Monday, August 31, 2020

Enjoying what we have in times of uncertainty

 Reflecting back on what went on this month, other than our steady stream of Etsy orders, we were able to collect our thoughts and take a breather of sorts from the Studio and enjoy the great outdoors. I appreciated the chance we had to get away to one of our favorite places on the planet, which just so happens to be a short drive from our town. Earlier this month we delivered some new blown glass wildlife pieces to the store that carries our glass in Jackson Hole. We decided to make the best of it while there, and enjoyed a weekend of camping. The Tetons did not disappoint. Also, a short day trip and hike into Yellowstone proved challenging for someone with arthritic knees, but the beauty taken in was worth it. 

A picture perfect view of Mount Moran.

The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.

Water so clear, the rocks were perfectly visible. 

Peace and solitude at our campsite. 

Artistic wildlife that was delivered to Jackson Hole earlier this month. 
I was also so fortunate to welcome grandchild number 7 at the very end of last month. With the threat of Corona virus looming over the world, I felt so lucky to have quarantined enough to help  my son and his family out when precious baby was born. She has brought light and joy into the world, and I was happy to spend precious time with her recently. My hope is that she grows up in a world free from this pandemic. We are all waiting on edge, hoping for a medical miracle that will put an end to the Corona virus. My hope is that all the grand kids will soon live in a world without this fear. We are so happy to be the proud grandparents of 7 wonderful grand children, makes life worth living. 💖
Our newborn Granddaughter
I've also had time to enjoy our backyard pond this month along with all the bounty coming out of our high tunnel and garden this year. I have already started canning, in between trips to the Post Office, delivering packages of glass gifts to customers. Trying to create normalcy in these very abnormal times. It pays to look at the glass 1/2 full instead of 1/2 empty. Until next entry, I hope this blog gives someone out there joy, in what seems to be an increasingly dark world. Here's hoping our Studio can continue to produce glass art as an inspiration of beauty for all who happen to come across it.
Enjoying our backyard pond on a hot summer day.

The new high tunnel is not disappointing us with the seeds we planted earlier in the year.

A sample of some of the goodness of the garden this year.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Artistic Bench Collaboration-"Lazy River"

Our latest artistic endeavor titled "Lazy River."
This month's blog features the latest artistic collaboration from our Studio, which took a total of 5 months to complete. At the very beginning of March we were approached by a city council member of Garden City (adjacent to Boise, the capital of Idaho)  to create an artistic and functional bench, similar to the one we created for the Idaho Falls Arts Council some 15 years ago. She had visited Idaho Falls a couple of years ago, and was impressed with many of the artistic benches that were placed all along the riverfront and our Downtown area. Their city council were interested in having us create a unique bench to be placed along one of their nature paths. Mind you, the project was given a green light before our State went into a "Stay At Home" order because of Covid-19. Luckily that order was lifted in time to deliver the bench by the requested deadline of July. So I suppose I could say we had plenty of time to carry out this labor-intensive project. I will take you through the whole process from conception on paper to the completed bench on the river. 
When asked to create a bench, the design was first conceptualized on paper.  
After approval, it was time to get to work. 
Strips of float glass were cut in a wavy pattern.
They were placed in layers before fusing in the kiln.
Multiple firings in the kiln to create a water effect.
After they slumped, we had to apply a green luster.
Once fired and polished, the design was prepared.
Next came the tedious task of adhering blown glass fish into modeling clay.  
Russ hand carved seaweed, fern alongside the fish. 
Rebar was bent into place for reinforcement. 
The mold is now ready to be filled with concrete.
The first pour completed.
Float glass was added to the top.
Waiting to separate the concrete from the mold.
Success with the first pour. 
Next, to create the columns. 
Much thought went into reinforcing. 
An inside view.
Textured concrete stamps rolled into the form.
Modeling clay on the face of the glass pieces. 
First column poured.
The form is stripped away from the concrete.

Now comes the tedious task of picking out the clay.

Timing was critical to remove the clay before the concrete set up. 

In this picture you can see the steel in-beds in the columns that support the bench. 

Prepping the top.
Fortified concrete was added after final prep. 
Russ getting ready to begin the first assembly.
Ready for an acid stain. 
The stain is an acid-based colorant. 
Disassembled and ready for the long haul to Boise. 
Garden City employees showed up with a crane.
Thank goodness! It weighed almost 1,000 lbs. 
They transferred the pieces into their small trailer. 
This part had me holding my breath. 
Ready to assemble on the nature path.
Laying it out. 
Installing the bolts in the steel in-beds.
Almost there.
Grouting in the center column.
Tedious grouting.
Final touches. 
Blown glass fish accent.
Whew! The project came to fruition!
A nice plaque was added.
Covid-19 can't stop art! 

We were happy to provide this beautiful bench as a natural aesthetic for fellow Idahoans to enjoy.  It is located by the Nature path along the Boise River in Garden City, Idaho. We hope the local residents get many years of enjoyment from this latest piece of art produced by A Touch of Glass Studio. Until next time, stay safe out there.