Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Crazy Year.

Anyone else feel like they have not been able to catch up this year. I constantly feel like I am chasing something. This year has been about catching up for me. I felt over committed, over stretched, and often times overwhelmed.

I need a break to just sit back and catch up. I believe that was going to be over Christmas. Not so. If for no other reason other than catching the funk twice and never quite getting over it until today...sort of. I am still not over it just not funky. I am 1/2 normal, which is 1/3 as normal as a most people I know or 1/8 as normal as the normal population of normalville.

I have two huge things to get done at work and then I am taking some kind of break somewhere, somehow, shometime in the near future.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Mov'n on up!

About a year ago a close friend of ours came to me with a question. She had an idea about something in glass but did not know if I could do it. Full creative freedom, just get it to her so she could try to sell it. Seeing how I had never even considered making this object I took it as a challenge and said "Sure, let me play for a bit".

After a couple failed tries and a couple shall I say interesting runs at it I came up with what I considered a couple good designs that I could reproduce solo in my home shop. I made big ones, small ones, mini ultra small ones and even a couple of multi piece ones. Mini keeps we call "The Cactus" as her own. Note to self make more of those.

Anyway, back on point. Susan Campbell got the first shipment of glass to try out about 6 months ago. They have been gang busters! She sent me a link that other day when she placed them on her website. You can see them right ---- HERE!

Apparently that pink one was a huge hit and I need to make a bunch more.

10% of items purchased on the website on December 13th, 15th, 18th and 23rd will go to the Manna food Pantries.


Monday, December 8, 2008

Two shows one weekend.

Ok so this weekend was the Belmont Arts Bizarrererzerearez! They like to spell it "Different". It honestly is wrong both ways and they do it for a reason. I think mostly to make me crazy.

I also did a north hill home tour that had a cool like "Artist Village" kind of deal. It was pretty cool and was a surprise for most people. I think next year that sales will be better as people realize there is going to be a vendor area to the tour.

It was very draining, I am worn out. Pack it up, pack it it, pack it up, pack it in, take it here take it there. I am 1/2 sick still and this did not help much. Mini is such a trooper I can't even start to say thank you to her. It went pretty good in this kind of market you can't really get to optimistic unless you have something that is ground breaking. I did however learn which ornaments sell that best and will start to widdle down my production of them for next year.

Going to take a nice long break from shows now and just have some fun with the glass. Ryan should be in town soon and we can just have some fun at the shop. Maybe make a couple mini acrons or something.

I do have a bunch of orders to do but they are fun when you don't have a show hanging over your so it is all down hill for the rest of the year. Hope you guys had a great weekend. Next up is the Zeus Tumbler project. I think I will really try to post about this one with more pictures. CorkChop will be in the loop on this one as well.


Friday, December 5, 2008

Well knock me over with a feather

It is clear you guys don't care for information posts. Fine. I guess I am done trying to teach the masses about molds I can't understand why this did not spark a heated comment thread longer than my cnotest. Who would not be interested in lathe turned wood molds....no one I say no one!

Ok so it was not the most intersting topic to comment about I will give you that. What could you say "Hey nice wood!" or "You spin me round right baby right round like a wood mold baby right round right round". I will say that walking into the glass shop has caused more than one person to say "Man this place would make a great movie set, these things look like they hurt." as they hold up a pair of diamonshears and a set of jacks. Wow that was a serios ADD moment right there those two things had nothing in common.....I blame the red bull and the Sudafed.

Anyway, so I am fighting this cold/nose thing that is killing me. I have two shows this weekend, a glass blower from out of town meeting me at one, and I am 1/2 sick. Not that kind where you just want to curl up and die, more like the one where you want to curl up and drink hot toddies and eat oreos all day while Norweigan girls fan you with wild palm fronds. Not that I don't think that would be grand all the time just more grand right now because I am a big baby when I am sick.

Ok enough of that, I have glass to pick up, a bank run, stuff to pack, and a wife to take to happy hour...she is Norweigan by the way. **GRIN** My long term plan was set in motion years ago now I just need the palm fronds!


Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Ok so G3T films asked what the molds that I use are made of. Trick question and here is why. We use all kinds of different molds for all kinds of different reasons.

Lets list the molds real quick and give a quick description.

#1. Blocks: Which are used to shape the glass wile on the pipe or punti. These are used at the bench to shape the glass into workable globs of stuff and to level out globs/bumbs/ugly spots. It is a very basic way of getting the glass in a shape we want before we blow air into it to make something. We also use bigger ones to help keep it on center and in good shape thoughout the whole process. This kind of block/hand held mold is used the most.

#2. Optic Molds: These consist of more or less two different kinds of molds. We have what I like to call normal optic molds and Diamond or Pineapple molds. The Normal Optic mold is what anyone in the world would be talking about when they said "Optic Mold".

It is used after shaping the glass into a pug and smashing it down into the old. This creates a lined optical pattern in the glass which you can see in the ornament above.

The Second kind of optic mold is above. These are the Diamond or Pineapple Molds. They also put an optical pattern but they are crazy expensive. The ones picture here are solid bronze and cost about 780 bucks. The one up above is aluminum and run around 160 dollars. I have the smaller one of these coming for Christmas! How do I know you ask...well because I just ordered it for myself...I am the most awesome gift giver to myself ever!

Last but not least. The blow mold, spin mold, whatever you want to call it. These molds are made out of Cherry Mold and soaked in water before they are lathed. Then after they are cut/shaped they stay in water so they don't burn up while you use them. You get a basic shape of the mold before you go in, then they open up and close around the glass. The pipe will be coming out of the top of them as well as a little bit of the glass. Then you blast away with air to inflate the glass inside the mold. It will come out the basic shape of the mold. This might sound easy but to be honest it takes a whole skill set just to know how to do this well. It is always a new learning cycle every time I get a new mold like this. They are all different and all require the original shape of the glass going in to be just a bit different to work correctly. Little bigger here or there, hotter here colder there. It can be very mild boggling until you figure out just how to go in. Just how hard to blow, just how fast to spin....Guys that are new to this figure out quick it is not as easy as it looks. I would also state that the larger the mold the harder it gets...FAST! I have a very very large mold that I am pretty sure anyone at any time would find a challenge to get a good piece out of. Alas, once you get it wired you can really make some nice stuff. I gave my mold maker a plug on the picture...it is his picture so I think it is only fair.

Ok that is it for today I am off to a Belmont Art Center Guild Meeting. As my brother Ryan likes to say "Get it hot, keep it centered, and remember Gravity is your friend".



Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas Avalanche

Well for those of you that don't see me day to day I have been on a trip. Hence the lack of posts. I recently made a road trip up to see all my grand parents and extended family in the Indiana and Illinios area. Let me tell you 15 hours in truck is no laughing matter...ok it is if you have a little gas but other than that is pretty tuff. Mini had the worst of it being the one that got thrown in the back with the luggage being so small as to actually be able to fit in such a small space. I actually think I saw her get thrown from one side of the truck to the other durring a fast lane change. Ok that made me giggle as well.

Anyway, all the trips and such have put a cramp on my glass blowing efforts. Granted I cranked out of 100 ornaments for the two shows that I need to do this weekend but somehow I still feel that I am short. I have no illusions that I will sell all 100 of them I just tend to want to make more of everything so I don't get caught short.

I ordered a ton of glass yesterday. I am not saying I ordered a lot of glass I am saying that I ordered an actual TON of glass. As in 2000 pounds of the stuff. It should be here on Thursday and I should be good for my base glass needs for about the next year. I also have a top secret project with CorkChop that needed some attention so that it could be done in a timely manner. I must say I am actually looking forward to doing that project because it gives me a reason to get old Corky in the shop and teach him how to be a good assistant. Maybe it will rub off on him and he will want more time in the shop. I will even force him into making some stuff he would normally shy away from. Maybe one day you will see a CorkChop original here.

What else....ahh yes. The equipment was all turned down before I left and I got to inspect the pot and furnace after a full year in service. Pretty darn solid I must say. Think if everything goes well it should yield at least one more year. I was surprised at the lack of glass that missed the pot as I had expected to see some of it running down the side and eating at the bottom of the furnace. Apparently my fear of it doing just that has worked out for me as there was very little in the way of drippage. So everything is in a slow ramp up to temp, the base glass in on the way, new color is on the way, my molds came in for the project, and every is good. Life is working out pretty well right now.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Shut it down!

