"Where Glass Comes To Life"

quote- Melissa Contover

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Stupid Butterflies....

Just a quick update as I pull myself together and leave for Day 2 at Art in the Courtyard at the Lowell Folk Festival.

I have indeed come up with a couple PIGS IN SPACE to share!  (I capitalize the name as I hear it being spoken like the Muppet sketch.)  I won't publish any photos yet as they are a little on the wonky side.  New designs typically go through an awkward and funky phase while I work out the balance and form.  I will show them to the few artists and patrons I feel like getting input from and from those I want to make laugh.  This is real progress I can report!

The other item I wanted to share was I have been working on and off for some time on a Butterfly ornament.  I believed I had resolved most of my issues so I created some for this show, Friday night I got such a positive response that naturally I felt I needed more.  From 9:30 PM to 12:00ish PM last night I went for it and tried to get some real production done in anticipation for today.  Half of my work exploded!  *sigh*  Stupid butterflies.  This is one of the most frustrating phases for a design.  They finally look good (when they make it) but I have yet to resolve completely the trouble consistently.  The work that gets annealed and passes the stress tests make it to the shelf.... but I am only at 50% in my success rate. 


I took this photo last night as I was loading the kiln to aneal the work that made it.  Sad that all that inspired energy late at night had to be like this, but this is really how my work is.  I may have one or two more sessions like this on the Butterfly design but I eventually work it out.  This ornament with then join my regular production with all the other designs I have mastered through a similar process.  As I am packing the beautiful Butterflies that DID make it for today's show, I am gratified that through my real work I am finally adding this piece that so many people have expressed interest in seeing!

I will do my best to publish a post live from Art in the Courtyard to share with you the response my work is getting.  Look for a photo of my butterflies hanging in the sunshine outside as that will show them off in all their glory.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


This video is from the wonderful Edward Monkton.  I was given the book of The Pig of Happiness by the equally wonderful Stacey Piwinski who gifted it too me as she expressed delight in my various piggy creations.  The book now sits on my display, smiling and waiting for any soul to pick it up and appreciate it's sentiment.  I am sharing this with my blog audience as I have been in full pig production mode. 

I am producing more than just pigs of course, but I have discovered over the years that people who love pigs, LOVE pigs, and running low on pig production would just be silly.

I also share this as I have been struck by the lightning of inspiration and deep NEED to create the next in my family of pig designs....... I hope to introduce this new piece at the upcoming Art in the Courtyard  at the Lowell Folk Festival this July 27, 28, and 29.  Lowell Folk Festival has become one of my favorite weekends of the year and one of my top two craft shows I have been privileged to attend.

So!  What is this new pig?  This, Oh My God of course why have I not done this before, new addition?
YEP.  You get it, PIGS IN SPACE!

I do have to admit that my first attempt actually looks more like a Pig in a Scuba Suit, but you have to start somewhere.

If you happen to see me at Art in the Courtyard, be sure and ask me if I have actually pulled this off.  For those of you who can't see me in person, you can bet I will be posting any progress here to the blog.

Hmmm.  There may be something to this Scuba Pig as well.


Thursday, July 12, 2012


I  about to share with you a picture that I find disturbing.  Not the one right above this sentence, that picture to me is beautiful.  The one above is of course our Sun, the source of our power and perhaps our very existence... and most certainly, what I genuinely consider to be a view of how my HEART must really look.

No.  the photo I am, I guess, .....ready to share with my blog audience,  is one that was taken in spring of 1999.  Looking at the photo I remember that period being a little bit of a blur, but I will tell the story as best as I can about the context of it and WHY I would want to show that to any other human being. 

So... bam:

In spring of 1999 I was waaay too skinny.  The place this picture is taken is Hamilton, Bermuda and in the home of a caring and crazy woman named Wendy Avery.  I had arrived there in September of 1997 and began working at what I discovered to be a one time million dollar business on the edge of inevitable collapse.  The enchantment of what I believed to be an ideal job, living on a most dreamy, paradise-like island nation, had now been replaced with the primal determination to not be sucked under the tsunami of the dysfunction and karma of other human beings willing to exploit the naive willingness of, say, a bumpkin from Centralia, WA.  Wendy is NOT one of the those human beings.  She was there to help.  This picture of me at Wendy's home is actually one that feels like greater possibility in my life, despite how exhausted and burned out I look, it was an improvement from just six months earlier in my life.  Wendy helped me quit my job at the only glass blowing studio in Bermuda, and I became her first employee in a company that is NOW the only glass blowing studio in Bermuda.  Dockyard Glassworks.  It was not much at the moment this photo was taken, I was working in Wendy's KITCHEN.... learning how to make beads and little glass animals we could sell.  More on all this later.

This was my day to day life as I worked on hustling gift items in front of the market of tourists that Bermuda abundantly has, as well as jumping through the legal hoops for me to stay on the island with a new work permit for a different company than I came to the island to work for originally.  Wendy was working at a car dealership and then hustling the necessary capital and support to launch a proper glass studio with furnace and staff to handle the work load.  INTENSE period of uncertainty and risk.

I can still feel the effects of that effort as, in total, I spent ten years working in that environment and it ended up being a rich training ground for what I am accomplishing now.

I will assure you that I will revisit some more of the stories of my history here, but.... who wants to read and pay attention to a novel size version of this post?  That and I have some more production to do TONIGHT as I am not only preparing for Art in the Courtyard
at the 2012 Lowell Folk Festival at the end of this month; July 27, 28, and 29, but I have a glass order for two of the Artist Coop accounts I maintain.

So.... back to my torch!  and I will get back to the narrative soon, I was mostly wanting to set the stage some and will be responsive to questions or comments if there ends up being any.


Friday, July 6, 2012

On the Eve of my Summer Show Campaign, I am thinking on the sense of value that I place on my time spent doing ANYTHING. I am constantly evaluating the quality of spirit and grace in form each of my babies carries, BIG or small. SATURDAY JULY 7....

Road trip starting 5 AM tomorrow for me.  I get to meet new folk to put my work in front of.

I have lot's of teaching booked this July as it is summer season at Diablo School of Glass, and then I have at the end of the month ....

Art in the Courtyard 2012  at the Lowell Folk Festival.....ONWARD!