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    2/4/18 - Seems I have lost track of time and 2017 got away from me. I spent most of the first half of the year gardening and growing food and working on the pate de verre. By the end of August I had 14 new pieces either finished or in wax models and then Hurricane Harvey hit. The hurricane passed us by with no damage but then it sat northwest of us while it dumped about 20 trillion gallons of water on the Texas Gulf Coast. The Colorado River crested at an historic 50.5' in Wharton where I live and overwhelmed the creeks and sloughs and flooded nearly the entire town including my neighborhood. Wharton itself was completely cut off and surrounded by water for several days. The Wednesday afternoon after the hurricane hit when we all thought the danger was passed, my little neighborhood was completely inundated in a matter of hours requiring us to be rescued by airboat at sunset and spending the night in a shelter. Fortunately for us, half our house is on pier and beam and the water did not get that high but the half of the house on a slab got 18". The next several months were spent hauling ruined furniture and sheetrock and paneling and insulation and flooring and the tiled shower that had to be torn out to the street so the county could pick it up and haul it away. Now we are in the process of getting that half of the house rebuilt. Enough progress has been made now that I can get back to work on the pate de verre.

    Also during this past year, we had no commission work, which is good I guess for the last half of the year because with the long days of physical labor working on the house for months there was no way we could have done any jobs anyway. Only now are we in a position to accept any commission work but since those jobs have been fewer and farther between and because all our contacts are aging out and I have no desire to do the necessary work to build up a new contact base and handling those big pieces of heavy glass is becoming more difficult for us as well, we have decided to retire from the etched glass and the commission work. We have one more possible job coming up this year and if it makes it through the budgeting, it will be the last architectural art we will do. I have enjoyed this work but after 40+ years I would rather spend my remaining time making art to please myself rather than to please others.

    Here's a few of the pate de verre pieces we finished this year. You can see the others in the current work gallery page linked above.

    Robin w/ Cottonwood Leaves 6.5" x 6.5"

    Feather 4" x 3" x 1.5"

    11/21/16 - We finally finished the 3 panels for the Small Animal Hospital at A&M University and they were installed on October 28th.

    A&M panels

    left panel

    Since then I have been working on small pieces for the December Open House at Houston Studio Glass the first two weekends of December.  The first weekend will be the standard all glass artists but the second weekend will be a repeat of our June Open House with many mediums represented...glass, wood, ceramics, leather, and silver/gold jewelry.

    These two pieces will be available:

    bee/yellow bells

    bee/wild rose

    After the December events, I'll be starting on a new body of work, also wall hung panels like the Botanicas but bigger than my previous cast glass work.  These pieces will be groupings of panels that are variations on a theme, the first two planned series are feathers on the beach and the moon phases.  And then last week I got a call from Kittrell/Riffkind Gallery in Dallas.  They have requested work for three of the shows they plan for next year so I'll also be busy working on small pieces for them.

    Other than that, there's not much going on.  It's late November and we finally got our first real cold front last weekend but it has already warmed up again, though not as hot as it's been.  Not much going on in the garden but I've been collecting pecans from the trees for weeks now.

    - Is everyone wondering if I fell in a hole?  We did finally get funded for the small animal hospital project for Texas A&M and I have spent a good deal of time working (and waiting for go aheads) on the full size drawings and the diagrams but by the time I got the final go ahead (waited 3 weeks for that one) and the full size drawings and one diagram done it was already June and falling afoul of summer plans and summer heat so we didn't actually start fabrication til the last week of August.  We had expected to be done with this job last year, or by the end of spring at the latest.  So now, we have one of three 4' x 7' panels finished, getting ready to start the sandblasting on the second panel and the stencil for the third for an end of October installation. 

    Summer plans involved an open house at Houston Studio Glass with 7 artists and varying mediums the first weekend of June, going to Scotland, Lybster specifically way up on the northeast coast to Northlands Creative Glass, for a 9 day invitation only international artist symposium led by Jane Bruce.  It was an amazing week and a half where I met some incredibly talented women and got to play with equipment I don't have access to like a diamond wheel engraver which I really liked, and a printing press, which was fun.  I did a series of blog posts about it as is my wont when I travel and if you want to read about it here is a link to the first post.  Other summer plans included the annual visits from the grandkids.

    While waiting to be funded and for the last go ahead, I worked on some waxes and tried to get some castings done but in February the kiln malfunctioned soaring up to over 2,000˚ and turned my little leaflet for the pink flower into an alien geode.

    alien geode

    We still haven't brought that kiln back on line and it was months before we cleaned up and plugged in the old kiln which fired right up.  Consequently I wasn't very productive for most of this year.  I did get the magnolia leaves mounted and finished,

    magnolia leaves casting

    And a new leaflet for the pink flower

    rose with bee

    And I got 6 of the bark waxes cast though I'm not sure how I'm going to mount them for hanging, I'm thinking in a single grouping on some stainless steel,

    bark castings

    and I got a new moonflower piece and leaf plaque cast but haven't completed the finish work on any of it.


    No more work gets done on the pate de verre until we have finished the A&M commission and then I plan to turn my attention to the small work.  The open house we paticipate in annually at Houston Studio Glass in December will run for two weekends this year.  The first weekend in December will be all glass artists and the second weekend will be a mix of mediums similar to last June.  All the pieces you see here should be available at the open house in December plus many more I hope.