Saturday, July 10, 2021

that'll do rain, that'll do

I feel like I'm living on that planet in that science fiction story where it rained all the time. All. The. Time. 24/7, every damn day of the year. Woke up to rain on Thursday and it rained all day albeit lightly. Woke up to hard rain and a freaky dog on Friday morning. Actually, it was the freaky dog that woke me up. And it must have rained some on Wednesday because if it hadn't I think I would remember such a rare event. And it continued to rain on Friday until about 10:30 stopping enough to venture out. The house was surrounded by water. Well, not completely surrounded but there was standing water on all four sides of the house. 

Ditches were nearly full and flowing, at least at my end. And then about an hour and a half hour later it started up again. After it stopped I had to take something to my grandgirl Robin so drove over to my daughter's house which was surrounded by water. I had to park on the street and wade through the water to the house which fortunately is raised. The ground is so saturated, standing water everywhere, I'm surprised any of our toilets still flush being on septic systems as we are.

Pam and I dashed out to two estate sales during the break in the rain and my planned day in the studio filling the mold never happened because...rain so Marc and I watched more episodes of the Mandalorian.

Here's a story apropos of nothing. Saw an ad for cotton sheets, all USA grown, spun, and woven. They were expensive but the description sounded great until I got to the thread count...147. Are you kidding me? My mother told me never buy anything under 300. I can't imagine those sheets are as soft as they claim or that they would even last very long.

There is a lot of science (and some math) involved in glass casting, fusing, and blowing but the manufacturers of art glass deal with that, well, us users deal with it too. Any glass that undergoes transformation through heat must be compatible. What that means is that each individual type of glass, if you want to melt them together, must have the same coefficient of expansion. Glass expands and contracts during heating and cooling and if they don't expand and contract at the same rate, it sets up stress in the finished piece and it will crack, sometimes immediately, sometimes not til years later (there's also the issue of stiffness vs softness but that's a different problem). Depends on just how much stress is in the glass. So while the manufacturers have to deal with the compatibility issue when they formulate their colors for casting, fusing, and blowing (stained glass artists can use any sheet glass in their work), glass artists have to keep this in mind when they work. They can't just combine any glass they come across. You can use bottle glass or glass objects like candle holders or gee gaws for casting or even plate glass for heat work as long as all the glass comes from a single source like a single bottle (two bottles from the same six pack are not necessarily compatible, they would have had to have been made from the same batch of glass for that) or you buy sheet glass, frit, and/or cullet that has been manufactured and tested for compatibility which is what I do. Fortunately the company whose glass I use has a large palette of compatible colors and they expand it every year.

The reason I have to do a volume measure to calculate the proper weight of glass it takes to fill a mold is because the finer the grains of glass, the more air is involved. If I was to just pour in an amount of frit to the fill line of the mold and fired it, it would melt down and fill less than half, maybe just a third, of the mold. This is also the reason all my models have a reservoir, usually a piece of styrofoam glued to the bottom of the model, so that the mold is deep enough to hold all the frit.

Well, glory be! The sun is making an effort to come out. I see shadows out there. Oops, gone now. It is so humid out there today all the windows were fogged up and the snail trails through the condensation looked like some kind of crazy road map.

 Anyway, the plan for today is to get over to the studio and fill that mold. Rocky showed up just before 10 and we went over to the shop so he could determine what he needed to do to fix the leaking roof above the studio room (again). We have a plan but needs to dry out some. Sun is out again.

One last thing, my purple flower mandala came yesterday and I love it.

It's 10 layers. It reminds me of the process I used to make the models for the botanica eroticas, building up the wax sheets in four or five layers and then sculpting them into rounded smooth shapes. If you haven't been to Spencer's Custom Wood website, you should go check it out. It's a family owned and operated business started up about four years ago part time but this year they decided to go for it full time, to put in the time to make it work. They also make cutting boards and game boards and other products.


  1. I really hope you get lots and lots of sunshine there. You definitely need a long break from all that rain.
    I love seeing that purple flower mandala. It's so beautiful.

  2. That extra explanation about the glass was really interesting. I had to read it a couple of times, but once I settled down and took it a little slower, it made sense. What really makes sense is sunshine in July, and we finally have some. Every bird, squirrel, and lizard in the neighborhood looks happy. So do a few people, for that matter!

  3. the puddles look refreshing, We have had no rain and its weird but then this whole thing is weird, becoming more so by the minute. I would love to follow you around while you are doing glass. Fascinating and the end product is incredible!

  4. I hear you about the rain, we are pretty soggy here, as well. There was 100% chance of rain today and nary a drop did fall. The sky looks bruised and just when you think it will pour, the sun burns through. My campers are happy about it and the pool has been in use all day. Juts a week ago we experienced all the rain you described and we are still wet from that!

  5. That mandala is lovely!
    Your "snail trail" window looks like a gaggle of three year olds came by to decorate.
    Weaving math is complicated, too, but only necessary if I want to calculate cost of goods.

  6. I can't imagine that much rain! We're dry as a bone out here... Man, could we ever use some of your water!! That glass art is lovely.

  7. That mandala is gorgeous! No wonder you had to have it.

    On my way home from church today I was driving in full sunshine (with fluffy white clouds), and it started raining hard enough that I needed the windshield wipers. And my sunglasses. What the heck. I sure hope you guys get to dry off soon!

  8. Sorry you are so soggy. It just wears on a person. The glass explanation was interesting. Hope Rocky can fix the leak in the roof. That also wears on a body.

  9. Beautiful mandala! I wouldn't have know it was that, however, unless you told me. 10 layers! The rain has arrived here in NYC now, three days on and off and counting.

    1. I wouldn't have called it a mandala either but that's how the makers describe it.

  10. I too love your purple flower mandala!

    I had never even heard of such a low thread count, so I googled "what is a low thread count in sheets," and the following came up: "Good sheets range anywhere from 200 to 800, although you'll occasionally see numbers over 1,000." Even so, I wouldn't want "good" sheets that were anywhere near the low end because I would expect them to start look bad in no time at all with the cats' toenails going right through them.

  11. Love the mandala! Beautiful.

    I hope you get a chance to dry out soon. The snail trails are kind of cool, though. (As long as they're outside!)


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