Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Unloading the Kiln

It's not that often that I have a kiln load that's dedicated to custom orders. I guess today was the exception to the rule. I had three orders that were in yesterday's glaze firing load. There's a certain amount of anxiety that comes with doing custom orders. I want the pieces to live up to the expectations of the customer and I don't want any unexpected problems, because that'll just delay delivery. So yesterday's glaze firing was dominated by the butterflies. I took this as a good omen, when I saw a Monarch butterfly fluttering through our front yard right before I opened the kiln. It's like Christmas, unwrapping the presents that the kiln delivers. First shelf looks good and ironically are two Monarch butterfly plates; second shelf looks good, third shelf looks good and finally fourth shelf looks good. I can now take a breath. One slight problem with the non-butterfly yarn bowl. Perhaps that will be a lesson to me that the butterflies prefer to be on their own, no outsiders allowed.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Spilling Oil

It's hard when disasters occur that are devasting and life altering because as human beings we have an inate urge to do something to help. The straw that broke my back with respect to the BP oil rig explosion was the online slideshow of the birds, fish and dolphins that were covered in oil. The images brought tears to my eyes. I wanted to, needed to do something. Luckily a group on Etsy banded together to try to raise money to help. A brand new shop was opened. The word spread like wildfire. Artisans and members of the Etsy selling community flocked to donate items to the new shop, Help The Gulf Coast, http://www.helpthegulfcoast.etsy.com/. was created. So far they've raised over $2,000. The first of many contributions has been made to Oxfam America. Our individual contributsions are tiny in comparison to what this disaster will end up costing the Gulf. By pulling together, we are making a difference. Check out Help The Gulf Coast's blog http://www.helpthegulfcoastetsy.blogspot.com/

And visit the Etsy shop at http://www.helpthegulfcoast.etsy.com/

Together we can make a difference.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Something Old... Something New



One of the wonderful things about being in the art community is the amazing atmosphere of sharing. Every artist that I've ever run into is ready and willing to share techniques, experiences, and information. One fun new discovery that I recently made, thanks to an art friend, Roxanne Tobaison, is the glass tile pendant. I ran into Roxanne at an art festival and spotted her pendants, this was the first that I had ever seen them. Roxanne explained the technique. At first glance I thought that Roxanne had gotten into glass fusing, but she set me straight. A little bit of time went by and I started to do some research on the internet. Lo and behold I found a plethora of information, online tutorials, suppliers for the glass tiles and all of the supplies anyone would need. What fun.

When my orders arrived I went to work. Learned a lot about how to create the proper glass tile, then moved on to scrabble tiles, then moved on to wire-wrapped glass tiles and on and on. True to the artist that I am, I even came up with a few new ideas. One that I'm really excited about is a glass tile mosaic. Another idea that I had was to create the tile out of clay and in the process add the channel for the wire wrap.

As with all of those that came before me in the world of glass and scrabble tiles, one piece of information that I will share is actually a cautionary statement, be careful if you use Super Glue. I was a bit messy, got some on my fingers and I've been spending the past hour trying to de-glue my fingers. Live and learn.