Friday, March 26, 2010

Evoking the Southwest with Fused Glass Tiles

We have this lovely turquoise blue glass that takes on any number of "looks" depending on the colors we pair it with. Here, as soon as I added the red and orange glass, I was back in the Southwest: in Albuequerque, searching the skies for the hot air balloons; in Santa Fe, wandering the rich art galleries; in Phoenix, delighting in each new cacti and succulent.

The picture is of a pendant I made that spurred me on to envision it as a wall tile. I had fun playing around with the possibilities: what would it look like surrounded by solid turquoise tiles? what about red or orange tiles?
See some of the variations of this tile and others on our website:

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Flowers on Your Wall? Hanging Bud Vases in Fused Glass

Brighten up a dreary spot in your home with some flowers--hang them right on the wall! These bud vases have a copper wire hook for hanging and a holder for flowers and water.

I make them from translucent glass, and each one has pieces of dichroic glass for added sparkle. They sell for $28 each from our etsy shop:

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Good Enough to Eat Miniature Cakes (made from Fimo)

Look what I found on today! This is NOT a real cake.

Stephanie, the artist, lives in Paris (yes, I'm jealous), has a degree in architecture (more jealousy), and speaks three languages fluently (OK, now I just want to be her friend). Well, her miniature cakes, cupcakes, pies, and other goodies are adorable. And amazingly real. She is one talented lady.

Here is her etsy shop: PetitPlat

Monday, March 22, 2010

Swirls, Dots, and Hearts--Oh My!

How much fun are these? I start with a 4" square of black glass and add nine carefully cut squares of bright glass, filling the space perfectly. Then I build up. I stack another, smaller square on top and add the Zippity-doo-dah--a heart, a dot, or a swirl (which I make using glass stringer and a blowtorch--fun!).

I want each top to retain its shape and feel, so I fuse these in a tack fuse cycle. That means I take my kiln up to about 1350 degrees only (as opposed to the full fuse temperature of about 1460).

Finally, I use E6000 epoxy to attach the tile to a wood box, and now you have a gorgeous box perfect for jewelry, mementos, treasures, or anything special. These make great gifts, too. See our etsy selection here: Wood Boxes.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

We're Going to the Dogs! Great Dog Art

Today, in honor of Rex The Rat Terrier, I'm bringing you great dog art. I'm choosing my favorite print, "Patience," created by Danielle and Derrick of Studio 1212, an etsy shop.

I think they really capture the personality of dogs with their prints, using simple lines that reveal the essence of the breed. Visit their shop, and see if you agree: Studio 1212.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Fused Glass Class Leads to Very Cool Art!

Every once in a while Wendy and I teach a fused glass art class. (We keep saying we need to do it more often.) One of the benefits to us is seeing what our students create. I have to say this bowl is one of my favorites.

This was made by a young woman who was fascinated by frit. She began with the canoe-shaped clear glass then began creating her design on top of it using orange, yellow, and blue frit. Then she put a sheet of clear glass on top and added the black swirls in more frit. She added the dichroic glass touches last of all.

This bowl took two fusings: the first, at 1485 degrees, fused all the layers into one solid piece, while the second fusing slumped the piece into the bowl.

All in all, a cool project that we would never have thought of! Yay students!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Albers Pendants Posted on Etsy!

I just finished posting a selection of my Albers pendants on etsy, grouping them according to color. I have two groups posted right now--a cool group, featuring blues and greens with a tad of black thrown in, and a warm group with reds, yellows, and oranges.

Each pendant has a silver-plated bail epoxied onto the back so you can put it on your favorite chain. I have a 14" chain and a 16" chain that I wear depending on my neckline.

The pendants are just $18 each. Check them out on our etsy shop!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Adorable Crocheted Birdy Rattles on etsy

When I saw these, I knew I just had to put them on my blog. Aren't they adorable? I love the bright colors and the beautiful crocheting. This woman is talented!

Here is her shop:

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Whimsical Ceramic Fish with Personality!

My artist friend, Jennifer Bruley, makes the most adorable ceramic fish, each one different, each one infused with personality plus. Just look at the one I got from her . . .

His name is Stevy, and he's a gorgeous teal color. I walked into the art gallery one day, and there he was, looking at me, saying, "Take me home!" Now he's sitting on a shelf with several pieces of glass art, happy as can be.