So I am out of glass.

1000 pounds of the stuff is now floating around this world having been teased, tweeked, and twisted by yours truely. It is strange to look back and think about that 1000 pounds of glass. The day that I had to pick it all up and load it in truck seems like forever ago.

I said "That amount of glass will last me like 5 years!"....well it lasted exactly 13 months. That means that I used about 76 pounds of glass a month. Honestly that is not that much when you consider that a pumpkin often times can be a couple pounds of the hard stuff.

So I blew the last bit of glass Sunday night and shut it all down for a bit. Maybe just 2 weeks, maybe more. I am just not sure yet. Granted I have stuff that I need to make next week and I will just rent out the Belmont to do that. I will also have it up and hot before my brother gets here for the holidays as we need to have fun at S3G (Strong Street Studio Glassworks).

So for now we are cold until I catch up on all things that got put on hold making all the crazy glass stuff happen. We need to redo some of the studio for a packing/photo station. We need to get the torch set up for Mini and we need to just kind of put some time into what worked and what did not. It is time to streamline! Well ok that and eat turkey.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Little self promotion.

Well Molli surprised me with an update to the Strong Street Studio website today. Last night she was working on a flyer to send out for our events that are going to be taking place over the next month before chrismas and I guess she got a little itchy to update the Strong Street Studio site.

Strong Street Studio

She kicked out the flyer and the site in what seemed like a hour. I tell you, lottery winner here.


Monday, November 17, 2008

I am alive..promise.

I have just been very busy. We had the Gulf Coast Arts Festival not long ago and put a few to many hours in making it happen. Not that it was a bad thing, just sucked up a bunch of time but the payoff was fun.

I have been swamped by ornament requests. This is good but I really want to take the ornaments up a notch. When I say that what I mean is that I want to create something that people really can't get thier hands on somewhere else. I want to design and create something that is out of the norm. Now everyone loves the round ornaments and the big wiz bang deal with the round ones is getting them to not be as heavy as a boat anchor. Making a semi round ornament is not a big deal. Making a perfect round ornament while a little harder is not a big deal if you have a lot of glass on the pipe. Making a nice round hand blown glass ornament that weights less than a your shoe...not so easy.

I have texture this year. I have scales. I have ribbons of color. I have had a lot of fun playing around at Strong Street Studio this year. It is really starting to show up on the creations. I can't wait to drop a couple of them on etsy because the pumpkins are really starting to sell. I think these might be a big hit.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Shipping prizes today.

So I have everyones addy and I plan to pack and ship all the prizes today when I get home while the equipment is heating up.

It also seems that the Etsy store is taking off as I have sold I believe it is 4 things off the Etsy site. I think that is enough to say that it is a workable way to sell some of my stuff. We plan to start adding more things as we get pictures of them.

Neil and I rebuilt the pnumatic door at the Belmont Arts Center this weekend just in time to host all the artist from the Greater Gulf Coast Arts Festival. Which was a smashing success for the Belmont to raise needed funds to stay open.

Ok, that is it...back to work or I will never get out of here in time to pack and ship!



Saturday, November 1, 2008

And the Winners are....

Thanks to everyone who participated in our contest! The turnout was fantastic - you guys rock.

We tallied up the entries - if you commented more than once, we only counted your first comment. There were a total of 70 original votes.

First prize from the random number generator goes to:

Congrats Mike! Send us an email with your mailing address and we'll get your pumpkin on it's way!

Second prize, the person with the most referrals (this was a close one!):
Congrats Angel's Mind!

Third prize, there was actually a three way tie!
Karmic Kitchen, Jewels & Becauseican

All three of you will recieve a Red Stripe glass.

If you won a prize please send us an email at scott [at] novota [dot] [com] containing your mailing address. Please resend if you already did my spam filters where on "kill everything" this morning!

Don't forget we still have pumpkins for sale in the etsy shop right here. We will be adding more soon as well as some ornaments!

Thanks to all who participated - we had fun!

The end is Near

Ok kids, contest is over. Results coming soon.

Stay tuned...

Hope everyone had a Happy Halloween!

Results will be posted Monday Afternoon.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Contest Time!

It's that time again - Contest time!

We have lots of prizes this time so make sure to spread the word. Here are the rules:

Prize #1: - Medium Orange Pumpkin

Leave a comment on this blog entry and you'll automatically be entered to win. At the end of the contest we will use a random number generator to pick the winner. Simple as that!

Prize #2: - Small Pumpkin

If you post a link on your blog about our contest, tell your readers to state that they were referred by you. The person with the most referrals will win a prize.

Prize #3: - Red Stripe Glass

The person with the second most referrals will win a prize also!

There will also be one, maybe two suprise prizes during the contest so stay tuned!

Shipping will be paid by me. At the end of the contest I will contact the winners to get your shipping info.

Spread the word, contest ends Halloween (10/31) - Midnight!




Pre-contest pictures...of the albino white pumpkin.

I made a bunch of these Albino White Pumpkins this year and they where a big hit. This one is a custom order and that is why it is not for sale at my Etsy Store. You know me I will make more.

Ok this is just a post so the person that wanted one could see it. I admit it! Contest is coming today!
As a side note I will be teaching a starter class at the Belmont Art Center tonight. Watch out I am about to start and glass blowing army...I kid...sort of.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Glass Pumpkin Contest

Ok guys I am gearing up for the contest. Just a quick over view before I make it offical.

#1. If you send people here to the contest make sure they list it in the comments that you sent them so you are in the running for the "Hey I sent them here" part of contest.

#2. I will pay all the shipping on the contest winners prize. So they don't need to worry about a gotcha...I don't work that way.

#3. The contest will run for 2 weeks. I will give a "mini-prize" out twice while the contest is happening. It has to do with your guesses, but not th main prize. I am sneaky like that.

#4. There will be a 1st and 2nd prize this time with mini-prizes. I will post the pre-show on the prizes tomorrow.

#5. If you don't guess you can't win.

Ewww....this is such fun.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Look....Over there Glass Pumpkins!

MiniMolli surprised me today to let me know that she plugged up the Etsy shop. We have about 5 pumpkins for sale right. If these move we will start putting up more.

I also have plans for a contest but I have to figure out what, where, when and how. Very soon...very soon.

Anyway, Mini rocks. The online Glass Pumpkin Patch has started.


Friday, October 10, 2008

Online Glass Pumpkin Patch

The time is coming. Last night we took a group of pictures with some of our pumpkins. I also plan to have a contest around the Online Pumpkin Patch as well. I am thinking 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes this time.

So get ready kids because I love having contests. It is my raison d'etre! Ok I kid, I do like them but maybe not that much.

I plan to start the contest over the weekend and have the pictures and prices up as well.



Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Unknown Pumpkin Warrior.

As most of you know I have been really hitting the pumpkins this year. What you may or may not know is that I have a secret pumpkin warrior. The tireless sentinal that keeps me moving forward. MiniMolli is that secret pumpkin princesses. The planning, the prep, the food, the drinks, supervisor of sales, tagging pumpkins, cleaning pumpkins, setting up the shop, the yard, the house...the list just goes on and on and on! She worked as hard or harder to pull everything together and I got the lions share of the praise.

I am hear to tell you behind everything that I do, will do, or have done for the last 9 years this woman has been pushing me up the hill the whole time. She picks me up when I am down. She washes me off when I fall into a pit of self loathing, and she gets so little credit that I sometimes don't have the words to offer because it sounds so corny.

I am not sure how to say this so I will just throw it out there.

I love you. You are my favorite person. I could never do this without you. Thank you.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Glass Pumpkins

Someone asked me today if there was still going to be a market for my glass pumpkins next year. I kind of figured that was and interesting question. I often wonder if I am going to saturate my local market to the point that my glass pumpkins will need to venture way from home to live a fruitful life of luxury on top of a table in some far away land. I did not know how to answer them so I asked the people that buy my pumpkins.

The answer seems to be two fold. First off they had told me they like to buy at least one every year, they are collecting them at this point. Which I find to be very cool. Second, and more interesting is that they give them away as gifts at Christmas. Which is awesome! Third and even more interesting in the glass pumpkin debate is that friends and family kind of borrow them. I have one friend that told me she does not have a single pumpkin out of 8 the she has purchased over the last 3 years. They either are given away as presents, taken by family, or GASP! resold. That last one caught me off guard.

