Thursday, October 15, 2009

just in case you are still under the impression that art is easy...

I have been so busy the past two days.  Tuesday I filled a mold for an Oleander small bowl.  It took me all day, finally finished about 7pm.  Back when I was doing these a lot, I had it down to about 5 hours.  Actually, it didn’t take too much longer than that but the preparation takes time and I was dithering about the colors even though I was doing a color combination I had already done.  My notes were not complete on the previous one, I had failed to list one of the colors and though from looking at the picture I was pretty sure what it was, I had not brought those colors back with me to the city (one of the problems of having the studio split between the city and the country...when we hauled all that frit down to the country we thought we would be entirely set up there by the time we were ready to do more pate de verre).  On top of that, I misunderstood my own notes about the green and didn’t bring one of the colors for that that I needed.  This is a special order for a collector who selected this color combination from pictures.  The green and the brown will be a little different but the flowers and bowl color will be the same.  I think he’ll like it OK.  It should come out of the kiln tomorrow. 

Yesterday I worked on the full size drawings for the altar window of the JWUMC the shop with the kiln rising to casting temperature (about 1550º) on a 90º day.  I was sweating buckets.  Then, I had an appointment for a design consultation for a new job when the shop was at peak temperature and the couple showed up wearing all black and she had on long sleeves.  I hustled them through the process and out the door.

about the drawing:  10’ wide x 12’ 10” high.  the small circles represent faceted and smooth jewels of varying sizes, some with dicroic glass.  Dicroic glass is a thin glass that has been coated to reflect and transmit different colors with a third color apparent when viewed from an angle.

Today I’m working on the full size drawings for the Oklahoma Heart Hospital chapel (but at least I’ll be able to turn on the AC if necessary).  I finally got the last bit of information yesterday that I need to get started after I threw a little tantrum on Tuesday.  Both the art consultant and interior designer were dragging their feet (I’d been waiting almost a week for the information) and as far as I knew the installation was still set for November.  Fortunately, the installation has been moved back to the end of December.  Ordering the glass is going to be a little dicey since the way the frames were built I have zero wiggle room.  

When I’m busy like this, mostly the stuff in my head is about work.


  1. "When I’m busy like this, mostly the stuff in my head is about work." And how!! What intricate processes, and focus, you go through with your art. It seems almost to take you to another place, another zone. Wonderful to see this.

  2. That bowl is gorgeous! I imagine that the chapel project will be really beautiful too. Thanks for taking us through the process - can't wait to see the final product!

  3. Art easy???

    Your artwork is beautiful & i know it is a lot of work. Who has said it is easy?

    What i find hardest (& i'm mostly a crafter not an artist) is that the things in my head rarely look like i pictured them when i'm finished. Yours look gorgeous.

  4. Glad to hear that work that supports your beautiful talents. My hope is that it also sustains you spiritually and financially as it certainly keeps you busy. I could totally imagine myself drawn into a fine meditative state sitting in one of the sanctuaries graced by your work. In fact, I do believe I'll do that next time I'm in Houston.

    And what will you do to take care of yourself during this busy time?

  5. ellen - thanks for taking us right inside the process of the processing of all of this work. it's insights like this that help me get my head around the reality of artwork. really i should type art / work! the bowl is stunning. honestly ellen - i've asked you before but do you just step back and say "i made that"! gasp!!! steven

  6. Am I wrong, or has Ellen got her groove back? You are inspired, aren't you? I am so happy for you.

  7. Joanne - Often I lose track of time.

    JC - finally!

    Bug - thanks Dana (it's Dana, right?)

    Kathryn - same thing with me but that's part of the anticipation.

    Kathleen - let me know next time you come. I'm so happy to be busy after my long idle summer that I'm feeling pretty good.

    willow - aw, shucks.

    steven - yes, actually I do when a piece comes out better than I think it will.

    Kathy - I do believe you may be right.

  8. That panel is going to be stunning. Can't wait to see the finished product.

  9. And you thought you couldn't do a PdV face? That bowl is WAY more complicated...would love to see you do this up close's gorgeous.

  10. These objects are just beautiful, Ellen. You are so talented. It is nice to know how art is made. So many of us have no idea, we just know beauty when we see it. So glad you have plenty of work, though.

  11. Hard work - and GREAT work! Bravo!!

    We need you out there, creating beauty every day. Sorry it's still so hot, though!

  12. Ellen, your art projects are all so ambitious, whether in detail--as that lovely oleander bowl, or in scale--as those altar windows. The description of your involved process is fascinating. I cannot wait to see pictures of the altar windows and the hospital chapel. I takes time...a lot of time, to complete such intricately envisioned work.

    Guess I'll have to be patient.

  13. Beautiful, beautiful works of art.


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