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Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Here is the December calendar!

Please note that the time correction has been made on this calendar for the December 5th holiday bazaar. The time was incorrect in the email sent on December 1st!

Hope to see you on the 16th!


Tuesday, December 1, 2009




Welp, here it is... the last of the Fruit of the Month workshop series photos... for now. It's hard to believe that we've inspected, tasted, constructed at least twelve different fruits in glass this year.

As I look back over the past twelve months, I can only say how impressed I am with the progress that each person has made as they've learned new glass fusing techniques. We've learned to use all sorts of scrap glass, made frit - and used "store bought" frit, mixed colors... cut circles... put a lot of thought into our creations, trying to imitate fruit in glass. It has been quite an experience for all of us, and as if that wasn't enough - we've made a lot of new friends, too!

I don't know which was more fun - making the plates, learning about fruits, how they look inside - and which way to cut them to make them the most interesting in appearance, and how good they taste, or making new friends. And I can't think of one fruit that we tasted that we didn't like!

And there are still so many fruits left to try! In November we pulled a pummelo into the studio, too ... just to taste it.

When you're in the store, you'll see this giant green thing that looks like a grapefruit. The label says it's sort of a cross between an orange and grapefruit, but it didn't actually taste like either.

Maybe you'd like to check it out yourself.

As far as I'm concerned - it's pink inside... and we already did pink with the grapefruit!

Dorothy demonstrated one way to eat a pummelo (see photo at left).

If I were to do it again, I think I'd slice it across the middle and section it the customary way for eating a grapefruit. Not knowing what we were in for, we just divvied it up among us to get to the pulp.

Unfortunately, there weren't any passion fruit at the grocery store for us to use for research in our construction of glass fruit this November. Really a disappointment, but we did the best we could using the photo from October.

When I realized that we wouldn't have a passion fruit for November's workshop, I picked up a Fuju persimmon for us to examine and taste.

The photo at left is a thin section of a persimmon. We were surprised to find that, unlike most of the other fruits we'd inspected, the persimmon had eight seed spaces instead of five... more like a daisy design inside than a star like the apple, pear and papaya.

I found this picture of a pomegranate - cut in half horizontal to the stem. Even the seeds of the pomegranate are arranged in a 5-pointed star pattern! I had to run downstairs to cut the pomegranates in my fruit bowl in half just to double check to see it in real life!

I hope you find this as exciting as I do... at least if you're reading this far, maybe you do! Now I want to keep looking for new fruits, to see what they look like inside, and to see how they taste. Maybe even try to duplicate them in glass.

But, in the meantime, for our November Fruit of the Month workshop... without any passion fruit, we had figs, persimmon and pummelo to use for research.

Before and after photos are below - and Sara's will be forthcoming, as she was unable to attend the workshop in November.

And, just a reminder to those of you who participated in the Fruit of the Month workshops: If you have made twelve dishes by January 31, 2010, you can make one larger piece (serving bowl size) for 20% off the normal price! If you haven't finished all twelve, you can still catch up just by coming to open studio times in January!

And watch for the December calendar coming out next! There will be a Fruit of the Month workshop reunion at the Studio Open House on Wednesday, December 16th. Everyone is invited - and those with fruit dishes are invited to bring them in for one massive group photo with everyone's dishes and artists in it! Hope to see you there!

Enjoy the before & after photos!


Wow - the pages of the calendar are flipping by so quickly and I still haven't posted photos of the Fruit of the Month workshops for October and November yet! So, here is the first...


Even though the early October snow storm a week kept us from meeting on our originally scheduled date, we finally did get together (still in October!) to sample nearly every citrus fruit we could find that month (except for one, which you'll see in November's photos). We even included a few other seasonal fruits that we found at the grocery store. In photo at left, clockwise from 12 o'clock high: orange, lemon, lime, key lime, passion fruit and fig.

Fortunately, we did get the passion fruit in the very short window of time it was available, as Dorothy has been waiting ALL YEAR to get to look at the inside of the passion fruit and to eat it, as well as to introduce the rest of us to it!

