My ETSY shop link

My ETSY shop link
This is my ETSY shop link. Click to be transported!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

You've Gotta See This!

I can't stand it!  Sometimes there is stuff that's just too cool, and I have to share it.

I LOVE this photo!  It is cute and also cracked me up!  The little cat pouch is from
an Etsy artist who lives in Milan, Italy.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Artful Cook

I learned tmany things about cooking from my father. It was a double whammy—he was a cook when he was in the Army, stationed in Okinawa AND he grew up during the Depression. So, he never wasted anything, knew how to make something out of nothing, and whatever he made, he made a LOT of it! Combine those two lessons with my career as an artist and teacher—this is how I cook!

My kitchen has to be well-stocked, like my art classroom. I don't plan so much for specific recipes as I do for general cooking because I never know what creative thing I'll feel inspired to do next. And heaven help anyone who helps themselves and uses something up without replacing it or writing it down on the grocery list!

I don't particularly enjoy grocery shopping. The aisles are crowded, unhappy children are screaming, and confused customers stand in the middle of the aisle, blocking it, while they read labels! I brave Trader Joe's every six weeks or so and stock up on all my basics—and I have one rule: always try something new! Here I lay in my supplies of organic potatoes and onions, olive and canola oil, balsamic vinegar, nuts, bread, eggs, etc. In the warm months, I go to the Farmer's Market every week, if I can. I base my meals around whatever fresh vegetables I can find, and sometimes I get carried away, because I LOVE the Farmer's Market, and buy too much! Then I not only have to make regular meals, but I also have to deal with the extra veggies that might be close to spoiling. That's when I make things for the freezer.

To me, cooking is like creating art. All of the elements—the color, texture, taste, and combination of ingredients come together to make an attractive and appetizing dish—whether it's a casserole, salad, cake, etc. The other component, especially these days, is thrift. Take this summer, for example—Hurricane Irene pelted my tomato patch and so many of the fruits were pockmarked and damaged and knocked off the vines. I collected the least ruined fruit in a brown grocery bag. Every few days, I check the tomatoes and take out the ripest ones or any that have begun to spoil. Some just developed brown speckles, and I knew I should use them right away, but in what?

So, since cooking is also a kind of art for me, I will share a few of my recipes here from time to time, so stay tuned!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Blog Discount!

Here's a little gift to thank you for reading my blog:  use coupon code:  jewelry15 in the coupon code checkout box on Etsy (Paypal) for a 15% discount in my shop.  If you pay by Amazon, mention the code and I will refund you.  Thanks for stopping by!  More posts and info to come, but I'm having a little carpal tunnel pain this week and need to rest my hand for a few days.  Cheryl

Friday, September 16, 2011

What is Dichroic Glass?

Dichroic glass is an amazing glass that was first invented to be used for the Space Shuttle!  It is glass that has several microscopic layers of metals or oxides fused to the surface through a complex process.  Dichroic glass is an optic glass--it both transmits and reflects light.  any given piece of dichroic will have two colors and some have three.  So when you hold the glass and tilt it you see one color, but turn it the other way and you see another!  Because of the complicated process required to create dichroic glass, it is much more expensive than plain fusing glass, and so makes my pieces more costly to create, especially since I use several layers of the glass in any given piece.

I personally love working with transparent dichroic because I can layer up the glass and get many different levels of reflection.  Most glass fusers seem to prefer dichroic on black glass--perhaps it is easier to work with because it is much easier to detect which side has the dichroic coating.  But it has limited use.

Working with dichroic glass has been an interesting transition for me, as I began my career in art as a painter.  But I always loved making thin glazes or "veils" of color which I would then layer over my paintings.  Now I do the same thing with glass, except on a much tinier "glass canvas".  Heat--firing the kiln several times--as hot as 1600 degrees--adds another factor to the process, the element of surprise!  Though I can pretty much predict what to expect with a firing, glass has a mind of its own!  This is the fun part, though!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Getting Started!

Ok, I am starting a blog!  I am a glass artist and have a shop on Etsy called csmArtGlass.  I named my blog Color & Light because those two elements are very important when creating glass jewelry.  Design would be the third.  Color, Light, and Design as a title sounded too much like another one of my Studio Art lessons in my career as an art teacher, so I decided to keep it short!

I am discovering what to do here with blogs, so I am happy to hear your advice!  Thanks!