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Happy Morning!

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Morning Coffee, Morning Thoughts.

I think my most favourite thing about being self-employed is the way I feel on Monday mornings.

I love the feeling of open-endedness, of endless possibilities.  Granted, I do not always look forward to Saturdays

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Glass Pens!!!!

I’m going to be brief here, because the few pictures I’m going to put up here are pretty self-explanatory!

Not only are they beautiful, but they are also incredibly functional!

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There are no pictures YET of the coloured handles, which include adding my skills in precise stringer application, surface manipulation and encasing.  From the date of this entry, it has been exactly 30 days that I have been making these, and the response has been overwhelming!  Thanks to everyone who has visited GypsyRoad at the Halifax Farmer’s Market on the Seaport here in my beautiful, beautiful hometown.

Shout-out to Beautiful Haligonians!

I haven’t blogged in forever because I didn’t want to count my chickens before they hatched.

THEN I didn’t blog because it seems like each of the eggs produced yet another one of my dreams-come-true, so I put off blogging until I felt that I could do the entire nest of wonderful happenings true justice in the telling.

Here we go:

-Developed the ability to Blow Glass!

-Fireworks Gallery on Barrington Street started carrying my work.

-I applied for and received a Summer Artist in Residency at the Nova Scotia Centre for Craft.

-I applied for and received Juried Status with the Nova Scotia Designer Craft’s Council.

-Was asked to submit work (and subsequently did) to the Nova Scotia Centre for Craft’s Gallery Gift Shop.

-Was asked to submit work (collection pending) to the Artisan Market in Moncton NB.

-I successfully completed my very first 16-page Grant Application.

-I applied for and was granted a table at the Halifax Seaport Farmer’s Market.

-Received a day of private instruction in Watercolour with the incredible Nora Gross.

-I received many many custom orders throughout the region!

WOOT WOOT!

I really feel like I reached a milestone in my career this year.  I believe that life is a journey, and that we never truly reach a destination, so I would not say that “I’ve arrived”, but I am conscious of having succeeded in many of the goals that I laid out nearly 10 years ago.  By choosing to do what I love, I’ve been able to follow my passion and to stubbornly keep working towards my goals, however unattainable they sometimes seemed to become.

I feel the most incredible elation and gratitude for being able to live my life in such a beautiful way, and for being able to share that beauty with everyone, including my customers who help me to earn my living.  I say Thank-You and silently express my thanks to the world at least 10 times a day!

So to EVERYONE who has ever paid me a complement on my work, who has encouraged me to stick with it, or who has provided me with an opportunity to do what I love:  THANK YOU!!!!

If you were to poke around the internet, looking at bits and pieces of the work that I’ve created over the years, (and heck, the ambiance of this blog!) you may have noticed that I enjoy interpreting and re-interpreting my favorite nature-companions: Trees!

I can remember being 16, sitting on the side of the Northwest Arm of Halifax Harbour, picking at stones the way some people pick at grass while lazing in a field.  During one afternoon of roasted hot-dogs and apples by the seashore, absentmindedly using the corner of a jagged piece of slate to draw a tree on a blue stone worn smooth by the the ocean.   I drew a tree bare of leaves, and of intricate branches and roots.  This memory sticks out in my mind mostly because the friend who sat beside me that day said “I didn’t know you could draw!” and my response was that I could only draw trees.

Well, my drawing skills have grown since then, my love and respect of trees has deepened, and it seems that my fascination with creating trees in any art medium I can get my hands on is ceaseless!   The exciting new foray has, you guessed it, resulted in Glass Trees!

I hope everyone likes these initial photos!

Love,

Janelle

Exciting New Foray

I’ve been a teacher of hot-glass since the Spring of 2010.  I’ve been a teacher of warm-glass since the Winter of 2009.  The last time I took a hands-on course was in the Fall of 2008.   NOW I’m finally back into a class where I’m NOT the instructor!  This is VERY exciting for me!

About a week ago, I began a course in “Advanced Sculptural Glass” at the Nova Scotia Centre for Craft and Design (NSCCD).  While I’ve been making Glass Faery Ladies since the summer of 2006, and they are technically sculptural, that’s as advanced as I was able get in Soft Glass (sometimes referred to as soda-lime glass, with a C.O.E. of 104).  Other beads artists experience in both soft-glass and borosilicate glass thought I was crazy to use glass that so easily thermal shocks, but I couldn’t help myself!  Plus, I thought that my gear in my studios (a Nortel Minor Bench Burner running on a single 5 litre per minute oxygen concentrator) was not powerful enough to work with borosilicate (hard glass, with a C.O.E. of 33), but it turns out that I was mostly mistaken!

I say mostly mistaken, on purpose.  While my studio set-up is fine for working the clear glass, it’s not so great with the colours, specifically the Reducing Colours.  Because I need to crank the propane to get the flame hot enough to work the boro, I simply do not have enough “juice” from the single  (5lmp) oxygen concentrator to have a neutral flame, and definitely not enough to even come close to an oxidising flame.   Basically, I’m running a “reduction flame” almost constantly, which means that I’m not getting the colours I’d like in my work, and am ending up with over-struck glass, which pretty much means that icky sickly yellow.

The solution? An additional oxygen concentrator, of at least 5lpm.  :)

That’s right folks!  This is not a wishful “someday” plan, but one which will most hopefully be executed within the month.  I’ll do my best to keep you posted.

Peace and Love,

~Janelle

p.s.  Here’s a little sample of my first boro attempts (after just one class!)  There’s a group shot to start, and then a marble that I’m calling “Brain Stem”, a few little vases, a nice Flower Implosion and a decently sized Clear Glass Ornament!  Enjoy! XOX!

Hi Everybody!
It’s been way too long since my last post… To be honest, even in the days of snail-mail, I would write long long letters, and get them into the addressed envelope, and there they would stay, never to be stamped, never to be sent. Apparently this applies to the way I blog, since there are few final drafts with pics that have simply never made it this far.

Sooooo…. I have been teaching Glass Beadmaking at the NSCCD (not to be confused with NSCAD!), and this time round I’m teaching weekend intensives! This means that all the talking and set-up is gotten out of the way Friday evening. Saturday (today actually!) we will be getting into the technical and practical side of the learning, and then we will let our creativity run wild on Sunday!

I was so excited about today that I slept very lightly and jumped out of bed this morning! This promises to be an awesome day, despite the rain!

Hopefully my students won’t mind if I photograph some of their beads, so stay tuned for those…

Much Love,
~Janelle

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