep in the kiln and I can't wait to see them in the morning.