Saturday, June 30, 2012

July classes and Trumpet Vine Panel

Miami is heating up what better time to come in to the cool studio space here and take a class.  Beginning Stained Glass classes start on Wednesday morning the 11th.  We meet from 10 to 12am for 5 weeks, with an added extra week for free if you need it.  That takes us through August 15th.  There is also going to be one of the Sunday classes in July - for making fused glass pendants with dichroic (very iridescent and colorful) glass.  The dates are the 15th and 22nd.  We meet from 12 to 3 pm both days.  It's a lot of fun, and always an adventure.  We start with pieces of scrap, and discover something wonderful when the kiln is opened and we see how everything has fused together.  There's no need to buy tools or supplies, as they're included in the $150 tuition.
As usual, we'll be teaching the lampwork beads class too - on either Tuesday or Wednesday evenings.  The two classes are held from 6 to 9pm.  Since there aren't any other evening classes scheduled for July, the choice of days is flexible.  Since it's a class I love to teach, I don't mind teaching it often!  Summer is also a good time for private lessons.  If you have some experience and want to try your hand at something new, just let me know.
I finally have a picture of one of the latest panels to show you.  The color is a little washed out, but I hope you enjoy it anyway:

It's about 22"wide by 45" high and is going into the front entryway of a home in Coral Gables.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Studio glass buy-out

After close to a year of ignoring my blog, I'm finally back to writing.

And, finally finished putting away all the glass I bought from another studio who closed up shop here in Miami. Since there just isn't enough room in the bins for many of the smaller pieces, they're all on sale. For those of you who do mosaics, this is the perfect time to come in as I put all the regular scrap on sale for $2.00 per pound (50% off), clear scrap for $1.50 per pound, larger pieces of clear for $3.00 per pound, and other colored pieces for $4.00 per pound. Anyone who does suncatchers, angels, boxes, small panels,etc. can certainly take advantage of these. I also got in another box of Spectrum's sale pieces, so we have over 150 square foot pieces at $6.00 each (a savings of $1.00 to $8.40 each).

It's wonderful starting off a new year, especially after all the upheavals we lived through in the last couple. There are still things that need to be done, plus we have some sandblasting equipment that needs to be sold, but however slowly, we are making progress. There are even a couple of interesting architectural columns that my late brother bought when the old Schlitz mansion was being torn down. One of the good things that happened when we were forced to empty off and remove the second floor was that we found all kinds of things that had been sitting in storage up there. We have old glass jewels, Tiffany lamp prisms, chunks of colored cullet, and several old chandeliers (all of which need restoration work). Even though most of the gallery items had to be packed up and stored at home, there are a number of vases, a few perfumes and paperweights still here.

We're also back to a better schedule for classes. They're limited to only 3 or 4 students now, so there's plenty of personal attention. If there are any classes of interest not on the calendar, just send an email to let us know and we'll try to set up a date.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

After months of not blogging, I finally managed to change my password so that I could actually open Blogger again. (Can't believe how frequent these senior moments are coming on! It's just not fair!)
You'll be happy to know that I'm not complaining this time (no small accomplishment for me either). The Dade County Departments of Fire & Buildings have passed us, there are no major deadlines looming, and we've made great strides in rearranging the Studio to make room for everything that came down from our old lofts. We've even built up display racks to hold some of the art work. There's still not as much display space as before, but we're making headway.
I am noticing that I get tired sooner and can't move around as well as I used to. One of my friends told me to go get my purse, pull out my driver's license, and look at my date of birth so that I could remember just how old I really am! I was laughing for days at that. Another lesson learned...
I've been experimenting with some of the new Moretti rods. A few of the colors are not going to be reordered, but others have proven to be wonderful. My favorite is a black that goes metallic when torched. And it's not just one color, but ranges from pewter to bronze to old copper. Another is a green that is transparent at the core, encased with opalescent green ... with only one rod it makes a bead that looks like you've pulled stringers or made twisties of several shades or green. What a time saver! I'll start putting up pictures of some of my experiments here for all to see. A few have been disappointing so far, but may work well once I start combining them with other colors.
We've started another lampshade class today, and I'm thinking that it might be fun to post pictures of the progress as we go along. Depends, of course, if I can get permission since it won't be my work published. Believe me, you'd have to wait years for me to finish something! I can remember when Brian was alive and the Studio was small (long before we built up the retail business). I'd build the lampshades and leave the panels to Brian. It was so theraputic - you just get into "the zone". But now, between phone calls and customers, the interruptions are too distracting, and I tend to get just a little too bitchy. (Not good for business!) And, since I keep my evenings for torch work, there's no time for other glass work. I do have a 16" Tiffany "Poppies" lamp almost done - so sometime soon I'll post a picture of it on it's gorgeous bronze base.
Another month my go by before I get back to posting, but thanks for reading along. Remember, we're open Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 5pm, so please feel free to drop in for a visit.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Classes starting up again!

