Posts Tagged ‘art’

Glass fusing art project

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses,Tags: , , , , , ,

For Panda’s birthday, he found a deal for a glass fusing class. At first we were looking at stained glass classes, but once I heard about glass fusing, I knew that’s what we wanted to do. I also figured that we could make plate or bowl-like ones that the cats could then use for their food. Our normal bowls were a bit too deep for their liking whereas they’d lick food right off a plate onto the floor, so neither ware worked well.

Firehouse Pottery and Arts is in Mt. Airy, MD (near Damascus) and it’s a cute shop that does pottery painting, clay pottery sculpting, and canvas painting classes in addition to their glass fusing ones. When we arrived, there was a bit of confusion and it turns out that they’d booked us for one month later. We were an hour too early for their jewelry glass fusion class and about 2 hours too late for their trivet glass fusion class that day, but since we were already there (and far from home), they cleared a table and showed us the ropes to make the geometric trivets that we thought we’d signed up for.

Take a look at the experience and what we made!

firehouse pottery and arts studio in mt airy

There are a couple of areas to work in. So many colors everywhere!

glass scoring station at firehouse pottery and arts

For larger pieces, you can score your glass at the station to get a long straight line.

glass fusing samples of tack, contour, and full fuses

We were shown sample pieces to decide the fusing we wanted – tack (bumpy), contour (moderately fused), or full (smooth).

glass piece with tack fusion - the most bumpy option with minimal fusing

The tack fuse piece was quite bumpy!

glass piece with full fusion and slump

We gravitated towards the full fuse (with slump, which gives it a shape so it isn’t flat).

glass cutting tools and work space

We got some tools, a piece of 6×6 clear glass for our base, and some instructions. Always use the nipper “eyes up!”

pieces of colored glass sorted into plastic tubs

There were a lot of glass pieces to pick out!

designing trivet with three layers of colored glass

I started layering to see what color combos I liked.

standing up to score the glass with hand glass cutter

Scoring the glass can be hard work so standing up for greater leverage helped.

piece of purple colored glass with dfferent shades of layers

Most pieces were the same color all the way through, but the purple (incidentally my fav color) was unique.

cracking glass from Mary Qin on Vimeo.

After scoring, breaking the glass piece was as easy as squeezing on the running plier. Watch how easy it is to break the glass along the scored line in this video.

layers of colored glass cut and layered into design

After finally getting all the pieces I wanted and making sure the bottom colors fit with almost no gap, I was ready to start gluing.

gluing colored glass to clear glass base

We had white glue and hair spray to adhere the glass together. I tried both!

other students' glass fusion trivets ready to go in the kiln

As we were wrapping up, I checked out some other people’s work.

completed glass trivets ready to go in kiln

Our completed pieces, ready to go in the kiln! It takes a long time to first fuse, then slump glass and they had a queue of pottery going in too.

completed fused glass projects with gift bag and cat in background

Weeks later (actually exactly 2 months) I finally got them! They’d had to get a new (bigger) mold for our pieces, which were larger than normal.

fused glass piece of house, tree, sun, driveway, and yard

Panda’s creative landscape (aka Smokey’s plate).

colorful fused glass piece of geometric design

My modern art piece dubbed “straight edge” (aka Missy’s plate).

geometric glass plate layered over house glass plate

Don’t they look cool? I look forward to doing this again sometime.

house glass plate layered over geometric glass plate

Panda decided they were too nice for the cats to use, so there goes that plan.

They weren’t perfectly smooth the way I thought, which is probably because our pieces were thicker than they expected. I wonder if we could have them re-fused and slumped to make them oh so smooth… alas, the place is too far and these are fine, especially given that they won’t be used as plates! I think we’ll end up treating them partly as art and partly as trays. In fact, mine currently holds a bit of money and a receipt.

Hong Kong haul

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses, photo blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Check out the awesome things I acquired in Hong Kong last month – some were gifts, some were free, and some I purchased. I’m very pleased with what I got! You’ll probably want to see some of these in more close-up, so feel free to click on the images to enlarge. 🙂

pandora bracelet and christian dior coin purse with pandora bag

Fancy gifts from the relatives!

