Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Making glass paperweights

Last weekend I was treated to an extremely special adventure. I took a paperweight making class at the glass studio in Springfield. This is something I have wanted to do for years and years - I was thrilled to finally be in a hot glass studio creating beautiful pieces of art!

Terry Bloodworth, Springfield Hot Glass Studio owner / instructor, and Mary
I was the only student signed up which was nice to have the one-on-one attention. Terry was a fantastic teacher - he demoed each type of paperweight then guided and coached me as I made my own pieces.

Glory Hole on left, rod being heated in the flame in the middle and the glass melting crucible on the right
The rods are heated before going to the vat of melted glass then we dip the rod in the glass to gather up the molten glass. After gathering the glass on the end of the rod you have to "rotate, rotate, rotate" the rod so that the glass doesn't drop off it. Then you can do cool things like dip it in colored glass and roll it against the marver to swirl the colors or twist and twirl the glass to make a knot or dip it in soda ash to create bubbles.

My paperweights in the oven cooking after being created
It was such a thrill working with Terry in the studio and creating these pieces - I am so lucky to have had this unique opportunity!

Mosaic I designed to be put in paperweight

Didactic Paperweight
Bubble Swirl

Two color swirl

Coral Reef
Endless Knot

Monday, May 11, 2015

Nathaniel Greene Botanical Gardens

Today Annie was begging us for a walk at the botanical garden so we acquiesced and were treated to a floral feast for the eyes

Dan and Annie in front of the Columbine garden

Mary and Annie enjoying a Japanese Bearded Iris

Peonies were on full display

Peonies as far as the eye could see

Annie stops to smell the flowers

Beautiful Irises

Annie happily poses in front of more irises
Annie truly enjoyed our garden stroll and only barked at one other dog throughout the trails.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Race and Spring Flowers

For my birthday Dan got my spiffy new running shoes:

New Birthday Shoes
 This past weekend I put them to good use in the One Sole Purpose 5k which I finished in 27:45 - thanks to my speedy new shoes and my fans along the race course.

Craig, Mary and Heather at the finish line
Annie, the outdoor lover, has been enjoying all the spring flowers:

Annie and Irises

Annie in front of some Columbines

Annie stops to admire the Azaleas