Monday, December 05, 2011

Installing A Church Window

   My plan is to use the video I shot at the install of the Saint Francis Of Assisi catholic church in Orem, in a video we're preparing about installs. We've filmed several segments about different installs. They are amateur videos because Jeanne and I shot them on location, but I think they will prove to be very good instruction.

The stained glass is big and was very delicate until it was put in the frame, which is always the case.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Getting Ready For Show Two

   We made it through the Thanksgiving holidays intact, and we're putting the finishing touches on the show at the Covey Center for the Arts. The show, "Illumination" features lit works. Quite a few "Fan Lamps" are the focal point of the show. We're going to set up on the second floor and we'll be the first show in that space.

There are also a couple of panels that are backlit so they'll show well in the space. I think it'll be a pretty nice display, although much smaller (so easier to put together) than the past four shows we've put together.

Jeanne and I will be shuttling back and forth between the two shows on the Downtown Gallery Stroll. The Covey Center show is usually the heaviest attended during the stroll. The Health and Justice building vies for the first and second heavily attended event during stroll.

Hope to see you at one of the shows!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Getting Ready For Show One

   We were caught a little short when we learned that we had to have our entries for the "His, Hers And Ours" show at the Utah County Health and Justice in on November the 19th. The opening reception for the show is scheduled for December 2. Part of the regular downtown art stroll, the reception will last from 7 to 9

Monday, November 07, 2011

The Utah County Art Board

This was a meeting a year ago and now, only three in the photo work with the Utah County Art Board. The Art Board is a group of artists and volunteers that schedule and plan the art shows at The Utah County Health And Justice Building each month. They organize the shows, hang the art work and host the First Friday receptions as part of the Downtown Provo Gallery strolls.

     This evening, Naomi White has resigned as the president of UCAB. She has worked with the board 6 1/2 years and been president for the last 5years. Her resignation is effective the end of December. She will be missed by all those who worked with her.

     As artists who make our living working with the arts, Jeanne and I feel it's very important to be part of our community and especially part of the art community. There is always a constant flow, a changing of the guard in volunteer organizations. We feel that we can volunteer in a leadership role for a year as Jeanne just did working with the gallery stroll for a year and then we must step down and allow someone else to  take over. This is especially true in volunteer organizations because we don't all have that much time to volunteer. We've got jobs and families to support, we've got weddings and family responsibilities. We're busy!

     We want to take a moment to thank all those who volunteer. Especially to Naomi at this time. Thank you!

Monday, October 31, 2011

All Hallows Eve!!!

What a better time to write about the window we're building for the Saint Francis Of Assisi Catholic church in Orem, Utah. It's a beautiful window! I've particularly enjoyed cutting the brown border pieces that are rope-like and thinking about how Christ said he was a "fisher of men." So that has some meaning and the entire panel is packed with symbols and meaning in the shapes and the colors. I'm sure that those who view the panel in the sanctuary where is is installed will find even greater depth and meaning in its' content. Stained glass artists I meet often try to avoid doing religious works because they don't want to be held to the past. They want to break free of the religious nature that were the beginnings of stained glass. Jeanne and I feel that religious inspiration is one of the beautiful aspects of stained glass. We love to include inspirational elements to all of our works. The interaction between glass and light is a sometimes miraculous result and we love the way the natural beauty of glass can drive us to be inspired. This inspiration is a very personal feeling and I think that artists who try to avoid it must have some underlying suspicion of organized religion. But if they were to step back and analyze the nature of glass, they would find that all glass work can fill us with inspiration. Yes, even the dopey suncatchers your grandmother likes!

