Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Glass Gallery Visitors

The following photos document a few of the good times in the last month. We have had so much fun sharing this 1st month of blogging. We hope you have enjoyed visiting.

This is Chelsea, I have known her since she was knee high to a grasshopper. She did her MDI senior project with me a couple of years ago. Now she is heading into her sophomore year at the university of Maine-Orono. She informs me she made the deans list last year. I am so proud of her. She is quite a special young lady independent and determined, just my kind of gal!
Say hi to your dear grandparents, Ann and Everett!!

This is Joe, he is my next-door neighbor. Recently Joe needed something special for his parents anniversary, we hunted about, and found a very nice oil lamp. In exchange Joe bartered his services and watered the farthest reaches of my garden during the driest days this summer. Then before he took off to see some family in Illinois for a 3 week summer vacation. He and I made a paperweight! I guess he'll have some stories for his older cousin now...

Cherie Magnello is one of my heroes I always wanted to grow up to be like her, ever beautiful and very talented. She has made a number of visits to the studio so far this summer to wipe out my inventory and take our unique blown glass beaded jewelry to Island Artisan's where it has been selling like mad.

And finally our favorite people in the whole world, David and Suzie. These guys have been collecting our glass since before we even had our own glass blowing studio. They are a wonderfully loving couple. They make a mean mac and cheese and always tell great stories....rarely repeating themselves. We love you!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Black Out!

Thursday got off to a rocky start when at 7:50 AM power went out all over eastern Maine. As some of you may know we have had some tremendous lightning storms in the last week and that is what caused the outage.
A power outage presents some serious challenges to a glass blower. We were lucky that the annealors were not cycling and so we had no finished pieces at risk of cracking due to the sudden drop in temperature.
The top priority for us was the furnace. If the furnace is low or empty then there is really no reason to worry. But if the furnace is full as ours was, then emptying out the glass must be done within 30-45 minutes. If the glass cools inside the crucible it can damage the crucible and the refractory materials that the furnace is made of.
So, after waiting for about 40 minutes, we gathered all the glass out of the furnace in order to protect our precious machine! The good news is that we can simply shovel the glass back in at another time. So all we really lost was a day of production.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Camden Summer Craft Show


Here are some pictures from our weekend. Can you say Umbrella!?
Well above are a few ways one could say umbrella, and I like the “pluie” part of the French version. Sounds like how you feel when it’s raining. I don’t just love the new umbrella because of how it sheltered us from the rain but I love it because of how it sheltered us from the sun as well.
Because this week-end we had it all!
Thunderstorms, scorching sun, wind, rumors of hail, and finally more soaking rain on Sunday

But despite all this we had a wonderful weekend, filled with nice people, and abundant sales. In fact some of those biggish vases I had so much fun using my duck billed shears on, were sold to good homes all over the country(NY, West Virginia, and Florida to name a few places).

Plus we got to see our musician friends
Maggi and Pierce of MPE and Hymn for Her They have quite a few gigs planned for the summer including a couple in Europe this August. We started talking about them playing a block party at our place this fall. Stay tuned for that one!

Monday, July 21, 2008


Another Summer's cool student...
We came to know Kindle through the LINC program. In April Linda was asked to mentor Kindle through the fundamentals of glass blowing and what it means to be a full time artist. We found her to be an enthusiastic student. She is a recent graduate of George Stevens Academy in Blue Hill Maine and has decided to attend the University of Vermont in Burlington this fall. I often think of Kindle as a” fire sprite” with her red hair, warm demeanor, and inherent understanding of molten glass... She also has a way of kindling our own joy as we remember what it was like to meet hot glass for the first time many years ago.

Adding color to a gather ... a true sign of progress

Adding bits, another way to decorate the glass...

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Hey everyone, if you would like to see us this week-end July 19 and 20, we will be at the "Harbor Arts Fair" in beautiful Downtown Camden.
Saturday and Sunday from 9am-5pm.
Vivian and Nate will be running things in the shop in Ellsworth.
Looking forward to the sun, the harbor breeze and seeing you.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hot Shop Time Lapse

Nate made this time lapse sequence with his camera the other night. More to come!