The photo at left is a little out of sequence, but I just wanted you to see right away the passion that drove Dorothy to lick the passion fruit juice from the sample plate when we were done with the workshop!

I have to admit, although the inside of the passion fruit does not seem very attractive (see photo below), it was quite tasty. And really, it is not all that slimy to eat as it looks in person ... the photo does not do justice to the real fruit. Especially the slimy-ness!

However... IF you ever happen to see the passion fruit at the grocery store - unless you are fortunate to live where it grows and you have greater access to it, I highly recommend that you try it.

It is somewhat pricey for its size ... a little larger than a golf ball, and very wrinkly on the outside (when it's ripe), but worth the experience. And, hey. The cost of one passion fruit from the grocery store is certainly a whole lot less than a trip to Hawaii! So, splurge a little if you get the chance!

We also sampled figs. Now we just need to find the right glass colors that will work well with some of these pink-ish fruits.

Here I thought it was difficult to get pink grapefruit color way back in the beginning of the year... try matching glass colors to passion fruit and figs!

Actually, I think we're getting pretty close... See the photos for November Fruit of the Month!

But... back at the ranch... it was still October...

Kathy brought her orange place mat for inspiration and reference, and she also brought a plate of lemon bars that were superb.

Sorry... I neglected to get a photo of the lemon bars, and I still need to get the recipe for them! Trust me... they were beautiful and tasty, and I'm hoping to add them to my Christmas cookie trays this year if she'll share her recipe with us.

I'll post the recipe here when I get it!

Now... take a look at the dishes that were made...

The photo at the left shows the finished pieces. "Before" photos are below.

In photo, clockwise from 12 o'clock high: Patty's lemon, Sara's lime, Kathy's orange, Dorothy's orange.

Dorothy's orange - before.

Kathy's orange - before.

Stringers used to divide orange into sections.

Patty's lemon - before. Note the use of stringers for the pulp in the flesh of the lemon. Frit used to divide lemon into sections.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Wow! It's hard to believe that it's November already (except for the snow that we had last week)!

Here is our new calendar that includes some important information for December, as well. Just click on the calendar to make it larger, especially if you want to print it out.

Do you have all your holiday glass projects planned?

Not only is gift-giving season quickly approaching, but the eating season is officially upon us now, too. Do you have enough serving pieces for your holiday entertaining?

Plan to include some glass fusing in your holiday plans! It's a fun way to brighten your home and table with all kinds of beautiful glassware - from the table to the windows and walls!

Do you have out-of-town guests visiting Laramie? Think about bringing them by to join in on the fun of making treasures to take home with them as souvenirs of their visit. It only takes a few hours to create something wonderful that they'll remember for years to come!

More days available for Open Studio! The next several weeks are going to be busy, busy, busy, so I have scheduled a number of dates that I will be available if you need time to work on your projects. There is no time indicated on the calendar for those dates.

You must call at least one day in advance to schedule a time with me to work in the studio for these special dates.

I have also scheduled "regular" open studio times from 5:30 - 9 PM on Nov. 6, 11 and Dec. 2. There is an additional daytime open studio scheduled on Friday, Nov. 6 from 1-4 PM. Remember that you must also call at least one day ahead to make sure I know you are planning to come!

ARTS & CRAFTS SHOWS COMING UP! If you don't have time to get away to create your own projects, please feel free to stop by any of the numerous shows I have coming up in November and December - nearly every Saturday for the next several weeks, with the exception of Thanksgiving weekend. But, there is something FUN planned for that Saturday - with details below.

TREE HUNTING WITH MARTIN'S GLASS HOUSE! You are invited to join us on our annual trek to the forest to get our Christmas tree on Saturday, November 28th. Phil will be hauling his trailer to bring back everyone's trees. A number of people are already planning to join us. We hope you will, too!