Summer is over, our air conditioning has been fixed, and we're all set to get started with new classes. Although the Wednesday evening Beginning Stained Glass is full, there is still space in Saturday morning's class starting on the 11th at 10am.
We have a Stained Glass Lampshade class starting Wednesday morning the 15th, the usual monthly Intro to Making Lampworked Beads on Tuesdays the 14th & 21st, a Mosaic Techniques on Friday mornings, and the usual Open Studio for Copper Foil Techniques on Thursday mornings.
We have a few hot glass classes coming up as well: The ever popular Fused Dichroic Glass Pendants class will be on Sunday afternoons, September 19th & 26th. For those of you interested in Painting & Firing on Glass, we have a 2-day session booked for October 17th & 24th. In November we have another 2-day session booked for Introduction to Fusing & Slumping on the 14th & 21st.
All in all, an exciting selection of classes.
To see the full selection of classes, click on:
To see the schedules, click on:
Any ideas for classes you'd like? Just post a response.

One of my customers is looking for some part-time help for some mosaic projects. If you're interested, and have some artistic experience in cutting glass, let me know. It's sort of a paid apprenticeship. The hours are irregular, but you'll get a lot of experience.

It's almost time to open the doors for business, so I'll close for now. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

March Updates

It's been a busy month here at Rowe Studios. We've been experimenting with making glass (cuff-style) bracelets with fusible and dichroic glass. Two of my students volunteered to be my "guinea pigs" to see how much time it would take and the amount of materials needed. We've decided that the best way to teach the glass would be in three 2-hour sessions. The cost would be $150.00 and would include the tuition, the materials, and 3 kiln firings. Tools, books, and supplies will be available for sale at our usual student discount. I tried to add photos here, but need to download again from the camera, so look for them later. This is a class that could be taught evenings or mornings, so let me know if you're interested.
We also did another class on making the dichroic glass pendants - and that was a great success. Rather than using the usual black as a base glass, we tried mint green and butterscotch ... really exciting to see new colors. 5 or 10 years ago, very few people were even familiar with dichroic glass, now it's available as raw material or in finished pieces in all kinds of stores and on the Internet. It's not cheap, but, boy, is it pretty. And since one uses only small pieces, a little goes a long way.
The next new project is learning to successfully do fused photo transfers. Not only is this technique great for making personal jewelry components (imagine a picture of a loved one on a pendant) but just about any picture or image can be scanned into a computer, printed onto special paper (using only certain printers) and then fused permanently into your glass. As I start experimenting, I'll add updates and photos to this blog.
In my free time, I've been doing some experimenting on the torch as well. Now, like everyone else, I don't have that much free time, but torchwork is my "me time". I've been trying all kinds of scrap sheet glass left over from stained glass panels, as well as some of the newer glass made specifically for beads. My latest experiment was with the Davardi glass from India - since I only had 3 colors to work with, I haven't been thrilled with the beads I've made so far, but the quality and workability as fine. I've also worked some more with the heavily silvered glass from Double Helix - I'm still learning how to manipulate heat and flame, but it sure is beautiful. I've been trying to make enough beads to make myself a 3-strand necklace, and have about 1 strand's worth done so far. I haven't made myself anything new in ages, so, if I ever get this done, I'll post a photo here.
And lastly, we got a glass order in today - small by our usual standards as there was only about 2000 pounds of glass. I should have everything marked and put out for sale by tomorrow or Saturday. There are sheets of Spectrum, Armstrong, Kokomo, and Wissmach, as well as a lot of Bullseye fusible in bright colors, black, and clear. We've also gotten in sheets of the new Wissmach COE90 glass to try - in black, white, and clear. I hope to test it soon with Bullseye just to make sure they're compatible. The price is good too. They're not making many colors yet, but if the tests work, I hope to order more in the future.
Come in for a visit - the hand rolled and blown antiques are still on the 40% off sale, so it's worth your time!

