Sunday, August 31, 2008

Stage One - Ra's Sun Vessel

I'm still working on entries for the Glass At the Gardens Show. Today I'm doing a fuse firing of my next piece. My preliminary title is Ra's Sun Vessel, in fitting with the theme of the show, Ancient Origins. This picture shows what it looks like prior to the fusing. Tomorrow will be the slump to form the vessel.

Aaaahhhh the fun of creativity! I'm off to work on wire wrapping now.

Success - Earrings!

I'm happy to report that my latest batch of pendants and earrings turned out very nice. The photo I'm posting shows how things look when I first remove them from the kiln. AND I have some great candidates for earrings. On to wire wrapping and let's hope I can come up with something that will work nicely with this batch of little earrings.

Surprise Celebration

I was working on another entry for the Glass at the Gardens show last night when the phone rang. It was Jessica from Second Street Art Market. They were having a celebration and wondered if I could come by. Dan & I were just about ready to eat supper and we decided it would be a fun, spur of the moment thing to do.

When we arrived, it was wonderful to see that guitarist, Clay Canfield, was performing again. The celebration was for the gallery's second highest month in sales to date. How wonderful.

An added bonus for me was being introduced to some delightful ladies from Wyoming who had purchased my pendants. One of them phoned a friend and sent her a photo on another one. The friend loved it, and she purchased that one for her while I was there. The pendant she purchased was titled "Heavenly"; here's a picture of it.

Heather, the gallery owner, opened one of her favorite bottles of wine and shared with all of us. What a fun evening.

So, remember, if you ever receive an invite on the spur of the moment for a celebration, by all means, accept it!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Seeking to Forge a Creative Alliance

The title comes from Julia Cameron, author of The Artist's Way.

This week I have been working on my current ideas for jewelry. Hopefully, this new batch of glass that should be ready for the kiln tomorrow, will have earrings that I can use for wire wrapping. I've received a lot of request for earrings and I understand why they are desirable. They are difficult because I want them to be uniform in size and then with the wire wrap. This weekend I'll know if I'm on my way to having an earring line.

And I'm still working on entries for the Glass at the Gardens. My personal deadline will be September 15th. I can enter up to 10 pieces and I think the show will be such a great opportunity, that I should do all I can to have as many entered as is possible for me.

So, to get back to the title of this blog spot. I'm making progress reading Julia's book and one of the basic principles she states is:
Creativity is God's gift to us. Using our creativity is our gift back to God.

What a beautiful, enlightened thought. I'm seeking to forge this creative alliance. Stay tuned........

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Asp-Zen Heart

Here is the promised photo of my little Asp-Zen Heart necklace.  Tomorrow it will accompany its companion piece, Asp-Zen Twigs, to Estes Park for the upcoming "Lines Into Shapes" show.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Guardians, a work in progress

This first picture is the  pre-fuse of the blank, right after I placed it in the kiln.  The three Guardians are representations of Sequoias I saw in a photograph.  I elected to add some fall colors to their leaves.

The next picture is after the initial fuse.  There were some things I wasn't happy with, so I added more detail and fired up the kiln again.  I'm waiting to see how this second fuse turned out and then I can proceed to the slumping process.

It is a beautiful day here in Colorado.  There definitely is that hint of coolness in the air that signals fall's arrival.  My morning started with a long bike ride with my husband and I have a good sense of tired right now.  More work to be done, but that's always the case.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

New Piece - Guardians, Part of The Ancients

In my last post, I discussed how I was in a quandary about what to work on next. When my mind gets in this jumbled state, it's best for me to walk out of the studio, close the door, and just take a break. And that's exactly what I did. True to form, that allowed my thoughts to settle and I realized that I just needed to get everything ready for the upcoming shows I have.

One of the first things I did last night was to complete a small pendant that I can include with my accepted entry for the Lines into Shapes show in Estes Park. I have a heart shaped aspen leaf from my initial firing of a variety of cabochons I wanted to choose from for that show. This little pendant turned out nice, so I'm ready to ship my work off to Estes Park and I'm ready for that show now. I'll post a picture of this, Asp-Zen Heart necklace in a few days.

After supper, I started on a design for one of my entries in the Glass at the Gardens show. I had an inspiration from a photograph of some Sequoias; they looked like Ancient Guardians in this forest setting. I'm not sure the design is complete and ready for the initial fusing of the blank, but I think it is close. I'll post a picture of this too.

Tonight is Art Hop. Heather chose 8 items from the delivery I made a few days ago. I'm anxious to see how she's incorporated them in the gallery setting.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Quandary, What to work on next.....

My glass supplier is having a sale on some beautiful dichroic pieces, so I couldn't resist and ordered some. Now I have a good inventory of glass, especially after a rather large order I placed a few weeks ago in preparation for fall and winter work. And that's my quandary....what do I start on now? Should I cut pieces for jewelry? Should I work on the design I sketched today for the Glass at the Gardens show? Or that other design of a pine cone for The Forest Series of plates? Given my diversity of work (jewelry, warm glass, stained glass) I do have too many irons in the fire. Tonight I put away my latest shipment of glass (drooled over the beauty of all of it) and decided to wire wrap a pendant. It's soothing to work with my hands. Unfortunately, my minor dilemma of what to start on next was left unresolved.

