Thursday, August 31, 2006

Nana's wine goblet Posted by Picasa
I love pink glass!! Nana (my grandma) had beautiful pink fancy wine goblets, etched flowers played on the surface of each glass. When she passed away, my mother lovingly displayed them behind glass. I believe the stlye of glass is called Elegant Glass, it's very thin, and light pink in color. When my mother passed away, the glasses that I loved were mine. I have tried to find glasses to replace some of the missing pieces that have been broken over the years and so far have found 2 pieces. If I am ever by an antique store I have to look for pink glass. Steve was afraid to use them for our meals, but I insisted that they were made to be used, so we use them and I love them. We are making our own memories using them, sometimes a glass of wine or splitting a can of coke, the pink glass makes everything taste better. In the past, Moretti aka Effetre which is an Italian glass, up until now,hasn't made a really nice light pink glass for my glass bead making. I also use Lauscha and Vetrefond, but no, they don't have a really nice pink either. The pinks that they have just kind of miss the mark, usually too pale. So what Moretti does have is a glass called Rubino Oro or gold pink, every batch is a little different sometimes lighter or darker. I used that for the bracelet above, it is what I used for the cranberry dangle heart, the tiny beads on either side of the spotted bead with the green flower, and anything cranberry colored. Looking at the picture here, those beads look almost black, but they are cranberry colored. If I layer that color over white it turns out to be the color of the little rosebud on the hearts and the flowers that are encased, I also used it for the base color under the flower in that same bead, also it was used for the dots. The nice light pink heart was purchased. With all that said, I went shopping for glass last week, I found a glass that is supposed to be bubble gum pink, so I bought a bunch, haven't tried it yet, but I will let you know....I love pink glass. Posted by Picasa
Port Blakely Tree Farm's sculpture for the 2006 Sand in the City competition. Even though I am not working for Port Blakely right now, they asked me to help out with the sculpture for Sand in the City. We took 2nd place. It has always been an exciting, fun event and this year was no different. I helped sculpt the log and bear to the left of the picture. The team pretty much has the mixing of the sand and water done in about an hour and a half. The process of mixing the sand is very important to the success of the sculpture. They layer it by first putting down a base of sand, place the form (made with 2x4's and plywood), put a 4"-6" layer of sand down, sprinkle it with water, mix it thoroughly, tamp it down with heavy steel tamps, and repeat until the form is full. I know they were done way before everyone else, which really helps to have the extra time to sculpt. We started filling the forms at 9:30 am, we finished sculpting and had our plot cleaned up by 3:15, 15 minutes to spare before the whistle blew at 3:30. This is our 4th Sand in the City competition that we have participated in. The proceeds from the Sand in the City go to the Olympia Children's Hands on Museum. It bothers me to see this picture, because I see so many things that I wish I would have changed, but after sculpting in the sun for so many hours, I said, "It's good enough!" A recent picture of Steve at Dick and Mary Carol's 5oth wedding anniversary. They are the parents of my good friend Tammy, I helped her prepare for the event, she did an awesome job!!  Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Susan Brown was the talented landscape designer of the garden where this gate was temporarily placed for the 2006 NW Flower and Garden Show in Seattle. This is my version of French Flowing, but it's also been used for a Spanish themed garden benefit for Fusion in Federal Way. The size of this gate is 56" H x 70 1/2" W. ] The home of this gate is the Highline Seatac Botanical Garden in South Seattle. If you haven't visited this garden it is worth a trip. It is a beautiful and peaceful place. It is a newer garden and it is still growing, they just added the Seike Japanese Garden which was a garden that was relocated to this site. If you would like to take a peek, click-- . I grew up in a neighborhood nearby the garden, back then houses and my junior high school were on this property. When the noise level from the airport became too much, they closed three schools, my elementary, my junior high and my high school, plus condemned many of the homes in the area and removed them. It became a suburban brownfield. A few years ago, I accidentally ran across the garden's website and found out that the garden was being built mainly by volunteers. I thought it would be nice to donate a birdbath, that would be something that we could handle, as we were both working full time jobs, actually Steve's shop takes up alot more than 40 hours a week, not to mention his commute of 60 miles each way, plus we were doing shows just about every weekend during the summer...So a birdbath I thought we could handle. I emailed Greg Butler the landscape designer and ran it by him. Yes, a donation would be great! We met with him and I guess you could say that Steve and Greg, well...two peas in a pod. Next thing I new, we were donating a gate, not just a gate, but a bazillion inches of gate! While I was feeling pretty sick to my stomach, Steve and Greg...well they were all proud of themselves, all buddy, buddy...this will be great, Sherry can design it...!....!...!..."But, but, but, I thought we were going to donate a birdbath," I said. Steve said, "Oh, well, we can donate one of those too!"