Thursday, October 23, 2014

Autumn Foliage and Flowers ~
 There is nothing quite as majestic as the colors of autumn. The richness of the red leaf maple which has grown since being planted on mother's day three years ago. Black eyed susans surround the maple during the summer.
 Next to the woods, there are sassafras trees and many more tulip poplar. This is where the deer saunter into our yard. Have not seen the twins lately, but then they are adolescents.
 At the base of our yard, you look beyond the trees to see the mountains which are the colors of a patch work quilt these days.
 A few black eyed susans near the green house continue to bloom holding onto the heat.
 This Japanese anemone is one of hundreds that feel completely at home here from early spring to the deepest frost. Even when they are separated and divided they multiply. If you want any, please come in the spring and I will be glad to dig some up for you.
 While at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens in Durham last week, we identified this plant as an aster. It is well over six feet tall with clusters of purple flowers. It keeps the few bees and butterflies happy.

                                         Focusing upon the tree in the yard in the this photo
                                                  and the hydrangea in this photo.
                                         A close up to see the amazing colors of this flower.
The joy of the mountains on an October day.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Glass Fusing at William Holland School of Lapidary Arts with Julia Larson ~

William Holland School of Lapidary Arts is located in North Georgia in Young Harris about two hours from Asheville, North Carolina. Classes begin after dinner on Sunday evenings. I was enrolled in Glass Fusing II with Julia Larson from Huntington Street Art Glass Design in Florida. I was one of six students in the class. Sunday night we started layering our layered pendants which were immediately put in the kiln to be fired. This was a three firing process.
 On Monday we learned about the reactive potential of Bullseye Glass. The results are see in these two photographs. The canary yellow glass was glued to a piece of clear glass with turquoise frit glued on the top of the yellow creating shadows from the frit. The tomato glass had strips of silver foil and a clear glass top. Light cyan with a clear glass base and Bullseye reactive stringers are on the right. My favorite begins with a clear glass bottom topped by french vanilla adding foil strips and then sprinkle with light aqua medium frit. This one will become a pendant.
                      More reactions with Bullseye glass, Bullseye frit, and into the kiln they go.
 This is a real fern with lots of frit in many colors. The joy of glass is you are never sure what your art glass will become until it is out of the kiln.
                      One layer of glass over fiber paper with bubbles in just the right places!
 We pulled our own stringers from scrap pieces of glass. White glass is placed onto a base of clear glass and the stringers were added. They looked like glass sculpture before they were fused.

We used mica to make a paste which had to dry at least 24 hours. It was then punched out. We placed the punched mica onto a base layer of glass add a clear top. All my mica pieces had bubbles in them except one. We also learned how to pop the bubbles.
                        The finished layered pendant with a decal and it is beveled and fire polished.
 Julia called this piece rock and roll. It is frit which has been manipulated and fused.
     We created glass tops for a very sweet wooden box. These will make nice holiday gifts.
 Using blue aventurine frit, we created a paste which we painted on a white piece of glass with a clear glass base. Dragonflies are very special to me for many reasons. The blue aventurine sparkles!
   Bird's nest pendants created with tiny strips of glass and some little dichroic dots.

A side view of the bubble in the mica tree.  These are just some of the pieces I created this past week at William Holland. My roommate created stunning jewelry with gold wire and gemstones. Several classes in many different arts are held each week from April until the end of October.
They serve a very delicious three meals a day with tea, coffee, ice water, and ice available 24 hours.
I'll be back next year for another class. Julia Larson will again be teaching glass fusing but doing different class projects. Thank you Julia and William Holland for an amazing creative week!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Altering a Book ~
 Yesterday I had a follow up appointment to see a medical professional. The first visit I waited an hour to be seen. I was prepared. I took a book with me I had gotten from the library and began folding the pages. The result is this altered book.
     Three folds in sequence created this book. I learned these folds from an article by Jane Asper in the October 2007  issue of Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion magazine.

                                              There were 302 pages in this book.
 Find a book. I use hardback books purchased used.
                                       The first fold is folding toward the center of the book. Four folds..
 The second fold is made by folding the page in half for four pages.Repeat until you come to the center of the book.
 In the center fold the page in half and then half of that. There are a lot of center folds and you might want to do a bit of math before you begin this project. Fold 3 do 8 times, Fold 2 four times, Fold 1 four times. Fold 2 four times. Fold 1 four times. Fold 2 four times. Fold 3 15 times. Fold 2 four times. Fold 1 four times. Fold 2 four times. Fold 1 four times. Fold 3 eight times. Then go back to the way you started. Fold 2 four times. Fold 1 four times until the end of the book.
 Another book with three folds that I sprayed with food coloring. Be careful when you do this as I diluted the food coloring with water and sprayed inside a book. Food coloring will stain wood. You can also use any kind of  mist or spray. This one was a nice color.

 To create this book, you use two of the folds in the first book. The first fold is folding the page in half and then fold the pages as shown above. The triangles look like sails on a ship.
Repeat this pattern until the end of the book. I leave the end covers of the book without folds.
If you have an appointment and you know you will be waiting for awhile, take along a used book and create your own altered book. Make up your own folds or cut the pages. Have fun!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Just a hint of fall in the air

The mountains are a luscious green upon green here. Yet, the evening before the Harvest Moon, there was just a hint of a chill in the air. The chill that creates the sweetness of Ginger Gold apples from the Mullins orchard and pumpkins turning orange on the vine.
Just the time to share some fall fused glass jewelry with you.

The moon and stars watching over you as you wish on the first star. The white is a opal white glass that just seems to mimic opals.

The orange streaky glass is a Bullseye glass with orange, white, and green shimmering with a bit of aventurine within the glass.
Jack the pumpkin carved face is quite famous for many Halloween stories and a few Jack tales as well. This pumpkin face is cut from copper as are the leaves, moon, and stars. Each glass seems to create different colors in the copper.
All the glass art is unique one of a kind. They are all available for sale. ~