Jennifer shows her work at the Arts of Snohomish gallery in downtown Snohomish. Write to me if you'd like to see her work, and I'll have her contact you!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Pendants Complete! Inspired by Josef Albers

You saw the photos of these pendants before firing, now here they are all fused, cooled, and ready to attach to silver bails (for hanging on a chain).

The first group is the "complementary" group, using knowledge of the color wheel's complements (red-green, blue-orange, etc.).

The second group is my "cool" group, with like colors chosen based on Josef Albers' color combinations.

And the third group is my "warm" group, with the yellows, oranges, and reds that Albers put together so beautifully. (I did sneak in a bit of aqua.)

Voila! Wearable art! (The pendants are from 3/4" to 1 1/4" and we sell them for $18 each. I'll post many on our etsy page.)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Fabulous and Fascinating Lino Block Art by Myrna Woder

Last fall, I turned 50. It was a BIG event, and I told my husband we had to go SOMEWHERE. He took me to the wine country of Oregon, and we stayed at the historic Hotel Oregon in the heart of McMinnville.

There, right outside our room was a huge piece of art that I thought was a pen-and-ink drawing. When I looked closer, I saw it was a lino block that had been carved. I've carved lino blocks before--you know, for Christmas cards. So I know the time and planning involved. This artwork was stunning.

A further search around the hotel, and I found yet another very cool piece, featuring two old women.

The subject matter fits the hotel perfectly because these images are obviously taken from some old photos or postcards. They really bring you into the historic feel of this hotel. (I only had my cellphone with me, so the pictures are small.)

The artist is Myrna Woder, and I couldn't find any information about her on-line. So if you've heard of her, let me know!

Here's the hotel info:

Hotel Oregon

310 N.E. Evans Street
McMinnville, OR 97128

Local: (503) 472-8427
Elsewhere: (888) 472-8427

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Inspired by Josef Albers, Color Theorist

We make pendants, and we like blocks of solid colors. A friend of mine, Jim Schindler, saw them and said, "Those look like Josef Albers' work." Now, I didn't know Josef Albers from Joseph and Mary, but I went right home and googled him. Jim was right! (Check out The Josef & Anni Albers Foundation website.)

Albers was fascinated by the ways that colors interacted with each other. A lot of his work involved various shades and hues of the same colors and complementary colors. I offer for your enjoyment (or criticism, as the case may be), the pendants that are, even now, firing in the kiln.
I created a batch that involved cool colors--the blues and greens--

and a batch with warm colors--reds, yellows, and oranges.

Then some have complementary colors--red and green, orange and blue, for example.

I'll post photos one they are all fused and looking good. Thank you, Josef Albers!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

NEW! Custom Glass Tiles Fresh from our Kiln

How fun are these? Handmade tiles in my very own design, ready to install in a kitchen, bathroom, or even around the fireplace! I'm loading them onto our etsy site now, and soon I'll have them all on our website. This is just the beginning of my career as a tile artist--I've got lots more ideas, and I can't wait to try them all!

See the entire line on our etsy site:

A Favorite Shop: Cotton Monsters on Etsy

I just stumbled upon this shop today on etsy, and I love these monsters! They are bright and whimsical and just plain fun. This little "Mini Bottomfeeder" is one of my favorites.

Here's the site: Cotton Monster Shop

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Frank Lloyd Wright Glass at the Phoenix Biltmore

I finally made it to the Phoenix Biltmore, my very first visit to a building that Frank Lloyd Wright designed (well, I did go to the bathroom inside NYC's Guggenheim Museum, but I don't think that counts). I treated four women to the high tea there and played checkers on a giant outdoor checker game, but those are other stories. This story is about the glass.

There it was, inside the lobby as promised-- Wright's beautiful stained glass window that an art enthusiast said my glasswork had reminded her of. It is gorgeous. Full of color and life and flow. Wright used the Saguaro cactus as his inspiration as well as the colors of the desert.

The whole hotel exudes Wright. I love how he designed every little piece of it, from the lobby furniture to the lighting. The lighting fascinated me. You know how just about every hotel has some chandeliers or table lamps or overhead lighting of some sort? Well, Wright didn't just choose lighting fixtures that "fit into" his design. The lights are an integral part of the design itself.

There are vertical pillars, made of concrete (I'm assuming), appearing to be blocks stacked on each other with a repeating design on the face of each.
The lights--amazing!--are part of the pillars. He took the same design of the concrete and repeated it for the light covers. So the lights are subdued, embedded in the pillars. I'll see if I can find a photo somewhere so you can see it . . . if not, be sure to put this site on your to-do list. It is well worth the visit.