Something Special

Yesterday was Elaine's birthday, (she turned seventy). She always wanted to see a piece of glass be blown especially for her. Ken obliged in his chivalrous manner and despite the heat she and her family happily watched Ken and Katie make a beautiful Seafoam Bowl.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


This is Vivian. (She is reading the blog, and sitting on the cool loading dock).
She has just finished her first year at Marlboro college. She came to be a part of the studio last Summer. She courageously brought in a resume even before she graduated from High School. I think she said she wanted to find a position in a "real" art studio, at which point I looked over my shoulder,
"Oh you mean here..." I said.

I remember we needed to e-mail back and forth a couple of times to work out the details. She was very cheerful and I think she used a number of exclamation points. Her e-mail address had something to do with "curly fries".
During her first summer, where she swam instead of sank, we began calling her Vivi, and are pretty sure that with a name like Vivi Rae she'll have it made in the art world. (plus
you should see her portfolio)...

Currently she is a part of this summer's beginning glass blowing class. All the watching she has been doing while helping many hours a week in other parts of the studio have paid off and Vivi has the tempo and grace well suited to glass blowing. In these pictures we marvel at the teeny tiny first jacking of a first gather. Brava!
In the background you see Kindle the fire'll meet her next.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Summer's cool!

This week produced the kind of non stop activity we associate with Summer. I began teaching four young people how to blow glass. Each one has a different level of experience, but all can benefit from a brief review of the basics. Each student will be introduced with a description of their aims as well as their experience to date as this summers'cool unfolds.
Sadly we said good-bye to Andrew Palmer a brilliant man that for some reason
(perhaps being bitten by the glass bug) graces us with his company and allows us to share insights about how heat, gravity and will can shape a glass bubble. Ken and Andrew had a particualarly good time together making handles on small pitchers. Andrew returns to Singapore, leaving his residence in Deer Isle, ME. until next summer perhaps.AND I put the new glass to good use. I had a blissful evening on Thursday blowing biggish garden colored vases.
The evening was a tiny bit cooler, my strength was fair and I got to use some new duck billed shears that made cutting the lip of the urn shapes easy as pie
Then Thursday night while I was beginning to scrub the salt off, I got a call that Katherine Dube was downstairs and wanted to show her friends around. Katie (left) was an intern with us nearly ten years ago while she was a student at College of the Atlantic. Since that time she has traveled to Japan, earned her Masters Degree in Eastern Classics, and is now a teacher of Buddhist studies at College of the Atlantic. Here she was just another summer lovin goddess out with her best buddies, "Big Head" (middle) and Amanda Witherell, a journalist at the SF Bay Guardian. Katie wanted to show her friends around because she has been working all year with Ken assisting him in his "Sea foam" line of decorative blown glass. And recently she began setting up her painting studio in the back section of our building, the area we affectionately call, Narnia...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Photo credit

We can't go on much further with this blog with out saying something about the inviting photo that greets you at the top of the page. It was created by the multi talented, Nathan Parker. Showing the entrance of our building and studio, the photo was created from a total of 81 photos, which were then digitally stitched together thereby showing you the full view of one of our favorite hanging out spots, the loading dock. This panorama bends the perspective a bit and makes the fa├žade look curvy, …kind of like a reflection in glass. So thanks to Nate who besides taking photos like the one described here is able to leap tall bubbles in a single bound and is part of our team of glass blowers, post, we'll see you inside.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Our crops are saved!

The BIG NEWS here at 25 Pine today is the much anticipated arrival of our glass shipment. It's hard to blow glass if you ain't got none and we were down to our last dregs. But today that's all a distant memory as 1000 pounds of Spectrum System 96 nuggets arrived.

These nuggets are made of glass with a Coefficient of Expansion/(COE ) of 96. We are able to fill our furnace up each night with these fabulous little chunks where we cook them into clear glass crystal. Because of the COE we are able to combine the clear glass with our expansive color palette and blow beautiful bubbles or sculpt the glass into sparkling solid forms.

It's like a new lease on life to look at this pile of raw material lying on our loading dock. We should put it away,... however, it seems to be good bait for the muse, so I think we'll leave it out there to trip over for just a little bit longer....