The beauty of working with fused glass is I can generally complete something in several days, so I still have plenty of time to get things ready for that show.

Course, that still leads me back to where I should start. And based on this, I opted to blog! Goodness. It will do me good to read some from the Artist's Way and call it a night.

Sweet dreams...................

Monday, August 18, 2008

Full Circle; How People Touch our Lives

For some reason I cannot explain, the past 24 hours have been filled with a lot of reflection for me, so I'll just go with it and capture those thoughts here. Maybe some of you have experienced some of this too, I sure hope so.

Full Circle.
I can remember how much I enjoyed creating drawings and those wonderful hour of art during a school day were such fun for me. I especially enjoyed when a mother of one of my classmates, who was a real artist, would come in and teach us something really cool. It was great. One day she had us bring in pictures from a magazine and we would pick one, I chose a lion's face. She had us fold the face in half vertically and draw the other side of the face, based on the side we were looking at. What a great exercise! Not only did we learn it didn't look quite right, but for all of us, we learned each side of our face is different. Thank you Mrs Secker; you sparked our creativity.

In third grade, it must have been Easter time and Sister Lawrence had us copy a drawing of Christ on the Cross. I couldn't believe my eyes as mine looked so much like the drawing that even Sister remarked about it. I didn't understand how I was able to do that. All I know is I knew my teacher was very impressed and made a point of telling my parents about it.

And then there was the time I won first prize for one of those newspaper coloring contests. I can't even tell you what it was, but for my age group I won. For once I managed to color inside the lines, something I rarely did. It was the only time I won one of those contests, but it left a lasting impression.

So, what does that have to do with anything? Well, it brings me to my reflections over the past 24 hours. My mom passed away a little over two years ago. I miss her. She's in my heart and will be there for as long as I live. When I was in high school, she encouraged me to take art classes. In my limited life experience at that time, I just couldn't see how art would become a career for me. Aahhh, youth is wasted on the young. Little did I know why she thought that, but I think she knew how much I enjoyed drawing...and I think she knew I had a talent that was waiting to be awakened. And how could she get through to this stubborn, head strong child of hers? Well, to her credit, she had me take lessons one summer from a teacher who lived in a small town, Lena, just to north of us in little Freeport IL. He took this group of high school students to various locations around Lena. We drew in charcoal and pencil. Dead trees, still life, old barns. It was a wonderful experience. Yet this teenage girl just couldn't see what might lay ahead for her as an artist.

The seeds were planted though and they grew over the years. I didn't study art in a formal school setting, but I still took classes from studios or shops in the various places I've lived. I took oil painting, did tole painting, and finally took my first class in stained glass. I had found my medium, it was glass. I loved it. And yet mastering it wouldn't come easy for me. That didn't stop me though, I kept at it.

So, now I feel like I'm finally coming full circle. After one career in insurance, and my current career in computer science, I have come back to art and I am embarking on my third career as an artist. How many years after my mother encouraged me along that path, and now I'm finally taking that journey. It's great.

How People Touch our Lives.
There are so many people who have touched my life, helping me to get to where I am today. I know I won't be able to think of all of them, but I've already mentioned a few (Mrs. Secker, Sister Lawrence, my mom, the art teacher from Lena...and I can't remember his name), and yes there are more......

My first stained glass teacher, Kate Loomiller , what a blast! We were in Texas at the time, life goes on, and we run into each other again as find find we are now living in Colorado. Kate taught me about shading with glass. What a cool concept. She taught me about the lines and how important they are to the piece. I owe her a lot.

Then there's Deb Steddom, a glass artist turned watercolor painter. She taught a class at a local stained glass shop several years ago. Drawing and how to create your own stained glass patterns. She encouraged me and told me that I can call myself an artist, because I am one. Ok Deb, I believe!

After my mother passed away, I decided I would buy a kiln with a portion of the money I received. That opened a whole new world of glass discovery for me and I cannot believe how well received my warm glass work is. So, yes, that is full circle for me with my mom and how much she touched my life.

Over the weekend, a friend of mine (Katy) gave me the book the Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. After July's Art Hop, Katy felt this book would be important for me. I've only read the first five pages of the introduction and something has already struck me like a bolt of lightening. The author was sharing what she would say to a group of artists she was teaching back in 1978, so I MUST share this excerpt from the book:

"Remember, there is a creative energy that wants to express itself through you"; "Don't judge the work or yourself. You can sort it out later"; "Let God work through you," I told them.

For me, this is powerful stuff. I have mentioned it here before, but I know deep in my soul that I am being guided on this artistic path and He is guiding me. I don't know why, but I do understand I need to just let go and let it happen. There's nothing to fear.

