Come on over and see what else is on sale, shop for holiday gifts. I have fun making things, now you have fun giving them.
This old bench has been talking to me since I moved into this place 2 years ago. I had it under my work table and Ron wanted to use it for something. I squawked and said I was going to mosaic it. Being ever practical I realize it would serve no real purpose except for decoration. I started working on it a few weeks ago gathering glass bits and pieces, fugly beads, fused glass that I broke or whatever. We will see how it turns out. It sure is nice to sit out on a warm sunny afternoon gluing and playing. I have no real timeline for finishing it.
No this isn't a new sexual orientation post. I am a multipotentialite! What that means in my case is that I have more than one interest in the arts. when I got into glass bead making I wanted to get really good at it and I spent 4 years making beads and selling them at fairs and shows. Before that, I loved making different kinds of art. Mostly sewing quilts, weaving, knitting, crochet, watercolors, acrylics, anything that sparked my interest. I love to play with color, that is the truth. When I read about multipotentialites I thought, "that fits!" and it's OK. So from now on, I will be trying new things. Some of the things I will be selling and some things I'll just share. We will see where that takes me.
Over the last few years since I moved up to the coast, I stopped doing shows. I didn't really enjoy them and it seems that Fort Bragg is easily 2 hours away from the main highway that takes me anywhere. Besides, I didn't like it.
Ron and I went up to Feather River Art Camp for a week so I could learn the art of fused glass making and he could have some fishing time. I was lucky enough to study with reddy lieb an amazing artist and dedicated teacher. I enjoyed being out in nature and learning about fusing glass. She inspired me to get a fusing kiln and begin the process at home. I'm a little overwhelmed by all the things I want to learn these days but, I'll get over it. I met amazing people and in a few short weeks we will be having a reunion of sorts of some of the women.
This is a review of my very busy summer
June came in with a group of Japanese artists visiting my studio. Mendocino has a sister city, Miasa Japan. They do an art exchange every other year, they come to Mendocino and every other year, American artists, go to Miasa to talk about their art and learn about Japan. There were a few glass artists and so it was requested that they visit my studio. I was quite honored to be chosen. They were lovely people and they stayed for refreshments. Later in the week The Mendocino Art Center hosted a show of their work.
When I was a child, my dad told me about his favorite storybook character; Uncle Wiggly the rabbit. Uncle Wiggly loved to go on unexpected adventures with his animal friends. My dad told me that I was like Uncle Wiggly since I also loved to venture out to strange places on my own. Over the last several years, Uncle Wiggly has lain dormant within me, but I recently brought him back to help me on an adventure of my own.
A Big Decision
I had made the decision to attend the biggest show I had ever been part of; the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle, Washington. This was a five day show of 11 hours each day. It was one of those decisions that "seemed like a good idea at the time", but when I started to think about it, the idea was quite daunting!
I wasn’t sure what to expect or how much product to make for a show of that size and that many days. In my excitement, I would wake in the middle of the night and, unable to fall back asleep, go out to my studio and make more beads, flowers and various pieces for the show! I worked diligently for four months to make sure I was as ready as I could be and, in the end, I had over 1,200 glass flowers and at least 150 pair of earrings!
The Adventure Begins
On the day before the show, I got up in the very early hours to drive up the coast to Seattle in my little PT Cruiser. Looking in the mirror that night as I got ready to go to sleep, I thought, “Wow, I’m on an adventure”! It reminded me so much of when I traveled Europe in the 70s. I was even staying in a Youth Hostel like I did back then; and just like then, there were many people there from all over the world who – like me – had chosen to stay in a reasonably priced hostel while they worked at the show.
I didn’t realize what a big deal this all was until I went out to explore the strange city and had to find the “Hand Carried Freight Elevators” at the Seattle Convention Center. It was then that I remembered Uncle Wiggly! I was out on my own having an adventure, discovering new places and meeting new friends!
On with the Show
I'm glad to say that everything went smoothly for the entire week! My sister Rosie helped me set up my booth on the first day, carefully arranging my glass flowers into little pots and beautiful bouquets. I made friends, established business relationships and also got some clarity on a direction for my little art business. The days were long and hard, but they were also fulfilling, profitable and fun; I learned a lot from this trip!
There many aspects to the show that I loved such as the creative part of setting up my booth and making it look beautiful and, of course, making the art beforehand. What I didn't love was schlepping my stuff from point A to point B and selling it in person! While I enjoy meeting new people and getting positive feedback for my work, I found other aspects of the show to be very draining to my spirit.
The most important lesson I learned from doing the Northwest Flower and Garden Show is that big shows are not for me!
I'm all about finding the positive in any situation and being part of this show helped me realize that I want to become a better artist and find my own artistic voice. Making glass makes my heart sing!
I am going to take a few weeks and regroup. I need some "me time", so I plan to work on a few quilts, do some mosaics, make curtains for the kitchen, plant all the flower bulbs (over 100) that I got at the garden show and, perhaps most importantly, rest a while before I get back to work on my art with a renewed sense of purpose!
This is the first time in several weeks I am able to stop, breathe and write. Two weeks ago, we moved from Oakland to Fort Bragg. Fort Bragg is on the Mendocino Coast in Northern California. Currently, I am sitting outside on the back deck while the crescent moon rises over the towering redwoods in our backyard. I am glued to this seat it seems. The deer have me mesmerized and enchanted. We have several that come through to eat apples. Fewer I fear since we moved in. They sense activityand are coming around less. I have taken it upon myself to keep notes on the deer and name several of them. My favorites are Winston a four pointed buck and Oliver another buck perhaps a yearling, he’s too old to be with his mom and too young to have full grown horns. Oliver is the bravest of the deer. He lets the cat get pretty close to him as she hides behind the tree and jumps out at him every so often. Winston was chased away by the cat just the other day. So much for a big Buck.
Business plans seem to be moving along although it looks like a part time job may be an order just while I can get myself on my feet. I am filling orders right now and experimenting with some new techniques and practicing some old ones.
My short-long term plan is to teach basic lampworking classes to people in the community. If you know of anyone that lives up in Mendocino or Fort Bragg and might be interested in classes, send them my way by phone or email. I will be having classes on weekends too at some point where people can come up for the weekend and learn lampworking.
I am taking orders off of my website and my Etsy site for the holidays. My biggest sellers seem to be the flowers I started making in August. These beautiful flowers of shimmering color and delicate tinkling sounds make great gifts in bouquets or as a hostess gift or a collector.
Thank you to all and have a spooky fun hallowee
We have just a few more weeks before we will be moving up to the Mendocino Coast. Every time Ron and I have gone to this beautiful place, we have said to ourselves, “what would it be like to live here?” Well, when we were there in July we decided to act on that thought.
We found a great home on 2 acres of land with a 1200 square foot studio shop, enough room for Ron’s ceramics and woodworking and my glass.
I will be purchasing a classroom of torches and supplies and will be teaching glass bead making classes.
There I sat, literally minding my own business at the open-air market in downtown San Francisco where Tea House Glass Objet d'art is featured.
I noticed a young gentleman displaying a keen interest in the Mandala Necklace. My mandala beads are a unique blend of different bright colors of glass patterns and designs. Each one is a singular piece of art in itself.
Zay Shan is the young man that introduced himself to me and informed me he was a student of fashion design at City College. He would use my jewelry to style his models and that of his partner for his final project.
I delighted in seeing my work walk the runway.