Glass Blowing Houston

Zen and the Art of Glass Blowing

I was wondering why I have such a fascination with glass and glass blowing.  Why I need to be in the studio every day?  After pondering this for some time I came to realize that working with glass is a lot like dealing with life…

Think about it, when the glass is hot it is like a romantic interest.  The material invites you with its flowing and swaying movements and in return you add heat and a gentle touch and the end result is something beautiful.  Like a relationship, with some care it can last a lifetime, but with neglect it can shatter like a window hit by a baseball.

Likewise, glass blowing is often a collaborative act…you know, like the decision to start a family.  There is of course a distinct difference with glass blowing and that is..what you make you can enjoy without the need to feed, clothe, school, vaccinate  or change diapers.  But you do have to pay utilities, by supplies, and work, work, work…

So tell me grasshopper…What is it that bothers you today, other than the fact that you are not having fun with us in the studio?

Are you missing your connections?

In our 90 mile an hour existence it is easy to get disconnected.  It is so easy to “let go” of our selves simply by clicking a button, connecting with social media, television, music, whatever..hitting the remote to create an insulating bubble around our “selves”.  Then we just move forward, we do our jobs, live our lives, make our art,  without reality interfering.  Sometimes we need to be on this auto pilot, but then again we don’t.  Do you ever stop to consider that if you don’t pause and be a part of the real world and connect personally that  you might not have a real live?

So stop!  Take a moment.  Let go off all those urgent things that you must do and think about what is important to you.  Take time to reconnect with your self and your creativity. (Yes, you are creative.)  You are after all more than a professional, a worker, a grandmother, a mother, a daughter, a student, a teacher, a yogi, or any other “classification”!  So breath in slowly, breath out and be a part of the real life you want to lead.

For me this means…focus on family, making art, reading (and not watching television), getting back to the basics of breath, meditation, and movement.  What does  getting connected mean to you?

Mother’s are Special

Some days are longer than others.   Sometimes it seems like I am in a fog.  I have had several false starts on this blog, one of which I have posted.  Isn’t it fortunate that I can edit with a touch of the button all the blog mistakes I have made?  I wish I could do the same with times in my life.   Unfortunately there is no edit button with memories.  So I suppose we have to create good memories the first time round.

May is a full month for us.  Three birthdays and then of course there is Mother’s Day.  My Mother passed recently and we had numerous good times, my only regret is that there weren’t even more and this is my first Mother’s Day without her.   Times that we have with our Mother’s last forever.  Once they pass they can just be remembered, so fill your time with joy.  Create new and unique memories which will last for years — for your Mother and for you.  From all of us at Three Dimensional Visions we wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all and may your time together be something to cherish.

1st Anniversary Sale & 1st Saturday Glass Blowing Demo!

Time is fleeting!  It is really hard to believe that Three Dimensional Visions is celebrating its 1st anniversary!  We have made great strides in developing our business since its inception.  I retired on Good Friday 2013 and we opened our business to the public on April Fools 2014.  We have accomplished a lot while meeting significant life challenges!  Sometimes it seems like only yesterday that we made a decision to build our hot shop – Glass Blowing Houston and other times, especially upon reflection it seems like at least 5 years!  We have a great hot shop (of course there is always tweaking to be done) with plenty of space indoors and outdoors to host events, a nice jewelry/fusing/mosaic studio, a start on our fabrication/cold shop and a fabulous gallery space.  Check out some of our earlier blogs to review details of our accomplishments.  Now we want to invite you to celebrate with us!  During the month of April, yes the entire month, we will be having our 1st Anniversary Glass Art Sale!  Selected pieces will be discounted 10-50%!  We will be announcing extended hours beyond our normal 10-5 pm to accommodate the demand and don’t forget that the early bird gets the worm!  Come on out find your piece of glass art and help us have a strong start for year #2!   Remember April 4th is our 1st Saturday demo which will start at 3 pm!

The Death of Beauty

Today we learned that our ferrel chicken, Beauty, was killed by a cat. Not a fun way to start the day, but it is after all, Friday the 13th! Beauty had become an integral part of our lives: clucking and pecking at the ground, squawking at the hawks who would try to attack her, nesting and laying eggs all over the studio and its property. We kept a feeder of fresh water available for her and all of us took turns putting out some chicken feed in a dish. Four year old Silas had finally learned to quietly approach her. Then in late January she started brooding, sitting on a nest in a pot on the back patio of the hot shop. There was no rooster in her life but she was trying her best to hatch those unfertilized eggs. Typically she was a rather stand-offish hen, but as a brooder she wouldn’t leave her nest. She would just cluck and ruffle up those feathers. We were trying to find some fertilized eggs or some baby chicks to help her fulfill her desire to be a momma. So when we found her dead body and the scattered feathers we were all deeply disturbed. We even checked the security camera to see what killed her. Yes indeed it was a big white cat. She killed her just for sport.

There are many ways to deal with this. The first and most obvious is to just be saddened by the loss of Beauty. Another way is to use the strong emotion to express ourselves artistically, that way something Beauty-full comes out if the situation. I guess the glass is half full. So today Michael built additional pedestals for the gallery. Patrick and Mike made glass, successfully making two new forms. Jacqui and Silas gridded off the hot shop garden for future flowers, berries, & veggies and planted flowers at the front gate entrance. I worked on updating the website images along with some financial creativity. Beauty was lost, her body was planted near the hedge row but she will continue to be our Beauty and her memory will always be a part of starting up our glass blowing studio.