The folk angel appears in this blog because we're entering her in the Springville religous and inspirational show.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Stained Glass Quilt

You probably know that we created a "Stained Glass Quilt" several years ago and that you can get the patterns for the panels at http://www.betterstainedglass.com/Patterns/p-page.htm
We are now making a video on how to build the stained glass quilt. It shows specific techniques that are required on several of the panels to build them. I think it will be a useful video.
While getting ready to film, I discovered that some of the stained glass panels needed to be cleaned and I created a short instructional video on how to clean a panel. You can see it  at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCVtv0iLVXQ
This is part of our new premium video instruction that is no charge (right now)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Repairing a leaded window using a Dremel tool

This month I wrote a newsletter article about doing a repair to a leaded window using a dremel tool. The panel was perfect for this type of repair. It was small, in good condition and only one piece of glass was broken.

The steps are interesting to read about, but if I had to repair windows to make my living, I'd either have to raise my prices or change my occupation. It's not very rewarding work, since the object is to complete the repair so that no one even notices your handiwork.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Adding Metal Framing To A Panel


I wrote an article about putting metal around an octagon frame (you can see it at http://www.betterstainedglass.com/Newsletter/Archives/042-8-11-Nov-metaloct/addmetal.htm

The image to the left is from that article. The other night we took some video of how it's done using 1/4" zinc outer bar. The technique is quite different and should be valuable if you ever build a octagon or other polygon shape.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Chasing The Cash

I'm an artist not a bill collector and I don't enjoy having to chase money. I'd almost rather walk away from an unpaid debt than have to work to get paid. This is why we ask for 50% up front and then we get the other 50% just before we ship or install. If the client has paid 50% up front, they are unlikely to walk away from their investment. If we get paid the full amount before we ship glass, we don't have to worry about collecting our fee.

But occasionally, things go wrong. A few years ago, we got our 50% up front and billed for the second half with the decorator who we worked with. The window was delivered and installed and then both we and the decorator had to wait for payment. The clients held final payment back from everyone who worked on the project for a year and a half. At the end of that time, the house was sold at double the asking price when we were due to be paid. They had used all the contractors as the bank, doubled their money and then happily paid us all later on. That's the only time I came close to filing a lien on a property.

Recently we delivered some panels that we agreed to trade foe half the value and get the remainder in cash once they were installed. But somehow, when the install happened, the deal started to change, we weren't paid anything, other windows were added into the deal and the whole thing became a mess. Now the client treats us like bill collectors, we've used up our solder reserves on the project and we feel abused. I'm going to try not to let this happen again, but until it gets resolved, it saps energy away from us and makes the creative process a little less enjoyable.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Time Slips By

I can't believe it took me so long to post a clip from our video on Family Projects on YouTube. Better late than never! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAHvgFXP2Ao

Monday, September 12, 2011

Repairing A Window For An Artist

This month's newsletter is about how we fixed a window for our artist friend's, Randy and Lynde Mott. Because she is such an avantgarde person, she thought it would be fun to replace the broken pieces with different colors so that the damage could be remembered. We found that we had clear textured glass that would look quite similar to what we were replacing, giving the repaired window a professional look while "remembering" it's history.
When we finished it was stronger, and better looking that it had been in years. We'll be showing how we did it in the newsletter.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Designing, Designing, Designing

As stained glass artists, we find that one of the clarion calls to success is that we have to design work for clients so that we can build it. There's no escaping the process unless we become "fine artists" and build windows simply for our own delight and show them in galleries, selling one every five years, splitting the commission with the gallery.

So, we choose to meet with commercial clients who might see the advantage to installing stained glass in their facility. This can prove to add value, atmosphere and will freshen up a stale space. We just presented a great design for an entry to a public building. They liked it and scheduled the next meeting, asking for color designs and warning that they would be wanting one or two of the iconic panels changed to something that would be more closely related to their center. The downside is that we will make many different designs, trying to appeal to a committee (sometimes a daunting task). The upside is that we could get work that will be purchased over a four year period.

