Tuesday, July 13, 2021

tedious and fussy

It did not rain Saturday!!!

And I did get over to the studio and made some progress on the mold.

First I filled the quill with white and a mixture of gray and white opaque powder,

then I sifted in light gray and clear transparent powder,

then I filled in with white opaque powder til it was flush with the surrounding level of the mold and quit for the day.

This is a slow and meticulous process. After each sifting all the excess that falls outside the feather shape has to be picked up with a wet brush, the powder needs to be pressed down and made sure that all the small spaces like the tips of the feather are filled.

I don't really keep track of time but I think this took me somewhere between 2 and 3 hours.

It did not rain Sunday!!!

Sundays, I don't eat lunch. We have a big late breakfast, brunch, and an early dinner or rather an earlier dinner. After brunch we watched the last two episodes of season 2 of the Mandalorian and then I went over to the shop to work on the mold some more.

Because of all the air involved in powder and frit, as mentioned last post, the voids in the mold need to have the glass built up with frit at least as high as they are deep so that when it all melts it will completely fill the void with the proper color. So that's what I did Sunday. I built up on the powder I had already filled the feather with flush. This is a pain in the ass when I don't finish a void all in one sitting because now the previous day's work is dry and wet powder and frit does not want to stick to dry powder so I'm constantly having to drip water with a little pipette on the area I'm working on though I found if I dipped my little tool in water before I used it to manipulate the powder I was adding to the tips of the feathers it worked a little better. All this is complicated by the fact that the mold itself is dryer than I usually work with. The dry plaster/silica just sucks the moisture out of the glass 'pastes' as soon as they hit the surface of the mold. Usually I would have completely rehydrated the mold before starting but I didn't want to do that for reason already written about though I may have to do it anyway. Once I got all the fussy feather tips built up with white powder I mixed the white powder with white fine frit and filled in the rest of the feather. It's a constant manipulation and then of course going around the outside edge of the feather tidying it up and cleaning up any glass in the wrong place. Anyway, I'm done with the feather, the hardest part of this particular mold.

I know it doesn't look much different from the previous picture but I added a minimum of a 1/8” layer of glass to what I had done on Saturday. It took me nearly 4 hours.

I did not have time to work on it Monday as I put off going to the grocery store til the last possible day and that was Monday. And it's a yoga day and there's no point trying to get anything done unless I have at least a two, preferably three, hour time slot.

The other thing I did Sunday was pick all the butternut squashes.

this is the entire harvest sans the one we ate and the two we already gave away.

Half the vines were in the standing water and they're all starting to yellow and sag. Two of them were picked a little early but if they don't ripen on the window sill, it's not like we're going to go without. What the hell am I going to do with all those butternuts, you may ask,? I'm going to give them away.

It did not rain Monday!!! I think I'm going to swoon. Three days in a row with no rain. Mosquitoes are back though. I had four tasks to do yesterday...grocery shopping, taking Robin to get her second vaccine shot, another store for the eye vitamins and a window fan, and more peaches from the Market down the road. I got the first two done.

Today the plan is to get the last two errands done and spend the rest of the day working on the mold.


  1. You are busy as always! What focus and concentration you have to do that sort of art. It's amazing. It's rained every day we've been in NC. The day of our river trip, it held off until ten minutes after we got off the river. I sure did think of you that day, Ellen.

  2. Hooray for no rain! I can't wait to see how the feather turns out (amazing, I'm sure).

  3. I love watching this art project unfold like this. It's so beautiful and interesting. Really glad you had days and days without rain. Yay!!

  4. This is such a fascinating process to follow! Thanks for explaining it all.

    My mother would pickle the pumpkins and the whole house would smell of pickling spice. But I am with you, give them away.

  5. That's a lot of volunteering from that squash!
    I do no know what caused it, but we are involved in our third episode of ten day rains this spring/summer.

  6. Goodness, hooray for no rain, but what effort you put into your glass art. Gads... patience of Job!! (and then some!) your squash collection reminds me of the cooked squash I have in my freezer! I really should make some more bread. It was soooo good. I hope the recipients of your generosity repay you in some way. I would!

  7. Glad you are getting so much time in your studio. Your work is so lovely.

  8. You are a wonder. I'm back on immunotherapy and sound asleep on my feet.


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