3d holiday cards, tissue box cover, scarf, hong kong dollars, and red envelopes

More stuff from the relatives, including a tissue box cover, scarf, and red envelopes.

pizza express bag, ovolo hotels go bag, and drawstring bag with slippers inside

Free stuff from the hotel and Pizza Express. Two totes and a drawstring bag with slippers.

collage of black wristlet pouch with three compartments and clear purple pouch for toiletries

The very first items I bought were these pouches. I love the three compartments on the black one and the translucence of the purple one.

collage of chopstick set in box with two pairs of chopsticks and chopstick holders

At Ngong Ping, I got to choose chopsticks and chopstick holders. Panda and I both chose our own chopstick holders so they don’t exactly match! 😛

collage of glass teapot and mini cups set with pack of six blossoming teas

I’ve fancied a glass tea set for awhile and I’ve always wanted to get blossoming teas, so this package was too much to pass up.

collage of hong kong mtr map microfiber cloth

At first I saw generic ones and bought one, but then we found this one with the MTR map, so I immediately exchanged for it.

uniqlo purple down jacket and gray fuzzy hooded jacket

I have officially discovered Uniqlo and looove their jackets. These two are my favs for fall.

navy blue boxers with cat faces

When I saw these while shopping for gifts, I just had to get them for Panda. Smokey will love them!

empty box of flaky almond pastry treats from macau

We got these for our coworkers from Macau, but I forgot to take a picture before they were all devoured.

collage of five 3d cards that pop open to ferris wheels, eiffel tower, ship with sails, and dragon designs

Last but not least are these awesome 3D cards that I got my friends who helped catsit Smokey (and of course I snagged some for myself too).


laelene Posted in photo blog,Tags: , , , , , , ,

Gosh, I meant to share this a month ago right after Chalkfest occurred in Reston, but somehow the time just flew by! There are always a ton of activities happening in the town center and this was one that my company, Canvas, decided to participate in. They got a space for our graphic designer to to add her contribution to the event. Check out what she drew starting the day before the event and a bunch of other chalk art from that day:

chalkfest reston space on ground for professional artist drawing

This is the space for Canvas, right as things were getting started.

chalkfest reston chalk art drawing of colorful owl in progress

A few hours later, I took a break from work to check in on things. Making good progress!

aerial view of chalkf art drawing of owl for chalkfest reston

As my colleagues were leaving work for the day, they stopped to admire the drawing.

Here are some of the entries from people of all ages and artistic abilities… what’s your fav?

chalkfest reston chalk art drawing of woman's portrait chalkfest reston chalk art drawing of festive cultural people and halloween items chalkfest reston chalk art drawing of woman in dress and hat chalkfest reston chalk art drawing of star wars characters

chalkfest reston chalk art drawing of dolphins and maze

On the right, the maze was drawn by a 42 (or was it 47?) year old man, which was amusing.

chalkfest reston chalk art drawing of green and red snake or dragon

Someone went rogue and drew in the pathway, just to make their mark.

chalkfest reston chalk art drawing of silhouette of girl blowing dandelion chalkfest reston chalk art drawing of alice in wonderland scene

chalkfest reston chalk art drawing of rainforest animals

This was one of the professional artist entries. I believe it won first place!

chalkfest reston chalk art drawing of colorful owl with canvas logo

Woo hoo! The Canvas owl got third!!

chalkfest reston chalk art drawing of cat holding light saber riding unicorn over rainbow chalkfest reston chalk art drawing of landscape picture on artist's chair of landscape drawn for chalkfest reston chalkfest reston chalk art drawing of flower design with candle in middle

high score of 8058 in game of threes on ipad

We wandered into the Apple Store for a break and discovered the game of Threes. I’d say we did pretty well.

chalkfest reston chalk art drawing of octopus holding astronaut bear chalkfest reston chalk art drawing of host rcc

lady walking around reston town center with snake at chalkfest reston

There was a random lady walking around with her snake, which attracted a fair share of folks.

chalkfest reston chalk art drawing of silhouettes of buildings in dc

chalkfest reston chalk art drawing of starry night trampled over rudely by inconsiderate people

