Friday, March 28, 2008

"The Trails" Platter

This is the first firing for color to this platter.

You see all these lines through the background That is a map of South Dakota
The bolder line that runs through the Woman Indian, Sacagawea, the guide for Lewis and Clark the trail they followed. (will be highlighted in red in the last firing)
The trail goes through Pierre, where so much happens during the growing years for SD.
Tepis are running throughout the platter representing the Indian Nations.
The Missouri river was the trail that brought goods to the area by Steamboat.
The fur traders brought their furs for trade. Represented in the wolf and the buffalo.
The railroad ran through here bringing goods from the East, by train.
Pierre was a huge hubbub where everyone gathered and bought their supplies.
The iron age is seen by the 2 elaborate bridges that banked in Pierre.
It is the capital of SD.
So this is the main focus for this piece.
I need another highlight I think over on the right side, I am not sure just what might happen over there yet.
This platter is part of the exhibit I will be in the Dacotah Prairie Museum, Aberdeen SD this fall.

4 Final Images

Here are the 4 images I decided to produce for the Laura Ingles Wilder boxes.
One is a young Laura the other 3 are an "older" version of Laura.
The bottom left one is a period piece that was used in one of her publication promotions.
These are the final production pieces that the ladies will choose from for the new line they are planning to carry in the gift shop at the Ingles Homestead in De Smet South Dakota...a great stopping point to tour through.
Especially in July during the Pageant...a little production put on by the youth players.

The picture shows quite a bit of light..but I think the image shows well enough.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Laura Boxes Finished

Last night I polished the Laura boxes. This much of the project is complete.
I was scheduled to meet Ms Ann this morning but, it has snowed and the roads aren't fit for travel (in my opinion) and I am going to reschedule.
So after I reorganize the shop this will be a paint day.
Working on the next platter collage, "The Trail".
The focus is on trails that bring us forward in the west. The Lewis and Clark expedition, steamboats on the Missouri River bringing goods into Pierre, SD, the coming of the iron age in trains, fur traders. These are the highlights i am bringing forward in the body of this composition. It is almost to a point I photograph and details can be made out.
I will give a shot today before it goes into the kiln again. This piece is on its 4th firing!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Box Construction Continues

Wash day for the boxes. Today I patina and polish these and make up the last of this section of the order. There is one larger box that goes to the show section for inventory sales. So work continues.....

Emulsion Transfer

Here is the result from my emulsion transfer technique. Using the image you want to transfer, I use a multi-purpose photo paper with an ink jet printer that uses dura-brite ink. Take an acrylic GLOSS soft gel medium, for this test I used Liquitex but I am a fan of Golden and I do not think the Liquitex did as nice a job of this transfer as the Golden would have, that said we move on. Let 4 coats of the soft gel dry over night. Soak the substrate in warm water and wait patiently for the separation to begin. IF you remain patient (and I don't) then the separation will be cleaner. If the separation occurs to have some paper left wait a little bit for some drying to occur then gently rub the remainder pulp away. Your image is ready to use.

Transferring Tests

Since I am presenting transfer techniques on the 29th, I have to practice them this week. The art groups are in a craze with transfers as well this week...this really helps me since there has been a revelation transferring using acrylic paint as the substrate for the transfer. I had been wondering about this and Claudine Hellmuth cleared it up for us by just doing it...she has a little movie presenting it at a show recently. Here is my result. I used Metallic Pearl acrylic from Golden line as the substrate to receive the image. Placed the photo image onto the painted watercolor paper. Let it dry and wet it then peeled the paper off and the image appeared!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Demos on the 29th

To update: Ms Susan came and picked up the Saints...She was happy with them and that makes ME happy...a done task.

The 29th I have committed to giving a demonstration at the Farm and Home show in Platte at the Armory building.
I think I am slated for midday. Ms Laura hasn't firmed up the schedule.
I need to practice the next few days and build up a show and tell inventory then decide just which technique I might try to entice the crowd with.
The easiest of course would to do a glass demo, but I am already known for being a glass artist.
I am interested in promoting ArtCamp and I need to instill that I am more than glass.
So while I am "cooking" Laura's (The Homestead order still flourishes) image into the tops and bottoms of a few more box parts I am also going to be creating backgrounds and some sort of other projects...which will go up here of course.

