Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sungold Cherry Tomatoes Update

My upside-down tomatoes are doing fantastically well. These pictures were taken last Tuesday, and it was super hot this weekend... but I kept them well-watered and they are doing really well.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Why Pyrex?

I baked a pie today in a pyrex glass baking dish. Have you ever wondered why Pyrex is bake-able when art glass is usually so fragile and easy to break? Even if you haven't wondered - heres the reason why! :)

Glass is hot and molten at temperatures well over a thousand degrees Fahrenheit. Thermal shock is a big threat to glass, more stressful than brute force, and every type of glass has a particular temperature that triggers the release of stress. This temperature range is called the "stress point" and for most art glass its around 150 degrees Fahrenheit. For Pyrex, the stress point is up around 950 degrees Fahrenheit - this is drastically higher, and this is why you can put Pyrex glass on a stove burner and heat it up without breaking the glass. If you did this with art glass the piece would certainly break. But with Pyrex, there is no way you are going to heat the glass up anywhere near 950 degrees Fahrenheit in the kitchen, so there is much less of a chance that you might break the glass.

Although if you take a hot Pyrex dish and throw it in the sink and run cold water over it, be careful, any introduction of stress will probably cause the glass to break (the thermal shock of getting hot than cold so fast is very stressful, even for Pyrex).


Monday, June 23, 2008

so what now...

okay, so now that this big conference is over, the question lingers

what do I feel inspired to do now?

I'll tell ya all that time spent watching sweaty glass blowers ... I feel compelled to play in the hot shop. I do think I might rent some time with a friend down at Elements glass.

But that is just play. I am inspired by the pattern work of Klaus Moje. My grandmother loves quilting and I'd like to make things for her that remind her of quilts. And I somehow think that doing pattern work in fused glass, like how quilters do pattern work, would look really neat. Let alone the idea of maybe taking these into the hot-shop and maybe rolling them up.

I also happened to locate a lot of my borosilicate dichro glass last week when I was emptying a box for shipping (I was going thru a box emptying out the peanuts and found a few sheets of dichro) so I am all inspired to make a big batch of rings.

Life is good, my torch is calling out to me to use it... my body wants to get back into doing yoga again (I have been lazy) and tomorrow I am going out fruit picking on Sauvi Island.
Its interesting, the balance of keeping up with work and orders and current projects abounding - I am grateful for the business and excited about make a living doing what I love and enjoy. However there in lies a challenge to balance work with play - time management. How do I find the time to do all that I am now inspired to do?


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Venetian Torchworking

The most amazing demonstration I watched this weekend was the two venetian men making a candelabra.

Lucia Bubbaco made these amazing glass figures, a woman and a satyr playing a flute and an angel playing the violin. Diego Bottacin made the spectacular candelabra that held all the figures. In the end they even put candles in the candle-holders and lit them and let them burn away. Its amazing to see soft glass wielded with such grace and finesse - and then even more so: to see this huge piece just set on the table and left there for us all to check out. It was annealed later that night to later be sold at the auction.
Above is a picture of Diego Bottacin lighting the candles.

Lucio Bubbaco also made an "Eve" figure for the demonstrations (she was not put on the candelabra) that was a beautiful ivory colored figure (he even did the hair!) that had amber colored snakes running up and around her. That is what the videos show him making. This blew my mind, it takes a lot of experience to work softglass in the flame like this. In this next video I am being blown away that he can make the snakes around her without causing cracks and blow-ups. Amazing.

This last picture is a shot of their torches. They were beautiful, ran a pretty big flame that seemed kinda fluffy and kind to the glass, not so forceful, but still neutral. And they are pretty torches to look at too, those Venetians :)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Bacon Boy

Bacon Boy
Originally uploaded by LeahPellegrini
Let me tell you the story of bacon boy:
He was created at the 2008 Glass Art Society conference during the pre-show "Day of Glass" at Elements Glass Studio in Portland Oregon. The Day of Glass was a free public access event where kids and adults got to play with hot glass and see wild demonstrations. There was a children's contest where kids could submit a design for something to be blown in glass. The child that won was a leukemia patient at Doernbecher Children's Hospital - he got to come to the event and see his bacon boy come to life in hot glass. The glass blowers even cooked bacon for the "smellivision" factor! The little boy was photographed in a viking helmet at the event and there was an article the next morning in the paper all about it. For the next few days B-Boy was lovingly carried around the busy hotshop as he was prepped for the auction. I have no doubt he is going to be very popular at the auction tonight!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Check out my Glass Art at the Portland Saturday Market

Meet Aimee - she is my friend and helpful assistant. This weekend she will be running the booth, representing me at the Portland Saturday Market as I work (and play) at the Glass Conference.
She will be there all weekend - so come on down and shop for some glass!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

How to Weld Glass

In this video is James Minson. He is constructing an arm of a chandelier as he discusses and demonstrates his welding technique.

video is from his demo at the 2008 Glass Art Society Conference


Jun Kaneko exhibit at Portland Japanese Gardens

stripey glass
Originally uploaded by LeahPellegrini
There are more pictures on my flickr account...

