Glassblogs

Folks, I’m still missing a bunch of glass blogs lost in the great hard drive disaster, so if yours (or someone you know who has a great glass blog) isn’t on here, drop me a line and let me know. Next time I’m out looking for glassblogs I’ll add it to the pile.

Thanks!

Cynthia (11/8/2009)

Had a private conversation about other glassist blogs the other day, and wound up posting a query on warmglass.com with a little poll on how the warmglassers use blogs. And I’ve compiled a list of kilnformers’ glassblogs I’ve discovered to date. It’s interesting stuff.

Of the 70 people that have so far responded on the poll, a whopping 60% don’t have a glass blog or comment on other people’s blogs. 14% don’t have their own blogs but post comments about glass on other people’s blogs. The remaining 25% have a blog that is either about glass or sometimes discusses glass.

So…these are warmglassers, people who are doing kilnforming and are presumably pretty comfortable talking about their work online. I would imagine many more have websites…and if they’re the bleeding edge of the glassist crowd, that would tell me that the glass artist community as a whole is probably underusing blogs. As Lani (of Bullseye fame) noted, a lot of those that are, seem to blog about glass beads and jewelry, not glassblowing, fusing or casting. Be interesting to figure out why.

Glass blogs (or any artist blog, for that matter) are a terrific way to gain insight into the mind of the maker. In my case, I use the glass chunk of this blog to both journal my experiments and create an archive of stuff I’m asked about frequently. I participate in a lot of online stuff, I tend to be (surprise!) long-winded in my responses, and it saves time for me to write a blogpost and simply link back to it instead of answering a question all over again.

Carol Carson said she posts on a blog because it’s easier than updating a website; I wholeheartedly agree. In fact, I’ve been strongly recommending that people start with blogs and move to websites only as needed, at least for personal/creative sites. The upkeep is a LOT less, and I think it frees the non-Webbist to simply put stuff up instead of worrying about whether the div tags are in the right spots. These days there are so many add-ons for the most popular blog tools that you can pretty much make a blog do the tricks you need…almost for free.

Anyway, thought it would be fun to actually collect the blogs of glassists in a single place. I’m mostly doing this to make it easier for me to find them again…but if anyone reading this wants to explore as well, you’re welcome to. And if you know of other blogs that incorporate glass, please let me know and I’ll add them here.

So here goes, in (sorta) alphabetical order:

Abbott, Ellen: Stuff from Ellen’s Head
Fascinating look into the lives of a couple of professional glass artists. Ellen Abbott and Marc Leva make exquisite pate de verre, but given the comments I’d guess their bread and butter are the wonderful sand-carved architectural panels they do for churches, businesses, private homes, etc. Ellen’s got a great take on life and isn’t afraid to hang out some dirty laundry every once in awhile, making this a must-read.

Bailiff’s Hollow
OK, so what I really want to know is the story behind the name “Bailiff’s Hollow.” Mike Byers, another warmglasser, makes some really cool metal and glass sculptures (among other things) that I enjoy seeing. The real attraction of this blog, though, is the writing. This may win the prize for wittiest-blog-that-also-talks-glass. I came to view the glass, stayed to read for quite awhile. Only suggestions I’d make, Mike, is more (especially more glass) and maybe make the type on older posts a teensy bit bigger. On a Mac it looks about 6 point.

Branch, Donna: Glass Studio Blog
Glass artist Donna Branch uses a lot of processes in her glasswork. She doesn’t blog a heckuva lot (when I checked, her last post was about 8 months old), and you have to dig, but she does show some studio processes and she’s done some interesting projects.

Bullseye Glass
Lani McGregor, one of the owners of Bullseye, kilnformed glass supplier to the stars and the reason for my constantly empty pockets, blogs about glass art, Scotland, competition in the glass manufacturing world, and other glassist stuff. What makes the blog fun is that she’s giving real opinions that haven’t (I’m pretty sure) been passed through multiple layers of PR- and lawyer-types, and she’s remarkably open about posting dissenting views. I will never, ever get the whole “glass brand religion” thing, but the passion she brings to her blog puts it well above the corporate blogbog and I really enjoy her posts. Now I just wish she’d adopt weekly posting practices.

