Today is a day of reflection....it would have been our Mother's (in-law's) 82nd birthday. We said goodbye to this beautiful soul not quite 2 years ago. At the time of loss, Russ was moved to create a special blown glass butterfly especially to remember her by, pictured above. This month he just happened to be creating more butterflies for others in the Studio....coincidence? Or was she there helping him create? Whatever the case, butterflies will always remind us of our dear Mom and her graceful ways. Russ inherited his love of creating from his Mom, and it shows in so many of his works.
Some other ideas and creations were also completed this month. We were able to hang the Chickadee Art work in the Studio, along with a new piece of kiln work, depicting a school of fish swimming in the Ocean current. Russ really enjoys creating new works in between working on the orders that need to be filled for clients. One of our customers requested glass bobbins for bobbin lace making, an interesting commission that was created, and pictured below.
One more fused piece was just completed last week. Multiple colors were cut, then fused in the kiln. The final step was to slump on a mold, and smooth down the edges of the bowl. Blown balls compliment the finished fused glass bowl. I really am fond of the earth tones. That is the latest coming out of the Studio for the month of April. We hope the coming month of May allows you to spend a day or two with your own Mom, or reflect on happy memories of her.
March was the month we were able to quickly slip away from our Studio for a few days, and enjoy family time at Zion National Park. (What a national treasure!) We also went down to Arizona to celebrate Russ' Dad's 82nd birthday. It was a quick trip down in a rental car, (Our cars are showing their age) but we appreciated the time away, even if only for a few rainy days. The Southwest's scenery did not disappoint.
We hiked in the rain, but still enjoyed the scenery.
One of many arches in Zion.
Lots of red rock to explore.
We saw a number of mountain goats.
Meanwhile, many different projects are going on this month, many Yellowstone wildlife glass works, alstrom drops for a Non-profit Organization, never-ending Etsy orders, and some new art that I'll highlight next month. In the meantime, this month I am highlighting some past glass pieces that were created in our Studio over the years. Well, I'll keep the blog short this month, I need to get behind the torch. Russ and I will be working nonstop the next little while to catch up on orders. Until next time, enjoy Spring...
February started out nice enough....we had quite a few snowstorms this month and played outside in the white powder with our furry friends. We also celebrated a couple of birthdays in the family, including our youngest grandson turning 1 earlier this month. But midway through the month we both came down hard with the Crud! It hit us something fierce! It especially hit Russ hard, so our annual Valentine rosebud lessons had to be rearranged until he got to feeling better. Today is the last day of the month and he's still not quite 100 percent. This is the first year I can remember whole school districts shutting down because of that nasty bug spreading all throughout our valley. I'm glad we are on the mend now.
Our 5th grandchild turned 1 year old this month.
Before Russ got sick, he had time to create a few new fused projects, including the wall art below...a callalily scene for our daughter-in-law, who celebrated the big 30 year mark this month. He used stand-offs to hang it in her home. It took multiple firings in the big kiln.
Fused Callalilies ready to fire again in the big kiln.
Finished art work
A large order of blown glass hearts and many roses were also worked on and shipped out this month, in between each of us dealing with fevers and coughs and sniffles.
Another fused scene (pictured below) completed this month represented the many chickadees that come to our property in winter in search of food. It can also be used as wall art and is for sale in our Studio.
We had a request at the end of the month for these medallions to go along with a book that a local author had written. We were barely able to squeeze this order in, after dealing with the sickies for weeks on end!
A custom order of Star and Heart blown glass medallions
Now that we have just about conquered the Crud, we are really looking forward to warmer weather and Spring flowers blooming, akin to our glass tulips pictured below. Believe me, we are so done with "Cabin Fever"!
A Large Glass Snowflake hangs in our Studio window.
On a positive note, there are only two days left in January.....then time to say goodbye to the January blahs. Actually, not much to complain about today. We are enjoying fairly normal weather while much of the country is in a deep freeze. And as I've said in the past, a cold, cloudy day brings out the creativity in the Studio. So actually, January is a good time to get busy around here. And busy we've been! But it's not all work. We managed to enjoy a weekend at the Driggs Winterscape festival. (Always nice to take time off to have some winter fun now and then.)
Snow sculpture at a winter festival in January.
January storm blowing through.
Our dog stands patrol while I shovel on a winter day.
The month started out with a big fusing project. It was requested by a tennis pro shop in Texas, for an award they were giving to their tournament participants. Clear COE90 glass was cut into hundreds of circles, then enamel paints were hand painted on to create a tennis ball ornament, adorned with a snowflake on top. It was a big project to start out the year.
Hundreds of tennis ball/snowflake ornaments were created this month.
Tennis Ball Ornaments ready to be fired in the kiln.
The finished ornaments.
And now we have a new project we are working on for another Non-profit organization in Utah. The heart ornaments below are created using a large, high heat lamp work flame. Colored pyrex rods are added for a light airy, and wispy effect. These large hearts are using up a lot of oxygen. Russ went through one tank in a day! Hundreds of these will be completed in February. We are also gearing up for "Hot Date Night", where Russ will teach couples how to make a glass rosebud for Valentine's Day. It's a fun event we try to do for the locals every year.
