Saturday, January 31, 2015


All finished with the 30 day powder drawing challenge -- *sigh*. I'll miss the camaraderie (boy that word looks weird!) and the discipline of having an "assignment" each day. Back to making my own assignments, I guess...

Today I am working on cutting out concentric circles for a bowl I want to make. I am realizing I've become rather rusty at math -- calculated out the width I wanted for my rim, but failed to take into consideration that with diameter I had to double what I wanted on the circle cutter in order to get the right width. I was going for 1.5" and ended up with a very hard to break out .75" rim. Using the only piece of glass I had in the color I wanted :o(

I'll be back at that soon, but in the meantime I want to share a little collage of all of the pieces I made using powder on glass this past month:

 Yes, gentle reader, one of the sets of trees is in there sideways. I think they got chopped down ;o)

Friday, January 30, 2015

Not there yet

Oh goodness, I tried to get this to look like me -- I have finally put it aside for the night. I know the face is not shaped quite right. I'm having a terrible time getting the mouth right. Matt says it looks more like a grimace than a smile. I have managed to improve it a little (and adjusted the eyes and smile lines) but am definitely not there yet.

I don't even think that this is my doppelganger :o(

I may work on it some more tomorrow. If nothing else, it is a great exercise and I am learning a lot!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Selfie: woman, interrupted

Our final challenge is here, and boy is it tough (on several levels): create a self portrait, must include your face.

We have two days to do this, and have been encouraged to post process pictures. I didn't have much time for this today, but did manage to get started. Here is, uh, me -- woman interrupted ;o)

Obviously, I still have a lot of work to do!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wierd Al

I spent several hours today trying to get my picture of Albert Einstein to look less like Weird Al and more like genius Albert.

This is Al on Weds. morning:

With mixed results. I began by trying to figure out how to do his ear, and that was both difficult and confusing. Then I realized that because I had his head angled differently than it was in the picture I was using for reference, I needed to add his second ear. That one was a bit easier, since it wasn't in shadow quite as much as the first.

Then I tried to fix up his eyes, proceeding to mess them up and then get them back about where I had them to start with. I tried to add some shading. Uh, not looking too good! At that point I decided to leave well enough (and Albert's eyes) alone.

Next I tackled his mouth. I am still not happy with what I achieved, but I had a tough time figuring out how to portray his mouth under all of that mustache!

His dimple was next -- I redid this about 8 times before I decided it was "fine". Actually, it was kicking my butt so I kinda gave up.

Lastly I sketched in his suit jacket, and tried to get that hounds-tooth pattern. Ha ha!  Again: sift powder, move it around, scrape it off, sift more powder, move it around, scrape it off, sift more powder... (I think you get this picture!).

I finally decided it was time to call it done, Al and I have now parted ways: he is back in the powder jar, I am on my way to make some dinner.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Al #1 (and maybe Al #2)

Today and tomorrow we are supposed to draw a picture of Albert Einstein. With glass powder. The good news is that we are "allowed" to use any tools we have on hand! Unfortunately, I haven't really used very many tools (handmade or otherwise) up to this point, so my experience level with powder tools is pretty low.

I have to admit to some serious frustration (and a little bit of name-calling, sorry Kelly!).

I have worked on this for about 90 minutes, but I am fighting a migraine and the migraine is winning, so this is probably it for today. I'm going to take some meds and a nap. If I feel better, I may put in some more time on it this evening. If not, hopefully we will have Albert, part deux, tomorrow.

Matt took a look before he went upstairs for his first nap of the day: he said it was obvious that this is Albert. I'm not sure I believe him.

By the way, when I went to upload this picture, I first spied the actual photo of Al and thought it was my drawing (very briefly) Drat, I was thinking "hey, I did a lot better than I thought on this!".

Oh well...

Monday, January 26, 2015

The dog barfed up my homework!

Poor Brooklyn has been sick as, uh, a dog, since yesterday. It was not been pretty. Lucky for me Matt has taken care of all of the clean up, leaving the cuddling to me :o)  Being her "mommy" today has been a lot like parenting a sick toddler: everywhere I went, she went. She even napped on the bath mat while I took my shower! I love the cuddly time, but it does make it hard to get work done.

Here is our Brooklyn (aka Boo), last month when she was feeling better:

Between cuddling with Boo and cutting out a couple hundred glass tiles to make frit samples, I didn't have much time to work on today's challenge. AND today's challenge was a doozy! Once again, we were instructed to draw a tree with our glass powder ...
Using our right hands for the right half and our left hand for the left half!

Oy vay!

I was so unhappy with today's piece that I could barely get it back in the jar fast enough :oP

Here is one pathetic tree, drawn upside down using both my right and left hands


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Bring your left hand to work day, part 2

I was so pleased to manage to draw a recognizable tree yesterday -- with my left (non-dominant) hand. What a sense of accomplishment, and relief!, I felt when I was finished.