Monday, February 22, 2010

As this month winds down and we head toward March, I thought I'd pass along the following from Ann Sanborn's site:

Items to plan for your March Calendar:
All Month:
· Birthstone: Aquamarine, Bloodstone
· Flower: Jonquil
· Astrological Signs: Pisces: 2/19 to 3/20 & Aries: 3/21 to 4/ 19
· National Nutrition Month
· National Women's History Month

March Dates to Remember:
2 Read Across America Day / Dr. Suess Birthday
7 Save Your Vision Week
14 Daylight Saving Time Begins
14 National Poison Prevention Week
17 St. Patricks Day
20 First Day of Spring
28 Palm Sunday
30 Passover

This is the time to design springtime stained glass panels, or make jewelry (in my case, the beads)in colors for the new season arriving. I don't know about you, but I love the soft pastels of spring. (If only I could wear more of the light colors without feeling as big as a whale!) Just because I don't wear pink, light blue, or yellow clothes doesn't mean I don't love making beads and pendants in those colors. I get a lot of inspiration from the annual mailings of all the seed catalogs - and the ever growing pile of clothing catalogs. I've been trying to make more florals on the torch, some with less success than others. I've also been trying out different glass - not just Moretti anymore. Since we do a lot of stained glass in the Studio, we always have scrap and some have proven gorgeous as beads. One of my friends brought in a few rods of the Indian Davardi glass for me to try, and I'm on my way to the kiln to see how they came out. I experimented with them and a few new rods on Saturday after closing, (while having a glass of wine with friends), so I had to come in today to see spite of the wicked weather outside and that it's my day off. You know how obsessed we lampworkers can get!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

New Year

Now that the holidays are behind us, we hope everyone is doing well. The stories I've heard from my customers range from heart-warming to sad. With all the emotions normally tied to these days at the end of the year and the added stress of an uncertain economy, I am forever gladdened by the optimism shown by so many of my acquaintances.
On that note, I hope this year proves to be a much better one for all of us. We continue to have our problems with not only the County, but also with the management of the complex. I keep expecting to get back to "normal" operations, but everything is still incomplete. As an old fan of disco, "we will survive". I've decided to devote even more time to teaching classes. So, we're going to stay closed in the mornings, including Saturdays, to accommodate more - right now there's a beginning stained glass, and two intermediate classes going on, and the first week of February kicks off a Tiffany-style lampshade class. Evenings are booked up too, with torchwork on Tuesdays, beginning stained glass on Wednesdays, and mosaics on Thursdays. Sundays are reserved for the full-day seminars - right now it's painting & firing, the last two Sundays are for fusing & slumping. I want to take time off in February, and then in March I'll set up some more fusing classes for jewelry projects. We're even setting up a 2-day sandblasting class in March that will be taught in Spanish. There may not be as much commissioned artwork scheduled, but we're certainly keeping busy!
In order to make more room in the Studio, we've also started selling all the hand-rolled and mouth-blown glass at a 40% discount. My ultimate goal is to reduce inventory enough to eliminate 8 to 12 feet of glass bins...that's a lot of glass!
We may even eliminate one of the work tables, but for now they're all in use.
Ultimately, I'd like to make one whole section of the Studio into a hot glass shop for both torchwork and fusing. With the proper ventilation and equipment, things can be set up so that customers can rent studio time. For that to happen, we need both space and money ... ergo the sale on glass. Since we lost the lofts, all the glass that was stored for private studio work has now been put out for sale...and that includes glass originally from Tiffany Studios in New York that Brian acquired over 30 years ago. So, please come in and take a look!