Friday, December 21, 2018

everybody has their "stuff"

I had a bunch of wood leftovers from a clean up project.  

This is a wood mosaic that I made for a Christmas present.  It was fun but wood is definitely NOT my medium.  I don't have a good photo of this till it gets delivered and installed.  That saw blade is from the sawmill that my stepdad had.  My brother and I worked with him sawing logs as teenagers.
This huge slab of oak was one of the trees on our property.  The log was so big that the blade of the mill wasn't able to get through it in the first pass.  My stepdad had to use a chainsaw to finish the first cut.  I'm not sure what he had intended  for this three inch thick board, but it laid there for about 40 years.  The wheels were from the carriage that ran the logs past the blade.  I left the chainsaw marks and sanded just enough to feel nice. This bench is quite heavy.
These warped oak boards were meant to be bridge planks and the wheels were also from the sawmill.  The boards weren't cut on that sawmill but they were just as rough. We're planning a fire pit for a spring project and this will be seating for that area.  All right, full steam ahead in glass starting the new year.  

Friday, April 27, 2018

how can it get any better?

The best part of residencies is that I get to talk to kids.  I try to show them that even though making money is an important part of the equation, it is not the only part and definitely not the most important part.  Making rainbows is high on everyone's list, right? 😋
After the huge library project that we completed in March, this North Schuylkill residency was set up to be far easier.
  There's ALWAYS surprises that come up but besides that, I made a stupid blunder.  On the first day, I decided to expand the project because the kids had gotten so much done... BUT I DIDN'T RE-MEASURE.  We got two days worth of glass onto the addition and realized we would have to trim it.  I have to admit- the difficulties make these projects even more fun. 

 The face was the most intense part.  Yes, students cut the lashes!  
 We used a good bit of mirror amongst the rainbow, creating movement as you walked past.
 These seventh grade hams were my youngest group working on the mosaic.
Initially, the design was going to be the word, "imagine."  I love this so much more and hated leaving it.  After ten days vacation, I will be in my shop with my dog and MY hands on the glass.  This is the ONLY thing better than a residency... FOR ME.  Yes, making money is important, but it pales in comparison to the above.  Luckily, one doesn't have to choose.

Thank you, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

Monday, April 16, 2018

ahhh, a break for me

So far, 2018 has been blessing after blessing.  Every residency becomes my new favorite.  They also keep getting impossibly more fun.  I've already finished three this year and each have their unbelievable challenges that surprisingly make me appreciate them even more. 

The above photos are from the first residency I did this year.  I posted a photo of the whole shebang in my previous post.  The project was 6 feet tall x ten feet wide.  This school had just gotten a glass saw and many of the students had worked with glass in previous projects I had done there.  So we decided to do something I never do in schools.  We used contrasting grout.  That means that the joints would be extremely visible and we had to take extra care to make sure they were beautiful and intentional.  I am laughing now about how ridiculously unrealistic my expectations were but we pulled it off, even with a day to spare.  Notice some of the white background tiles were star shaped!


My last project (above) was to be hung outside which means that there are many extra  considerations, the biggest being the adhesive.  A full quarter of the time we spent on the project was devoted to making the mosaic weather ready!  If that wasn't enough challenge, just imagine letting the project open to anyone in the community that wanted to help.  Above is a photo of my momma working on the mosaic.  Next weekend I am hoping to have a free day to go to the Juniata County Library to see the project hanging.

In between those two, I worked in Lewisburg on a project that only had two hours in their day to work on it.  They had a LOT of kids at a time so it had to be big enough to spread them all out.  The challenge was just getting it all done. 

In most residencies, I have between 4 and 20 kids at a time.  An average class is 15 at a time.  I've had a few classes over 20 but they are not that productive.  So the challenge in the project I am working on now is that there are some classes as big as 36!   We're talking total mayhem.  Just weaving through bodies to cross the room is a feat.  On the first day, we decided to make the project bigger because kids were so gung-ho.  Regardless, we are finishing up tomorrow, THREE DAYS AHEAD of schedule.  The plan is to have it hung before I leave the school, Friday.  And yes, it will be my new favorite.  The mosaic is a person with the top of their head cut off and color is floating out.  Photos soon!

There is no way to describe the high that comes from these projects.  The teachers I work with have been unbelievable and it seems to me like they enjoy these as much as I do.  The only thing that could possibly be any better is me and Bonz working by ourselves next week in my shop.  I started a project before Christmas and it is calling me.  How can life get any better.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

coming up for air

Wow!  I came on here to post about the residency I completed this week and realized that I had not posted about the two previous ones.  2018 has been a whirlwind so far and there is no sign of it slowing down... a good thing. I start my 24th residency tomorrow and have one lined up for August.  There's one scheduled for 2019 that will be twice as big as any I've done so far.  It will hang in a Harrisburg hospital.

Above is part of the ten foot tall project we just completed in Juniata.  It is scheduled for a Tuesday installation on the exterior of the Juniata County Library.  I will get photos of it installed when I can get up there. The continents are made up of tiles that the kids made.

The end of February, we made a dragon's eye for the Lewisburg Dragons.  The crazy part is that most of the days we only worked for two hours!

In January, at Midd West, we finished a ten foot mosaic that stayed in their school.  Again, the students each made at least one tile to go into the project.  Honestly, going in to school and opening the kiln is like Christmas morning, unwrapping presents.  I am actually depressed on the days that they have delays or cancel school because of snow.

If you are donating to the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, THIS is what your money goes toward.  I wish you could spend some time with kids that know their work will hang in public.  I wish you could watch them collaborating, persevering, and hustling, then see their swag when they finally finish a month long project.  As fun as it is working with these kids, I am still trying to figure out how to get more of my own work sold.  I just hired a rep and I am thrilled about her.  So the rest of 2018 should stay busy.  How can life get any better?

Sunday, January 14, 2018

crazy how this works

For real, how does this stuff happen?  First, I will tell you some fantastic news, then I will tell you the strange turn of events that led up to it.  Good news is:  I am teaching this CLASS!  Info here:  Go ahead.  Click. D&L Artglass

Right now, I am so busy,  that I wasn't thinking about teaching.  I do residencies but that is not teaching.  Then, a few weeks back, I discovered that one of my favorite glass artists, Brian Blanthorn, had died in 2012. He kept a lot of his processes secret and I was wondering if his glass partner and wife would ever share them.  I thought about my own work and the fact that I am willing to share knowledge if asked.  Still, there are things I do that nobody is asking about.  Sharing technique elevates art universally. I don't have time in residencies to do fussy details and when I have time to get glass fancy, I'm alone.

Here is the weird part.  Shortly after this thought train, I got an email asking if I would travel to teach a class.  You know how the Universe works... the inquiry came from the place I most love to travel to - MY GRANDSON'S HOME TOWN!  Of late, Rob and I have been lamenting the fact that we're both so busy that we don't know when we will get out to Denver. Now we know.  It is still contingent on having enough people sign up to take it so if you know anybody that would be interested, please share this info!  While I am not comparing myself to the amazing Blanthorn, I do know a lot of tricks that can make 2D work look more dimensional. That's my thing.  Now it could be YOUR thing too. 😜