Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Glass Act - my process explained...

"Greens and Amber" - SOLD

"Blues" - SOLD

"Greens and Amber" - SOLD

"Greens and Amber" SOLD

"Colbalt, Greens and Yellow" - SOLD

"Colbalt and Yellow" - SOLD

In November of 2007, I discovered the wonderful world of Glass Art. I guess living so close to Dale Chihuly's Glass Museum has had a big influence on me. After visiting the museum, and watching the glass artists at work in the "hot box", I decided that someday I'd love to try working with glass myself. My wife gave me a wonderful gift - a certificate to "The glass blowing experience" at the Tacoma Glassblowing Studios in Tacoma, Washington.

First of all, I need to give credit to glass artist Shane Nutter for his assistance in my recent creations. The whole process is a transformation of a formless glowing glob into a beautiful piece of glass art. Below is the 2 man process that is used to create my glass art:

Using a long bar call a puntil, you pick up a small amount of molten glass from the main furnace. You then cool the bar, then heat the glass back up in what's called the "glory hole", a 2000 degree furnace. Then you pick up three different colors of glass chips that I've laid out on a tray - rotating the bar for each different color.

Then it's back to the glory hole to melt the picked up colors into the molten glass, setting them into the form. I remove it from the glory hole and take it over to a bench where you roll the bar, while grabbing the end of the glass with pliers and twist the heck out of the piece. That's how I get the colors to have a swirling effect. But that's only the first part of my technique...

I heat it up again in the glory hole to get it back to a molten state, take it back over to the bench and begin to make about ten different cuts into the molten glass with large shears, while at the same time turning the rod in different positions. You then pick up the final layer of clear glass in the furnace, and do the final forming into the shape I want. The final things you do is form the bottom, let the piece cool some, and tap the bar to seperate the piece from the bar. After heating up the bottom of the piece with a small blow torch, it's then stamped with my initials and year on the bottom. It's then annealed over night in an oven. The glass sculptures range in height from 4" to 6".

Monday, January 14, 2008

It's Not Always the Camera...

Many photographers tend to constantly upgrade their equipment to the latest and greatest. That usually includes the higher end cameras, tripods, gadgets, and photography software programs. But as many photographers know, it's sometimes just being in the right place, at the right time - and simply having a photographers "eye".

I started my amature photography career in February of 2005. My digital camera was an inexpensive Olympus D-460 - 1.3 Megapixel "Point and Shoot".

While vacationing on the Oregon Coast, my wife and I pulled over at the Manzanita Bay Overlook and witnessed one of the most amazing scenes I have ever photographed. The silhouette of the guitarist looking out over the Pacific Ocean is one of my all-time favorite shots. The mist on the beach below, and the emotion that the guitarist portrays with just his silhouette, is something that can rarely be reproduced or staged. It's not always the camera...

"Inspired By the Mist"

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The desire of every artist - Improving over time

I had never picked up a soft pastel stick until May, 2005 - that's actually when I got back into my art 30 years after obtaining my Fine Arts degree...another story for later. :)

It's amazing how I have improved in almost three years of creating pastel paintings. The improvement comes from many hours of practice, exploring other artist's techniques, viewing WetCanvas threads, and attending workshops.

Here is one of my first attempts using soft pastels - June of 2005.
"Seaside Before Sunset" - 13"x23" on Canson paper

In September, 2007 - I created one of my favorite paintings -
"Forgotten Field" - 12"x18" on Museum Grade Wallis Paper.