It was so sad to see people had trampled all over this and messed it all up! #rude

chalkfest reston chalk art drawing of crunch fitness logo

365great Day 291: latte art

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , ,

365great challenge day 291: latte artBetween the latte art I got today and the designs I’ve had at Urth Caffe, there have been many a drink that I almost didn’t want to consume so I wouldn’t ruin the cuteness. It’s so much fun when the food you get looks so good you aren’t even sure you should chow down. But of course, you bought them not just to look at, so taking pictures before you dig in is the best way to commemorate them. I had my first 3D art design today, which I enjoyed immensely. The 2D ones are still fabulous too and I’ll continue to get both whenever I get a chance. It makes the experience that much more memorable and noteworthy. I always like to enjoy my food and what better way than to appreciate the taste AND the visual appeal? That makes it great on so many levels.

365great Day 277: Lumi Inkodye

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , ,

365great challenge day 277: lumi inkodyeI got this cool set of Inkodye way back in the fall of last year, after Lumi’s Kickstarter ended and they produced the first batches of their product for backers. I’ve held on to it ever since, waiting for just the right things to try to dye. I’m still looking for a shirt or something, but in the mean time I came across the very same dye being sent out in a subscription box! Brandy of MommySplurge shared her cool creation and it’s adorable. Now I really need to get my act together and finally put my dye to use. What an amazing this concept is – turning the idea of a darkroom on its head and actually using the sun to set your dye rather than hiding from it! I’ve got to do something when I’m back in LA and I’ll definitely show you what happens. It’s gonna be great. 🙂

365great Day 151: origami

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , ,

Learn more about 365great here.

365great challenge day 151: origamiOrigami is such a cool form of art. You take a piece of paper, fold it this way, crease it that way, and right before your eyes you can create so many different designs. I’m even more amazed at the people who came up with this paper folding art. How do you envision the complex set of folds and unfolds it takes to create images of animals, plants, and even clothing? With origami you can fold out everything from the elephant and ring I made here to cute hearts or crazy complex horses. It’s fascinating to me and very beautiful. There’s an elegance in the geometry of it all and a mysterious beauty that captivates me. I enjoy making forms out of a random piece of paper, sometimes complete with flapping wings or jumping abilities! How great is that?


365great Day 60: the Getty

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Learn more about 365great here.

365great challenge day 60: the gettyThe Getty sits perched atop a hill, overlooking a gorgeous landscape. If you know what you’re, looking for, you can see everything from downtown LA and UCLA in one direction to the ocean in the other direction. But its beauty lies not only in its view – the museum and grounds are marvelous too. The Getty is LEED certified and beautifully designed. Skylights, white stones, water fountains, and cool wood paneling all add to the serene and bright atmosphere. You get to enjoy picturesque scenes inside and outside, no matter where you wander. There are rotating exhibits that change every few months, so each visit can be a fresh look at things. The garden and lawn area is an excellent place to hang out, relax, and soak in the sunny days. Whether you’re into art, history, architecture, gardening, views, or nature, there’s something there for you. It’s worth a visit no matter what your interests! A place that caters to such a range of tastes is pretty unique and very great.

Living it up in LA

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s been a busy two days for my relatives! They spent their first full day in LA out at Universal Studios, with a brief stop in the Hollywood area first, and a visit to Griffith Observatory afterwards. They took pictures of the Hollywood sign, walked around Hollywood & Highland, checked out the Chinese theater, looked at the star walk, and even stopped for some photos with some street walkers dressed as pirates from Pirates of the Caribbean. Then it was off to nearly 8 hours doing every possible thing at Universal Studios! The shows, the rides, the sights… and some of them they even got around to twice. Pretty impressive.

sunset over hollywood hills with hollywood sign on right sideI picked them up at 6:30 yesterday after that full day of adventure and we wrapped up the night by swinging by Griffith Observatory to check out the view of LA and look at all the exhibits inside. They peered into a telescope looking at a giant telescope atop Mount Wilson, learned about tidal waves and seasons and moon phases, played with the giant periodic table, figured out the way the pendulum worked, and tested out their weights on various planets. Oh, and they took a ton of pictures along the way! The sun was setting as we arrived at the observatory, so they went crazy getting some great shots of the natural scenery. We didn’t get home until 9:30 and then it was time to eat up for dinner!