Apparently there is a secondary market for my pumpkins. I have no idea if they made a profit as I was a little stuned by the admission they they resold them. Now I have to know.....Black Market Pumpkins(BMPs)...has a nice ring to it.


Monday, October 6, 2008

Phase 1 of Pumpkin Patach complete, Phase 2 starting soon.

The 2nd Annual Pensacola Glass Pumpkin Patch is over. It was an great success! We had such a wonderful group of people show up and support my ever addicting habit. I would also like to thank every one of my friends that came to support me. Fred was holding down the bar so well I think that I have found his retirement plan. Kelly, Lisa, and Jenny where the Pumpkin Princesses checking everyone out and honestly have no idea how they handled that many people with such grace. Kendal was behind the bar with Fred schooling him on how to open a beer with a surfboard leash, who even knew you could do that?

Most of all Molli and my Brother Ryan. Without them this would not have happened in the scope that it did. I can't even go into how much they helped. It was as much their Pumpkin Patch as mine. In fact I have spent the last couple of days trying to figure out the exactly how I am going to thank them.

The party actually went off without a hitch this year and I am sad and happy at the same time. I am gearing up to make a set of online pumpkin for sale here, etsy, and maybe e-bay. Have not figured out exactly how I am going to do it just yet but it is in the works. So hold on, they are coming!



Saturday, October 4, 2008

On like Donkey Kong!

2 am and we just got done tagging about 90% of the pumpkins.

Displays are built.

Pumpkins are ready....all 475 of them!

Going to get about 5 hours in the sack and wake up and hit it hard to finish up everything before 1pm.

This has been a long haul this time.

Ok shower, drink, bed...in that exact order of the next 10 minutes.

Cheers, wish me luck and if your here in town I will see you tomorrow. If not, well hell just wish me luck.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Gearing up!

Ok so we are gearing for the Glass Pumpkin Party! Pieces are starting to fall into place and about the only thing that is really giving me a hard time right now is my grass. It looks like someone forgot to water it and I have no idea who that would be.

Other than that everything right now is going pretty good. The garage door got replaced with swinging barn doors with windows. Very cool I might add. The acrons are looking really smart. Got my display supplies in place to be built on Thursday. Plenty of pumpkins! The only thing that Ryan and I have left to make is a handfull of the Christmas stuff that people where asking for last year.

Having my brother Ryan here this year to help has really taken a lot of the stress out of it this year. Not only do I have anouther set of experienced glass blowing hands helping me he is also making his own to sell. His pumpkins look different than mine because he learned to blow glass in a different shop, with different people, so his pumpkins have a different approach. I personally think that they are pretty damn cool. He calls them bird nest pumpkins and when you see one you would understand why he calls them that. I am going to try to give him some time tonight to really get a good number of them out so that he has a good showing at the party.

Only 3 more days and the clock she is ticking.....


Monday, September 29, 2008

Glass Acorns, it's not all about the Glass Pumpkins.

Ryan and I are in a solid groove at this point. It is almost scary the way that we don't even really talk anymore until the piece is done. The Acorns still take the most time of anything that I have ever done. It really has become about process and nailing each of the steps that I had mapped out. Ryan and I have added a step that puts a nice final touch on the piece but it took us destroying 3 acrons to get it down.

We are pretty much done making pumpkins at this point and have been full on into the Acorns. We will hit it hard again tonight and start to make Christmas stuff and we also have some custom orders that we need to get done as well. All in all we are cooking right along and also putting in a good amount of time at the Belmont to get them going.

There is just so much to do even when you are killing it stuff just seems to come at you like a drugged up spider monkey. Mulchers, wood workers, yard guys, gas guys, sprinklers, bug killers, cleaning, ....the list...it is alive. Then the big one...work.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Pumpkin Brothers, Pensacola Addition.

Well right out of the gate Ryan has improved the pumpkin march. I would say on the safe side having and extra set of hands doubles the number of pumpkins I can make in a night. Which sounds about right, I mean you do have two people making them now...sort of.

What is really interesting is that I am running out of annealer space. We had a nice little talk about this and have come to the conclusion that the first thing that we need to replace is going to be the annealer, then the furnace. Again these are way out in the future but when your running out of space you just need more space. I honestly think it would be fun to build and annealer and I am sure Ryan will stump up and help if he is around also.

I would also like to say that the mandarin orange the Ryan brought from Cali is so so so much better than the soft orange I have been using for years. It is just oh so pretty. It looks like candy. He pretty much save the day on the orange because I was saving making all the orange pumpkins until he got here, then I looked around and had no orange. Who forgets to order orange color when you need to make glass pumpkins. Yes that would be yours truely....I was just so wrapped up making other colors I missed that fact that I had no orange. No worries Ryan put the cape on and hit CRLoo before he came home to help.

Tonight we will finish off the orange pumpkins, and give the acrons a run. Kim if you read this you really need to drop by and bring a 6 pack of red stripe. It feels wrong making all these pumpkins without your laughing and your Kung-Fu kicks being part of the process. In fact we will be out back every night that it is not raining so bring it. Ok Friday night we are at the Belmont but that does not count.

Ok I will try to get MiniMolli to take some picutres if she gets time between working, cleaning, weeding, fretting, ordering, painting, dusting, moving stuff, looking at me like I am a crazy person that never needs anouther red bull again, and sleeping. I think in pretty much that order. She is the crazyone! She is kind of like a superhero and she changes into super cleaner must make every change I wanted for the last 6 months in one week person before these events...it is scary. Somehow she always pulls it off. I have not quite firgured out how she does it.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Second Annual Pensacola Glass Pumpkin Patch is getting big!

Ok so this year is out of control! I am pretty sure last night that I hit 350 on the pumpkins. This year the pumpkins are so much better than anything else I have ever made. I guess when you make 350 of something all by yourself you tend to get good at it.

People that live around me have had to deal with ALO and The Bravery blasting out of my Ipod dock speakers for the last 4 months pretty much non-stop. The guys over the fence to the left of me call me "The Mad Blower" and my buddy Pete, that lives across the street, calls me the "The Pumpkin King". I think I will go with "The Mad Pumpkin King" which has a nice ring to it. Then again I could just go with what my uncle Chuck calls me but that is not fit to type.

Last night I had a moment when inspiration and luck hit a the same time. I finally figured out how to do something I have been working on for about two weeks now. It was such a wonderful pumpkin I quit making them after I put it in the annealer. I actually took the time to write down the steps so I would not forget them. I never do that, I trust my memory but when you make 40 pumpkins 40 different ways and it finally works you might need to take a moment to scrible down what it is you did. MiniMolli was not as impressed with it this morning because she has no idea how long I have been trying to create this kind of pumpkin. I have come close many times but never hit it just right. All she said was "humm...that is nice". NICE! it is wonderful woman bask in my greatness and fan yourself. I kid, it was nice...nice and great but after all it was just a pumpkin...a great pumpkin!

My brother Ryan comes in from Cali today so I will have some 4 year experienced glass blowing hands to help me make my acorns. Kim and Ryan are about the only people that can help me make them because honestly you have to be able to control the glass in a way that only experience gives you. I hope to get about 10 acrons out for the party. They are one of the hardest things to make and I enjoy making them but I only have about a 50% success rate on the good side. I think we will also try to make one really HUGE stinking pumpkin up at the Belmont now that they are online as of tomorrow.

What else? I guess that is it for now.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Slayer of pumpkins! Hit 300 last night...they are like tribbles in the garage at this point.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

2nd Annual Glass Pumpkin Patch is almost here!

Since Scott has been so busy I thought I'd post the invitation to our 2nd annual Pumpkin Patch Party! The ivitations are in, addressed and ready to go out. The party is definately not invitation only so if you're in the area please drop by!


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Off the reservation.

I am completely swamped. I am swamped at every corner, turn, bend, and flex point. Hurricanes, Work, Travel, Certifications, Pumpkin Parties, Security issues, networks going down for no reason. On a scale of 1 to 10 and am rubbing up on a 9.5 - Hit 10 once, I ended up passed out on the floor of UWF....anouther time for that story.