Full circle? Yes I think so. How People Touch our Lives? In more ways than we can ever know. Just try to be aware that it's happening and embrace it.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Gems - Sapphire Quilt

Here's the first of my Gems, this one is the Sapphire Quilt. I primarily use Bullseye Glass and I think this piece demonstrates why. I love the richness of the color.

There will be more gems to follow.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Dreams do come true

Last night, when I got home from my corporate day job, there was a message from the gallery stating they wanted me to bring in some more of my pendants. Great news. I wrap my fused glass pendants on a fairly regular basis so I have inventory on hand for situations like this. I had to do a little scrambling to get my inventory list prepared for this delivery, but I have a template in place and it will continue to get easier as I simplify this process. Course I just couldn't resist wrapping a few extra pieces last night to take in with my delivery today.

During lunch, I delivered the pendants. It's such fun as Jessica checks them in and Heather, the gallery owner, talks about the latest events at the gallery. As we are talking, Heather asks if I have other work ready to bring in, which I do! Had a chance to tell her about my new collections and she will look at what I have and see what she would like. This is so exciting for me.

I feel like my dreams are being realized and my artistic future looks bright. Thank you Heather, Second Street Art Market , for giving me this wonderful opportunity! Never doubt, dreams do come true....................

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Reflections of a Glass Artist

When I first came up with a title for my blog, all that came to mind was Kathleen's Glass Thoughts. I figured that I needed to have something related to glass and what I do as glass artist. It wasn't my ideal blog title, but it was all I could come up with at the time.

Since then, it's been on my mind, and today it finally hit me....Reflections of a Glass Artist. Now I like that play on words, so my new blog title will be just that.

I've been firing my kiln every day this week. New ideas are flowing and I'm so excited about the finished pieces. I'll be posting pictures. The first of my Gem Tone Series turned out very nice. It's a sapphire colored vase with a top that looks almost quilted. A great effect in the glass. Hope to post the picture in the next day or two.

Those are my morning reflections for the day...................

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Lines Into Shapes -- ACCEPTED!!!!!!

Today I received an acceptance letter from The Art Center of Estes Park. One of my new jewelry pieces, in the Aspen Grove Series, Asp-Zen Twigs has been accepted for their upcoming show, Lines into Shapes! I know the reality of this hasn't sunk in yet. This is a National Juried Show. That's HUGE!

I'm counting my blessings. There isn't any doubt for me, He is guiding me in this artistic journey.

The show is held from September 19th to October 5th at the Art Center located at 517 Big Thompson Avenue in Estes Park, Colorado. The opening reception will be Friday, the 19th of September from 5 - 7 PM with an awards ceremony at 6:30 PM.

Live life to the fullest, Count your blessings, Give Thanks, and Strive for Excellence...........

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Inspiration at Mueller State Park

There are so many beautiful places on this earth. Today, my husband, his mother, and I went to Mueller State Park and enjoyed the beautiful aspens, evergreens, wildflowers, and even a pond that was so still you could not only see the reflection of the trees in it, but small fish swimming about. It was wonderful inspiration for an artist's soul. We all took photos to be used as the basis for some new works each of us will do.

When we got home, I fired up the kiln to begin a slump for a new plate. AND, I dug into my new glass supply finding what I hope will be a great choice for a new vase design.

Even though I feel the pressure of so many constraints on my time, it's healthy and great to just have a brief get away to renew one's spirit. Happy creating.............

Friday, August 8, 2008


Ever since I started working with glass, I quickly came to the realization that I was addicted to beautiful sheets of glass. It's hard for me to resist a sheet that has so many beautiful effects before it's been transformed into a stained glass window, a fused pendant, or a fused decorative item.

This week I placed a rather large order with my supplier, trying to stock up on some sale items and also colors I know will work wonderfully for fall and winter/Christmas pieces. Again, I realized my addiction to glass. So there are these wonderful pieces waiting for me to begin working with them to create more in my existing collections and new collections.

Speaking of new collections, I'm working on my Gem Tone Series. All of these are transparent glass with rich colors of ruby, sapphire, amethyst, and more. Stay tuned!

And with that I will say, my name is Kathleen and I am a Glass-Aholic..............

Sunday, August 3, 2008

A Weekend in the Mountains

My husband and I just returned from a wonderful weekend at Copper Mountain . Dan road in the Copper Triangle event and he did even better than last year. I road 2o miles with him the day before the event, starting at Frisco and working our way up the trail. I almost made it to the top, but my thighs were talking at about 10,300', so it was time to turn around. That was my highest ride at elevation and let me tell you, the air is MUCH thinner up there....even though we live at roughly 7,500'. I felt great the next day and was happy to be the 'support team'.

It was great to relax, people watch, soak in the beautiful mountain scenery.

Our bassets stayed at 'camp' and while they enjoy their time there, they are very happy to be back home.

Now I'm ready to get back to creating! Make it a great week!