And then I looked at the challenge for today: do it again. Not the same tree, necessarily, but a tree. With my left hand.


I considered revisiting my Charlie Brown Christmas tree of Jan. 1st, but decided I wanted to do something new. So here is my first attempt at layering (with background and foreground) and snow. I wasn't entirely successful, but I'm okay with it given how hard I had to concentrate to keep my right hand away from the drawing  ;o)

That's all, folks! (for today, at least)  ;o)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Workin' the brain again!

Our challenge for today was to go back to our early days -- when we were drawing trees with no implements except for a business card -- and do it again.

With our non-dominant hand!

I really had to continuously remind myself to NOT grab the card and start working with my right hand. And getting clean lines, especially for the little branches? Quite a challenge!

Here is my noveau lefty drawing for today:

 I actually liked this one enough to save it from being put back in the jar :o)  It is firing as I type this! I don't know what I'll do with it, but I'm saving it anyway.

And that's the truth

Friday, January 23, 2015

What a headache!

Our powder drawing challenge for today; make a picture of something that you collect.

Well, I don"t collect much other than glass and tools!

I do collect ideas -- I thought about creating a picture of a light bulb.That seemed too easy.

I collect grandchildren -- they are all so adorable that I know I couldn't do that picture justice.

I collect dust bunnies -- the boss nixed the idea of us drawing dust bunnies. She thinks it would be too easy. I'm not so sure...

Then it occurred to me: for the last 23 days I have been collecting an assemblage of pretty much ANYTHING that I think might help me manipulate powder to make my drawings!

I had grand designs to draw several of the implements I have been using, but then I began to draw the first. My go-to tool of choice, one I have been planning to share with my fellow artists. And what a headache attempting to draw that was!

So all you get today, fans and followers -- a not-very-identifiable powder drawing of the square of blister pack that my migraine medication comes in:

These sturdy little pieces of hard plastic and foil have become my favorite tool to work the powder with! And fortunately (or unfortunately) I have a lot of these.

When I was finished for the day, I went to get my fired safety pin picture out of the kiln -- I really needed to remind myself that I can do better!

Yes I can!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Out of my head

I have discovered that (at least for this stage of my learning to "draw" with powder) I manage much better if I have either the item I want to draw or a picture of the item to work with. Trying to do this directly "out of my head" without a visual, is waaaaay beyond me!

Our powder drawing challenge today was to create a safety pin out of black powder, paying close attention to the effects of light and shadow. We were given this photo:

It was really difficult, but I started feeling pretty confident when I got this done:

Then it started to get more difficult, but I kept at it:

3 hours (yes, hours!) later, I had this:

I decided I had better cook some dinner so the boys don't starve to death, so this is going to be it. It is on wonky-shaped glass, but after spending so long on it, I wasn't about to brush this powder back in the jar, so it is in the kiln for a tack fuse tonight ;o)

Tomorrow I will try to catch up; I still need have a container of flowers to draw from yesterday's challenge!

'Night all!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Talk like a pirate day...

I've been saying "argh!" a lot today. And "ack!", "shoot!", "rats!" and a few things I don't think I want to publish on this blog. (I am a grandma, after all)  ;o)

Our powder glass drawing assignment today was to create a flower or flowers using only black colored powder. Great assignment -- forcing the brain (ow!) and the muscles (rats!) to try to reproduce a colorful 3 dimensional object on a flat piece of glass with nothing but black powder.

My brain hurts!

I was going to do a bouquet of roses (my mom's favorite). After working on the first flower, I decided that if I tried to do an entire bouquet, it would take me into sometime next week. At the earliest.

So I focused my effort on creating one rose, in a vase, on a table.

It was still really hard to do! I think I am improving (an itsy bitsy tiny bit) at shading and highlights, but I have a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong way to go yet.

And, oh yes, just to make sure that today's challenge was truly challenging, I decided to use a full fused round blank that will soon become a plate as my base glass. It was so much fun trying to get detail near the edge while the powder kept sliding off of the glass. Not!

Here is my lonely little rose on a table top:

Oh rats! It is very hard to see the shading in these pictures. Argh!  Well, there is some there, mostly on the table to the left of the vase. I guess you will just have to take me word for it ;o)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Flower day!

Flowers, anything floral --that is what we were challenged to create with our glass powder today. And if enough of us (60 or more) complete a picture and post it to the blog, we will get another free demonstration video from Kelly!

Some of us (uh, that would be me!) need all the help we can get! So I am all in!!!

Today I drew a flower using black glass powder then I colored it with a variety of other glass frits and popped it in the kiln for a tack fuse. If it turns out, it is going to become a little plate or bowl.

Here is my flower (I call it "generic flower #1)  ;o)

Tomorrow I will post a picture of the fired plate here:

Yep, right here!   ;o)

18 hours later...

