Sunday, February 16, 2014

De-country-fying and Left a Little Wanting

We're having more fun than ever with our weekly glassblowing sessions at Foci. Now that we're getting there more regularly I can see where we're both beginning to show some steady improvement. We know we've got so much more to learn but we're occasionally getting some nicer pieces to show for our efforts and that's rewarding.

I'm still playing around with my tealight candle holders in various colors, trying to make them of similar shape and size. They're fun. I have an idea for a more cylindrically shaped style with thick sides and bottom but I'm not sure I have the skills to pull off the look I have in my mind's eye. I'll play around with the design my next turn at the bench this coming week.

We took a class at Foci last Wednesday night instructing us in the art of making punties. Punties are what we use to transfer a glass piece from the blowpipe to another metal rod for working the piece from the other end. They serve more functions than that but that's a brief explanation. We learned so much in the 90-minute class. One would think we'd know all we need to know about making and using punties by now but that's simply not so. There were people considerably more advanced than us in attendance. Michael did a nice job of explaining some of the finer points while explaining the science behind the punty. It was a very informative 90 minutes.

When I had our home built in 1992 I never thought twice about the country style railing and balusters that separate our dining area from the family room. They seemed to work just fine. But lately both Tammy's and my tastes are migrating toward a more transitional to contemporary look and it's time to bid adieu to this little bit of country that is becoming more and more out of place in our home. Keith and Karen are going to meet me here on Monday afternoon to go over our plans for a choice of a more contemporary handrail, posts, and balusters. We're looking forward to having this project done as well as finally tackling the job of painting out most of the main level. As you can see in the photo to the right we never quite got around to transitioning the color from the sun-porch into the rest of the main level when we wrapped up the project last summer.

We went to see Jason Isbell at the Fitzgerald Theater in St Paul on Friday. The concert wasn't quite what we expected. The show was billed as Wits: Marc Maron with Jason Isbell-Amanda Shires. What we didn't realize is that Fitzgerald Theater is home to Minnesota Public Radio and the show we would be attending was actually part of a Wits podcast. Rather than have an opening act before bringing out Jason and Amanda for what we figured would be a full concert set, there was a running skit throughout the show that included Jason and Amanda while they would only occasionally break from the humor to sing a song or two. It was funny and we enjoyed ourselves but at times we felt a little like outsiders in a seemingly esoteric crowd that appeared more interested in the podcast than the musical talent.

We were only treated to two of Jason's songs but they were so good. Traveling Alone and Cover Me Up. But we gained a new-found appreciation for his wife Amanda's music so that was nice. We were just left a little wanting when the Show was over. Still, it was a good night out.

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