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Friday, June 26, 2009



Fee: $40 for 1st time; $30 for past fusers; extra dishes, $15 each.

I know you hear this every month, but I still can't believe what a great time we always have at the Fruit of the Month workshops! If you haven't been to one yet, there is still plenty of time for you to catch up! You can make the monthly project and, when done with that, make one more ... then attend an open studio or two to make more.

Remember: Everyone who makes 12 fruit dishes - either at the FOM workshops or at open studio times - will receive a 20% discount on a larger serving bowl to make a complete set. If you want to make salad serving utensils, you can do that, too! If you want to make a whole set of just one fruit, you can do that, too!

We have held the last Fusing Basics until the fall; but as long as you are making the fruit dishes and know the basics of cutting glass, come to open studio to keep working!

If you have not taken the Fusing Basics class, round up at least three other people who want to take the class, and schedule a special Fusing Basics session for your group anytime during the summer. Daytime classes are welcome!


Remember to enter the Watermelon Recipe Contest by July 3rd! Just find a recipe with watermelon as an ingredient - preferably a recipe that you have already made and sampled so that you know it is good. Then email your recipe to Martin's Glass House at

Marge and Phil - our very impartial judges (Cat will break a tie) will critique each recipe to determine which recipe entered is the most unique use for watermelon.

Please - only ONE entry per person!


If your recipe is chosen as the most unique recipe using watermelon as an ingredient, you will receive a 20% discount on your Watermelon Fruit of the Month project!

If you make the recipe and bring the dish to the Watermelon Fruit of the Month Workshop, you will receive a 50% discount on your Watermelon Fruit of the Month project!

So, now's the time to take on the challenge! We are all looking forward to eating watermelon at the Fruit of the Month Workshop!

Thursday, June 18, 2009


June was "Strawberry" month for the Fruit of the Month workshop. This is a group photo of all the dishes - except for Patty's. Patty left town for a few weeks before I got a photo of her dish, so we'll have to catch up with her when she gets back!

Top Row (left to right): Sara, Dorothy, Cat
Bottom Row (all Cat's - including the tomato and banana).

Designing strawberries in glass turned out to be a little more challenging than we expected, but it was fun and delicious making the attempt! And what lucious research specimens we had to imitate! This is a close-up of some strawberries to illustrate the pattern created by the seeds in the flesh of the fruit. Designing strawberries in glass turned out to be a little more challenging than we expected, but it was fun - and delicious - making the attempt!

We discovered that strawberries don't seem to have a uniform number of leaves from berry to berry. In my original sample - made sometime before the workshop, there were 10 leaves. The berries we worked with at the workshop seemed to have 11 leaves. Since then, I've cleaned more berries and some had even more than 11 leaves! Next time you're cleaning berries - count the leaves! See how many they have.

Dorothy chose to create her strawberry with the inside showing. The photo on the left is her piece before it was fired. It was constructed with red glass over ivory. The details inside were created from stringers (almond color) and coarse frit (ivory and pink champagne). The tips of the leaves are just barely visible from under the berry, with a few of the seeds shown in yellow, which were made with coarse frit chips.

Sara chose a fairly challenging design. She wanted to create a piece that showed both the inside and the outside of the strawberry. The photo on the left is one layer - it is clear glass with stringers and frit arranged that, when this layer was placed against a red layer, it would look like the inside of the strawberry. This side would become the inside of her dish.

The outside of the strawberry was an opaque red layer with leaves and seeds, placed on top of the bottom clear layer. Sara arranged several bits of coarse frit in yellow and clear around the edge of the clear side of the piece. This created a little bit of space around the edge so that, when fired, air would escape between the layers as the top layer slumped onto the bottom layer - so there wouldn't be any bubbles trapped between the two pieces because of the frit and stringers inside.

Then both layers were carefully placed in the kiln to be fired with a contour fuse. After the first firing, the piece was slumped into what we call the "wide bottom fluted" mold so that the leaves became the bottom of the dish, the inside of the berry was the inside of the dish.

This is the bottom side of Sara's dish.

This is the inside of Sara's dish.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Just the tip of the iceberg if you're looking for ideas for Father's Day Gifts! Many of the items shown in this photo can be made for $10-$20, some higher. (See image of Stand-Up Deer at bottom of this post.)

There are TONS of ways you can adapt these ideas to make them your own, and to personalize gifts for your Dad.

Many of these projects are easy for kids - so bring them on Saturday, June 14th, to make something for their Dad! Many will be completed with one firing, and some with a little more embellishment of your own after firing. All will be greatly treasured!

We have new patterns for all kinds of wildlife! So if your Dad is a hunter, fisherman, bird watcher, or wildlife watcher, he's sure to love whatever you make!

In fact, I think all Dads love anything you make - especially if they're delivered with a batch of homemade cookies... even the burned ones (cookies, that is)!

Shown above (click on image to make it larger, if you wish):

Stand-Up Fish... I also made a Stand-Up Deer, but it was still cooling in the kiln when I put the photo above together... So, there is a photo of it at the bottom of this list. The size is about 3"x4"... could be used on a desk, shelf ... or what about to decorate a cake? You can create any design you like... wedding figures, action figures... you are the creator!

Key Chain... If you do your own beading, you can complete it at home; or we have all the components (purchased separately) and tools here for you to complete it.