We'll start at our house at 7 AM with breakfast (waffles, egg dish, ham, fruit, juice - and COFFEE). At 8 AM we will head up to the forest (our probably "not-so-secret" tree-finding spot) to look for trees. Be sure to bring your tree permit that you must purchase beforehand at the Forest Service! We will car pool so that we don't need too many cars all going to the same place, and should hopefully all have our trees and be back on the road home around 11 AM or before.

So, BUSY AS USUAL! Please come join us! See you soon!


Monday, October 5, 2009


Here is the calendar for October 2009. Wow, it's a busy month! Just click on the calendar to make it larger and to print it out.

Please note the change for the Fruit of the Month Workshop. It will now be held on Wednesday, October 28th from 6-9 PM.

The schedule change is due to the fact that I made a last minute decision to participate in the Svensk Hyllingsfest Arts & Crafts Show in Lindsborg, Kansas when I found out that they still had an opening. This show - and Swedish festival - is held only every other year. If you're on the road in Kansas, please stop by to shop!

There is one brand new workshop scheduled for Saturday, October 17th from 9 AM - Noon. This is open to beginners - you do not need to have attended the Fusing Basics workshop to participate!

COPPER INCLUSIONS WORKSHOP: Learn how to use copper inclusions in fused glassware. You'll be thrilled when you see how beautiful it is when it is fired, and you might even be inspired to create a special serving piece for your fall entertaining - especially Thanksgiving!

You'll be making one 6" square piece to learn the techniques that you'll need to create projects during open studio times. If time permits you may make additional pieces for an extra fee.
  • Saturday, October 17th - 9 AM 'til NOON
  • Pre-payment is required! A minimum attendance of 4 people is required for the workshop to be held, so invite a friend or two to participate with you! If minimum attendance is not met, the workshop will be canceled and your pre-payment will be returned to you.
  • Workshop Fee: $50, includes all materials, instruction and kiln firing; additional pieces $22 each. Students will receive a 10% discount for the workshop fee only.

Join us to create beautiful citrus-like dishes! If you've been participating every month so far this year, by now you have a great collection of dishes that look like fruit. Check past blog posts to see photos of everyone's dishes.

Besides the benefits of just getting together to relax, have fun, closely examine the design and colors in fruits... and eat treats, everyone is learning new techniques to use to create designs in glass. Participants are getting great at cutting circles, too!

Another great benefit - if you've created a dozen 6" dishes by the end of the year, you will receive a 20% discount to create a larger serving piece to go with the set of dishes! If you're behind and don't have close to a dozen dishes yet, you'll want to get into the studio to work on more projects (you can make more than one during open studio times) to take advantage of this great discount!

  • Wednesday, October 28th - 6 'til 9 PM
  • Workshop Fee: $40 for first-time fruit fusers, $30 for past fruit fusers. If time permits, you may make additional fruit plates for a special reduced fee of only $15 each! This is a great deal you won't want to miss! And, it will give you an opportunity to catch up to have a dozen plates by the end of the year so that you can take advantage of the 20% discount on your fruit serving bowl!

Please call at least one day in advance to let me know you plan to come to open studio. There is a $10 per visit fee for use of the studio tools and supplies. All glass and other materials require additional fees depending on what you choose to use in your project.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009



Wow! We're winding down the year and the Fruit of the Month dishes are piling up!

This month we made TWO dishes - an apple and a pear - so that everyone will be on target to get their 20% discount on a larger serving bowl to go with their sets of individual dishes.

It is getting more and more difficult for me to keep everyone's dishes identified from table to kiln and out again, but I think I got it right (again - double check before & after photos below) this month. Fortunately, each person's plate was a tiny bit different one from another. Some were dramatically different, such as Dorothy's red apple plate with a bite taken out of it... with a fly on the bite, and Patty's red apple that shows part of the outside and part of the inside all on one side of the plate.

Check out the bottom of this post to see all the Before and After photos for each person who attended the workshop. (You can click on any photo to see it in a larger format.)

We began the workshop by having Dorothy cut open several pieces of fruit so that all could be inspired. (She did so well on the peaches last month!) We had a variety of apples - Gala, Jazz, Granny Smith and Fuji...
and pears - Bartlett, Bosc and Red (do these have another name besides Red?)... they look like Bosc, but red... they were might tasty, whatever the case!