Carol Carson
Gallery blog. This lady timidly approached the warmglassers (who apparently have a reputation for feistiness) and asked for suggestions on improving her work. Then she showed pictures of her glass and blew everyone away–one of the first times I’ve seen the word “insouciant” defined in glass. I have one of her pieces, GirlGold, in the living room and it strikes a sassy note every time I see it. This is another one of those artists whose backstory probably gives a lot to the glass (I mean, she’s got a chef husband in Vegas who made this unbelievable flapper dress out of chocolate and his team just won on Iron Chef…on TV. How cool is that). I’d love to read more about her and figure out where her art relates.

Chaney, Megan: Megan Chaney Studios
This Ocala, Florida artist combines clay and glass to make some really intriguing pieces. The blog says she’s primarily doing glass jewelry, but dig into a little bit and you’ll see her incorporating potmelts into ceramic wall tile, fashioning some really nice relief sculpture and a bunch of other stuff.

Cheyenne Glass
Cher (yet another warmglasser, which is what comes of asking a BBS for a list) has so much to do that you’d think she doesn’t have time to develop a blogpost, let alone three or four websites and blogs with veiled references to Phil Collins. The link at the top is her professional site; she also has a really nicely personalized co-blog with her husband, and then there’s the one she’s just starting for her husband… uhm…when do you have time to do glass, Cher? I think my favorite is the co-blog; you get a taste of her inspirations and the story behind the work.

Terrie Corbett–In My Life
Wow. I just keep saying wow. This is a good blog from many angles, not the least of which is that she’s making art I can really relate to. Terrie’s blog brings you into her life as well as her work, and gives you an idea of what’s going on in her head when she makes this stuff. Her work is stunning, probably one of the best uses of colored enamel on glass I’ve seen in awhile (Don Burt’s is another, but in a style that’s 180 from this). She’s not trying to make it look like church glass, she’s not aping pastels (which is what (to me) this most looks like), she’s not playing cloisonne games; she’s literally taking the medium to a new level. Wow. I could put just about any of her pieces on my wall with great pride. Wow.

Corsock Glass (and its related gallery listing site)
Based in Scotland and owned by artist Amanda J. Simmons, this is another gallery blog, one that appears primarily dedicated to sales support. Ms. Simmons’ glass is unique and intriguing stuff, and I really enjoy her design choices. I’d love to see her add more info on the how and why of the work because, clearly, there’s a story there.

Dani: Church artist
Dani (not sure of her real name) posts about the glasswork that she, her husband and others do for churches. It’s primarily about stained glass…and about staining the glass (i.e., painting it) and firing it in a kiln…but there’s also a bit of other kilnforming as well. Very interesting read. (Addendum: I’m told by EllenB that Dani’s last name is Greer, just in case you’d like to have one of her windows…)

Fantasy in Glass
Just saw this one quite recently, thanks to Lani’s blog, and I love it. This is a stained glass store owner who’s not afraid to let it all hang out, and he has some pithy commentary on the glass industry as a whole.

Frantz Art Glass
I suspect this used to be your typical small business customer newsletter, but it’s morphed into much more–a kind of inside look at a lampworker’s life as well as a nice collection of tips and trips for lampworkers. There’s everything from studio photography tutorials to evaluations of dichroic glass… very much worth a look if you’re into beads, or maybe even if you’re not.

Glass Art Society
Unfortunately I can only get you so far into the site; the blog is for members only. However, if you’ve a membership account, this blog will tell you about GAS happenings, events, competitions, etc.

Glass Fusing Made Easy
You wanna start my left eye twitching, title your blog something like “Glass Fusing Made Easy,” which puts you somewhere between “Make big money stuffing envelopes,” and “One pill gives you a fuller, firmer bust.” Sure enough, this site is jam-packed with salespitches, SEO fakeouts, ads and promos for everything from fusing books to Amway-like website development tools. I don’t doubt that some of the fuse-by-numbers beginners’ projects will turn out well–although I can’t quite understand why anybody would invest abuncha money in glassmaking equipment only to do someone else’s work–but there’s a fair amount of, um, imperfect knowledge here that would make me leery of using this site as a technical reference. Other places–such as WarmGlass–are a much safer bet.