Now we're working with a church at the same time to create a panel for the sanctuary. This is another important project for us because we want to do work in the community that's meaningful, and folks often ask us if we've done work for churches (or temples) and now we can say we have!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Digging Mandalas



Because Jeanne is writing a new book on Mandalas, "Stained Glass Mandalas For Success," I get to work on them with her. They begin to fill you mind, these circular designs that can help you focus and inspire us to achieve more in our lives.

We recently built one for ourselves, a repeating pattern with subtle, delicate colors. It's inspiring. Sometimes the center demands attention and at other times the border is what is interesting. It's pretty interesting, the way your focus shifts as you live with a mandala. You find that those images really do inspire and really do help you focus. All those meta-physical concepts are actually valid. Who Knew!?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Designing several projects

Sometimes, when we get caught up, the newsletter is done, most jobs are on track and the house payment has been made; it's tempting to relax. Put off the many, many designs that have been asked for. They don't represent immediate business. In fact, many times they feel like work. Because they represent a nebulous promise of work in the future. Sometimes, even when we've been asked to submit designs to someone who says they want them and they have the money so will you please design something for us...it's so easy to just keep sailing along...complacent and taking your time!

That's not happening at the moment! Thankfully. I have several designs that are begging to be done and Jeanne has sketched some out and now she's impatiently waiting for me to get them on AutoCad and get them done! And it's fun drawing them! It's just that there are so many options and great ideas..which way to go, should that element be round because it looks good or should it be oblong so it doesn't look like that other panel? Maybe I should draw both ideas and let the client decide..but you have to be careful because if you give them too many choices, they won't be able to decide on anything.

Design, it's so great and I'm having fun!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Stained Glass in a Headboard

Now this was an unusual project. We've never done a headboard before.
The friend who came to pick it up was afraid it might get broken in his pickup truck. So the clients called around. Top bid was $1800 by a moving company. They would build a wooden crate, pack it up in bubble wrap and ship it the 10 miles to their home.

Uhaul would rent a truck for $250 and sell them wrapping and packing materials for another $250.

While our client talked to me on the phone (she was a talker) I measured my trailer and discovered that it would fit (just barely) with a few modifications.

So I bought plywood, cut it to 6 feet, screwed it to the trailer and then layered 1" foam, the bed frame and more 1" foam and then used bungee cords to secure the load. I delivered it the next day. They were shocked that I showed up fifteen minutes after I called.

It got there safe and sound and looked great!

Monday, August 08, 2011

Don't Step On That!!!! No Really

The other day our daughter, Katherine, cut her foot on a piece of glass, in the living room! Now this is the first time this has ever happened to anyone, but it does serve to remind us that we are dealing with substances that can be hazardous. The little piece of glass was probably tracked in by getting stuck to someone's shoe. I'm not sure how we'll resolve this problem to keep it from happening again.

I'm more worried about the exposure that we might have to lead. This is because it can be happening and you don't even know it. We got a lead environmental tester to check our studio out last year and the only time he got a reading was when he put the tester on a roll of solder. So, we just need to be careful and follow the lead safety guidlines, which are don't eat, drink, smoke or chew gum while working with lead. Wash well after using lead and change your work clothes as soon as possible afterwards.

As far as I am aware, following sensible precautions are all you need to do to protect yourself, but you do need to be aware of the potential hazards around you.

Friday, July 29, 2011

This week in stained glass


We worked on a stained glass window that is a gift for our son-in-law Greg and will also go in Jeannes new Mandala book. The missing pieces are being fired in the kiln.


We also worked on a bed frame. A stained glass panel will fit into the headboard which sits up against a window and the owners want light to be able to get into the room.

And Jeanne spent some productive hours on the bus stop mural she's doing. It may be painting, but it's still art and will be a very happy piece when completed.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A New Datenight For Two

We are hosting another Date Night in conjuction with Susan Glenn's Date Night For Two. This time we will be making "Nova Stars" one of our most popular projects. They make great gifts and are very popular. If you'd like to know more about the event (next Friday) click here to go to Date Night For Two.





http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wwb8GhmeQDI
is the first video we posted for the datenight for 2 that we hosted at Gomm Studios







http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUFq43R0UcU
is a second video we posted for datenight for 2 that we hosted in June 2011








http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KevEuSR8TR0
is a third video we posted for the datenight event









http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nCn0EMaDQQ
After The datenight was over, Jeanne and Susan talked about how sucessful the evening was.