I really enjoyed the exhibit at the glass Japanese Gardens for the 2008 GAS conference. It runs in tandem with their "Art in the Garden" series. Some of the artwork they have been showcasing has been in the pavilion, gallery style. Very respectful, incredibly gorgeous and meditative. Some of the artwork is displayed outside in the elements like public installations. Its these outdoor installations that move me the most. I like the way they glow in the sunlight and drip with rain.

Its a temporary installation - I am glad I went while it was there!

Little Videos from the Glass Conference

This is a quick video of the Giles Bettison demo at the Glass Art Society in Portland Oregon at Elements Glass Studio. He is rolling up a flat sheet that is composed and designed of many pieces. Then this sheet is turned into a tube and blown into a shape. The shape he made in the end was really neat, blown like a vase, but squashed kind of flat. In this video you see him picking up the sheet of glass on a blowpipe ... rolling up the sheet - what the technique is named after.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Local Glass Opportunities

with the Glass Art Society in town this week - Portland is like a candy shop for any lover of glass

Fun Things to Do:

- Go to the Art Museum and check out the Klaus Moje exhibit. $10 adult admission, its wonderful
- Go to the Contemporary Craft Museum to absorb the local craft scene and get lost in conversation about art, glass, and what it all means to us.
- Go to the Japanese Garden (and stop to smell the roses in the International Rose Garden) and check out the exhibit: Frozen Music: Glass in the Garden

- have a gibassier from the Pearl Bakery
- have coffee at Stumptown or breakfast/lunch at Bijou cafe

Wednesday, June 18:
9 am - 4 pm Elements Glass (click here for directions)
The Glass Art Society hosts a “Day of Glass” to kick off their 38th annual international glass
conference in Portland, Oregon. The event will be held at the new 12,000 square foot home
of Elements Glass studio at 1979 NW Vaughn. The event will consist of multiple hot glass
demonstrations inside the building and outside on the Corning Museum of Glass Hotglass
Roadshow (a mobile hot glass studio), an art glass exhibition by local artists, food vendors, Kid’s Design Glass – an event hosted by the Museum of Glass Hot Shop Team, featuring designs submitted by area children, and more. The event is great for all ages and will be free and open to the public.

10am - 2pm Farmers Market (click here for directions)
Downtown by the Portland Art Museum is my favorite weekly farmers market. The flowers, the produce, the cheese - and oooh did I mention the cookies. This is a great place to get lunch (tamales and grilled sausages are just 2 of your options) and taste the bounty of the Pacific NW.

Friday, June 20th:
6 - 9 pm; The Pearl District - Gallery Hop
Many of the galleries and shops in the downtown/Pearly District area will be showcasing glass exhibits. Come join the artists and mingle for this fun Gallery Hop - open to the public!

Saturday, June 21st
10am - 5pm The Portland Saturday Market
Check out the local artists vending their work at this 30+ year old market. A tourist staple of Portland.

okay - that was a mouthful. I know there is more - but hey - this is a glassfest, so ENJOY!


Day of Museum Hopping

Oh my I have had a pact day. After doing a bunch of work this morning (still trying to get work done on projects - get all packages out in the mail with tender loving care - whew!) Tim and I took advantage of the day (Tuesday is supposed to be my weekend)

We stopped for a meal at Bijou cafe (um... yummy grilled anise orange gibassier from the Pearl Bakery)

Then we went to the Contemporary Craft Museum where there is a glass exhibit by artist and physicist Melissa Dyne and in the gallery there was some amazing glass. I was most impressed by a fully functional glass spinning wheel made by Andy Paiko - truly amazing!

We made a small stop at Powells book and then headed over to the Portland Art Museum. There is an incredible exhibit of Klaus Moje's work. There even was a fun video of him working, and a heap of glass artists (including myself) sitting in front of the screen intensely watching. You can already feel all the glass artists in town, the art museum was full of them :)

I wanted to get to the Japanese Gardens as well for the glass exhibit there (maybe there will be time tomorrow if I cross my fingers) - there are so many great glass opportunities around Portland right now, its sorta insane!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Glass Art Society Conference is this Week!

I am so excited (and busy!) its this week!