The fruit was sliced in many directions, but everyone pretty much made their decisions to create their plates using a crosswise cut of the fruits which showed the "stars" inside the fruit.

Eventually, Dorothy took a bite out of her apple to create that design in her plate. I think she ate the rest of the apple because it was pretty tasty, but not "Delicious!" (Oh - that was bad! :-) )

It was also noted that the pears we had on hand seemed to have seeds that were better organized in twos within each point of the center star design than apple seeds.

The apples we had on hand seemed to have seeds piled into the centers of the stars, a little less organized.

Check this out at home to see if you find the same thing about seed organization in apples and pears. Let me know what you find!

Then everyone got to work... deciding what color glass they wanted to use... picking out colors of frit... mixing colors of frit... deciding how to make seeds...

Kathy even wore her "apple shirt" for inspiration. You can see from the Before and After photos, below, that it must have worked for her!

Hoping to see more of you as we finish out the year of Fruit of the Month workshops with CITRUS in October... and whatever we decide for November! Come be part of the fun!

Saturday, August 29, 2009


PEACH: August's Fruit of the Month!

Probably one of this year's most challenging fruits to reproduce in glass, I think; but everyone did a great job on their plates! (Photo above, top row left to right: Dorothy, Patty, Sara; bottom row left to right: Cat, Kathy.)

Dorothy (above) was the recipe contest winner with her TEN SEASONS dessert - which included BACON as an ingredient! Definitely a unique recipe, as Dorothy made it up just for this contest! Yummy, too, with the whipped cream on top and blackberry/mint garnish. Here is her recipe - photos of the dishes are at the bottom of the post. (I was only able to get photos of the steps that Dorothy completed in my kitchen.)

TEN SEASONS (Makes 6 pastries)

  • Puff Pastry Shells
  • below)
  • Fresh peaches, peeled and sliced (Dorothy recommends Colorado peaches)
  • Bacon, cooked crisp, then crumbled
  • Cinnamon-Sugar (Dorothy also added cardamom)
  • Whipping Cream
  • Mint Sprigs & Berries for garnish
Set oven temperature according to puff pastry package directions. Remove a portion of the center from each pastry shell, being sure to not open the hole all the way through the shell at the bottom. Bake the shells for about 15 minutes.

Pour some cheese filling into each partially baked shell; bake another 10-15 minutes. The filling needs to be cooked, but don't let the shells become too dark! Allow shells to cool before proceeding.

Arrange sliced peaches (as artistically as possible) on top of each cooled pastry shell.

Top with bacon bits,

and sprinkle generously with cinnamon-sugar-spice mix.

Place pastries under broiler

until the sugar forms a crust - but do not burn! (We set the timer for 2 minutes, but it took less than 2 minutes for the crust to form, so watch it carefully!)

Whip the cream until stiff. Using a pastry bag, pipe the whipped cream attractively on top of the sugar crust.

Garnish each with a mint sprig and a berry (Dorothy used blackberries).

Cheese Filling
  • 2 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 C. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/8 C. whipping cream or half & half
  1. Cream together the cream cheese and sugar.
  2. Add egg and cream; beat together until smooth.
Here are the before and after photos of the dishes... You can click on the image to make it larger.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Here is the calendar for September! Click on it to make it larger...


This month will be the very last Fusing Basics workshop offered this year! If you want to take the workshop, but the schedule doesn't work for you, you will need to find at least three other people to take the workshop with you and schedule a time and date that will work for your private group.

The fee for this workshop is $50 per person, with a minimum of four people required for the workshop to be held. The fee includes all costs for students to make a night light, sun catcher, pendant/cabochon, and 6" square or round plate or bowl. If you wanted to make these pieces individually, the cost would be substantially higher for all of them. Be sure to take advantage of this great offer!


Fee for Fruit of the Month (FOM): $30 for past FOM fusers; $40 for first-time FOM fusers. The fee includes all costs for one 6" round plate or bowl. Each additional piece is $15 on the night of the workshop.