Anyway, I am AWOL for a bit while I collect myself. The furnace is ramping up to temp so I should be in glass in about 3 days. Which should be when I break loose of all the stuff that is ridding shotgun on my back right now.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ok, San Francisco was pretty cool.

Ok you might be thinking that I am talking about the trip 2 weeks ago but I am not. I went again. That is twice in less than an month and for the Outlands Music Festival to boot.

I am just saying hi and will post some pictures a little bit later once I get back into my groove now that I am home.



Monday, August 18, 2008

Vampire Weekend

Ok everyone check out the following website for you free streaming music.


Man I turn this on, plug in all my favorite guys then hit the autoplay button and it pick music based on what you put in. Like Pandora actually but seeing how Pandora is having issues I figured this was the next best thing.

Cheers, still at work...arggg! But I have a hell of a play list playing.

Currently listening to Vampire Weekend....not what it sounds like give it a spin.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Never let them see you sweat!

Ok have issues. One of them being sweat. I am a beast when I work outside in the heat to be quite honest I look like I was dunked into a pool. Mini would say it was a stinky nasty pool full of funky stuff that should never touch anything inside the house.

Add 90f+ temps and 90+ humidity and I am sure if I fell to sleep in the yard with my shirt off they would call the bigfoot hunters in to take DNA samples based on the size, smell, and looks of me.

Last night was no exception...ok it was if only because Mini helping me in the shop. My normal assistant/gaffer Kim is in the middle of dealing with her kid's going back to school. Which honestly can't be easy because of how Florida breaks up the days, times, and locations between Middle and High School but we will not get into that. She is swamped and in the school shuttle juggle. So have turned to my lovely wife to help fill in on stem production.

This has been a blessing and a curse. A blessing because she helps me without narry a complaint. The curse because for some reason I show my anger around her much more than anyone else. If a pumpkin goes to pot I lash out a bit around her. Not something I would do in mixed company. If I burn myself I scream and make crazy faces, which again is not something I would do around anyone else. She is seeing me in a light she has never seen before and I am not 100% sure she needs that kind of exposure. I am in full tilt boogie mode and she is ridding shotgun.

Hold on Mini......I know it is hard but this train is almost at the 1/2 way point and making a pit stop soon!


Thursday, August 14, 2008

morning run!

5am and kick'n it out.
This picture is not from this morning but from my visit to Cali. That is Ryan and I at Fire River Glass Studio.

I really enjoy doing the work in the morning. It is nice and cool and as strange as it might sound it gets me all geared up for the day. I feel like I have already done something and completed it. Tonight I am hitting the shop again if I can get a shelf in the annealer to double up my content.

Mini tossed me a surprise birthday party on Wed. Tuesday night. She really got me, and I pride myself and knowing what the hell is going on but they full on surprised me. What really got me is that number of people that had to keep there traps shut to pull it off. Impressive. I have enough Crown Royal to last me into the New Year and a truck load of great friends. I am truely blessed by my good friends, my winning the parents lottery, and my wonderful Mini.

I am going to have a hard time topping this.....


Monday, August 11, 2008

Weekend crazyness.

I made about 20 pumpkins over the weekend and found some things that just don't work color wise. Now I have a saying which goes something like this.

"Someone is gona just love that!"

What happends is that I make something that I think is going to be awesome and that colors just don't jive the way that I had in my mind. I don't like it simple because it was not what I wanted to create. So I guess they are going to be fine, they just did not come out exactly the way I had planned.

This year I am doing a lot of non-standard pumpkins as well. In fact one of them looks like it came right from the pumpkin patch and I am pretty sure if I was to put it in a real one more than one person would walk right by it and never know.

Anyway, I also turn 21 again tomorrow for like the 15 time. My wrist is a constant reminder that I am getting older and that 20 pumpkins in a weekend is something I need to think more about before I just do it. Getting old sucks.


Friday, August 8, 2008

This is mine?

Last night I started up the pumpkin train again. 45 minutes in it started to rain. Not good when your working outside. Shut it all down. Shuffled around grunting and giving MiniMolli the stinkeye for no reason.

Woke up this morning at 5am turned everything up, took a quick 45 minute nap in the magic sleepy chair outside because it was so freaking wonderful outside. Then I rocked it like Lenny Kravitz use to. I say that with all the humbleness I can muster, but honestly at 5am, in my backyard, making pumpkins solo in 75f temps, in my own shop I finally felt the "I did it" moment. I felt in control for the first time in a very long time. Strange but true.

I mean I know that I built the shop but it has all kind of really just been getting to a point. This huge moving target that never seemed to be reachable but if I just keept moving forward, if I just keept doing the next thing it would get done. This morning it was all about me realizing that I made it. This is my shop...my own personal glass shop. WOOOOOOOOHOOOOOO!

I think I may have done a little dance and had a beer at 6am just because it is my shop and I can do whatever I want at any time I damn well please. Seriously WOOOHOOO!!!!


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Mouth Funk

Ok so I figured I had some kind of really bad funk in my mouth this morning but it turned out that MiniMolli had cut onions on the butcher block last night. That would not be a problem sans that fact that I cut a granny smith apple on it this morning.

HOLLY MOTHER OF HEDGEHOGS!!!! that is the worst taste I have ever had in my mouth. Onion + Granny Smith Apple + Newly Brushed Teeth = VILE! Retching as I was stopped at the stop light this morning I could not get the window down fast enough as I spit it out of my mouth, against the window, down my shirt, into the deep crack between the door and the seat. Laughing at me the lady next to me at the light had to look away as she snickered. What kind of mouth funk do I have here and what can I do to get rid of it. Pulled over and got a redbull to wash it out. Thinking it is some kind of twisted chemical mix between the Granny Smith Apple and my toothpaste...PAH! Onion, Granny, toothpaste, redbull, vile.

Come to find out that Mini had cut a fresh onion on the butcher block and I was just picking up some onion juice to add to my breaskfast....Well it sure woke me up.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Repair, Pumpkins and solo failures.

Ok for those of you that don't know equipment breaks. In my case the furnace is now 10 months old and pretty much being used in a way that lends to it breaking. IE> this thing was never ment to really be a glass furnace it was a pottery kiln modified to be sold as a glass furnace. Anyway I open and close the lid over and over again getting gather after gummy gather of 2150f glass. I have now broken the handle on the furnace 4 times.

Last night I fixed it again but this time I fixed it in a way that should help it live at least anouther 2 months of everyday use. I am a gimpy welder but even this one is going to hold if for no other reason than I put enough of a metal on that spot to hold a large car in place. I need to start to save for a proper furnace now that I know this whole backyard shop is going to work out.

Pumpkins are in full gear. I plan to have about twice as many as last year and I started early. If we count last night approx 95 pumpkins done. This time last year I had, wait for it....zero, nada, zilch, butcus! Last night I did about 1/2 of them solo which is a new twist for me. The problem with solo pumpkins is that they tend to be thicker to be able hold the heat so that I can work my magic in time. Glass will cool and crack and I have about 5 mistakes that either shattered, cracked, or the stems popped off because I did not work fast enough. I have the shop set up in such a way now with the correct set of steps, and if I time it just right, I can make a pumpkin solo. Takes me twice as long but hey you have to give somewhere.

This helps in two ways. The first is that I don't have to pay someone to help me which adds to my overhead, the second is that I can work without having to wait, beg, or barter someone into coming to the shop. While this is all fine and dandy I can only make one size pumpkin right now solo....can't make them all the same size you know.

Working with a team at my home shop is so much more fun anyway. I get to relax, talk, make the pumpkins every size, shape, and color under the rainbow, and enjoy myself. Kim, MiniMolli, and Ryan are going to get quite a workout over the next 2 months. Hold on guys we need to make some numbers!


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Sat. Night session.

I told somone. They told someone. Mini told someone...etc... Next thing I know everyone is in my back yard again.

Love it. Drinks, glass, friends.

Secret Number is now 73.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I found this glass, the Sac visit!

Ok so some quick pictures from Sacramento I found this glass run. Here is the piece we put out.

Here is Ryan doing his best Spider Monkey moves to put it in the fountain.

Here it is in the fountian, as you can tell someone is going to have to get wet to get it!

Here is a picture from the street.

I would like to point out again the someone has already found this one. Ryan went back on Sat. and he just missed them. In fact he was so close behind them that he saw the wet shoe prints on the parking lot.