Glass Quilt Collaboration Project
This was another warmglass groupthink, this time asking artists to depict the traditional elements of air, fire, water, and earth in an 8×8 glass square. No other restrictions, and 36 artists from six countries submitted squares. Thanks to tremendous work by artist Toni Johnson, it’s also available as a poster, and there are rumors that they’re looking for an installation site (which means I need to dig mine out of mothballs).

Glass Skulls
This has to be one of the nicest photo sequences showing a reservoir casting I’ve ever seen. (And I’ll bet photographing all those steps added a couple of days to the process.) It’s also a perfect testament to the old saying I made up awhile back: There are as many ways to cast glass as there are glass casters. A couple of things they’re doing here I’m going to try ’cause they look easier than my methods. And obviously, these New Zealanders are using Gaffer. The entire blog appears to be dedicated to the making of skulls. Interesting.

Gusler, Rosanna: Wanchese Art
Rosanna Gusler, terrific kilnformer, expert glassist, and “marine finisher” who gloats better about food than anyone I’ve ever met, has just started this gallery blog. Her work is wonderful, and I’d love to see the backstory on the how and why.

Hammer, Brit: Glass Art & Architecture
Brit Hammer’s done some very cool architectural work, and she also gives lectures and demonstrations on everything from mosaics to the business of being an artist. I gotta admit I prefer her website (I’m a sucker for great mosaic), but this is an interesting, and personalizing read.

Hanses, Christine: Christine’s Fused Glass
Christine Hanses has been blogging for a couple of years now. She’s mostly posting pictures of her work–a combination of jewelry and some pretty cool vessels and wall art–and what’s fun is seeing the growth in the work over time.

Hotel Murano
OK, this is about a hotel, but a hotel that’s about art, or more specifically, glass art. It’s finishing up construction now in Tacoma, Washington. Discovered it on the Bullseye blog and it just had to be added; there are some very nice posts showcasing artists. Update: Glasswise–it’s kinda gone downhill since I originally wrote this, but it’s still a nice precis of what’s going on in Tacoma.

Keoni, John: Keoni’s Artlog
There’s not a lot here yet–John may set a record for spacing out blogposts–but interesting insights into making it as a glass artist. Pictures, pictures, John!!! He’s doing lifecasts. Very cool.

Glenda Kronke
This is a good example of making a blog into a website for an artist–she’s using the components of the blog to start with an artist statement, then move to her collections. Her “Growth” series makes me think of lilypads, really interesting. Would love to see her talking about what inspires the work and some of the processes she goes through to make them. (Update: Ms. Kronke has moved a lot of stuff to her new website, so the blog’s a bit less compelling than it used to be…but the new site is great)

Krucoff, Kathleen: Reflections of a Glass Artist
Kathleen shows up here with insightful comments every once in awhile; her  blog talks about her work not only in glass but also in metalworking and jewelry making, more recent sports for her.

Lewis, Deborah: A little of this and a lot of glass
Deb Lewis got the blog bug as well, and I really enjoy the combination of precision and free-flowing organics in her “Winter’s Promise” piece. She’s got a nice rhythm going wth a mostly gallery blog that offers long captions describing her process and design choices.

McFadyen, Janet: Warmglass on the Beach
OK, yet another warmglasser with an interesting take on both life and glass art, and a very useful blog. Janet McFadyen of Vancouver Island Kiln-fired Glassworks uses her blog for selling and talking about her work. She’s a lady after my own heart, experimenting and pushing the glass envelope (you’ve gotta see the Buddha she made out of gin bottles), and probably my favorite work is her witty commentary on footwear.

Something sublime from the studio of Deryn Mentock
Primarily about jewelry but with a lot of notes about glass, this is an absolutely sumptuous and inspiring blog that I could explore for hours. Beautifully done; Mentock has a blogroll that goes on for miles and obviously follows the kitchen-sink school of blog add-ons. If I had a top 10 list of artist blogs, this one would probably be on it.

Mira: Evolution of a Glass Artist
Mira calls herself a “crartist,” and heaven knows what that means. But I like her work, which combines casting, staining, foiling and what I like to call stack-fusing. I also like the way she journals, and you really CAN see the evolution.

Modamuse
OK, so this isn’t a glass blog, it’s a blog about Australian and New Zealand artists and what they’re up to. But there’s glass in enough posts–and some very cool work in other media–to make it list-worthy.

