Monday, March 31, 2008

Richard Parrish Design Workshop...

Wow, my brain throbs just thinking about it! This workshop really made you think, which I loved! Richard Parrish is a fabulous, thoughtful instructor. He made this class fun and exciting and really put us through our paces! His presentations on design, proportion, and intent were to say the least inspiring! Mostly I found myself questioning my approach as to how and frankly why I create my work. This was a GOOD thing! This workshop really made me approach design differently. Richard's motto is "Design like you give a damn!" and that is my intent going forward.

The exercise presented in these photos illustrates the varied perceptions and intents in interpreting a design task. Each participant had a different and beautiful expression of the line, symmetry, the dot, asymmetry, balance, etc. It really opened our eyes to all of the possibilities!

In this example, we took a simple sketch and interpreted it in glass. This one highlights the line, balance and asymmetry.

This one also highlights the line, but looks at positive space and motion.

All in all this one one of the most comprehensive design workshops for glass that I've experienced! Richard is a wonderful teacher and mentor, and it's worth every cent to take a class with him. I'm also happy to call him my friend!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

What Have You Done for Me Lately?

Some of you may have heard us talking about an architectural job we were completing for a record producer who lives here in San Antonio. A few have even asked to see pictures. Well here's what we've been doing lately. It's finally installed and the client is really happy. It was a lot of work to get the edging correct and matching on each piece, but it was worth it.

The photos were taken during the day, which is not the ideal lighting, but you can see that even in daylight the panels glow. This was our first 120 pound glass job, and we lived to tell the tale!

This counter top/bar is 9' long, 2' wide, and 1" thick. Each panel weighs 40 pounds!

Here's a close up view!

Here's the long view!

Me and the happy client!

A Wrap up of The Roll Up!

The last week in February we hosted Johnathan Schmuck (for those of you who are not already ravings fans... its pronounced like "book") as our visiting instructor teaching "The Roll Up". A fantastic time was had by all! Johnathan is a terrific teacher and so much fun to work with! Students came from as far as Hawaii, Atlanta, Houston, Kerrville, and good old San Antonio. It was worth the trip! Here's a few highlights!

First an 8" x 10" tile is constructed:

Then that tile is fused:

After it is fused, the tile is cold worked and heated back up to temp in an annealing kiln. Once it has reached temp, it is pulled out of the annealing kiln, and rolled onto the end of a mole (pronounced like "boil"). From there, the tile is bent and heated in the glory hole to shape it:

The tile is continually heated, blown open, and shaped via the marvering table. Then, the tile is gathered at the end and a small pinch of glass (the frigger - great word!) is removed. The pinched area then becomes the bottom of the piece and a punty rod is attached, after which the mole is removed:

After more shaping and applause, the piece is then removed from the punty rod and put in an annealing kiln to cool.

Here's a photo of the class participants, a few missed the photo, sorry guys! Each 8 hour day Johnathan, with assistance from Larry West and the students, rolled up 10 vessels. It was an unmatchable event! Don't miss a chance to do this class when you see it offered. Johnathan will be back teaching more in the Fall of 2008 and Spring of 2009!

Many thanks to our brothers at Dragonfire Hot Glass Studios who hosted the hot glass portion of this event! It rocked!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I came, I saw, I (we) Wove! Hello Scottsdale!

A few weeks ago I traveled to Scottsdale, Arizona to teach a short glass weaving workshop. It was so wonderful to see the mountains and the beautiful desert. Unfortunately it was bit chilly and rainy, but we stayed very busy at Firebird Studios in the Scottsdale Airpark. The studio space was very comfortable, open, bright and airy. The students all seems to really enjoy being there. We all laughed and learned and wove!

Julie Cross, the owner of Firebird Studio is a long time friend who invited me to teach at her studio, and also come for a short visit because we needed a little "girl time." We had the 2-day workshop and then shopped, ate, laughed, stayed up an talked, solved the problems of the world, and then played in the studio with glass projects, precious metal clay, and other assorted diversions.

You know that you had a great time when you come home from a trip and need a vacation, just to recover. Of course as the fates twisted, I got so sick with a wicked sinus infection, that I spent 3 days in bed! Those Arizona girls really know how to party!!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

We're So Lucky to Still be Here!

Last week was one of fear, relief, sadness, and joy, as all of the Wired Designs family joined together and watched portions of our beloved Artisan's Alley burn. We are still rocked by the complete devastation of 6 shops (Haceinda Gallery, FurKids, Baby-Me & More, Tuscany, Charrisa Seip Interiors, and Marisol Boutique), the partial damage of 3 shops (Tres Rebeccas, Finders Keepers, and Back Alley Antiques), and the random sparing of the rest.