Monday, July 28, 2008

Two Weeks.

Man two weeks went by fast. I did not want to post on here while I was gone that I was well...gone. See I have this little thing about keeping my MiniMolli safe and sound and when I am not around I tend to get protective. Not that she needs it mind you. She keeps any number of dangerous objects around the house to visit some serious pain on anyone that is uninvited, but still I worry. I can't help it.

Anyway, so I was in Cali visiting my brother and getting some training that I did not really need. Ok I needed it if for nothing more than to be able to tell the guys that ask yes I have that certificate. For those of you that want to know the latest batch of certificates I got are the A+, the Network+, and the Security+ CompTIA certs.

It is funny, these are kind of the certificates that you get when you start out. For some reason I never got them mostly because no one ever asked for them. I had a MCSE from Microsoft, a CCA from Citrix, a CCNA and CCDP from Cisco, and a couple of other things to do with SANs and F5 load balancers so I never really got into the CompTIA as events had kind of passed them by.

Well wouldn't you know it now the people I work for "require" them and really did not care about all the other stuff I had. It was kind of like finding out that you needed a certificate for knowing CPR when you have been doing open heart surgery for the last 10 years. Anyway those are done and just anouther little thing to put on the resume, even if it is way down at the bottom.

Started up the furnace again last night and should be in the hot stuff by Wed. night. Can't wait to play with glass again.

I will post some pictures of blowing glass in Cali as soon as CorkChop sends me a link to the pictures.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Shut it down, Shut it down now!

That is a quote from the move Die Hard. It is in reference to turning the power grid of to the tower that the bad guys are in. I felt it was kind of like the hot shop right now as I have pretty much pulled the power plug out of everything for the next 2 weeks. Not that I am a bad guy or anything of course. Ok that really depends on who you ask. So anyway all the equipment is unplugged.

This is for two reasons.

#1. I will not be working for the next two weeks so there was no reason for mr to keep the furnaced on. There are many reasons but one of them is that it is 95 deg F, with about 98% humidity. That is just crazy to work in.

#2. After thinking about this it is really time to give the equipment a much needed tune up. It has been a solid 9 months that the equipment has been running and it is in need of some repair love. Also I need to rip out the 80 pound pot and check under it to see how my furnace is doing. Leaks, checks, cracks...etc.

It is also a great time to take stock in how everything is laid out in the shop and figure out if I should move the equipment around to different locations. I have given Mini the go ahead of toss out pretty much anything she thinks should go and that scares me a little bit. I only really ask that she not toss anything that is "glass equipment supplies" like frax, or fire bricks, but outside of that I kind of hope she goes to town.

We will just have to see.


Friday, July 11, 2008

The New 3g Iphone problems.

Ok for those of you living under a rock the new Iphones came out today. I personally will not be getting one but the one thing that interested me about the whole thing is the angery and swift change of direction people in the "Apple" camp have made.

Up until the last couple of releases of Apple software they have been hailed by anyone with anything Apple as "so much better than Microsoft" or "Stable, secure, done right", and my farvorite "Bulletproof!".

Well Apple folded under pressure today just like everyone else does on a big release. Welcome to the party pal. Try not to get to much egg on your face when you try to use that bricked new 3g Iphone.

Get used to the phase "You must connect to the Itune store to continue". Along with the other 3 millions people trying to do it at the same time.

PS. I don't have an Iphone and I give props to CorkChop for calling off his search early. He at least missed the fustration.

Monday, July 7, 2008

No time for the little stuff.

You ever get so busy that you don't have time for the little stuff? What I mean is that you go from big project to big project and the little stuff piles up and you feel like there is no end to the piles of little that you don't have the juice to attack them?

Well that is where Mini and are right now. We have large projects and big commitments all around us. We roll from one thing to the next, we even had what many would call a instant medium sized party on the spot out of the blue. Mini is quick to adjust like that, me I just go with it there is no adjustment needed.

On the other hand the little stuff just kind of hangs around pointing and laughing at you. You know those 3 large piles of dirty clothes, the dishes, the floor needs sweeping, the yard needs attention, the flowerbeds look like a weed experiment by the Darma group. You come up for air but the little stuff is yanking at your ankles. So I am making and effort to try to do one little thing everyday. I think it will make a difference...well at least I hope it will.

This moring it was doing all the dishes before I left the house for work. I know it is small but they built up in small little steps why can't you kill them in small little steps. This afternoon it will be to clean out the truck and sweep the shop before I start blowing glass. Simple, quick, little. I will call it the SQL Model of life. Do the Simple Quick Little stuff.

Either way something is getting done and it was more than before. That has to be progress.


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Picture day!

Ringer holders!

What I like to call the Watermellon Vase.
Tear Drops, they are about 12 inches high. You really can't tell from this picture but they are pretty darn thin. I have a thing for blue right now if you can't tell.
My Cane Tear Drop Vase.
The Family Photo Op. I really like the one of the far left. It is a very slight amber color and is so paper thin it might be about as heavy as a couple of stack of post it notes.

All of the ones in the front are my prototypes for a project I am working on. I kind of like them all having that same color but different shades. They look good together.



Monday, June 30, 2008

Good wet weekend.

Well it rained, then it rained some more. I got some time in the shop between the storms. Used up a bunch of my scrap glass I had been saving and when I fill the pot with "recycled" glass it really makes me grin a bit because that is 80 bucks I just saved. I think I am going to start calling the stuff that I make from recycled clear glass "Twice Baked Green Glass" or "TBG" for short. Maybe I should start to market the glass as recycled green glass. To be technical it is all recycled glass.

Anyway, I have kind of a little project that I am working on that I will post some pictures of a tomorrow. It is nothing big just a direction I am going with my shapes. Currently I am working on Tear Drop Vases. I don't know why they are just something that I want to perfect. I also want them drop dead thin. So thin that people that blow glass will pick them up and go "WOAHH! that is thin!". Then I will flip and make about 4 really thick ones just because.

Anyway, pictures tomorrow unless MiniMolli takes them before I get home and posts them.

To all those that come by and read and do not leave a post I see you. Hi grandma.


Friday, June 27, 2008


Yes I put Astro up first but I took it down and put Space Invaders up. Just so much more fun!


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

the Joker and the Sage

That title sounds like a rock band or the start to a novel. It is neither.... I have an interesting skill that is often offset by my humor.

I remember some really crazy crap. I mean a lot of it. Funny how I can't remember where the hell my wallet, keys, or checkbook are. Alas, it is not just stuff like how many inches are in a mile (63360), or the atmospheric pressure at mean sea level (14.7 psi), or why Beach in Pensacola is so sugar white (quartz deposit from couple million years back deposited by the Apalachicola River). No I remember truely useless stuff like movie quotes, the IRQ settings for a US robotics modem from 1987, and what a 1968 toyota land cruisers stock weight is.

People know I have a ton of useless knowledge in the back of my brain bucket so it gives me the option of playing a joke on them with stuff. It often backfires a bit in that sometimes I am trying to give them the right answer and it sounds so far fetched they think I am pulling one over on them. Cry wolf and all that.

Someone - What is the Network Time Protocol port?
Me "123"
Someone - Come on! Seriously
Me "123"
Someone - You told me that the number for the surf report was 8675309!

Someone - Who sings that song that goes kinda like da da da on such a winters day...
ME - California Dreaming by the Mamas and the papas
Someone - No way, like the time you told me that the BeeGees where the orginal voices for Alvin and the chickmuncks.

You can see I tend to error on the side of it being so out of this world that they can't help but to catch me pulling thier leg but it does not always work. Like the time I told a friend if he ate raw garlic it would cure his hangover. Then there was the time I told everyone Michael Jackson came over the house to use the bathroom. Ok Michael Jackson didn't come over to my house to use the bathroom. He was about to. But his sister did.


No worries!

Well I can say with all honestly that I broke everything that I tried to work on last night. I put in about 4 hours in the shop and every last thing poped of the punti and shattered onto the ground. Ok a ring holder made it into the annealer but that was about it.

I have been working on a new way to put color on my stuff. It is kind of one of those things that is more complex than 90% of the glass blowers in the world are willing to deal with. It is not crazy hard, it just takes a lot of steps, in the right order and any one of them will hose up the piece.

