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My glass Cape Breton and Me

Archive for the category “art glass”

New Pieces

WOW long over due but finally got back to taking some pictures and uploading here. We will start with some cast jewelry done with mixed frit colours.

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A new piece of cast dichroic. 102_0442

And some tableware etc.

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Great Day

Today we spent the day on Whitby Island with one of my favourite glass artists – Richard LaLonde. He was amazing and gave me several hours of his time. Not only took us through his studio but also into his home and showed us his pieces he kept along with his glass collection. It was quite a thrill to not only be in the presence of a glass master but to be able to handle pieces from the masters going back to the Higgins.  He is very much a soft spoken gentleman with a great sense of humour. No question it is the high light of my trip as far as glass goes.

Seattle Visit

So I spent the last couple of days in Seattle with friends. What can I say it was awesome, nothing replaces long time friends. It rained and I don’t mean showers IT RAINED but we didn’t care we bussed, walked and climbed hills and got wet. In the process we explored Pike Market. Everywhere I turned there were glass folks – what a treat.

I didn’t take glass pictures at the market saved that for later. However the fish stalls amazed me. Unfortunately no fish throwing going on at the time. I particularly liked this picture because for some reason there was that 1 red fish laying there.

And then there was Tacoma and the Museum of Glass , but first the Chichuly Bridge. Picture Friday as totally overcast, heavy rain and try to imagine what these colours would be like with full sunshine. This picture is a part of the roof of the bridge.

This is a part of one of the side panels, it was higher than what this shows I just couldn’t get it all in and I was getting wetter and wetter and stiffer and stiffer. And of course what you see behind it is the over cast sky. Again imagine sunlight.

And here are 2 pillars that either start or end the bridge depending on your direction. Lots of other glass outside but again to wet and I didn’t get pictures. these pieces of glass are a totally different shade of blue on a sunny day.

And then there was inside. The Kids section was something else, a child’s image and an artists handiwork. The kids drew the pictures and the pieces I believe were created in the hot shop. Lots of monsters, big teeth, bright colours, good guys and bad guys and one of the battles even continues in heaven because their grandfathers are still fighting there. Ah the innocence of children. Anyway couldn’t take pictures in there.

And then came the exhibition – Glimmering Gone. I don’t even know how to tell you my experience with this one. Trish and I just sat there stared for awhile. It is breathtaking.

This is from the side so shows you the complex layering, the pieces are hung by fishing line or something like that, layer after layer.

 Than from the front.

I think these pictures say it all.

Last night I arrived in Sequim and new adventures are getting planned today, which does include Richard LaLonde’s Studio, LaConner and the glass exhibit and of course Vancouver Island and only time will tell what interesting spots in between before I head back to Seattle for Easter.

Will be posting before that however.

Fused Glass Trays,Plates and a Bowl

The dishes are slumped. The jewellery still needs fire polishing and bails. Tomorrow is another day.

When I stacked the 2 plates/trays and the bowl together I realized they would make a nice dinner ware place setting. Maybe by the end of the summer a new set of dishes.

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This is a 3 section serving dish, would also make a very nice centerpiece with candles and beach stones or some crystals.

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This is the bowl done in the same colours as the serving tray.

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The 2 together with my helper in the back ground. She decided it was time for a nap, wish I could have joined her.

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Smaller of the 2 plates.

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Larger plate, much less dark blue. I love these colours.

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From this angle you can see the contours of the plates.

See you tomorrow for jewelry.

New Dichroic Watches

Well have finally got some new watches made for the Center.

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The dichroic pieces came out really good and the right size.

Finally Some Movement Towards Ships

Over the holidays we received a shipment of some glass crystal roundels and nuggets, I kept looking at them trying to decide what to do. A little bit of funk and retro seems to work. Also something bigger than I would usually make but apparently big works and sells.

So here is a shot of the mixture. The blue and copper are metallic and some of the others are aurora borealis coated. Some will make watches and some sets with necklace,bracelet and earrings. 



Then I tried a couple of necklaces with the blue. First one done with small blue in between nuggets. The necklace will be finished with a combination small crystal beads blue,copper and amber with a lobster clasp.



Then I looked at it and decided to try copper crystal beads in between, with the same multi crystals to finish off the necklace.



I think I like the copper between better and will do the reverse with the copper nuggets.

Now I have to get back to cleaning the office.

Hot Out of The Kiln

It’s been awhile but life got in the way and I didn’t have time to play.

I decided to cast jewelry for next season so here are the first experiments, not cleaned up or fire polished yet but they look good if I do say so myself.


Notice there are 2 belt buckles that came out particularly nice. I’ll take some individual photos later.

Also out of that firing several pieces of Our Town and Company Houses and the head of the pit.