As we watch many of our fellow shop owners wander through the alley in a daze, we feel helpless, horrified, and so sad for their losses. We also feel guilty over our relief that we were completely spared.

We want to let everyone know we are okay! Our studio, gallery and supply shop were untouched. We are up and running, and the show is "going on." Thanks so much for all of the kindness and concern you've shown to the Wired Designs team as well as the other shop owners and staff at the alley. When the going gets touch, it's wonderful to find out how many friends we have. You all are treasured!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Long Time No See...or Write!

It's been a while since I've made a blog entry. I'm embarrassed that so much has happened that I just couldn't put it into words. I guess I'll start with BECON 2007, which took place in August.

It was one of the most interesting educational experiences that I've had in the glass world. There were several social events as well as education seminars about architectural glass installations, large scale public art projects in glass, and profiles of specific international projects in various stages of completion. All of the presentations were interesting. Highlights included Gordon Huether's presentation on his career, Richard Parrish's presentation of his work, and Narcissus Quagliata's profile of a multi-million dollar project he is completing in Asia. One highlight of our trip was that Stacey, Nicole, and I had a private dinner with Narcissus. It was total happenstance, but an enlightening time was had by all. Narcissus is an absolute gem! He is kind, introspective, funny, and a gentleman! After 30 something years in the glass world/business, he is still so enthusiastic about what he does and who it's done for. We couldn't say enough great things about him. He was a pleasure and we all felt very privileged to spend time with the "rock star" of glass.

Next came "The Bullseye Sale" in September. That event is always exciting and overwhelming. This year we had 29 cases of glass shipped in by truck and 29 cases of glass gone (purchased) in 2.5 days. Glass Artisans came to San Antonio from all over with their trucks, uhauls, and hatchbacks, just to "take it all away." Ahh...Good Times! It took us all about a week to recover, but we're always glad we did it!

Our October happening was our visit from Kerry Transtrum, a very talented glass artist and instructor. It was Kerry's third year here at Wired Designs, and it's always eye opening and fun. This year Kerry taught "Casting the Human Form." I got covered with all kinds of goop, from Alginate to plaster to rubber mold making materials. The students had a ball and they all came out with fantastic glass hands, feet, faces, and other body parts which shall remain undescribed! We can't wait for Kerry to return!

That brings us to November and our visit from Johnathon Schmuck. His coldwork class was one of the hits of the year. Students learned the glass lathe and intaglio cutting, they learned how to use every coldworking machine on earth! They also learned hand lapping with grit. I was a real non-believer prior to this class because of the mess, etc. Johnathon made it so easy, that I have been converted! We learned dozens of tricks with the tile saw, lap wheels, sandblaster, hand pads, and more. Beside all of the fantastic knowledge he shared, he was so much fun to hang with. He is the "master of zen." Nothing shook his calm, no matter how crazy! He'll be back in February for his famous "roll-up" class. We can't wait!

I think you are relatively up-to-date now! I promise I'll be better at being timely. Stay tuned...There is always something fun happening!

Next year I am teaching for the Southwest School of Art and Craft. I'm really excited at the opportunity to join this esteemed institution's roster of instructors. I'll also be teaching at the Glass Craft Expo in Las Vegas in April. That is another exciting opportunity. 2008 promises to be a great year!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

San Antonio Glass Art Guild Show

San Antonio Glass Art Guild CALL FOR ENTRIES

We are excited to be a part of San Antonio Art Glass history. The San Antonio Glass Art Guild, San Antonio's official Guild for glass art enthusiasts, is accepting entries for its First Annual Show and Exhibition at beautiful Artisan's Alley on Nov. 3, 2007 from 11:00 a.m. till 4:30 p.m.

A wine tasting, silent auction and live auction will be held in
conjunction with this event, which benefits Wings. WINGS (Women Involved in Nurturing, Giving, Sharing) is a non-profit Texas Corporation whose mission is to provide comprehensive breast health care services to women in Central and South Texas who would otherwise not receive the needed care and treatment for breast cancer. A local personality will emcee the live auction.

There will be considerable effort and publicity to optimize the success of this first show. All participants in this first show, will be guaranteed a slot and input in next year’s show.

Participating Artists must sell only hand-crafted pieces; no glass beads, pendants or jewelry from imported/outside sources. No resale of wholesale items. San Antonio Glass Art Guild membership is required of all participating artists. Annual dues are only $40. Various table and booth options are available beginning at only $50.

For more information or to download applications, please visit the Guild's website at: Additional enquiries may be directed to:

Deadline is August 1, 2007 for completed show application.