Monday, July 18, 2011

You Win Some, You Lose Some

We built a cardinal and sent it to Connecticut, Stonington, the place we went on vacation several years ago. In my mind when the project was described to me, I imagined it to be about 2 feet in diameter, so I shot the client a price of $500 plus shipping which might be $50. He answered back that he could go $550 but no more, so we went ahead and started on the piece once we received 50% down.

But I really blew it on the size. It was closer to three feet in diameter, so twice as much glass as I had envisioned and the cost of shipping was $200. I was just glad they would ship it UPS. It also took more like two weeks to build it rather than one so it should have cost more. So like I said, "you win some and you lose some." But it was a pleasant experience creating the bird and should give the client years of enjoyment.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Advice For Artists


video


I loved visiting with Jenny Oaks Baker. Artists have so much to share about their work. We can learn from each other and be encouraged in our own artistic endeavors. What can you do today to renew that spark that wants to ignite? Write a poem, sing a song, take a photo? It's the summer of your budding talent. We have all been given gifts. What fun to express our creativity. I welcome your thoughts on what you have done this week to "Invite the Light". I'm going to paint a mural, build a window of a piano and make 13 girls camp fused glass pins. What about you?

Creating Video Clips

Those who follow the activities of our studio know that we love teaching and find video to be a very useful way to teach. Our first video took 5 years, 3 producers and many hours to complete. It turned out very well and is our top seller.
When we started on our project series, we decided to avoid continuity errors by shooting the video straight through and then inserting extra shots later. We keep the original video, with any flaws and mistakes. This way we don't have the nightmare of losing information that we had to fight with out first production. We are currently working on our sixth project video. They have each been fun to complete.
Now, we are beginning to shoot little video clips to make our blog and websites more interesting. This has been frustrating at times because I have gotten close to completing a video project time after time and hit a snag and been shut down. Finally I have found a piece of software after trying to use about 15 different software programs, including: adobe premier pro, microsoft movie maker, roxio final cut 7, showbiz, showbiz DVD 2, The entire AVS suite, and Quicktime pro (just to name a few).  This software that finally works with no glitches is Cyberlink Power Director 9. If you find yourself looking for a video editing tool for the PC, this is it! It's very complex and I have much to learn but after all the many programs I've attempted to learn and then running into problems, and printing off hundreds of pages of (sometimes usless) manuals, it's great to have a place where I can focus.
Last night I downloaded the trial version and this morning I was able to complete 2 quick videos about advice to musicians. The following are links to the YouTube videos.
Since it works so well, I'm set to but this software and you can get it for only $49, imagine that, the best software at such an affordable price!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Date Night - Fan Lamps


We had so much fun at our Date Night for 2 class. The fan lamps turned out great.




It made me smile to see the couples helping each other. "You are doing such a good job on your solder joints." and "Here, would you like to work on this side?" and even " What ever color you choose will be perfect."


It was good. We will definitely do this again. Working with Susan Glenn is always a pleasure. She sets up lots of date nights. Enough talk, here are pictures.















Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Date Night For 2

Every once in a while we want to go on a date together. That's when David opens the car door and has a little cash in his wallet. At those times we look at each other and say "What do you want to do? I don't know, what do you want to do? I guess we'll go to dinner or to a show." That can be fun, especially since we don't go out often, but we came up with another choice.






We are making a video on how to make little fan lamps and thought, "Hey! lets have a couples date night and everyone can make one of these." Brilliant! So if your dating ideas are running stale, come join us. It's June 17, 2011 at 7pm. Go to datenightfor2.com to sign up (see the link above). I think it will be fun. Today I am making some to see how easy they really are. It's my adventure to see if the patterns I made work like I think they will.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Getting To YES!