Here it is:

I was successful in keeping the texture I wanted, and am reasonably okay with the result. I think I will slump it into a  small plate!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Tired me!

I didn't get to a powder piece today. I will have to do my third white picture tomorrow. I'm thinking of doing a dove or a bunny rabbit; hopefully I'll decide before we get a new assignment tomorrow ;o)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Dandelion redux

I liked the dandelion so much yesterday (except for the fact that it was huge) I decided to do another today, add color and tack fuse. If the colors turn out right, I will add an inscription to this and use it in either a plate or a triptych.

Today's dandelion isn't as ephemeral looking as the one I made yesterday, but I am okay with it. At least it isn't crazily huge  ;o)

Here is today's powder piece:

It is in the kiln for a tack fuse now, I can hardly wait to see how it looks once fired!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Grapefruit and dandelions

Yay -- I'm caught up again! Yesterday we were challenged to take no more than 15 minutes to make a picture of something we hadn't eaten.  I started the day by making some circles for another couple of projects (previous post), but then we had quite a plumbing emergency at home, and I never managed to get to my powder.

Poor Matt is under the kitchen sink as I write this -- trying to replace the completely dead garbage disposal unit. And this is after helping me with hours of clean up last night and this morning following a flooded bathroom! He is certainly earning his hubby points!

Fortunately, I managed to get everything cleaned up in time to play with powder a little. :o)

The first thing I attempted was my 15 minute drawing of something I ate yesterday. I chose a grapefruit for this exercise. I was not entirely successful, clearly I need to improve on shading (and other things)!

Here is my pathetic little grapefruit:

I am happier with my piece for today's challenge. We have been encouraged to make three glass powder pictures of something white over the next three days. I have seen some beautiful pictures of dandelions done by other glass artists and have been longing to make one myself. I confess to being more than a little bit intimidated, however.

Despite that, I pulled out a big ol" piece of white opalescent glass and went to work.  Next time I need to use a smaller piece of glass, because I ended up with a giant dandelion that pretty much covered the whole sheet. Quite a bit bigger than something I would want to save and fire  :op   That said, I actually like what I came up with.

Here is my monster of a dandelion:

I think I've learned a few things and am looking forward to tomorrow!


Thursday, January 15, 2015

No drawing today

I got on a roll cutting circles today and it was going so well that I just kept going.

Then I tried to cut several white opaque circles.


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Truly frightening

Hi there!

Today our challenge was to make a powder glass drawing of something that we find scary. I thought about drawing a spider. I had pretty much decided to, in fact, until I started looking up pictures of spiders on which to base my drawing.

*Shivers* -- just looking at the photos absolutely gave me the heebie jeebies! I was afraid that if I spent any more time looking at spiders, I would have nasty spider nightmares tonight!

Then I thought about drawing a picture of me falling from a great height. I do not like the sensation of falling! I just couldn't figure out how to make that drawing work in powdered glass. And I really wanted to push myself to do something I hadn't yet: drawing a stick-figure me, falling off a mountain, would not be a big enough task. And I want to improve!!

Soooo, I tried to think of something else that frightens me and I pondered scariness all the way back to childhood trauma and I realized what I needed to draw: a haunted house.

Even as an adult, a grandma no less, I absolutely can not go into any type of haunted house. I still have nightmares of the time I participated in an exciting Halloween outing that morphed into pure terror! That fun outing resulted in a pack of hysterically screaming 8-year-old Camp Fire Girls having to be escorted out of the local haunted house, while our Camp Fire leader screamed at the zombies and mummies to "just let them be and let us out of here!!!"


Fortunately, however, I can look at pictures of haunted houses without freaking out like I do over pictures of spiders.

So here is my drawing for today:

I actually liked this one enough to keep the picture! It is now in the kiln for a tack fuse. I will add color tomorrow and fire it again. It may make it's way into a Halloween themed bowl or plate in a couple of months ;o)

Thank you for checking in!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Shark week?

And here is my second piece for today (YAY, I am finally caught up!), a shark.

I think I'll call him Bruce. I had loads of trouble trying to draw Bruce. I am not happy with the eyes, but this was what I came up with.  It was even more of a challenge because we didn't pick what to draw today -- we were given a picture of a shark's head, and encouraged to render it in powder! I confess, I would never have chosen this subject, but I learn a bit every day, and today I learned a lot!

I can hardly wait to see what we do tomorrow!

Until next time,

Catching up. Again. Be still, my heart!

I'm still playing catch up -- this first picture is my piece for the 12th day: something we use every day. This is sappy, I know, but here is something I use every day. My heart.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Where did the time go?