Here is a picture of a typical Company House


Here’s a picture of the pit head from many years ago. The rail line carried men to and from the Deeps and hauled the coal out. Some of our mines were 7 miles out under the Atlantic Ocean.


In my grandparents time and before they used horses under ground.


Both men and horses didn’t manage to grow tall and strong. The men usually went under as boys and worked until they retired. While searching for these pictures I was once again reminded of the tough life a miner’s life was and how true the song “Owe my Soul to the Company Store” was.

This piece comes from the Miner’s Museum in Glace Bay, NS

“In March of 1925, Cape Breton coal miners were receiving $3.65 in daily wages and had been working part-time for more than three years. They burned company coal to heat company houses illuminated by company electricity. Their families drank company water, were indebted to the company store and were financially destitute. Local clergy spoke of children clothed in flour sacks and dying of starvation from the infamous “four cent meal”….

In the early days of 1925, “The Company”added insult to injury by eliminating credit for miners at the company store and further reducing days of work at the collieries…

The next two months were filled with grief and hardship; Besco cut off the sale of coal to miners houses and mounted a vigorous public relations campaign to blame the miners for their own predicament. The UMWA lobbied for intervention from the Liberal Provincial and Federal governments to no avail; this prompted the union’s most difficult decision to date. On June 3, 1925, the UMWA withdrew the last maintenance men from Besco’s power plant at Waterford Lake. (Doing this would have resulted in the mines filling with water) In retaliation, the company cut off electricity and water to the Town of New Waterford, which included the hospital filled with extremely sick children…

On June 11, 1925, drunken company police charged down Plummer Avenue on horseback, beating all who stood in their path. They rode through the schoolyards, knocking down innocent children while joking that the miners were at home hiding under their beds. It was the last straw…

Riots resulted with one miner William Davis being shot and killed

The miners’ reaction was swift and decisive. They swarmed the power plant, overpowered the company police and marched them off to the town jail. For several nights afterward, the coal towns were under a state of siege by the miners. They raided the company stores to feed their starving families and then burned the stores to the ground to eliminate the last symbol of corporate greed and servitude in the Cape Breton coalfields. The company stores never re-opened after the coal wars of 1925.

The history of mine workers is filled with memories of class struggle and of brotherhood. It is summed up in the words of former District 26 President Stephen J. Drake – “There is no finer person on this planet than the working man who carries his lunch can deep into the bowels of the earth. Far beneath the ocean he works the black seam an endless ribbon of steel his only link to fresh air and blue skies. The steel rails symbolize a miners’ life, half buried underground, half reaching toward his final reward…”

Long story maybe for a blog but sometimes needs to be said again.

Other Our Town pieces


New Glass Links

This is a case of a change is as good as a rest. These I put in the small kiln last night and took out this morning. It started Sunday afternoon when I tried to weigh the frit. Bad batteries so off to Walmart. Batteries bought, half hour wasted. Put new batteries in to discover it was the scale. No second trip to walmart. So I guessed at the amounts and away we went.

Here are the results


These are sky blue glass cast links. The necklace is actually long with the links on one side however I don’t have a jewelry bust long enough to show it.

The other way the glass links can be combined are with necklace shortener  links.



These are diamond shaped glass links and needed a little less frit. The colour is called pink champagne and would look good in the gold links but the silver were in my hand. Remember the first go is always play time to see what you can do with the new pieces. No more will be made before there is a new scale and the large Christmas fair at Center 200 is over this weekend.


Painted Sea Glass

Well I have been collecting sea glass along the shores of Cape Breton. I handed some off to Bob MacDougall last week to paint and here are our results.

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They will be at the ships on Tuesday.


Kiln Gods Weren’t Smiling This Past Weekend

I decided to fuse a piece of glass that I really liked and turn it into a lamp shade. Needless to say it was the only piece I had.

100_1281 Really is nice, this is the back and I just have it sitting in a stand to hold it.

100_1283 This is the front. Don’t ya just love those bubbles in the center,especially the large one.

Also made several other pieces. Another piece of Our Town Series

100_1285 A few small bubbles in this but that is common in fusing. Done on clear with transparent pieces of glass for the houses.

And 2 pieces that will probably become clocks.

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Not all the weekend was bad however, spent several days in River Bennett with Shari,lots of relaxing time and great friends.

Also went to Cheticamp and stopped along the way for some pictures.

100_1271  It was a warm sunny day so a few minutes along the ocean was justified. This is the shore at Belle Cote. Can’t imagine the wind here in the winter. This poor house has to get the brunt of high winds.


Will try again tomorrow for more pieces and figure out what kind of offerings I need to appease the kiln gods.

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