Blog-o-Sphere August: Periods of Solitude

August’s topic: 

Do you carve out any periods of solitude in your day, week or month that you do something just for you? (Uninterrupted time periods to do what you want to nourish your soul.)

Do you meditate, create, relax or whatever?

(If yes, why? If no, are you thinking about it?)

Lately, it seems my periods of solitude involve me – at home – hanging out with my cats, in my garden forever weeding, or contemplating/pondering a next step concerning my work. Listening to music and meditating … for me listening to music is a form of meditation and a mental yoga.

strolling along the seaside in Vík í Mýrdalur

strolling along the seaside in Vík í Mýrdalur

Or hanging out in a forest or at the beach. If I was financially independent I would own land somewhere smack dab, in the middle of raw nature (like Iceland for instance) and have a small studio set-up. No one around for kilometres! :) Quiet, just bird sound, and wind…  While this post doesn’t really share my carving out time, for myself, for solitude. I am aware that technology isn’t adding to my sense of solitude and my ability to BE alone and recharge. I often think a move to the middle of (nowhere) raw nature, like mentioned above, is what would truly bring me solitude. mosslake Thanks for stopping by! Until next time please, check out other Blog-O-Sphere members’, Periods of Solitude. Maybe add yours in the comments below :)

Andes Cruz:

Beth Cyr:

Kathleen Krucoff:

K.Skiles Studio:

Catherine Witherell:


little dumbo octopus

For more information please visit the Okeanos Explorer site!
Look at this little Octo’s coiled legs! :) Apparently this posture hasn’t been observed before. That said, how often are Human beings down at the bottom of the ocean in this little octo’s garden? Dumbo octo probably strolls around like this frequently. Perhaps similar to when we fold our arms in thought, or when we are cold. Who knows? :) Sure is cute though.

Meanwhile, I watched the video above (available for download off the Ocean Explorer website) and thought Dumbo needed music… Immediately Aquarium, from Le carnaval des animaux (by Camille Saint-Saëns) came to mind! I’ve been playing around with my own rendition of Aquarium for a long time. The version I added to the video is by no means my final take! I just thought, maybe this is why little octo’s arms are folded… somewhere in the ocean sound waves Aquarium is playing softly. ;)

Please consider signing this GreenPeace petition Short link offered below. The Earth’s oceans don’t belong to Human beings. Sadly, the oceans are in need of help, the life that lives within them are in danger. As you watch little Dumbo swim in solitude please, consider how sad this world would be without them. Then SIGN!! Thanks

Blog-o-sphere Think Tank July Topic: Animals, Human & otherwise.

This month Blog-o-sphere Think Tank asks about our interactions with animals.
Suggestions were:
“The importance of animals in my life.”
“Why I love animals.”
“The benefits of sharing my life with animals.”

Humans like to remove themselves from the ‘animal’ kingdom. (I agree with Greta Christina’s thoughts on this & please, check out her article on the Human Animal!)
Believing Human relationship with Nature is that Nature was made for us. Animals, plants, even the sun and the moon and the planet itself… all were made for Humans to use. To subdue, to have dominion over, as Genesis 1:28 so charmingly puts it. Every single living thing on the planet — they’re all just one big all- you- can- eat buffet, laid out specially for the human race.

…I currently live with 3 cats and 1 human. 20140720-115018-42618615.jpgWe humans take care of the cats. Making sure they are fed, watered, and well. We give them tons of love. The cats: Crake, Oryx and Minx (aka Pnut), give us tons of love back. They aren’t indifferent to our snuggles. They follow me around the house, curious as to what I’m up to. They happily let us pet their bellies, paws, and play without claws out.
Articles claiming that cats don’t care = bs. If your cat doesn’t care, and doesn’t allow you to touch their bellies well, perhaps you treat your cat like a piece of furniture. Cats aren’t subservient like dogs. That said, I’m not attempting to start a dog vs cat thing here. Cats chose to hang with us Humans. Ok. Cats most likely recognized the benefits but, I also believe and have experienced real affection that goes beyond wanting me to fill a food bowl.
Don’t forget, Humans are an animal species: in the primate order, in the mammalian class, in the vertebrate sub-phylum. Humans are a product of evolution; a product of Nature.
I see myself as a part of nature — not separate from it, not above it or isolated from it, but deeply woven into it, as deeply woven as coral and bats and tulips and algae (to borrow from Greta again) :) perhaps this is why I have such a strong bond and connection with the cats (& Human) in my life.

Thanks for stopping by :)
Please take a moment and check out what other BoGTT members have to say, and perhaps join the conversation/group on Facebook!

Andes Cruz:
KSkiles Studio:
Catherine Witherell:
Kathleen Krucoff:
Shelagh Blatz

Saturday brunch [on Monday]: Glass Pancakes pt 2

I don’t know what it is exactly about Dark Matter (& the Dark Universe) but, it gets me super excited!!

Part 1 of my, short tales travelling through six States (US States), mentioned my enthusiasm concerning the Morrison Planetarium’s screening of the Dark Universe, narrated by Neil de-badass-Tyson. I thought I would share more on Dark Matter before launching off with further image uploads and short expletives.

Dark Matter!

Dark Matter! This model/image, to me, looks like a neural net. In a sic-fi world I imagine the whole universe as one vast mind- the planets, nebulas, etc., thoughts- synapses.

Distribution of dark matter in the universe, as simulated with a new, high-resolution algorithm at the Kavli Institute of Particle Astrophysics & Cosmology (KIPAC) at Stanford University and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. (Via To model what we can’t see: the distribution of dark matter.