I have been thinking about this for days just WHAT do I demonstrate?
What kind of demonstration will make the people stop, ask a question, then maybe even think of signing up for a class!?
If you were out and about what kind of demonstration might make you stop to watch?
Maybe I am trying to think to hard about it.
What might be something in my opinion as so simple that no one will want to look at that ...will be exactly what they might like to see.
How does a demonstrator decide these things. I would rather be told what to demonstrate...that sure would be easy....lazy off I go to create...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Does anyone take the time to click onto the list others have provided of blogs they visit?

The last week when I break from soldering ...I stretch up the stairs to the computer and I have been clicking into every one's saved sites.
I am amazed and in AWE of the talent abundant through the computer eyes.
I am still bewildered that airplanes actually can stay in the air to fly! so what can I say about computers...taking us places we have never been before.
Exploring arenas we wouldn't be able to without the connection of a wire!

Click the available resources and be prepared to be blown away with inspiration!!!!

Monday, March 17, 2008


Boxes have been under construction for the Homestead Laura Ingles Wilder gift shop. I am more than half way through the first part of their order!
Isn't that a nice word. As good as sold!!
1/2 the order is for Laura in a young image. The other half is Laura older. I found 3 "older" versions so I am doing some of each.
The images are painted and fired in the kiln the same way as the saints...the old masters techniques.
The ladies may pick what they want and I will complete their order according to their choice. Or, they may like it divided like this and buy them as I present them.
It takes approximately 3 hours to construct and decorate a soldered glass box. Each of these has beveled sides. The top is Laura's image the bottom is like an expert of her journal or a letter with a portion (since size only permits that) of her signature.
So these are historical accuracies of Ms Laura and her beloved Homestead. "The Little House On The Prairie"

You see here body parts then them put together. I have a weeks worth left to do.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

On The Prairie

A platter that will be in the museum display August 2008 in Aberdeen SD. In the Dacotah Prairie Museum.

"On The Prairie".

Depicts prairie findings ...such as the prehistoric mammal bones...Eagles, the coming of the iron age...a train, women...rabbits ..things that represented coming to the prairie, to me.

The process for theses platters is very labor intensive.

Painting the glass I use finely ground glass that has the pigment from mineral or ore added with a flux that aides in the firing, (in the kiln) allowing a chemical process to evolve melting the new color into the substrate (clear class sheet) creating the designs.

Each color has a different maturation point.

This process is not 'just painting'!

For this platter there were 20 firings to create this design.
After each shading process or added color, each layer to the design, it is fired in the kiln creating a new layer of glass. (Because glass is being added in the color of the stain and enamel)
Each firing of the piece spends many hours ramping up then maturing then ramping down, 12-15 hours each trip!

Each time the process begins/ends if the process is not done correctly, the risk of destruction to the piece occurs.

This is called 'Vitreous Staining and Enameling Old World method'.
This is the same technique for all my glass painting...such as with the Saints below.
The look I am going for in the platters I am building for this show, are collages. Certainly this translates differently from canvas to glass, but I think I am achieving the 'look'.
The images are visible from both sides of the piece.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Stormy Night Sea

Many moons ago I began this painting. I think there might even be a previous post, showing the beginning of the process. I completed this yesterday. Originally it was ordered for a Christmas present. Then i had the surgery and was hired to do the saints so i was given permission to make this a birthday present instead. The recipients birthday is April but, the giver is leaving the end of march and really wanted to present the present before they left. So, i made the effort to complete this painting in the proper time to get it dry and packaged and sent. Here is the completed piece. Acrylics on canvas.

Saints Finished

After many firings to get a strike for this touchy red color...I found some to work! Actually I think the final coloration compliments the other saints coloration very nicely. They will be placed near each other and they did need to be complimentary. I have their banners left to paint.