So I recently had a surgery that has pretty much redirected my direction in life and affected my decision making process. I have been living with Crohn’s disease for 10 years and it finally got to the point where I needed to have 10 inches of my small intestine removed. I believe that the main cause for this surgery was the stress of working the R. Strong Glass studio. I love glass and I was excited for the future and the possibility of one day buying the studio, but my body rejected it. What I was putting myself through to get to that point was too much, and I think it would have killed me in the end.
I realized why I was so stressed and not enjoying making glass any more while I was lying in the hospital recovering. It had such a negative impact on my relationships with family and friends. I know that any job will take up your free time and no great job isn’t going to somewhat stressful, but this took something more out of me. Call it soul or mojo or whatever, but I was not in a good place.
However, what working at the studio did give me, was the knowledge that whatever I want to do, I need to make it happen. I am the only person standing in my own way or pushing me forward. I can choose the people I am friends with and who I work with. Combined with this, my surgery taught me that my friends and family are so supportive and of upmost importance to my life and well being. My life desire is to make the best I can out of those existing relationships and create new meaningful ones with people I meet.
So I have decided to move the focus of this Blog towards my endeavors into any and all creative pursuits. Whether it be music, art, glass, theater, costumes… I especially want to highlight any projects in which I collaborate with other artists and friends.
I hope you enjoy what I post and I would love to hear feedback. And if you have an idea or project you would like to work on together, let me know! I would love to get involved.
Check out the new photos of my most recent work on my Glass Gallery page!
All the sculptural work that I do is one of a kind. If you are interested in a piece, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to discuss purchasing at wholesale or retail prices. I am also available to do commissioned work.
“Male Torso” (Front) 15x4x4
So last year a group of my friends went to Burning Man and I made about 100 hearts for them to trade and give out to people that they met. When they returned they told me so many stories of how much people loved receiving the hearts, so this year I’m creating a new token for them and learning about another aspect of glass at the same time.
There are many ways to shape glass, and a mold is one of them. Then again there are many many types of molds. Some you drop the glass in, others you clamp down, and some you stamp into the glass.
My idea is to make necklace pendants out of glass that have the symbol of burning man stamped on them.
So the first thing I did was carve the symbol into a piece of graphite:
Burning Man symbol carved in graphite
Graphite is a friend to glass! It can take a lot of heat and not leave any residual marks on the surface of the glass.
Next I hastily built my own handle out of some scrap wood…and voila! I have a stamp:
The first stamp
Now I take a really fresh hot glob of glass and drop it onto a steal plate and then stamp the symbol in!
Burning Man Medallion first attempt
I initially like how it looks, but I am going to construct another stamp to get an even better design. This has been really fun so far and I’m looking forward to doing these in a lot of different colors!
I will keep you updated on the progress of this project and if you are going to Burning Man and would like some medallions of your own…don’t hesitate to email me: email@example.com
I recently returned from Toledo, OH where I was attending the annual GAS (Glass Arts Society) Conference. This was my first year going and it was a really eye opening experience. There was so many great lectures and demonstrations, below is a link to my photobucket album:
This year was the 50th anniversary of the studio glass movement in America. It was started by Harvey Littleton and Dominick Labino in Toledo, when they held the first studio hot glass class ever. Many of the first students including Fritz Dreisbach and Marvin Lipofsky, who went out to teach their own classes were at the conference this year. Because I was with Randy Strong, who has been doing glass for 44 years, I really benefited by being able to meet a lot of the Old Timers from the glass movement.
If you are involved in glass or would like to be, this is definitely an event you don’t want to miss!
These are a few of my favorite shots:
Thank you to everyone who came by my booth at the Live Oak Park Fair! You truly made my first show a wonderful experience!
Your support and comments about my work have really inspired me to get back in the studio, make more work and do more shows! I hope to see all of you again and again. I will be posting photos from the fair soon, but I am excited to share that the Daily Californian featured a picture of two of my sculptures in their online photo album from the fair! Check it out here: Daily Californian
My next definite show will be the KPFA Arts Festival in December, but I will be applying to others in the interim.
My booth at the Live Oak Park Fair
At the moment I am on my way to Toledo, OH to attend the annual GAS (Glass Art Society) Conference. This is my first year and it is expected to be a conference of special significance as it is the 50th anniversary of the studio glass movement in America. I’m really looking forward to meeting everyone there and seeing some great demonstrations!
One of the most common question people ask me when I tell them I’m a glassblower, is “Where does the glass come from?”. This is a really interesting question because when you think about all glass objects you use throughout the day from glasses to phone screens, it becomes quite amazing that this substance can be shaped and used for so many different things.
So in this post I will explain how we make the glass that we use in all our work.
The Glass Furnace
The first thing to know is that our glass is kept in a furnace at over 2000 degrees 24/7! At this temperature it has a consistency similar to hot honey.
Inside is a big pot that holds 500 lbs of liquid glass and we open the door and gather it up on steel rods or pipes.
How does the glass get in there? Glad you asked!
So there are two parts that we use for this recipe. The first is batch, made from silica, soda ash and variety of other minerals and chemicals. The second is recycled clear glass that we have used already.
We mix these two ingredients in a loading trough and dump it into the furnace. After the melting process, the mixture of the two create a crystal clear glass with no tarnish or seeds (bubbles).
Although this process makes beautiful crystal clear glass, the chemicals in the batch can be harmful if inhaled over a long period of time. So always remember to wear your Respirator!
Every now and then I pick up an art magazine to look at what people have been doing and get some fresh inspiration. Usually I look at Glass Art, Niche Magazine, and American Craft, but today I flipped through Ceramics Monthly. The forms and colors of the clay pieces in this magazine really struck me more then any had before. It gave me a lot of ideas of where to take the forms of my glass next.
One artist in particular that really caught my eye was Christopher Melia. He was featured in their 2012 emerging artists section of this issue. I was most inspired by the forms he incorporated into his vessels. Check out his website here and let me know what you think!
On the topic of clay, many glass artists I have met, including my mentor Randy Strong, started out in ceramics. I think that exploring clay and making clay models may help me develop my ideas for glass further, so I’m going to pick some up and experiment with it before I start my next work.