Credit: AMNH. They also have a friendly video introducing dark matter: Curious…  Ok. Back to glass pancakes! 

While I’m fairly certain this technique is nothing new, it is new for me. Working with glass as if I were baking. Anna Boothe (who I studied with in ’08 at UG) mentioned having a baking (pastry chef) background, or interest (I can’t recall!). Anyways, since working with Pâte de verre generally utilizes a thick binder (for holding the glass paste in vertical moulds) I thought to make mine the consistency of pancake batter.  Rather than mixing the glass into the binder, I allowed the binder to soak into the glass. For the 2nd piece I poured the thick binder onto aluminum foil (wax paper works as well) and then sifted the glass onto the binder-blob until it no longer appeared wet. I let both ‘pancakes’ dry over night.  Next day I carefully removed the glass wafers and put them in the kiln. 600º to Full temp (1300º) soak at Full for 15 minutes then, annealing stage.  The 1st pancake solidified into a full fuse look. The 2nd pancake did what I’d hoped- stayed very thin, texture was still visible and the edges curled ever so slightly. I didn’t take a picture! I cleaned off the shelf primer, and got them back into the kiln. This time around I placed course frit (Bullseye clear 001101-0003-F) on the surface full ramp t0 1250º, soak for 10 minutes then, ramp to anneal.

Glass pancakes. Bullseye 001332-0008-F-P005

Glass pancakes. Bullseye 001332-0008-F-P005

Bullseye pancake on left: 000132-0001-F-P005 (driftwood) with sprinklings of chartreuse, amber, and sienna

Bullseye pancake on left: 000132-0001-F-P005 (driftwood) with sprinklings of chartreuse, amber, and sienna

Tomorrow I will upload the outcome of the next step- using the course frit.

…to be continued (All that Dark Matter tuckered me out!!

Saturday brunch: glass pancakes pt 1

Back from my U.S. Tour 😜 visiting good friends, eating amazing food and drinking tremendous wines and fancy drinks!
Inspired conversations, observations- visiting the Academy of Sciences in San Francisco (it’s been well over 25 years!).

Neil deGrasse Tyson‘s film on Dark Matter blew me away! DARK MATTER!!!


Japanese Tea Garden, Golden Gate Park

The Skulls exhibit was impressive, and of course the aquarium. :)


Roof Top Garden, California Academy of Sciences

AND we spent an afternoon in the Botanical Gardens (panorama below). There’s a lovely redwood grove there (southwest corner) where I spent at least an hour immersed in the Douglas Fir bark (inspiration towards the Etsy Metal charm swap!)


Botanical Gardens in Golden Gate Park- pano – south side

Our final day in San Francisco I took Andrei across the GG bridge into Marin. Pronounced Merr-in ;)
Showing him where I grew up, went to high school, the redwoods, we drove out to Point Reyes and hung out on the beach for a bit, making kelp horns.


kelp cluster- Point Reyes

Sadly, Andrei didn’t film me playing my ginormous kelp horn-like a boss! But, here’s Andrei tearing up the seaside with jelly jazz

Oh yeah! Glass pancakes… What’s that about? Well, when I returned to my nano-studio I mixed up a batch of glass powders. ….to be continued..

New Mexico or BUST! & other meanderings…

Wow. Just to think- this time next week I will be heading to San Francisco via the Coast Starlight. First (short) stop in Seattle, visit some friends-colleagues, show Andrei around the touristy areas. Eat radioactive sushi then, leave bright and early Monday morn..
I haven’t left Canada for the States since ’11! mounties
Also, I haven’t been away from the kittens since, well, they were kittens! Separation anxiety!
This whole trip is about opening a Time Capsule in Taos, New Mexico. A storage unit full of jewellery equipment, tools, stones, display cases, an old gallery sign, my fav combat boots, books, and who knows what remains! I haven’t been back to NM since … ’04?? Yikes!
That said, I am in hustle mode finishing up new work, old work, tying up loose ends, finishing classes- CRAZY TOWN! :O

Friday I set up a new Vitrigraph pull, and tomorrow I’m going to attempt a pull with silver foil, and Tekta. The silver foil might fume the glass, we will have to wait and see.
Meanwhile, Here are pics from the cane pull I completed on Friday. I am still in love with the unexpected nature of Vitrigraph pulls. The stack used for this cane was primarily clear (tekta) 3 red strikers, at least 15 streaky white, and 1 elephant grey. As the cane was pulled it came out a dark graphite, slowly cooling to transparent plasma reds.whitePullI’ve been fascinated by paper quilling, and paper artists, Elsa Mora, Peter Callesen, Yulia Brodskaya, and Lisa Nilsson‘s anatomical studies (images shown below from her Tissue series)da9a0173d3668c169ff3ea4f799f6c4a2fca022579ab4411b180787aa056205b Lisa’s paper work in particular reminds me of murrine. While building structures based on molecular biology, with my hand pulled cane, I have also been playing with anatomical-like formations so, clearly seeing Lisa Nilsson’s work while browsing This is Colossal, blew me away!.
My current vitrigraph pull is perfect, colour wise. :)

Hand pulled cane.

Hand pulled cane.

Thanks for stopping by!

Shout out to the Glass Art Association of Canada for their support, and the Ontario Arts Council for allowing me time to focus on Creation & Development!

Working with metal

Check out what a current student has to say about nanopod: Hybrid Studio’s 8 week course!
Thanks, Sacha!

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