It’s October! Cider and donuts and crunchy leaves. The colors are peaking on some trees right now here in Oregon, the brightest reds and oranges are afire on the trees. The days are still sometimes sunny and warm, but the rains have come as well, earlier than usual. The heat in my house has started turning on in the mornings. I treated myself to some really good, organic hot cocoa mix this week. It’s time to start burrowing in for the winter.
But I have been having a good time making “spooky” earrings, ghosts and bats. The bats needed some work on the wings, and I have developed them to look a lot more like wings, so that my little black critters aren’t mistaken for spiders. I can make spiders, too, and they will look truly like spiders.
Fall and winter are often times of introspection for me, and this year is no different. Lots of changes, and a lot of inner growth. It keeps happening. I am repeatedly challenged to be more than I am, or at least, to dig deeper into what is me, and bring it forth to the surface. So while I am doing all that work, emotionally, mentally, even physically, it’s fun to just make cute ghosts and bats. Balance the work with laughter.
If you want a pair to call your very own, they are right here
My life is so full of new directions these days. So many thoughts about where to go next, in life, work, passion, mothering, so many places, so many paths. It can feel overwhelming sometimes.
When that happens I try to take the advice of Anne Lamott’s Dad: “Bird by bird.”
One piece at a time, one small step to focus on, and then the next one.
With glass, It’s playing with rocks.
I have had an idea for awhile, and yet, even though I got some of the materials I need to work with it, I have yet to do so.
What is stopping me?
I’m not sure. Maybe that is it, fear of failing and my new idea not being something that is an evolution of my work. But I’m smart. I know that if I never try, then failure is a 100% sure thing with this idea.
I’m going away this weekend with a bunch of other women for a Moms/women’s weekend off. I have a new knitting project, a sweater for my son, that I am going to work on while there. As well as the usual hanging out, swimming, and wine that these sorts of weekends hold. Next week, the new idea will be my bird. Bird by bird. I will start and see what happens. For surely, something will, and that is more than what would happen if I just daydreamed over my tools, as I have been doing.
I’m waiting for something to emerge. The voice spoke, the idea sparked. I should listen deep, and follow it. Trust in it. And go.
Glass fusing is how I got into working with glass in the first place, back in 2002. I took a beginner fusing class at a small glass shop in California, and the love of the medium followed me to Oregon when I moved here in 2003. But it wasn’t long before I found lampworking, or torchworking, when I took a class at the Bullseye Glass Resource Center. And that was that. I unceremoniously dumped fusing for the torch, heating glass in a kiln to watching it glow molten in the light of a flame.
Mostly, I have never looked back, but every now and then, it is fun to fuse again. It is such a different way to work with glass. I often say that torchwork is like cooking, while glass fusing is like baking.
A friend of mine wanted to make some small fused glass stones for a game she plays with her kids, and I always enjoy hanging out with her. Our schedules are both so busy, it doesn’t happen as often as I wish. So this seemed perfect, and it was! I showed her how to cut up glass with my orange glass cutting tool, and she brought small pieces of dichroic glass with her to use.
Dichroic glass is used in small glass pieces a lot, especially fused work for jewelry, and some glass bead creation. From wikipedia:
“Dichroic glass is glass containing multiple micro-layers of metals or oxides which give the glass dichroic optical properties. The main characteristic of dichroic glass is that it has a particular transmitted color and a completely different reflected color, as certain wavelengths of light either pass through or are reflected. This causes an array of color to be displayed. The colors shift depending on the angle of view. Dichroic glass is an example of thin-film optics.”
I just know it’s cool and fun to play with. We made dozens of little stacks of dichroic glass with clear capped over top and set the kiln on its way overnight. Her little stones came out wonderfully.
Fusing would be something I should be doing in the winter, when the cold air actually changes how glass behaves for me in the torch, and I don’t feel like freezing out in the studio. I have heat, but it’s not as toasty as inside my home, which is why the glass cracks faster in winter months when I am out there working.
I have molds to make plates, candle holders… but yet I so rarely ever do that anymore. And I still have a lot of sheet glass sitting on the shelf. I suppose I should sell it, but it was there and ready for us that evening, making a night with two friends even more fun by sharing art as well as conversation.
One of those months I need several of me.
I am trying to get this site up and going for the Gathering of the Guilds show at the end of this month, April. So many things to do. I just finished installing a show at Art on Broadway in Beaverton, a solo show that runs all this month. So now I start over to do it again for Gathering of the Guilds. I could have been a wee bit more thoughful about planning and not had two shows in one month. It’s hectic, but it sure makes me productive in terms of creating pieces. That’s not bad at all.
There’s two of them cooling in the kiln right now. I’ve been experimenting with copper mesh and trying to get it to do what I want, which is a challenge. I think I should be better at it by now. Impatient me. I got frustrated today when yet another piece didn’t behave the way I wanted. And then I heated up the whole thing and kept at it and maybe noticed a clue in getting things to do what I want. But I won’t know for sure until the pieces are completely cooled down, which won’t happen until later tonight.
Glass, like life, is a lesson in patience. Trust the process.
Ok, right, the next step to get this site back off the ground is photos. I need to take photos of work that I have available, and past work to build an online gallery. A good cup of tea tonight and I will start working on that, in both regards.
And this site will start looking like a glass art site again. Imagine that!
Still, I need time to freeze so I can get everything done for this show. But that isn’t happening, so I just have to buckle down and grind through. In a good way. But a busy one.