Many times, I notice that my mind jumps to why I can't do something and I have to convince myself that I can do the job.

This was the case when a piece was brought for us to repair. The first concern, the first no was that the type of piece usually sells for 10 to 15 dollars and the repair would run $45 per piece of glass.

Then the second no was that we don't carry fractures and streamers glass.

As I looked for a substitute piece of glass, it occurred to me that I could make my own fractures and streamers glass. So, the lights came on and I felt happy about the prospects of success. I took a piece of hammered clear, cut up pink and white glass and I picked a black noodle, broke it up and set it up on the kiln fired piece.
Once I quit saying no, I found a way to accomplish the repair.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Inserting A Google Calendar Onto Our Website


Jeanne wanted us to start adding calendar events to our website. It sounded like a good idea, so I told her that I would try to figure out how. I did a google search on inserting a calendar and learned that Google has a calendar feature, so I tried that first. It was pretty easy to figure out.

I searched "insert calendar into website" which gave me options and I chose http://www.google.com/googlecalendar/event_publisher_guide.html (which was titled Google Calendar)

The page gave instructions on:
Display a calendar on your site
Let people save an individual event from your site
Let people save all of your events from your site

So I read, followed directions and then fiddled with it until I liked what I had produced. One of the nice things about it is that if other folks use google calendar, they can update their own calendar with your event(s) very easily. So if you are planning to take a class, you can add it to your calendar with a few clicks.

Now we can add events and folks who care can easily see what we're up to!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valetines Day and Art Glass


I'm writing this on Valentines Day and the best thing I can give Jeanne is to work long hours and get some projects completed so that she isn't so stressed (and maybe give her some bubble bath and time to use it).

The funny thing is that the lead up to Valentines Day has been a flurry of getting gift items ready for two different shows. One was at the Finer Consigner in Pleasant Grove and the other a week later at ION fitness in North Provo. After all the gift pieces were made and we had put on the first show, I found myself walking through a store one day and wondering why the Valentines candy hadn't been marked down more than it had been. Then I realized that the holiday hadn't come yet, that I was thinking it was over because we had completed our show!

The truth is, it was fun getting ready for those shows. Little heart shaped glass items have a real meaning before and on Valentines Day. Then it's like the day after Christmas, you can't give away those things that meant so much a few days before.

This is why it's important as we build our art and gift items to continue to create inspiring art and just a few gift items.

Hope your holiday is a joyful one.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Lots Of Glass! 2011 is going to be great!


It's so much fun to build more glass. We've got a lot to do and it's great.

I love cutting the glass, I love fitting the glass and I love soldering the panels together.

We got a crate of glass the other day and it took several days to unload and organize all the glass. It's great to have all the racks full! Now I just need more solder!

2011 promises to be great. We knew already, but things just keep getting better!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

New Years and Resolutions


With the New Year here and a brief look back at our accomplishments last year and our hopes for a bright new year, Jeanne and I have been reviewing and setting goals for 2011.

I am happy that we were able to get her book completed in 2010.

We have set particular goals as to what we're going to write this year and we will be focusing on stained glass instruction on two different projects.

In 2010 we started with 2 videos (Beginning Stained Glass and Stained Glass Picture Frames) and added 3 more instruction videos (Stained Glass Jewelry Boxes, Stained Glass Kaleidoscopes and How To Make Stained Glass Charms)

We intend to get 4 more videos out there in 2011, starting with Stained Glass Family Projects which is in the review process right now.

We still haven't made a profit on all these instructional materials, but we're getting close to paying for all the setup costs and maybe by the end of the year we'll get to keep some of the royalties.

If money was what it was about, I'd probably be selling pizza or greeting cards, anything but working as an artist. We're very sure that things are looking better for the future and we wish for you to have a properous new year!