Muth, Barbara: Mostly Glass
Barbara Muth met Mom and me in the Washington DC suburbs a couple of years ago; I’d bought into a share of acrylic french cleats she’d had made and she delivered them. We had a light lunch, talked, and I discovered she not only was a wonderful glass artist (and teacher, if you’ve ever read her warmglass posts) but also a delightful conversationalist. Her blog is primarily a gallery of her work (which is great), but I’d love to see her add commentary, too; this is one artist who has very worthwhile things to say.

New Zealand Glass
Thanks to a comment below by Stuart Park, here’s a blog by the other side of glass art, a collector. Stuart specializes in glass art by New Zealand artists, and I was tickled to see works by a number of new faces on his blog. Thanks, Stuart!

Cynthia Oliver
Speaking of warmglassers, Cynthia Oliver is another and also a multifaceted creative, just jumping into a new career as a graphic artist and already an accomplished glassist. Her website is gorgeous and blog is a combination of glassmaking and personal journaling. Plus, she’s such a talented writer she’s a pleasure to read (now all she has to do is get that frequency thing down, i.e., write more).

Robin’s GlassPony blog
Robin of GlassPony has a new blog she says is all my fault. Maybe so, but she’s caught both the spirit and the fever pretty well, and I enjoyed looking at her work. (It would be incredibly cool, Robin, if you could translate that horse rescue painting into glass.)

Self-portraits in Glass
A bunch of warmglassers gave themselves an assignment to define themselves in kilnformed glass and-thanks to the great work by artist Cynthia Oliver–held an online exhibition by blog. Fascinating look at the many views we have of ourselves and glass.

Siopa Eile
OK, this one isn’t specifically about glass, but it’s an interesting experiment and it does talk about glass artists. Irish artist and craftsman Paul Mahoney has chosen ten Irish artisans to populate his the blog on his “alternative shop” (Siopa Eile means “other shop” in Irish). Some of the work is pretty, some is thought-provoking, some is stunning, and all of it is interesting.

Siyeh Glass/Glass Incarnate
Atlanta artist Brenda Griffith blogs about coffee mugs and music and making glass and making a business of glass and making books about glass. Interesting read. She’s got a second website for her business, she’s a good writer and a cool human being (now that I’ve met her). She recently opened a new glass resource center for Atlanteans and staffed it with Ernie, one of my favorite cats. What’s not to like?

Stanley, Terri
Terri, another warmglasser, doesn’t SAY much on this blog, but her pictures say it for her. This is primarily a gallery blog and since Terri’s work is exquisite, thoughtful and meticulously developed, it’s a pleasure to view.

Staton, Joseph: Suffering for my art!
Yet another warmglasser, although he hasn’t been there much of late, SkinMechanic (Joseph Staton) is a fellow after my own heart when it comes to experimenting, and also a talented ceramics and sketch artist. Lovely work, and he’s a blogging veteran, been at it almost as long as I have.

Steider Studios
Linda Steider lives up in the mountains above the Columbia Gorge and splits her time between making and selling glasswork and teaching others how to do it. Rumor has it she’s working on a book, which oughta be interesting, and she talks about her work quite eloquently on her blog.

Tippet, Sarah: Sarah’s Glass
The tagline says it all here: “Despite her love of glass fusing and art making in general, Sarah still can’t keep her mouth shut. Thus she has a blog.” The work, the blog, it’s all over the place. Just the way I like it.

Wright, Jeff: Glass Musings
Interesting combination of the technical, philosophical, artistic and just plain folks (gee, sounds familiar) from a glass blower and caster. A good read that’s information-rich, very definitely worth putting on your list.

Zemach, Havi: HavivaZ
Havi Zemach, yet another warmglasser, is an Israeli whose first medium is print. She’s shifted approaches with her glass, which apparently is just starting to take off in Israel. Fascinating lady to talk to, and just starting with her site (I should know, since I helped her make it). It’ll be interesting to see where she takes it.

If I haven’t listed your blog yet, let me know and I’ll post it. There are LOTS of glass jewelry and beadmaker blogs I haven’t gotten to yet…hmmmm…may need a separate list for those as this is getting VERY long. I’m in the process of switching hosts and blog tools, so it may need to wait a month or two…

Later…