Monday, December 31, 2018

Saying Goodbye to the Holiday Season

 Another whirlwind-of-a-year is coming to a close. We are winding down in the Studio, taking a short break from the busy holiday season. It has been nice to be with family and enjoy our grandchildren, instead of our usual countless hours spent filling requests for glass orders. Our glassblowing and slumping and fusing projects were going out the door as fast as we could make them. So this last week has been extra nice, not having to meet any deadlines. Some of the projects we did in December are in the photos pictured below. Take a look at some of the glass works created in this last month of the year. The first picture was a special commission created especially for a local author. The elephants are re-creations of the main character in one of her children's books. Projects like these are enjoyable because of the creative leeway given. Glass enamels highlighted the fused pieces.
Fused glass elephants highlighted with glass enamels
A Kiln full of annealed candy canes

Fused and Glass Enameled Holiday Display

Blown Glass Snowboarder Ornament
Many Ornaments were sold at our Holiday Open House the first week in December
Blown Glass Cheetah Ornament with gold highlights

Whimsical Blown Glass Frog Ornaments
Our Jackson Hole Buyer needed more of the glass wildlife in her store, so we created many pieces for her in December. They are sold in her retail store up in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Pictured below are just a few of the pieces that were made for her.
Frosted Glass Swans in Flight

A whitewater rafters ornament

New techniques and colors were used on this glass trout

Glass Moose with Cattails

A Frosted Mountain Goat with Gold Horns

Now we are on the cusp of a New Year.....thinking ahead, once again, to the many possibilities we can create in the Studio. We're sure that the view out our window will help inspire us to get back to work. The new year will see us going full steam ahead, staying warm by the torches in the coming cold winter months. We'd like to wish you a very Happy New Year from A Touch of Glass Studio. Thanks again, for your support!

The view from our Studio on a wintry evening.

Friday, November 30, 2018

November's Never-ending Orders

Blown Glass Musical Ornaments
 'Tis the season......our torches are in beast mode once again. With the advance of technology, the Internet has kept this little "Ma-Pa" business hopping!  I wanted to make the time for one more Blog entry before November slips away....

Glass Hot Air Balloons waiting to be packaged.

Blown Glass Hot Air Balloon
  Companies are purchasing large ornament orders to give as tokens of appreciation to their employees for the holidays. It's all the two of us can do to keep up with the requests. We try our best and hope the end result is worth it. Meanwhile, I give the USPS a lot of business this time of year, as I ship many packages on a daily basis. And they all need a fragile sticker, because well, GLASS! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Shipping packages all month long

Orders lined up, ready to be sent out to customers.
 Every year Russ makes the time to create a new ornament, like the one pictured below. I'm afraid that will probably have to do it for this year. Not enough hours in the day! Hopefully next year we will make the time to create some more new ornaments.

A new red and white striped icicle ornament
 Our Etsy Store is doing really well lately. Customers are coming back for more, (We like our repeat customers.) like the variety of roses pictured below.

Customers are requesting large orders of a variety of  roses.

 Russ doesn't have much time to fill the creative niche' this time of year, too busy filling orders. But   he did manage to create a slumped and fused piece this month. He added a screen printed fox to the     glass art below. Can you find him hiding in the woods?  Well, gotta run...the orders are piling up! 'Til next time, I hope you enjoy the season of giving. ๐ŸŽ„
The latest slumped and fused "Seasons" 

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween!

We wanted to take a minute and wish you a happy Halloween.....
Blown Glass Black Cat and Pumpkins
 This month in the Studio we've been creating some fun Fall projects. We took real leaves from our trees and fired them onto Float glass. Then colored in the imprints with enamels, and placed  them on Kao Wool for a unique glass enamel piece.

Enamels before firing in the kiln
 We also created a fused Fall scene piece (pictured right) for a gift given this month, to one of our sons and his family. We love the Fall colors on both pieces.
Enamel and fused Fall Leaves
 Now to wait for the little goblins and monsters to come knocking on our door. (Then back to work we go, to get ready for our first Fall Artisan Show.) Have a spook-tacular Day!
We recently visited our local "Boo at the Zoo." Enjoy the night of Halloween! 

Saturday, September 29, 2018

September Mornings

                    September is a great time for reflecting down the paths of memory lane.
September in Idaho reminds me of a warm, cozy blanket. I find myself wrapped up in the warm glow of the lights reflecting just right off  the high mountain peaks. This is where the two of us feel most at home, along with the companionship of our dog pack. Whether it's a long-forgotten path to walk, or peace and serenity at a high mountain lake, we enjoy it all. The nights are crisp and Fall is in the air. At the beginning of the month we treat ourselves to one last camping trip, as we know the holiday rush will keep us hopping soon enough, from one project to another in the Studio.
Our favorite getaway for September was this high mountain lake.
Our pups patiently waiting for us to catch the lake trout for dinner.
 The high mountain lake always provides us with plenty of small lake trout, and a sense of wonder at the beauty of it all. 

