Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Learning to Sew ~

It's spring break so my son & I are working on some new projects.
One is learning to sew...or teaching a 7 year old
to operate the machine & complete a project.

The first step is to choose the colors ~

My plan was to use up some pre-cut fabric noodles, sew them together,
cut them back into strips, sew again, & then make some small
projects like potholders, doll blankets, etc.
You know...things I need for the house & kitchen?

William's plan was to sew up the noodles into a tube,
stuff it & make a "snake."

After making his fabric color choices he got right down to business
on the machine.  He's sewn before & even remembered to put the
right sides of the fabric together before starting the seam.

Good job William!
He needed a little help to guide the fabric straight &
 keep the machine at a steady speed. 

 Notice the machine??

It's a 1938 Singer.
Perfect for quilting & teaching kids to sew.
It only sews back & forward but after all these
years & many projects it still sews like a dream.

It's a perfect size for little hands.

After sewing the strips together & turning the tube
right side out ~ stuffing was next.
The puppy had ripped a hole in a sofa pillow so Will thought
it was perfect to use for stuffing.

A sword also works well to push the stuffing down into the snake.
Next...tongue & button eyes!

(notice the crazy hair & weird "clothes" ???
It's a jammy day at our house)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Aurora Fireweed

I'm working the Aurora Series Florals.

Here's a close up a fireweed panel.
(I'm too lazy to set up the photography equipment for a full shot)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Bullseye Glass Delivery

American Fast Freight delivered my glass order from Bullseye today.
It was quite a feat considering the snow in the alley
& the maneuvering of the truck & lift.

It was a little nerve wracking...for me.
Not the guys ~ they were calm & efficient.

All of these boxes of glass were on top of the two crates pictured below!


All total it's almost 700 pounds of glass.

It's a lot to unpalatize & move.

I'm going to be sore tonight!

Monday, March 5, 2012

1st Grade Fused Glass Project ~

My son, William, is in 1st grade.
He loves to help in the studio & create his own glass pieces.
He's pretty handy around the studio & often helps me with my production work.

He loves his classmates & teacher so we thought we might like to share a
glass project with the class.  We decided to ask his teacher if she'd consider
 having the kids help create a fused glass platter as a
gift donation to the Anchorage Museum for the 2012 Gala ~ & she said "Yes!"

I pre-cut opal glass, primary colors, in basic shapes.
Each child received a 3 X 3 inch clear blank &
then had free rein to layer, sort, line-up, & create a pattern of their own design.

We discussed safety ~ thus the goggles ~ even though they weren't really needed
it's good to get used to wearing them ~ practice safety!
And the use of tools; safety, how to handle, clean & put away. 

In the studio, this is a must! 
Tools must be put back after use or there
becomes so much disarray that they can't be found & time is lost!
It makes me a little crazy...organized chaos is fine as long as I can find my tools.

And tweezers!  Kids (of all ages) LOVE tools!
I brought big & little tweezers, for picking glass up, & it was a big hit.
Again, not really necessary but the kids love to handle tools like this &
it's fun for me to see how they do ~ it varies quite a bit student to student.


As the kids completed their 3X3" squares I placed them in divided boxes
and labeled each square with their name.  Each child also completed a small magnet
& these were also placed in the same labeled space.
Here's a quick shot of the pieces as they were put together by the kids. 
After all the 3X3's & magnets were completed I transported them
back to the studio firing in the kiln.

I created a grid that was drawn on fiber paper so I could lay out the
3X3's & also make a map to keep track of each child's piece.

The grid is filling up....

Almost filled in with a balance of lots of color & some pieces with more "space."
White space is good ~ a little resting spot for the eye.
This helps to create balance in the overall design too.

Here's the glass blank pre-firing.
I decided to fire this at about 1419...below a full fuse
to get a little texture but still allow it to be used as a platter.

There was quite a bit of glass left over so I decided to make a
small platter for William's teacher as a thank you.
She's been a great teacher & open doing new things with the kids.
The kids love her!  Thanks Ms. G~!

Each child also made a magnet ~
I think it's important that they have something to take home to show
their family & have a memory of the process.
A little pocket piece.

Here's the piece post firing.

William got busy making a chart & placing the magnets on a display board.
A fun way for all the kids to look at every one's work.
And another helper peeking around Will....

Thanks Will!  Good job.

Here's the finished platter!
Size:  15" X 15"
Title:  Primary Colors

Thank You First Graders ~ you're amazing!

Now for the "Artist Reception" at school!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

More Aurora Ravens ~

More Aurora Series in the Ravens ~
Are you sick of it yet?

Each piece is different. 
Even if I use the same powders the watercolor effect looks different.
Glass is a liquid so as it heats up in kiln & melts it moves around a bit and flows
together creating a wash of color.

I've tried to cool the process down & not fire to a full fuse as a way
to get a little more texture in the glass.

That also seems to keep the images a bit crisper.

The ravens above are slightly more transparent probably due to less
powdered glass.  It's hard to judge how much has been sifted
onto the blank unless I weigh the glass first.

I think that's an unnecessary step.
No time for that!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Aurora....Over Salmon!



 with the Aurora Series.

Here's the salmon samples I'm working on for my reps.

 Each is an original.

Different colors & types of glass.

This is a salmon in the round & available
in both a 7.5" size or a 12" size.

We like to use the 7.5" size for desserts or a
ball of salmon pate'. 

Shopping for salmon fishing charters today!