Fish Decor... Make the glass fish in the studio and either use it as a sun catcher alone, or create a unique hanger for it out of wood. We might be able to persuade Phil to dig in his wood scrap pile to find a piece of wood for you, or use something of your own... maybe even not wood, you are the creator!

Wine Bottle Stopper... Just two cabachons that are done firing and ready to be glued onto your stopper (available for purchase separately at our studio) in just a matter of hours!

Individual Chip & Dip Plate... Use our wildlife patterns, or come up with some ideas of your own. Individualize it for your Dad. This plate can also be used for fries & ketchup, veggies & dip... pretzles & mustard! In fact, the plate shown is 9"x12"x1" and would hold fries, ketchup AND a burger! It's awesome!

Magnets... Make dichroic or plain, smooth or textured... shapes, squares, circles... the sky is the limit! If you happen to deliver these with homemade cookies, don't let your Dad eat them!

Money Clips... A single cabachon embellishes the clip. Simple and quick! (When Dad takes out his cash to put it in the money clip, be sure to be there to ask for some! :-)

Night Lights... OK. Even though I think most Dads say they can see in the dark and won't stub their toes on anything when they walk through dark rooms (I really think they're trying to save electricity-but night lights don't really use much electricity), I'll bet any Dad would love to have something created by you especially for him. AND, he'd use it so you'd know he was proud of it. Remember to deliver it with some freshly made cookies for added impact!

Other Personalized Gifts... The boot plate shown can be adapted to include your own ranch brand! But, you can create any design you like... western, contemporary, you name it! In fact, what a perfect gift to complete by adding a pile of homemade cookies to be delivered with it!

If you are in need of a cookie recipe - especially if you need one with high altitude adjustments, just email me. Phil and Marge are the models used for the Cookie Monster, and have been taste testing my cookies for a number of years now. I have tons of great cookie recipes!

Need more ideas? Come to the studio to be inspired! Business card holders, paper clip holders, biscotti holders, tea bag holders... You'll probably be overwhelmed with ideas!


Thursday, June 11, 2009


Wow. Is it ever hard to be on a diet and be around dessert - let alone be the one to make it, too! However, I managed to test only a teeny little piece of the crust from the dessert I made for the Strawberry Fruit of the Month Workshop last night. Now I can confirm that, yes indeed, it tasted very good!

The original recipe calls for peaches. I substituted strawberries (it is not unusual at all for me to change ingredients in recipes!), and added my favorite recipe for using rhubarb: Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce. I call it "Rhuberry Sauce".

Doesn't it look just so yummy on this plate I made? Hard to tell from the photo, but the plate is an "apple" design for a future Fruit of the Month workshop sample.

OK... so the bottom layer is the cream cheese bake portion. Then a large scoop of ice cream was placed on top... and smothered in Rhuberry Sauce. You can click on the photo to make it larger if you really want to drool!

Dorothy and Phil were the first ones to sample the dessert, while Sara worked away on her very special creation. I'm not going to give away any descriptions of it right now - we'll see how it turned out in the final slump. I can tell you, though, that after the first firing, everything sure looked pretty good!

We had a great time. I wish you could have been here! Unfortunately, now Marge and Phil are going to have to finish all the dessert that was left over!

So... Here are some before and after photos of the Strawbery Cream Cheese Bake with Rhuberry Sauce... as well as the recipe at the very end! Enjoy!

Need to figure out the best way to pre-rinse handmade glass dishes?

Phil demonstrates how to clean the rest of the sauce off the plate.

And here is the recipe I promised so that you can make it yourself at home.

It is really, really, really good... even though that judgment is based on just the teensiest little bit of crust I sampled. It is just not very low-cal!

Strawberry Cream
Cheese Bake with
Rhuberry Sauce

Rhuberry Sauce:
4 c. thinly-sliced rhubarb
20-24 oz. frozen strawberries, thawed slightly
3 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch + water to bring up to 1/2 c.
4 drops red food coloring

Instructions: Place all ingredients in large saucepan; bring to boil, stirring often, until sauce is thickened. Reserve 1 c. sauce for making the cake, and about 2 c. sauce to serve with the cake. Place remainder in freezer containers to store.

2 c. thinly-sliced fresh strawberries
1 c. strawberry rhubarb sauce
2-1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1-1/2 c. powdered sugar
2 sticks cold margarine or butter
One 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
One 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 egg
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
2. Combine flour and sugar in large bowl; cut cold margarine into the mixture until very finely blended (mixture will be dry—or you may blend it with your hands to make it more crumbly). Reserve 2 c. for topping.
3. Press remaining crust mixture in 9”x13” glass pan that has been sprayed with non-stick flour spray. Bake crust for 15 min.
4. While crust is baking, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in the condensed milk until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla. Mix well.
5. After crust has baked, carefully (the pan is hot!) lay the sliced strawberries over the crust. Drizzle 1 c. rhuberry sauce over the sliced strawberries, then carefully pour the cake batter over the top. Sprinkle the remaining dry crust mixture over the top of all in the glass pan.
6. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the crust is just beginning to turn brown.
7. Set baked dish aside until it has cooled a bit; then chill for a few hours to make it easier to slice and serve.
8. Serve with ice cream and more rhuberry sauce, or just rhuberry sauce alone.


Thursday, June 4, 2009


Click on the calendar to make it larger and print it out.

Be sure to note several new changes in the information that follows, including pre-payment for registration in the Fusing Basics class.


Please do not wear shorts or sandals to the studio!