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My glass Cape Breton and Me

Archive for the category “fused 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.

Kiln Formed Dichroic Pendants

One more product to add to our table this year.

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Hard to get good pictures of glass especially dichroic. But I must say, I am very pleased how these turned out.

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.

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


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.

Our Town Pieces

Long before someone thought they invented rows of townhouses, we had row houses. They were cold and drafty and owned by the company. Back in the day you couldn’t own them you could only rent at the pleasure of the Company. Eventually the Company was gone but some of the row houses remain in Our Town.


Long before duplex we had company houses. They also were owned by the Company as the name suggests. Again the Company is gone but the  “Company houses” remain in Our Town.


Now that these houses are owned privately, what amazes me the most is that they never seemed to get painted or sided the same colour. So even though they are attached they are usually bright and colourful. The other thing that amazed me as a kid was that there was always a fence going straight down the center. It never went anywhere and everyone walked over it. There was always a yard full of wildflowers, miners didn’t have time to mow grass. And always a bunch of flowers in a bottle or glass on the kitchen table that one of the kids picked.

And then in Our Town there was Grandma’s house.


It was always bright and cheerful. It bulged at the seems with family members filling every corner. There were lots of kids and grand kids to enjoy the flower beds, the wishing well, the benches scattered around and especially the swing on the big branch of the apple tree. It was a hugh tree and we were either climbing it or using the swing.

Life really is good in Our Town

Our Town – New Pieces

2 pieces came out of the kiln this morning and I am extremely pleased. I changed the glass a bit and used opals instead of transparent. This allowed me to do the background powders before placing the houses, Can’t do that when you see through them, Doesn’t mean I won’t do both just wanted to try.

Feel free to chime in and tell me your preferences.


Skyline – Our Town

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The skyline with a street in front. Across from the building a park with flower beds, paths and benches to relax and watch the world go by.


Our Town – Across the Water

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And then there is the places across the water. Nobody has to worry about keeping  kids in site. You learn to swim before you can walk. Every house has a garden, and apple trees. If you live on the water you have a dock with a rope attached to a raft for diving.

Life is good in Our Town

Dichroic Rack

Well today I managed to finish one rack of dichroic pendants in preparation of Aug. 24, the first of our fall cruise ships. Nice to be able to put the cover on and put away until the 23rd  set up.

Next will be the marbles.


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