Thursday, July 1, 2021

getting in the groove

Yes, I am glad to be back in the studio and making again. This piece with the lichens has been churning around in my head for about two years since I made the reproduction mold of the sliced branch and then poured the wax. Here's a
link to that post if you missed it. After that I focused on the modeling glass feathers and snowflakes, and the heron box which I spent most of the last six months of that year on though I did make some samples of the lichens during that time testing for color. I liked the way the shapes came out but not the color so now here I am ready to actually work on the piece, didn't want to waste time with even more color samples so I did what I usually do, pick something from from the samples I have, combine two or three colors in my head, and just go for it. I have no idea really what the color will turn out to be on these little lichen pieces but I've told myself  that  “that'll do pig, that'll do” however the color turns out.

Marc made the mold Tuesday for the last big drowned feather piece, my favorite of the big four, and steamed it out Wednesday. It came out well enough though still needs to be cleaned up which I'm waiting to do til it dries out a little more since the mold materials are old and I'm uncertain if the strength is a little compromised especially while wet. All those black specks will come out and the edges will be cleaned up.

I'll have to rehydrate it when I'm ready to fill the mold to work with the glass pastes. If I was just casting it with loose dry frit I wouldn't have to rehydrate it but I'm not doing that.

So while I'm waiting for the lichen pieces to dry completely (can't put them in the oven like I did the feathers and snowflakes because of the way they are curved around the log though I think I've figured out a way to fire them) I've been working on some sketches for a yellow trumpet flower piece. I'm trying to put in 3 hours a day, easy enough over at the studio, not so easy here at the house where my drawing materials and resources are (no internet connection over at the shop) as it's too easy to get distracted with household chores and the internet and blogs to read. So if I'm scarce, not commenting, it's because I'm working, trying to be diligent about my 3 hours a day.

Here's the recipe for Simple Roasted Tomato Sauce as requested:

5-6 pounds medium or small tomatoes, stems removed

  • 1 medium head of garlic, peeled (you can chop the garlic if you want but can keep cloves whole if you'd like)

  • cup extra virgin olive oil

  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves

  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

  1. Place the tomatoes on large baking sheet with a raised 1-inch lip. Add the garlic cloves and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Use your fingers to mix well to coat. Top with torn basil leaves and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  2. Bake for 4 hours or until tomatoes are soft and bursting.

  3. Allow to cool then pour into a blender in batches. Pulse 2-3 times then blend for 1 minute or until desired chunkiness. Pour into quart jars or pour into freezer bags to freeze flat.

  4. Will keep in the refrigerator for 1 week or 4 months in the freezer.

This last batch I only roasted for 3 hours. The one before maybe 3 1/2. I find 4 hours to be too long in my oven.

Saturday, Pam and I are driving to Rockport for the Rockport Art Festival which was canceled last year because...covid, so it will be fun to engage in some pre-covid activity. And yay for the artists whose incomes suffered terribly last year or so when all their venues were canceled so I hope they all have a good show.



  1. Looking forward to the process of your new glass pieces coming to completion. So true about the need for 3-hour periods of sustained focus in the studio. As much as I love seeing your garden and the work you do there, I've missed seeing your creative process with glass. I look over at the mandala I started at the end of May all the time but am easily distractable, especially this past week by the extreme heat. Love the color of those roasted tomatoes!

  2. Thank you for your tomato sauce recipe! I believe I will be trying that. Do you just include the skins?
    I'm glad you're enjoying your work in the studio. Can't wait to see how this turns out.

    1. yes, skins and all. I do cut out the stem ends and any bad spots first though.

  3. I love watching your art work in progress. It's so interesting. And, thank you for the tomato sauce recipe. Yum!

  4. Thank you for the recipe. Noted and added to my collection.

    Good to be working in the studio again. I expect it's missed you.

  5. Very much looking forward to see more of the art work and as always intrigued by the process.
    I used to roast/bake surplus tomatoes but we were gifted a dehydrating gadget last year that produces not only a gorgeous aroma but also dries tomato (aubergine, zucchini, pumpkin etc.) slices overnight, which are then bottled with oil and herbs.

  6. The molded piece will be interesting. Lichen is all colors--red, purple, green, blue, etcetcetc.

  7. That photo of the tomatoes is fabulous. If they taste even a tenth of how good they look, they'll be quite something. I believe I might give that a try. Clearly, you're an artist in the kitchen as well as in that other studio!

  8. Such a glorious working entry. You inspire me.

  9. I love hearing about your art making and following along. That mold captures such detail.

  10. I'm glad it feels good to be creating again! The feather mold looks promising!


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