In fact I hosed up a good 5 times just trying to figure out how I wanted to do it. Then a couple more with the application of frits, bars, and powder until I got the look that I wanted. Alone it takes me about 30 minutes just to get the colors on them the way I want. I am not sure having a second set of hands would help much...it might speed it up a bit but not much.

Then every single piece jumped off the punti. SMASH!! BOOM!!! SHATTER!! All of them, but I was able to look at them on the ground and sort out what I was doing wrong with the colors and move forward so not much was lost. That is a lie but no worries right?

So I view last night as a learning experience. I have the color scheme down pat now all I need to do is get some in the annealer instead of on the cement.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

More pictures!

Ok so everyone is always asking me to make sets of drinking glasses. Here is my first try at making the same colors and same shape. Keep in mind that these are free hand and not done in a mold. Plus I am really digging the color combo here it is one of my favorites. If you look in the upper right hand corner I flipped the colors just for fun.

Here is a cool vase I made the other day before Belmont shut down. I have a whole series planned out for this kind of pattern. I just got the colors in the other day and can't wait to try this color application design with them. In the forground you can see the tops of the lamps that got cut off when I made them.
Here is the huge vase I made when the annealer put the wammy on me. For the people that have not been keeping up it overheated due to a physical malfunction. It got up to about, I am guessing here, 975 degrees before it started to cool back down. That was enough heat to start to remelt the glass. You will notice that this pieces is quite dumpy. When it was made it was very much like the picture above only with a much smaller opening at the top. It was also about twice as large. You will notice the amount of colored rings I put on this piece. That alone took Kim and I at least 40 minutes just to get the colors on it correctly.
So it got way to hot, started to slump which took it from being round to this. The bottom flattened out on the floor of the annealer, pushing the sides out, then the top part was heavier than the middle so it slumped down onto itself. The ribbon of iris orange(the green) was the thinest spot on bulged out in the middle. What you also can't really tell is that is sits at a very kattywhompus angle because it did not slump straight down but toward the heating coils. IE> it was hotter on the left side than the right. Tooooooo much heat!
Well that is it for today boys and girls.
I hope to get some time in the shop at the house this weekend if works lets go a bit.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Things I learned this week.

#1. There is a very fine line between hobby, side job, and mental illness.

#2. Don't start the weekend on Thursday if you need to work on Friday.

#3. Common sense is not that common.

#4. If you have to work in 98 degree heat with 99% humidity hire someone else to do the work.

#5. Mini is right more than wrong, I just seem to be more lucky than right.

#6. Never lick and envelope agressively you can papercut your tongue.

#7. Never drink lots tequela and eat lots jalapenos on the same night. No matter how good either of them taste.

#8. Movies at 2:45 on Friday afternoon have no kids in them. Ever.

#9. My hot water heater only has 48 minutes worth of hot water.

#10. Seriously Rich people don't care about how much something costs as long as no one else can have one but them.


#11. I would like to state that M. Night Shyamalan's new movie "The Happening" really was sad. I don't mean sad like it made me cry, because it did, but if only for the fact that it sucked 8 bucks from my wallet. It was so bad I don't even know where to start. OK I lied I do know where to start all this between each of my Load Balancers install tonight. Here we go, why "The Happening" was such a sorry movie by "ME!". Stop now if you don't want spoilers but honestly keep reading it might save you the 3 hours you will loose.

a. They are killed by...wait for it "Trees". COME ON! Trees? Honestly? As in a large oak? Yea it seems that the trees are pissed off and they are decided to release a toxin into the air. This is not be confused with pollen, you know why because you can kind of see pollen, this not so much. In fact it might as well have been Iocaine Powder. So how do they scare you with a colorless, odderless, tasteless toxin? That leads me to reason b.

b. The wind carries the toxin...oh dear lord...RUN FROM THE WIND...Every time the wind blows people die. Go figure...you know the toxin and all.

c. The Iocaine pow...Toxin it makes you "STOP HAMMER TIME!"...I kid, you just stop dead in your tracks and find the most visually graphic way to kill yourself. I mean you could just stop breathing but that does not look good on film. So you stop for like 10 seconds...then start again to turn on and a huge lawn mower, then point it up hill so that it will do a u-turn and head back toward you, then it slows down for dramatic tempo as you lay down and stretch and arm out in front of you because even tho you don't care it looks damn cool as it throws arm chunks out the front. Crap, pure crap. Yea that was a long sentence...like the movie long and drawn out.

d. Ok I will wrap the crappy movie fest up rapid fire. Run from high population them there trees can count and kill people in large numbers, they get sensitive and start killing in smaller numbers, sidekick bites the dust, dumb soldier pops up, they run for the hills as group 2 kills themselves as group one "outruns" the wind. Crazy old lady head buts herself to death, they outlive the Killers tree by shear luck, the end.

Pure drivel.



Friday, June 6, 2008

Remember these?

Remember these? Can you see them back there. Yep those are the lamps I have been talking about for a couple of months now. MiniMolli finished up the shades the other day and put them in the bedroom. I think they look pretty darn good. Als If you look close Ms. Kitty by the pillows seems to be saying "Get out of here Pixie(the other cat) or I will eat you SOUL!".

Here is a second picture for no other reason than to show you the Ms. Kitty gives love to both sides of the bed. She loves them equally.
Strange that there is no cat in this close up. You can see the prototype for bud vase I am working on in the back ground as well as the spiffy felt disc thing Mini love so much about these shades.
Ok enough of this time to mow the lawn...UGH!


Belmont Arts Center - - Hot Glass Cold Beer Night

Well here is the boilerplate for tonight hot glass cold beer night. I am going to be working with some of the other renters to do....drum roll.....I have no clue.

I will assume that we will make some spun out bowls because those are always cool to watch. Maybe I can talk them into making some cane which is kind of cool to see done. Either way it is going to be HOT!


June 06, 2008
4/11/2008: Hot Glass / Cold BeerFriday - June 6, 20085 - 9 pm9pm - live music!This popular event will feature our signature glass cups for you to keep, eats!, glass blowing demonstrations, glass bead demonstrations, pottery (come get your hands dirty), glass mosaic art that you can help make...........and more!!!$25 donation to the Belmont gets you your official glass and enjoy free beverages all evening!* MEMBERS - YOUR DONATION IS ONLY $20!Bring back your glass from previous HGCB events and your donation is only $15.Support your favorite "hands on" arts center and have a great evening with your friends, family and everyone else!sponsored in part by: New York Nicks and The Handle Bar.

*Must be 21 yrs or older with Valid ID for consumption of adult beverages. Please drink responsibly.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The three amigos!

Just because I have them at hand. I have a friend that was at the shop a couple weeks back and wanted some Dark Ruby Cups/tumblers made. She was not sure on the size, shape, or basically anything outside of that she wanted them ruby red. Well that and they had to be "hand blown" and not put in a mold at any point. Ok then, here is the first try at hitting on what she wanted. I just made a short rocks glass, then a medium sized white wine top, then what I call a "Tall Boy" which hold about a double crown and coke. Or a whole diet coke with ice.

As you can tell they are plenty ruby red. Three gathers of ruby on the small one, single gather of ruby on the middle one, and 2 gathers of ruby on the tallboy.

Overhead shows the shorty rocks glass is much wider than the others.
The rocks glass is the thicker of the three at the ridges. The tallboy is the perfect thickness and the wine glass in the middle is ultra thin. It is scary thin to the point that It makes you a little twitchy letting ices fall into it from the door on the fridge. It is not going to break but it sure does make a loud enough clank to make you think about it.

More pictures later. Cheers.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

New Float on the Beach

I know that I promised pictures of my new piece but the world conspired against me. The Annealer at the Belmont overheated....again....for the 4th time in 3 months. It makes me not a nice person to be around. I start to turn a shade of green, my pants rip, I loose my shirt and well you get the picture....

So I went surfing and everything was right in the world. I left a float on the dune with the IFTG.blogspot.com address and we will see if anyone takes the time to post that they found it.

Pumpkins are being made. I figured I needed to slide back into something productive. Maybe I can get some time in the shop tonight. If so we will have to try and take a couple pictures.



Thursday, May 22, 2008

Wed. Night Blow slot update.

Yesterday I had a mini melt down at work. Not a melt down you have like a loony running around kicking over chairs and screaming "A Dingo ate my LunchBox!" more of a running out of steam and feelling sick melt down. I guess I could say I was just pushing myself a little to close to the edge and took a step over.

