Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Half a Gallon of Water

I love trivia.  One of the things I picked up somewhere along they way is about almonds.  There is a big debate in California about how much water is being used in industrial agriculture.  I heard a statistic that it takes one gallon of water to produce one almond.  This seemed like a lot so I looked it up.  Turns out it takes 1.1 gallon for that single almond!  Although that doesn't make for a good line - "one gallon of water" just sounds better.

If you don't believe me you can look it up - here is just one source.  There are some sources from the USDA but they are a lot harder to read.

I was making a glass sculpture last year, not thinking too much about what I was going to make.  I glued up some optical glass blanks and used colored HXTAL (an epoxy glue) that was brownish orange in color.  As I ground the blank I noticed that it looked suspiciously like an almond cut in half lengthwise.  So if it takes a gallon of water for a full almond then it stands to reason half an almond takes half a gallon.

Here is a picture:

And another view:

Not sure which display position I like best. 

I ate about 15 almonds in making this post, so I used my share of H2O for the day!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Cherish the Arts Sale 2015

I'm fortunate to belong to a small group of about a dozen artists.  We have a fine arts sale every year in late November or early December.  This year our sale is Friday and Saturday December 11th and 12th.  I'm lucky to be the only glass artist.

I'll be showing my latest foray in glass - dyed glue optical glass sculptures. 

Stop by if you are in the area

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Vlad's Glass Hammer

Last summer I attended a workshop at The Studio at the Corning Museum of Glass.  The workshop was all about cold construction of glass.  This includes gluing optical glass blanks with colored glue.  The instructor was Vladimir Klein.  Check out his website here.  Vladimir is very well known in Europe but not so much in the U.S. 

A typical "Klein boat"
Vladimir at work

The workshop "Teaching Assistant" was Martin Rosol, a well known glass artist in his own right.  Martin doesn't have a website but here is one good example of his work. 

Vladimir has a very interesting technique - and one I was probably most worried about.  The technique is "chipping" the glass with a hammer and chisel.  Now my thoughts are glass and hammers don't even belong in the same room together, much less as a way to make beautiful art glass. 

I haven't done too much chipping yet, as it makes a mess and glass chips fly everywhere.  However I did think a homage to Vladimir was in order.  If he can use a metal hammer on glass, why not make a glass hammer on steel.  Here is the resultant piece.

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Rock

This is an old post that I found in a Draft mode from a couple of years ago, but it is still relevant, so here it is!  

A few years ago I was out mowing the lawn one nice summer day.  Things are going along fine when all of a sudden there is a loud grinding noise coming from the blades.  I know and hate that sound.  It means I've hit a rock.  That usually means beat up blades, a lot of work to repair/replace, and the lawn is only half-mowed.  I stopped, got off the tractor, and found the source of the noise.  I dug up the offender.  Rather than tossing it into the woods or putting somewhere out of the way, I took a deeper look at the rock.  It seemed to have a very interesting shape.  I set it aside for later.

A closer look at the blades indicated it must have been a glancing blow as there wasn't any damage - or at least any new damage - to the blades.  I finished mowing the lawn.  

Several days later I looked at the rock again with a different point of view.  I liked the shape, the size, and form.  There is a Japanese art form called Suiseki.  From Wikipedia - "These stones are not just any stones which can be found in nature; they must be expressive stones and have a special shape, color and texture to be categorized as suiseki. There is a distinction between landscape and object stones. The former reflect landscapes such as mountains, lakes or rivers, while other stones have object shapes that resemble animals or sculptures."

I had been looking for a good suiseki for some time.  I hadn't spent a lot of energy but always felt like I'd know it if I saw it.  This was the one.  I set about designing a glass stand for the rock, in the true nature of Suiseki.  However, one thing was still bothering me.  

Then the thought occurred - why not make the rock in glass as well.  

The story of making the rock is quite a bit of work - rubber molds, mother molds, two part molds, casting, etc.  I'll document that at some other point.  In the meantime, here is "The Rock".