Today it was another full day, first going to the Getty, where we explored nearly all the exhibits (it was actually my first time entering anything other than the West building). Then of course we had to wander around the garden area, where there were a ton of great pictures to be taken and flowers to be admired. Three hours later, we were able to wrap up and get to Santa Monica, where we wandered around Santa Monica Place, Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica beach, and the Pier. There was a stop for lunch so we’d have the strength to continue going and we saw everything ranging from the shopping strip to the ocean and even paused to check out a trapeze lesson on the pier!

panoramic shot of getty garden area view

Before we knew it, it was late afternoon and we rushed off to the Getty Villa since you could park there for free if you go on the same day as visiting the Getty. They close at 5 though, so time was limited. Traffic on the PCH was awful and it took a good 45 minutes to get from Santa Monica to the Getty Villa! Insane. We made it just 10 minutes before closing and they almost didn’t let the car through, but I sweet talked them. 🙂 Once again it was a great time for lovely pictures, with some exploring of the grounds before they started to chase us out for the day. On the ride home, we made a pit stop to get some ingredients for dinner and then another to get the wine that they forgot the first time around. We were going to make our way to some outlets too, but they decided that they can figure that out when they’re in Vegas or on another leg of the trip.

They sure did check out a lot in these two days, and got a pretty good feel of things from the coast all the way inland. There’s of course plenty they missed out on, but I think they covered quite a bit of ground in just two days.

Origami Etsy

laelene Posted in photo blog,Tags: , , , , , , ,

A couple of weeks ago, I decided I was going to try selling some things on Etsy. I’d wanted to do this ever since I discovered the site, but didn’t know what I could make. Well, I’ve decided to put my origami skills to use and make some jewelry! After much planning and material-searching, I was finally able to make my first products. 🙂 Soon I’ll be setting up shop and hopefully getting some sales. Better pictures to come!

two pairs of star-shaped origami earrings made with red, white, cream, blue, green, brown, and gold japanese design

The simpler ones were my first pair, and then I got a bit creative with the second, adding spirals into the metal.

close-up picture of simple origami star earrings

Getting ready for an Etsy listing!

Contemporary art

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: ,

I, like Morley Safer, have never really understood contemporary art.  After watching his report on the art market as aired on 60 Minutes, I realized that I hope I am never like those people, spending millions for art that often just look like household items.  Maybe I just don’t get “it” (whatever “it” is…), but when I look at those art installations I see messes, boring items, or just plain confusion.  I don’t feel anything; I don’t see the artist’s message.  Honestly, if I had millions to spare, I would rather spend my money helping people than decorating my house with art I don’t get.

I always felt that art should evoke emotions, and with more traditional pieces I can usually appreciate what the artist was conveying.  If not, at least I could admire the skill it took to create a piece like that.  With contemporary art however, all I get is a big fat blank.  Occasionally it’ll look kind of cool, but that’s as far as it goes.  I can’t think of any installation I’ve seen that makes me feel something or connect with the work in any way.  That’s why it baffles me that people will pay so much for these pieces.

Then again, I’m not sure I understand spending millions on any art, unless you’re a museum.  Why are rich people so obsessed with procuring items for their private collections, only to have them collect dust in a room that they never use?  I think part of it is a lack of outlet for their riches – they’ve bought the homes, the cars, the yachts, and the private jet, what else is left?  And so art comes along to fill a void in their life.  It helps them feel like they’re a connoisseur and oh so classy.  To me, fashion also helps to fill that void.

Perhaps I just don’t get it because I don’t have all that money.  Maybe my perspective will change one day when I find myself in that position.  I just hope that I won’t fall into that trap, living up the “high life” just to fit into that society.  I have no problem with being a patron of the arts, but I think that should mean you donate to museums and other institutions (or start your own).  Why bother collecting all this stuff, hoarding it for yourself, and not allowing the public to experience it too?  Isn’t art supposed to be shared and appreciated by all?

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