....yeaaaah....I think that's what I said, hmmm. Sure am glad we did, thank you to Greg and all the people on the board for giving us this chance! *Special Note*Family Friends Bill and Maxine Bowlin continued to live in the neighborhood for many years after I moved away. Bill was the main person who spearheaded the idea to turn that area into a place that could be used and enjoyed by the public. I know that he spent countless hours working to make this dream come true. I would like to dedicate this gate in memory of William Bowlin. He was like a second father to me growing up, I am sad to say that he passed away the day after my own father and wasn't able to see the garden or the gate. Beautiful Port Townsend is where this next piece has a home. This is Steve's design and he has a ton of hours into both the design and fabrication of this gate and arbor. I think it is a grand piece of art. We were at a festival, Harbor Days in Olympia, WA, it wasn't a very successful show for us, but I can honestly say that the people were some of the nicest and most complimentary people that we have come in contact with. Anyway it was the end of the show and we were loading everything up, Steve threatened to dump it all in the bay, "Ahhh, I bet that water is pretty cold and you'll be the one fishing it out," I said... After thinking about it for a minute he agreed. So we continued loading it, a stranger who we learned was named Charles, had drove by when the arbor was on the trailer, he came up to us and said, "I drove by that and I didn't know what it was, but I knew it was ART!" Now that made Steve's day! Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 14, 2006

One Spiral, Two Spirals, Three Spirals This is our Bistro Table, it is available in assorted heights from 26" to 42". It looks great with a 30" piece of glass, it also prevents losing eating utensils through the spaces in the design ;) This is the first birdbath that we made. The basin is hand hammered copper and the body of the bath is mild steel that has been ground down to a shiny silver, but it will rust to a natural patina. The base is a double spiral. Our single spiral birthbath, with a copper spun basin. Mild steel base. Spiral Plant Pedestal- Each pedestal is cut from one piece of steel, then streched into various heights. These can be made in either a double or triple spiral. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Beautiful girls! Andria and Brianna (L to R) . This picture was taken yesterday at a restaurant in Bellevue. Andria is 23 yrs. and Brianna is 21 yrs. Andria graduated from the University of Washington in 2005 and is going for her masters in teaching. Brianna will be a senior at WSU, and will be getting her masters in finance and accounting. The Grandkids--Annalisa, Alex, and Forrest. Annalisa's Birthday party was today, she turned five and I don't think that I have ever seen so many horses and ponies given to one little girl at one time! Her daddy- Josh rented one of those blowup bouncey toys that kept the kids busy all afternoon. Alex is 8 yrs and Forrest will be 12 yrs. in November. This picture was taken on a road that runs next to our property in Tenino where we are planning on building a log home within the next few years. You can see our property on the right side of the road. Baby David. David will be turning 1 year old on the 29th of August. I take care of him one day a week while his mommy--Mandy is finishing up her Masters in Counseling Psychology. She is doing her internship at her college where she counsels patients. He just began walking about a week ago. He is such a cutie! Funny faces for Daddy! Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 11, 2006

This gate is a driveway gate for a home in Vancouver WA. The owner of the gate had seen us at the Salem Art Festival for 3 years in a row and fell in love with a small gate that is pictured in my first post. I started with that small gate pattern and then stretched it out a bit, I added about 30" more in length and about 20" taller for each side. Each gate that we do is custom, because everyones opening is usually different. Sometimes clients like a certain gate and then build their opening to fit the gate. This next gate has a home in Portland OR with a very nice family that said they had been looking for a gate for a few years for just the right gate. They found us at the NW Flower and Garden Show and decided that this was the gate that they had been waiting for. This gate is an art gate--meaning that it is there mainly for esthetics, it's not going to keep your dog in the yard (we have heard this comment at least 200 times, that's a conservative estimate according to Steve). It has a really nice powder coat, this is a baked on heavy duty powdered paint, the color is 'Copper Vein'. My personal favorite gate so far that we have installed is this next one, called 'The Dance of the Dragonflies". The client said, "The gate was the highlight to an already strong courtyard". The house is the industrial look and the walls around the courtyard were gray smooth cement. The gate softened the gray concrete and also gave the gate an understated background which just let the gate shine. The measurements on this gate is 41" wide x 70" tall. A wonderful couple! 'The Falling Leaf' gate measures about 50" wide and 64" tall, it sits in a beautiful garden near Lake Washington. We are designing a railing for this client, which will have a plant theme. The asymetrical posts were a first for us, but I love them. This style of gate was in a designers garden in the NW Flower and Garden Show, it blew me away to see this mounted between two huge columns of granite, just beautiful. The garden was also very cool with a floating bed in the middle of a pond, wow. The owners are a very nice couple, who are very patient with us, thanks Bruce and Maria! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 10, 2006