You will be able to find my booth at the Portland Saturday Market - come by and check out what I make! My assistant Aimee will be holding down the fort - Thanks Aimee!

And you can find me at Elements Glass where all the demonstrations are going on - come by and check it out - it'll be amazing!

I Love Glass Rings

I started my little business selling glass rings made out of borosilicate glass. I love them. I even fix them for customers if they ever break. Recently I heard from a customer of mine that bought a ring from me 7 years ago (hes worn it since then - 7 years!), it finally broke so he sent it to me so I could fix it. When I saw the ring a huge smile broke accross my face - this ring is worn with love - literally! It looks like beach glass now!I took another picture of the ring pieces next to a ring that is similar so you can see what the ring used to look like - you can barely see that the well-loved ring has blue dichroic sparkles in it! This sand-blasted quality can be easily fire polished off, in fact as soon as the ring hits the flame to be fixed it will turn glossy again.
I have only seen such a well-loved ring of mine twice before. Seriously, even the rings that I have and wear don't look like this. You really have to wear it A LOT to make it look like this. And its an incredible testament to how strong this glass is that it can be scratched so thoroughly without breaking! I have one customer at the Portland Saturday Market who comes and visits me all the time and she wears one of my rings on her pinky (I don't think she ever takes it off - she probably bought it from me 5 or 6 years ago). I have polished it for her a number of times to bring the sparkle back out.

I was visited by a couple this weekend at the market that bought rings from me for their anniversary one year... they bought two rings and watched as I made them both from one ribbon of glass. A year later they came and had me do it again. They have done this for 3 years now - soon I will make them a forth set. I know they wear them ALL the time and they love them. Here's a picture of their hands:

It tickles my heart that there are people out there who love my rings so much. Thank You!!


Glass Ferris Wheel

My friend Tom has been working on a project out at the Aquila Glass School and I asked him if I could share pictures of it on my blog - because I think this is just great!!! A glass ferris wheel!!!Here's a closeup of one of the chairs, they rotate freely so as the wheel spins the chairs move.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Taking Pictures of Glass

Taking pictures of glass art can be really tricky. Using natural light really helps get a bright and good looking picture that has true colors... but sometimes the sun is just not shinning when a picture needs to be taken.
These PhotoFlood bulbs are the answer - they provide a really bright light that does not leave a yellow/orange tinge in your pictures. They have a short life span, but they last me years because I simply attach the light fixtures (I use the inexpensive metal hoods from the hardware store) to a power strip and I only turn them on when I am taking a picture. Really they are too bright to leave on while I am fiddling around with my glass to set it up for a picture-perfect pose - so just turn them on when you are ready to hit the trigger on the camera and then turn them back off as I go to set up the next object.

If you live in Portland Oregon these bulbs are available for sale at Sunlan on NE Mississippi


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Up-side-down Tomato Update

Up-side-down Tomato Update:

I have created a folder in my Flickr account of all the pictures as I take them.

Day 29

Here is one of the tomatoes - looking good eh?!

To see how it looked in the beginning: click here

More Photos From Customers

I love this picture - it also just arrived in my email box the box in her lap is the original packaging from shipping - this is literally a shot taken with a cell-phone as this cute recipient opens her package.

Thanks Keeley for the photo!


Pictures from Customers

I love receiving pictures from my happy customers - its the best! If you own a mobile of mine, and you have some pictures of it - feel free to email them my way! There are many pictures that are viewable on my website... but one day I mean to put together a gallery of pictures that customers have sent me.

Today these arrived in my email box. The Bulloch family home has a beautiful spot for this mobile to dance. The window on the left lets light stream in thru the glass and the window on the right actually leads thru to a bathroom, so you can see the mobile dancing from in that room as well.

Thanks Kathleen!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

cutting circles

I am playing catch-up with circles. Last week I cut a bunch, but my nose was running so much I couldn't bring myself to fire them in the kilns. So this week I am playing catch-up. Its great to feel healthy again, but it sorta feels like the to-do lists are a little nutso.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Collaboration Mobiles

I have been collaborating with another artist friend of mine, Amanda of Bread and Badger. Amanda is an incredible artist and she free-hand etches her designs onto glass. Check out her Etsy store to see more! Shes got a fun blog as well! So... Amanda etched the pieces and I made the mobiles. One is ocean themed and a second mobile is forest themed.

Heres a little video diddy of one dancing.

I really enjoy Amanda's work and it's a great combination, bringing her artwork to life in my mobiles. The first two are now available for sale on Etsy - go check them out!

there is an Ocean Mobile

and a Forest Mobile

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Sideways Mobile Dancing

okay - its sideways and I can't figure out how to rotate it... so just turn your head :)