Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Lytro ~ A New Kind Of Camera

I'm a photographer by nature.
Years ago I had a dark room in my house
and developed my own black & white film.
It was additive & artsy.
I think I've kept every camera I've ever owned.
My favorite for many years was my Canon AE1;
metal body, lots of lenses, durable & heavy for backpacking,
however, it took amazing pictures.
For my September birthday my family surprised with me....
A new Lytro camera!! 
The first thing you notice is it's shape.
It's square!  And short!  And lightweight!
William calls it a telescope & that's a fair comment.
The lens cap is magnetic so it snaps off & on.
There's no visible buttons rather just a little indentation
to snap photos & a very subtle raised texture for zoom
& refocusing. 
Here's a picture of Cokie Rue our golden-doodle.
Photo by Will.
A photo of the birthday girl.
Photo by Will.
Pretty great pictures for an 8 year old!
I think the size & easy handling of this camera are a
good fit for kids.  Hopefully, I'll get to use it too!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

When Good Kilns Go Bad ~!

In my studio, I have five kilns that are fired nearly everyday.
They are work horses & have been basically
maintenance free for over 10 years.

I have two Sierra Kilns which were the early
prototype of the PMC Paragon Kilns.

I love my Sierra kilns so I was a little concerned when out of the blue
my 1100 model let out a little half beep & shut itself down!
Not a good sign.

I let it sit for a couple of days hoping it would have a spontaneous healing.

When that didn't happen I got out a flashlight
& screwdriver to do a little investigation.

Here's what I found...a burnt switch.  Yikes!!!

After a quick 911 call to my trusty electrician, Truman, the 
switch was replaced & I was back up and fusing.

It looks good as new & works like a dream!
Thanks Truman! 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Embossed Glass Technique ~

I'm working on a new technique to create embossed glass.
The following patterns were created by carving into
plaster blanks & then pouring slip or pressing clay into
the plaster to make a clay tile for the glass to be slumped into
at a full fuse.  It's a time consuming process.

Cubes design.
Dragonfly & spirals.
It's a process of trial & error.
Some of the bisque is breaking off during the glass firing
but I'm liking the overall effect.  I'm thinking the bisque isn't
able to take a full fuse at 1500 degrees?
After trying to use a variety of colored
art glass I've decided that these look best in a clear glass with colored borders.
More on this as the technique develops.