 We are also busy harvesting the garden during the month of September, canning much of the fruits and vegetables we have grown over the summer. Also, we love to take Fall walks  down familiar trails while enjoying the Autumn air.
Our apple trees are loaded this year.
September harvesting takes a good amount of time.
Having had a chance to enjoy the great outdoors,  Russ' creativity has increased this month. (Funny how that works.) Pictured below are some of the new projects he has completed in the Studio. The first piece has LED lights added for a nice glow, and would look great on a fireplace mantel. The wolf was screen printed, which is a new element we are adding to some of the glass works this year. There are also new designs to try out on fused glass bowls and plates, pictured below.
Screen Print of a Wolf in the Glass Mountain Peak.
Slumped and Fused Piece- "Fallen"
Slumped and fused aqua beads
Fused glass with dichroic accents
I say it every year, but Fall is the favorite season by far. We aren't so busy that we can't enjoy the beauty of the Fall mornings with many outdoor walks. The inspiration from what we perceive outside, carries on to creations in the Studio. Much like the Aspen scene below, combining Slumped and Fused with blown glass leaves. So out we go into the woods again, to gather inspiration for the next glass art work. Until next time, I hope you can take some time to enjoy all the sights and smells of  glorious Fall.
Fused Art with Blown glass accents

Friday, August 31, 2018

Dog Days of Summer

I took a picture of Russ taking a picture of a beautiful Idaho sunset. ๐Ÿ˜Š
Family reunions filled up a lot of weekends this month, and already August is coming to an end. Nice thing about that, is no more air conditioning should be needed. One thing you can count on in Idaho, is our short summers. We can't complain though, while much of the country swelters in the summer sun, we rarely see the 100 degree mark. However, this August saw plenty of smoke from fires near and wide. That made it hard to breathe, but also made for some spectacular sunsets. And it did get hot enough a few days, to refer to the term "Dog Days of Summer". Makes it hard to work in the Studio at those temps., but we did manage to work on a few projects this month. One of them had to do with the passing of a friend's beloved pet. We also enjoyed spending time with some of our grand kids, romping around in our backyard playground.
Russ playing with our grand daughter in our backyard.
One of our friends lost her beloved furry companion Newton, this past month. She requested a memorial be made with his ashes. Russ came up with a slumped and fused design that incorporated the dog's ashes with the paw print. I created some flowers that also had the ashes incorporated in the middle and added it to complete the memorial gift, shown below. We would like to offer different versions of this idea to customers who would like to remember their pets in this way. We were thinking a framed piece that could hang on a wall would work well also.
Fused Glass Paw Print with a pet's ashes incorporated.

The finished Pet's Memorial.
In the picture below, Russ created a panel of trees based on the four seasons. We just need to attach it to a steel frame and it will be ready to hang.
Fused and screen printed glass - 4 Season Tree Panels
And there's always room in the kiln for a few new slumped and fused pieces, pictured below.
Striped Slumped and Fused Platter
Slumped and Fused Abstract Bowl
Once in a while, Russ gets inspired to create something for our living space. This month he wanted to recreate a slumped and fused piece inspired by our time spent in the mountains. Many hours were spent sawing, shaping with kaowool in the kiln, and sandblasting the float glass to create the scene of the Tetons. It was also tricky attaching it to the pine wood base and installing in our living room. But now that it's up on the wall, we can enjoy this very large piece of glass art work for years to come. 

We've already had requests to re-create something like this piece, so back to work we go. We'll miss the care-free days of summer, but at least the coming cooler temps will make it easier to work in the Studio. Well, that about wraps it up for the summer, enjoy your Labor Day weekend!

Wall Art - Slumped and Fused Float Glass- The Grand Tetons

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Blowing Glass in Switzerland

Glass Blowers at work in Hergiswil Glass Factory
July was a month to remember, as we were able to fulfill a life-long dream of mine, which was to return to my Dad's Homeland of Switzerland. I hadn't been there since I was 18, and after almost 40 years, we finally had the opportunity to fulfill the dream. It is a trip that I will cherish always, as I reconnected with my Swiss heritage. One of the stops on our visit was a glass factory. Russ tried his hand at glory-hole glass blowing for a bit, and we enjoyed touring the glass museum and even brought home the ball he blew, along with a commemorative glass plate. What a treat to see how they created glass in a big factory setting. We are so used to our Lamp-working Stations, it was a different experience to see the "heated" conditions these glass workers were blowing in.
A very large glass factory in Switzerland
Glass gift shops and a museum are also part of the business
They work round the clock, using giant furnaces that generate the heat needed to melt glass.
A Portuguese gentleman helped Russ blow a glass globe.
Prepping the glass to be blown.
The finished product, taken home as a souvenir. 
A commemorative glass plate we bought from the gift shop.
The rest of the week was spent exploring the countryside, enjoying the intense beauty of the surrounding mountains and the teal-blue waters, which were fed by the massive glaciers. I also got to visit some relatives that still live in the area. My Dad has passed on, but I really felt his presence on this magnificent trip, and cherish my Swiss heritage.
Scenic mountains and lakes adorn this beautiful country.
Quaint villages dot the countryside.
We spent as much time as we could hiking in the Alps.
Lauterbrunnen was on the way to Jungfrau, the tallest peak in Switzerland.

Inside the Jungfrau were some amazing ice caves, carved into the glacier.

Reconnecting with one's roots does good things for the soul. These pictures are just a sampling of some of the spectacular scenery the small country of Switzerland had to offer. 
Funny, how I said it would be "The trip of a Lifetime", but we are already scheming on how to go back when Russ retires.... Es ist so schรถn!