OPEN STUDIO: The name "open studio" is a little misleading because if no one calls to let me know they're coming, the studio is not really open! You must call at least one day in advance to let me know you will be coming to use the studio for your projects. Anyone who wishes to work in the studio must have already taken the Fusing Basics workshop. There is a $10 fee each night to use the studio equipment and includes the cost of kiln firing.


Late, but posted! Here's August's Calendar! Click on it to make it larger...

Sunday, July 19, 2009


During June's Fruit of the Month Workshop, we created watermelon dishes! Just sharing the photos with you now - a little bit later than anticipated, but knew you wouldn't want me to miss posting them! Shown in the photo above, from the top and going clockwise: Dorothy's inside and outside view, Sara's slice, and Patty's section with a seed being spit out to the side. Very clever creations by these ladies!

Patty Hansen also created a Watermelon Salsa recipe, too, which she brought with her to share with everyone to be eligible for the grand prize of the evening. Patty received a 50% discount on her watermelon dish for making the salsa and bringing it to the workshop!

Patty's Watermelon Salsa

Oh, my... it was good, and she made homemade tortilla chips, too! Everyone enjoyed it immensely - even Sara who, unfortunately, also had chips and salsa for dinner before coming to the workshop! Phil always enjoys participating in the workshops - especially when it comes to taste testing.

Here's Phil sampling the chips and salsa.

Here's Phil demonstrating how to clean the plate. Simply tilt the plate to let the remaining salsa juice slide into your mouth, then lick the plate starting from bottom to top!

And, just so you know that we did MORE than EAT watermelon salsa all night, here are a few photos of our results!

This was our research watermelon specimen, above. For some reason, there weren't ANY watermelons with SEEDS at the grocery store, so we worked with a tiny seedless variety.

I created a 6" plate (above)...

And a 9" bowl (above)...

And a large chip/salsa or cheese/cracker platter...

Here are the before and after photos for all the plates shown in the photo at the very top of t his post. Just click on any photo in this blog post to make the images larger.

Monday, July 13, 2009


The last Fusing Basics workshop for the 2008-2009 season met at Martin's Glass House in June for a huge blowout session. Everyone tried to learn as many techniques and make as many projects using those techniques as could possibly be done in just three hours!

In photo from left to right: Joyce, Anne, Nancy, Jo Lynn, Karyn, Sue Ann and Kay.

Creations included 6" square or round plates... but Anne chose to shape hers into an oval persimmon, and Joyce made a very "outside the lines" abstract hanky votive out of many pieces of iridized scrap glass.

Clockwise at left, starting at "noon," are Joyce's hanky vase, Jo Lynn's contour abstract, Anne's persimmon and Karyn's contour flowers.

There were an assortment of other creative designs using all kinds of glass elements such as dots, stringers, noodles, vitrigraph and frit - you name it, it was used!

Some plates were full fused, some contour fused. Individual photos are shown at the bottom of this post.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take individual photos of the finished plates, but everything else is here!

In photo - from left to right - includes plates made by Jo Lynn, Nancy and Kay.

We ended up with quite a collection of very fun night lights and a sun catcher... Jo Lynn experimented with "weaving" strips - and there was a great assortment of imaginative designs by everyone!

Back row night lights, left to right, made by: Sue Ann, Joyce and Karyn. Front row night lights and sun catcher, left to right, made by: Anne, Jo Lynn, Nancy and Kay.

... and a handful of pendants were made with channels and fine silver wire for hanging, and cabochons to be hung on pendant bails.

Back row, left to right: Jo Lynn's dichroic glass cabochon with frit, Sue Ann's dichroic pendant with fine silver wire, Karyn's dichroic and iridized glass cabochon.

Front row, left to right: Joyce's transparent abstract pendant with channel, Nancy's dichroic glass cabochon, and Nancy's dichroic glass pendant with channel.

Enjoy the individual photos - before and after - below. Just click on each image to make it larger to view more detail.