Saturday, March 8, 2014

Let the Big Melt Begin!

We're about to leave the coldest winter in 36 years behind us. I was in San Diego for the winter of 1977-78 so I think it's safe to say this has been the coldest winter of my lifetime. I'm ready to move on.

We worked with Steve on Wednesday afternoon at Foci. His normal partner, Craig, was out of town so he asked us if we'd be interested in working with him. We jumped at his offer. If it wasn't for Steve's interest in us early on during our time at Foci, we can say without much hesitation that we probably wouldn't still be there today. He came alongside us at a critical time and got us over the hump of working on our own and feeling comfortable in the studio. He spent much of his time on Wednesday showing us a technique called a color drop for adding color to a piece. This method will allow us to control the color better as the piece blows out. Additionally, he also worked with us on lip-wraps and using an optic mold which has the effect of creating interesting symmetrical lines in a finished piece. I only completed 2 pieces in our time together but I'm excited to see how they turned out.

Steve has been blowing glass for maybe a little more than 9 years and has a keen understanding of the science behind the heating and movement of the hot glass. Like all of the others around the studio who have been doing it for a while, he makes it look so easy. He works hotter than just about anyone there with his pieces seemingly often on the edge of total collapse but he's able to expertly maneuver and shape the glass so efficiently and precisely. He does some beautiful work. Here's a link to Steve's website. On his site, you'll see where part of his focus is on pet memorials. Steve will use a small amount of ashes from your pet's remains and encapsulate them within a beautiful piece of blown glass art. I think it's such a nice idea.

I was pleased with my work from the previous week. These two tealight candle-holders being what I was most excited about. Tammy continues to assemble quite a collection of bud vases which I found the perfect spot for on a shelf in our sunporch.

We had most of the main level of our home painted on Thursday to tie the sun-room in with the other spaces. All that remains to be done is some wood trim along the base of the railing which will be replaced in the next week or two. The walls of the kitchen have been white for the 22 years I've been here so this is a nice change, but gone is the stencil I'd painted above the cabinets in the first year I was here. Tammy says she'll miss it, as will I. I also found a new home for our cuckoo clock after thinking that maybe we wouldn't be able to make it fit with our new motif. It now resides above the couch in the family room. I was telling Tammy that keeping the cuckoo clock is a must because someday we're going to have grandkids and they're going to love to watch for the little bird to come out and we'll watch with them because we'll be retired and we'll have all the time in the world!

I'll need to get a bike carrier for my car now that I can no longer throw my fat-bike in the bed of my pickup and head down to the river to ride the trails. My focus has been my CompuTrainer for the past month or more so I'm content until I'm back out on the roads on my Serotta. I did 40 miles of scenic country roads while riding the Wisconsin Ironman route near Madison yesterday, all in the comfort of my basement.

But I'm ready to be back outside again.

Pssst...hey, Spring...if you're's okay to come back. I know you rained on us a lot last year but all is forgiven. Let the big melt begin!

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