If I was asked what my favorite hobby is, it would have to be making glass beads and putting them into jewelry. I have been making beads off and on for about 3 years, definitely more off than on. I am striving to get better. I take a great silver jewelry class during the school year. The teacher is Russ Lunders with Centralia Community College. He is a great teacher, I was in his first College class that he gave, I think about 4 years ago. He is a retired highschool teacher, he taught silver jewelry making, I wish I would have had a chance to take a class like that when I was in highschool...unfortunately they ended the program when he retired. But fortunately for us, the school gave him the equipment and we are now using it! I have a couple torches set up at home, one large one to make beads with and a little torch for soldering jewelry. I also have a kiln with a computerized controller to anneal the beads, I also can fuse glass in it. Pictured are some of the bracelets that I have made for friends and family. Fun stuff!
Whitefish Montana ahhh, what a beautiful place. Our client was building a very special home there. They are a wonderful couple, one of the nicest couples that I have had the pleasure of meeting. They wanted a very unique and artful home. Much of the home is decorated with furniture that she designed herself and had built to her specifications. The little gate to the left is the "Dance of the Dragonflies". If you look closely you can see the latch on the right is a dragonfly also. This gate was located in the front of the home, in front of a small courtyard, next to the main entry of the home. The courtyard is just off the main dining area for the home. Each element of the home was very carefully thought out. One stand out feature is the master bath, it has a tub that was a huge boulder of granite. It was sliced in half and hollowed out and smoothly polished, it is placed in front of a large picture window with a breath taking view of Flathead Lake. The house is situated on a hillside, so you can see for miles, beautiful! I think I could live comfortably in the masterbath, with the addition of a bed and microwave which would fit in there with no problem. At the first meeting that we had with our client she wanted us to fabricate two gates, a railing for the stairway, and a huge--10'x10' arched piece to suspend from the ceiling in their entryway. Ok, I'll say it...the RAILING really scaird me. Getting angles right, you have to be really exact, and I thought perhaps she might want something that was made by a blacksmith, something with a little more dimension. We decided that we would do the gates and the 10'x10' piece. I wasn't scaird anymore, and Steve was all along saying that we could do it and I shouldn't be scaird. Well, the client met with a blacksmith and then, next thing I new, we were doing the railing! Woo Hoo...I'm scaird. Ok, a little voice said, "trust me, we can do this," or maybe that was Steve...yeah that was Steve...anyway, I trusted that Steve could get all the angles right and knew what the heck he was doing, I knew that I could handle the design elements, but Steve figured out all the angles and made all of the outside dimensions and then I just filled it with plant designs. I worked for hours and hours just finding the right plants that would translate nicely in steel with our process. The theme was 'Native Plants of Montana'. It stretched us, it made us grow and we were blessed with success! I am thankful to Nicola for trusting us and giving us the opportunity to work on such a wonderful project. I am thankful everyday for a husband who treats me with respect and who loves me unconditionally. Thankful that he thinks he is, "the luckiest guy in the world", Shhh...let's not wreck his fantasy...besides I'm REALLY the lucky one! Posted by Picasa
Hi Georgia, I created this blog for you! The gate to the left was created from a drawing of a woman's hair, interwoven with leaved vines. This is my interpretation, which looks nothing like the inspirational drawing. It's interesting how the creative process works, one little picture or a portion of a photograph can be used as inspiration. Somehow the result of my ironwork never looks like the original inspiration! Excuse the photo, I let Steve loose with the camera. Paw-paw, he's the man, aka--Kitty! 14 lbs. of lovable fluff. He has pretty gold eyes, but the flash was too bright! The railing to the left was also for our client in Montana. The theme was native plants of Montana. We just created the ironwork in this, the contractor installed it, the setting really did it justice. I really love this railing and hope to duplicate it in the log home that we will be building! Posted by Picasa