Currently we are working on another large order of blown glass hearts.
The trick is to stay busy at the torches in the winter months, so we can enjoy the Spring and Summer months in the great outdoors. A customer brought in the flower sculpture below that they had purchased from us a few years ago, to get repaired. We were happy to have the colors of Spring in the Studio, for a fleeting moment. Well, time to get back to work on this cold January day. Until next time, stay warm out there. ☃
This colorful blown glass piece makes us look forward to warmer weather.
Another whirlwind-of-a-year is coming to a close. We are winding down in the Studio, taking a short break from the busy holiday season. It has been nice to be with family and enjoy our grandchildren, instead of our usual countless hours spent filling requests for glass orders. Our glassblowing and slumping and fusing projects were going out the door as fast as we could make them. So this last week has been extra nice, not having to meet any deadlines. Some of the projects we did in December are in the photos pictured below. Take a look at some of the glass works created in this last month of the year. The first picture was a special commission created especially for a local author. The elephants are re-creations of the main character in one of her children's books. Projects like these are enjoyable because of the creative leeway given. Glass enamels highlighted the fused pieces.
Fused glass elephants highlighted with glass enamels
A Kiln full of annealed candy canes
Fused and Glass Enameled Holiday Display
Blown Glass Snowboarder Ornament
Many Ornaments were sold at our Holiday Open House the first week in December
Blown Glass Cheetah Ornament with gold highlights
Whimsical Blown Glass Frog Ornaments
Our Jackson Hole Buyer needed more of the glass wildlife in her store, so we created many pieces for her in December. They are sold in her retail store up in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Pictured below are just a few of the pieces that were made for her.
Frosted Glass Swans in Flight
A whitewater rafters ornament
New techniques and colors were used on this glass trout
Glass Moose with Cattails
A Frosted Mountain Goat with Gold Horns
Now we are on the cusp of a New Year.....thinking ahead, once again, to the many possibilities we can create in the Studio. We're sure that the view out our window will help inspire us to get back to work. The new year will see us going full steam ahead, staying warm by the torches in the coming cold winter months. We'd like to wish you a very Happy New Year from A Touch of Glass Studio. Thanks again, for your support!
We wanted to take a minute and wish you a happy Halloween.....
Blown Glass Black Cat and Pumpkins
This month in the Studio we've been creating some fun Fall projects. We took real leaves from our trees and fired them onto Float glass. Then colored in the imprints with enamels, and placed them on Kao Wool for a unique glass enamel piece.
Enamels before firing in the kiln
We also created a fused Fall scene piece (pictured right) for a gift given this month, to one of our sons and his family. We love the Fall colors on both pieces.
Enamel and fused Fall Leaves
Now to wait for the little goblins and monsters to come knocking on our door. (Then back to work we go, to get ready for our first Fall Artisan Show.) Have a spook-tacular Day!
We recently visited our local "Boo at the Zoo." Enjoy the night of Halloween!
September is a great time for reflecting down the paths of memory lane.
September in Idaho reminds me of a warm, cozy blanket. I find myself wrapped up in the warm glow of the lights reflecting just right off the high mountain peaks. This is where the two of us feel most at home, along with the companionship of our dog pack. Whether it's a long-forgotten path to walk, or peace and serenity at a high mountain lake, we enjoy it all. The nights are crisp and Fall is in the air. At the beginning of the month we treat ourselves to one last camping trip, as we know the holiday rush will keep us hopping soon enough, from one project to another in the Studio.
Our favorite getaway for September was this high mountain lake.
Our pups patiently waiting for us to catch the lake trout for dinner.
The high mountain lake always provides us with plenty of small lake trout, and a sense of wonder at the beauty of it all.
We are also busy harvesting the garden during the month of September, canning much of the fruits and vegetables we have grown over the summer. Also, we love to take Fall walks down familiar trails while enjoying the Autumn air.
Our apple trees are loaded this year.
September harvesting takes a good amount of time.
Having had a chance to enjoy the great outdoors, Russ' creativity has increased this month. (Funny how that works.) Pictured below are some of the new projects he has completed in the Studio. The first piece has LED lights added for a nice glow, and would look great on a fireplace mantel. The wolf was screen printed, which is a new element we are adding to some of the glass works this year. There are also new designs to try out on fused glass bowls and plates, pictured below.
Screen Print of a Wolf in the Glass Mountain Peak.
Slumped and Fused Piece- "Fallen"
Slumped and fused aqua beads
Fused glass with dichroic accents
I say it every year, but Fall is the favorite season by far. We aren't so busy that we can't enjoy the beauty of the Fall mornings with many outdoor walks. The inspiration from what we perceive outside, carries on to creations in the Studio. Much like the Aspen scene below, combining Slumped and Fused with blown glass leaves. So out we go into the woods again, to gather inspiration for the next glass art work. Until next time, I hope you can take some time to enjoy all the sights and smells of glorious Fall.