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!