Today got away from me! We are supposed to draw a picture of something we use every day, something with meaning. I am so behind on cleaning up the kilns and everything from big production time yesterday, however, I just didn't get around to it. Heck, I didn't get around to all the clean up either :op

Tomorrow I will do both today's challenge and the one for tomorrow. And I will clean out the kilns and the flexiglass sheets...

Well, that is the plan at least :o)

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Green. With envy!

Hi there! Today was a parts production day for me -- I spent most of it making sheets of Flexiglass to play with. Lots of glass powder was used and boy am I glad to have a mask! Even with it on almost constantly, I swear I have powder grit in my teeth; yuck!

Today I completed 3 pieces -- trying to catch up a bit! Last time I created a dark little apple. I am still looking at what other glass artists are doing and hanging my head in shame though.So today I did another apple, though this one is green with envy:

And because I already had the green out, I made a green bell pepper...

And because I have been in a gloomy, dark mood, I thought about making some fajitas with my model:


Saturday January 10

It has been a sad week, and I think I just need to give my self permission to be sad. Seven years ago today we lost my brother. I miss him, his outrageous creativity, and his unique perspectives. He was a great guy and a wonderful big brother to me! I've been thinking of him a lot, and of my mom who passed away 3 years before Joe, on Christmas Eve. and Sky Jackson who left us and his 5 year old son bereft 5 years ago today. Perhaps the fact that an old school friend, Tim Bergdahl, a gentle giant of a man lost his fight with cancer this week, leaving behind his wife and two young daughters has made it all seem like too much. Cancer sucks. And it took every one of these beloved ones away too soon. So today I am allowing the tears...

Art tomorrow, perhaps.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Sad little apple

Today's powder glass "drawing" challenge was to draw a piece of fruit. I have been pretty gloomy, feeling the loss of an old friend who passed away last night leaving a wife and two young daughters. Compounded by the anniversary, tomorrow, of my only brother's death 7 years ago. Not surprisingly, I suppose, today's piece is dark and gloomy.

And, I must say once again: I really need to take some drawing lessons! I just don't know much about shading and contrast, or so many other techniques that would really be helpful. There are a number of things that just intuitively direct my art, drawing is not at all intuitive to me :o(

I trust that all of these daily challenges will help me improve at least a little bit!

Here are my dark little apple, and the Iris I fired last night:

Ciao until next time!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Iris, day 8 of challenge

Today I decided to use some pencil drawings as inspiration for my powder creation. It helps quite a bit to have something to look at for reference as I am manipulating the powder. We were allowed to use home made tools or other implements today -- I chose a floss pick as my tool. It actually worked pretty well!

In addition to the "drawing" I finally got around to making some new pieces using the Fuser's Reserve vanilla cream glass and some embellishments in colors that should react nicely with the vanilla: Peacock Green frit, dark green stringer, and Op turquoise noodle. They are cooking away as I write -- I'm looking forward to seeing what tomorrow brings :o)

I had some trouble containing the Peacock frit on a couple of pieces, I am hoping I won't have too much of a mess to clean up!

Here is the drawing I made today, unadorned:

I decided to add a bit of colored frit to this one:

Here it is with the rest of my day's work, in the kiln and ready to fire:

Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Winter blahs

Hi there!

Today was day two of some sort of virus here, but I didn't want to miss two days in a row of this challenge, so my sick self sat down at the table and attempted my first "portrait".

No great art, but I "got 'er done" as they say.  Today we were allowed to use a re-purposed tool to complete our pieces. I chose a pencil. I figured the eraser end would be nice for cleaning up areas and the pointed end my help me get some improved details.

Funnily enough, that pencil went almost completely unused, except for the eyes. Those eyes gave me a lot of trouble.

Now I am going to lay back down and get some rest!

See you tomorrow I hope!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Still struggling

It was a real struggle to make myself to do this today. I'm pretty disappointed that I can't come up with anything I am remotely happy with in 5 minutes. I suspect part of the problem is that I need some inspiration -- some pictures or drawings to get me started on my powder drawing.

Tonight I will try to find some inspiration! Really! Well, probably.

So today was another 5 pictures in 5 minutes (each) challenge. Since I did more than 5 pieces yesterday, I gave myself permission to do fewer today. I still don't like what I am turning out. Perhaps I need to play around with the technique outside of the time I spend on each day's challenge?

Today I had an especially fun moment on my second piece: I was so startled when the timer went off that I jumped and ended up dropping powder out of the sifter all over my just completed piece. Blah!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

5 minute drawings

Today's challenge was to create five pieces in 25 minutes. I'd like to blame my lack of success on the fact that I woke up with migraine, day two in a row. I am having a terrible time getting the powder distributed diffusely or evenly :oP  I tried playing a bit with aventurine green powder, but that didn't work any better.

Hopefully I will improve over the course of this month!

Oh yes -- apparently I can not count to five either. When I finished I realized I had completed eight. None were particularly memorable.