Anyway I went home took a nap and felt right as rain 4 hours later just in time to go blow some glass for the first time in about 3 weeks. I had a different outlook last night. I knew there was something I wanted to make and how I wanted to make it but no shape in mind. No real goal, just the idea of being in the shop was enough.

Kim and I kicked out this really cool vase that is about 8 inch wide and 12 inches tall. I am going to call this series "Totems" because I kind of got the idea when in Seattle looking at all the Totems that are around the city. This is the second time I have tried to make something like this but I am using a different applicaiton of color this time. The very first try I made sold last week for a good chuck of cash so I will go back to that style at a later date. It is not that I don't like it because I do. It is just not exactlly the look I was going for. It has a nice look to it and I plan to pick it back up at a later date.

The "Totems" need a tighter, crisper, more defined line. The first try made a tight line but the ribbons of color turned out to be much to large. What I am going for is a thinner line with defined color. More like the way the totems stacked and the colors worked between the totem faces that gave me the idea. I plan to really change the way that the colors stack from the ones I did last night also but I need to work on the application of the rings of color before I can move onto the next step. Work in progress.

Anyway, they will not be out of the annealer until Friday night but I plan to take some pictures of them this weekend. I know it is only Thursday but I hope you guys have a nice extended weekend.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I have a friend that has been skimming over resumes for a job opening we have here. The problem with that is the funny things that you see on a resume.

Case in point:

"Proficient in Microsoft Word"

No kidding? Word! Really WORD?!

Your putting a resume in for a senior network administrator and you think that people give a toot about word? Why not write down "More than 15 years experience with Notepad", or "Extensive day to day operational use and controll of web browser". "More than 20 years experience with the deletion of files from a hierarchical file system".

COME ON! your killing me.

I want to see "10 years of router experience" and you give me "Proficient in Word"....ARG!!!!


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sunday Night and everything is all right.

Up here at the shop putting the security smackdown on a bunch of servers. The security scans take about 15 minutes a box with my software so I have a minute here to talk about something I just saw at Outback. Yes Mini am I am about to talk about that.

I laddle. That is, I tend to listen to people's conversations around me when I am out to eat. I don't actaully say anything, or butt in, but I have a bad habbit of getting interested in what others are saying. More so when they are saying it at the volume level of a White Snake concert like tonight at Outback. I mean they where on the otherside of the bar and we could hear them over the 5 Large Screen TVs in the joint.

Anyway, it wrinkles Mini's mood most of the time because I am not listening to her at these points in time and she generaly finds it not very polite. It could also be that I often times don't agree with what someone else is saying and I pivit to Mini to proclaim my astonishment at their obtuseness (is that a word? How I ironic if it is not...wait am I using Ironic right? I give up lets move on).

So tonight in I got to hear the following things uttered with a touch of rightousness only bestowed on my people here in Pensacola. I think I will start to call this "Overheard in Pensacola".

Line #1:

Large Blonde Lady:
-- "I am a very deep person, I feel things deeply, I am spiritual because I.... you know...I feel deep stuff and have trouble telling people how deeply I feel deep things. Seriously deep spiritual things on a different kind of feeling level then the deepeness that normal non-spiritual people feel things. You know?"

Large Guy in Grey "TroutSlayer" shirt:
-- "That is called spirituality... most people don't know what that word means but that is it just what you said."

Large Blonde Lady:
--"Hey you going to eat that last chicken wing?"


People just make me giggle.


Friday, May 16, 2008


Work is crazy right now I am putting in about 12 to 14 hours a day. I have not read anyone elses blog, worked glass, or sleept more than 6 hours a night this week.

I get paid by the hour being a contractor but man I am ready for a day off. Maybe this weekend I can take a break but I will be working at least one of the days this weekend if not both.

I hope to fire up the shop this weekend at least once to work out some steam....er glass.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008


You ever notice that if you eat a big breakfast that you are hungry all day long?



I am into the one word titles as of late.

Anyway... PK the outside cat is driving me crazy. I love the little critter but she has cost me about....

One Large Floppy bowl - 300 dollars
One large gravity vase - 100 dollars
3 Nice Glass flowers - 120 dollars
One Medium Floppy bowl - 125 dollars
One Large Platter - 250 dollars
2 Blown Cups - 30 dollars
One Large Pumpkin(huge) = 150 dollars
Total Damage from PK in glass = 1075 dollars

I have left out a couple of things but this pretty much sums up why I am angry at this cat right now. To be honest she is locked in the garage. She mills about because she can't get out. She knocks stuff down.

We don't let her out because she has FLeV but damnit all this stuff she is breaking is killing me. I am at wits end with the cat because she is breaking all my best stuff. I put it on the shelf because it is my best stuff and she knocks it off because we are trying to protect her.

I guess I am going to have to start putting her in a crate at night because putting all the glass up does not seem to be an option. I don't know what to do here and I find myself getting more and more angry with every broken piece of glass. Because what I see on the floor is time, money, and sweet....then a big eyed cat looking at me like "Hey check that out! I did that for you! Cool eh?!".



Monday, May 12, 2008


I would like to state that I really like this show.

That is it.


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Warm Fuzzy!

Things that have been good.

#1. Lots of parties.

#2. Lots of work. - Keeps the day going by fast.

#3. Making some progress toward turning Strong Street Studio into a buisness. I might change the name. More on that later.

#4. Been surfing a lot.

#5. Have a tan...somewhat.

#6. Sold a friends computer for him. Got a friend a great deal on a computer. Win Win. To be honest CorkChop was the good guy here he just wanted someone he knew or I knew to get his awesome laptop for a great price.

#7. 238 - two more down. Had pizza last night...might be 239.

#8. Starting to walk more but It has to work into my day after work and before glass. Acutally I have been telling myself that is I work hard in the glass shop that should cover my walking...yea that will not work.

#9. Outlands Music Festival is a go! More than 60 bands and performers - including Beck, Primus and Widespread Panic - have been signed for the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival on five stages over three days, Aug. 22-24, in Golden Gate Park, producers announced Monday.
In addition to the already advertised headliners - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Radiohead and Jack Johnson - the colossal program will also feature Wilco, Manu Chao, Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals, and Steve Winwood.

Also appearing will be Rodrigo y Gabriela, CafĂ© Tacvba, Broken Social Scene, Regina Spektor, Devendra Banhart, Galactic’s Crescent City Soul Krewe, Steel Pulse, Cold War Kids, Andrew Bird, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Drive-By Truckers, M. Ward, ALO (Animal Liberation Orchestra), Matt Nathanson, Two Gallants and Mother Hips.

Ack! Mid post lunch run....finish later.


Tuesday, May 6, 2008


The annual Gunter Cino Del Drinko party was a big success. Mike Desorbo over at Culinary Productions seriously kicked some food into high gear. Every time that I think he can't make something better than it was the last time he ups his game.

This year was not as out of control as last year. Last year is was less people with more crazy. This year it was more people with less crazy. I think that once you get a huge group in one stop it kind of pulls away from the total crazy just a bit, then again it could have been the Monday Night hey I have to work tomorrow thing.

Either way fun was had by all. Good Food, Good Drinks, Good Friends. I seem to have a theme going lately.


Monday, May 5, 2008

240, and sufing.

So I told you guys I was going to loose 10 pounds. I have. I had bucked up to 250. Now those that don't know me might think...HOLLY CRAP 250?! Well to be honest that is pretty much what what I said as well.

So I am down to 240 now. The new goal is 230. I just have to keep doing what I am doing and see if I can't wiggle my way down to 230. I think that I am on the edge of falling off the cliff into a full on sprint at this. I have 1/2 arsed it for the last two months and it is doing "OK".

For those of you that don't know me well I am a thick guy. What I mean is that I don't have stick legs and stick arms. I have a friend that says "He is like a piece of iron, go ahead try to make him move it's like you hit a brick wall". Now to be honest he wieghts about 130 and is 5'4 but my point is that a lot of my weight is muscle...a lot of it is fat as well. When I went surfing in Cali 8 years ago I was 210 with what was starting to look like a six pack and a 32' inch waist. So at 225 I am going to start looking and feeling the way I want.

So starting tomorrow I am going to get a little more serious. I am going to get a little more active and see if I can't cut the next 15 pounds off of me in the next two months. Forget that 230 lets go ahead and make a real goal.

Maybe I should have a before and after picture. Hum...I will leave that up to Mini.

-----> Side notes.

We had the garden club over to the house. Nothing like 30+ good looking ladies to fawn over the glass blowing to help my ego out! Everyone had a great time and I think it got the word out that I was offically on the map. Some of the flowers are as good as the one that I made after a year of glass blowing.

Cat is doing very very well.

Belmont Art Center is going to have open blow slots on Gallery night this week. Kim and I will be working from 7 to 8 pm.

Mini needs to wear sunblock like me no matter what she says.


Monday, April 28, 2008

ET and the Rocketman

I have no idea what that title means just sounds kind of cool.

Elton was not bad and it was not three hours. In fact is was better than I thought that it was going to be. That night turned into the starter for the whole weekend and it was a good one. Good weather. Good Food. Good company.

Three of my favorite things.


Friday, April 25, 2008

Elton John

I have to go and Elton John concert. When I say I have to go I am not saying I am being forced but I do risk a lip quiver and a sad Mini if I don't agree. See I was given a pass the first time Elton played but he got sick and somehow I was not able to pull off getting out of it this time. To be honest I don't hate Elton John's music I actaully kind of like a lot of it. What has be worried is that I know this concert is going to take 3 hours. 3 hours of Elton John only....It boggles the mind.

I might have to get really really plowed to take 3 hours. If "I'm still stand'n" plays and I am in fact still standing it will be a long night.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Surfing pains.

I went surfing.

I am in pain.

I am getting old.

I had a bunch of damn fun!


ps. Jason also went.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Go Big or Go Home

To quote my brother Ryan "Go Big or Go Home" seemed to be the theme of the night Wed. Every time that I say "That is the biggest thing I have ever made" I seem to one up myself the next time I make something big. It is a sickness. This next one is blue...big time so everyone will like it. Blue in glass seems to be a universal "let me have that" color.

I have to send off some stuff to a client today and the Giant Vase I made a couple weeks back is the center of what they want. All in all about 6 pieces that are going to be shown to figure out if I can land a big project. More on that if it works out. I would rather not get all crazy excited until I get the final "They loved it, game on!". If not I will never bring it up again...HA!

Ray and Rick are now renting time at the Belmont on Tuesday nights. I kind of feel I helped get them hooked on glass so that makes me all warm and fuzzy that they are now renting time. Then again I might not have had much to do with it at all...either way I am stoked to see them paired up and renting time. Both of them are super nice guys and if you boys are reading I can't tell you enough how much I enjoy both of you guys getting into the shop and having fun.

Hope to see you guys up there again real soon.

Well it is Friday and you know what that means....Intermissions time! Have a great weekend.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tabula rasa

Well I got a new computer at work yesterday. Which on the surface is pretty nice but when you really look at what you have to do it is one big giant pain in the arse. I had been using what 5 years ago was the biggest wizbang computer you could buy. A dual Xeon 2.something ghrz 4 gig of ram monster. Not that it did anything but talk to routers, firewalls, and switches all day. Ok sometimes the domain controllers but for the most part it could have been a much smaller machine and done just fine.

Anyway back to my point which is 5 years worth of stuff was tucked up in that little piece of plastic and electronical nanunanus. It is hard to let go of it. You just know that you are going to miss moving something over in the move. Let alone the hours it takes to patch, install software, and well it becomes something of a nightmare to do. I am not your normal village idiot when it comes to this stuff and I dread it. Ok that last statement is debatable but you get my point.

So all this was a lame attempt to tell you I am a little bit behind the 8 ball.


Friday, April 11, 2008

Art in Bloom in full swing.

Just a real quick post.

The silent auction went off last night pretty well for my piece. The last bid before the bell was 325 on the flowers in the vase.



Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Things to do in Pensacola!

Ok I don't do this very much but I have to give you a clue how crazy this weekend is going to be. Lets start off with Art in Bloom that will be in the downtown area April 10th - 13th so that is all weekend you lazy slugs. No reason you can't roll downtown and see a metrix truck load of flowers, art, and find a nice spot to eat. I would give it a run on Sat. because the weather looks like it is going to be great.

Next up! It is that time again up at the Belmont Art Center. It is Hot Beer Cold Glass....ok I always say it that way and I can't help it. Much like I say Marble Clab Sleamery instead of Marble Slab Creamery. I think I have a mild case of something.

Anyway, Friday night you guys should check out the Hot Glass Cold Beer at the Belmont Arts Center. Glass Demos, pottery demos, metal working demos, Lampworking (beads) demos and I think that they are also letting people get a taste of working in all the areas so don't wear you Sunday bests if your wanting to get your hand dirty.

I plan to do a little work out in the shop on Sat. when I can fit it in so that will be fun also. If you are in town drop by I love visitors.

Sunday is the fun day! I kid, I am sleeping in.

Hope you guys have a good weekend.


Monday, April 7, 2008

Wiggle just a little bit.

Well Kim cam by yesterday and sanded the what I am now calling "The Wiggle Bowl" down so that it would sit correctly. I would like to point out that this has nothing to do with it being off in any sort of way but by design.

If you make a big giant flutted bowl it has a much better shape if you don't flatten the bottom of the bowl. Now this is where the lap wheel, or grinder, or sander, or 1600 dollar thing that goes around in circles comes in. It is a wonderful yet expensive piece of machinery.

What we do is we grind a flat spot on the bottom them polish it up with ever increasing levels diamonds. Sounds cool eh? Think of it like sanding wood with sandpaper but with diamonds. We start with a very rough diamon disk that is on the sander and take them down to finer ones. There are 4 steps down until you get to polish. Which is a giant felt pad that gets loaded with cerinium (sort of like pumuce) for the final polish. At this point it is optical clear. This takes about 20 minutes for each piece of glass to do it right.

Ok that is you quick lesson in cold working for the day.


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Glass blowing at Disney...who knew?

Would you have ever guessed that there was glass blowing at the magic kingdom? This started the trifecta of Glassblowing crazyness.

#1. Corkchop calls to tell me that the guy that runs the Belmont Arts Center just walked buy him. IE> Joe, the shop tech and resident artist at the shop I rent on Wed. nights. Strange. The only thing that would have made this even stranger is if they had been in front of the "It's a small world after all" ride.

#2. CorkChop then walked into a new area and low and behold it is glass blowing. Strange...perhaps. Trifecta of Glassblowing in now in play.

#3. See picture above at Disney. That is the exact same equipment that we use at the Belmont Arts Center. Cleaner, painted, but the same stuff. Trifecta of strange glassblowing moments complete.

Now that I have all the strange and wierd glassblowing happenings out of the way I want to share something with you guys that happend last night. My glassblowing partner who I like to call Kim Possible, Super Kim, or El Kimbolina made a huge progress step last night. Going on better than five years we have been meeitng every wed. night to not only blow glass but vent, bitch, smile, share, tell tall tails, and for lack of a better word support each other in our "other world" outside of glass. She is by far one of the most wonderful people I have ever meet. That is way it is so much fun to share this with you guys.

Kim came smilling into the shop last night with a goal. A goal that was outside of her comfort level. A goal that honestly I was kind of surprise that she set. It was not your typical Kim project. As it got closer to doing it I saw the "wiggle" as I like to call it. She started to doubt herself and had the added pressure of the person that needed the piece to be sitting right there in the shop. Now lets be fair because what she wanted to do she had never done. It was bigger, heavier, and harder than anything she has ever done. Wiggle wiggle. She needs it on Monday if I mess it up we can't get anouther made...Wiggle wiggle. Will you do it I know you can do it....Wiggle Wiggle. I did not let her off the hook and I consider that my job. Five years now and I should now what she can and can't do. I knew for a fact that she could pull this off if she would just calm down and give it a go. She has the skills she just needs someone not to let her back down. I knew she could do it and I wanted her to crush the wiggle.

Let me just say that she knocked it out of the park. First try. BANG! Big, heavy, clean and nice floppy bowl about the size of anything I have ever made. Nice Lapis blue and copper blue that is going to look awesome. Kim if you are reading this you made a HUGE step last night..HUGE! This is your progression point piece of glass that has pushed you to the next stage. I am proud of you and your wiggle needs to find a new home now.