A unique adventure – Glass Camp- during Spring Break

Want to take a break from the mundane and have a real adventure while you create your own art? Come explore warm and hot glass at Three Dimensional Visions during Spring Break! We are offering two 5 day sessions from 10 am – 2:30 for ages 14 and over. There will be two days of warm glass where you create a flat fused glass form and some dichroic glass jewelry or tiles. Then for the frosting on the cake there will be three days of glass blowing where you will learn to gather from the furnace, work at the bench and have an expert gaffer guide you in making small forms like paperweights, ornaments, pumpkins, implosion bowls, and flowers. We promise it will be a hot time! Spots are limited to 6 people for each session, so sign up early. All participants must read our safety policy and sign the release form ( under 18 must be signed by legal guardian, who we must meet prior to the session start.). Classes are $600/person. See our website for more info.

Super Bowls – now and the future

Our bowl games go year round and there is never an off season! So let the games begin and come join us in making your own bowl. We call it a jumbo glass blowing experience and there are slots every Saturday, so why not start your own bowl tradition.

Remember our experiences come in a wide variety of colors, suitable for any team. So next football season start planning to watch the bowl games with us. Want the ultimate super bowl party? Choose your side and we will demo a team bowl during the pregame show and you can watch the game on our covered patio. Or perhaps you want to split into teams and have a bowl made for each side. Need a little more entertainment we can help each of your game watchers to “make something”. Want to serve your guests with team pride? We can make steins or glasses in your team colors. So plan early, order your glasses, and reserve your party space for any of the bowl games of your choice and start having a real Super Bowl party.

2014 in Review @ Glass Blowing Houston

Thanks for a great 2014!

The glass blowing team at Three Dimensional Visions worked hard and was lucky enough to expose the glass blowing process to over 300 people this year through our free demos, our offerings of glass blowing experiences, hosting school field trips as well as corporate & social events.  We had over 200 individuals purchase glass art from us.  We are starting to develop a small group of regular studio renters.  We participated in our first juried show and swept our division.  We held our first gallery exhibition and we think our space is truly “eye candy”. We developed a series of 30 minute glass blowing experiences — our Make a Something Sundays – that were sold out weekly since their inception in September.  Thanks to all of you who have encouraged and supported us in our efforts to “Enrich lives through artistic self-expression.”

We eagerly anticipate 2015 and are increasing our offerings.  In late December we began this expansion with our 90 minute Jumbo Bowl experience on Saturdays.  We will begin teaching our 6 week class, Beginning Glass Blowing I – Focus on Forms, starting Friday, January 2nd.   This will be followed with Beginning Glass Blowing II – Focus on Color.  We are developing Glass Camps to be held during Spring Break and during the summer — half days for a 5 day week where we will work with warm and hot glass (ages 14 and above).  We are restarting our intern program to evaluate prospective additions to our glass team.    We have improved our facilities for hosting events and social gatherings by the addition of patio coverings in the front and back of the hot shop as well as a 60 x 12 foot deck.  Why not hold your next event with us and join in the fun?  We look forward to seeing you in the studio!

Happy New Year to you and yours! And remember that “Enriching your life begins with you”.

Building a Strong Foundation – The Making of a Pedestal

My Dad was a strong, intelligent, handsome and wonderful man.  He was the smallest man in his family standing 6 ft 1 in.  He had rather large feet and he always laughed and told me that a church needs a good foundation.  Well, the same concept goes for a piece of art.  So Michael has been busy designing and building pedestal after pedestal for our glass art pieces.  It’s kind of like the old saying, ”The clothes make the Man”.  Michael, Patrick and some other men might heartily disagree with that, but the right clothes can’t hurt.

The design process starts with determining the functionality, modularity, and universalness of the pedestal and how it compliments the space where it will be used. Next comes deciding on the kind and amount of materials needed and purchasing them (in this case steel, glass, spools of flux core for the welder, and paint).  The next phase is construction.  The form will be repeated so jigs come in handy to create the same form multiple times. The pedestals  are modular, so multiple parts are made and then assembled. The cut steel leg pieces are put into the jig and held into place so they do not shift during welding.  The bases and the tops are also fabricated using the jig.  The legs are then attached to them via the welding process.  Once all the welds are cooled, the surfaces are cleaned and paint is applied.  The previously measured and cut glass tops then just slide into place.

There is logic to the design as it is minimal, and meant to support and enhance the beauty of the work.  The reflective glass tops actually provide another view of the art piece.  The bottom line is – – it is all about presentation, you must put your best foot forward.  The pay off is when artist and visitor can walk into the gallery space and say, “Wow!”.   Come on out to our 1st Annual Winter Solstice Exhibition and review the art and it’s foundation.

We love to teach! New Classes at Glass Blowing Houston!

 

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We are pleased to announce that what started out as “Make a Pumpkin” and moved into “Make an Ornament” has been a grand success!  We have been sold out every Sunday since these individualized classes started in September.  We have now declared that Sundays are “Make a Something” day at Three Dimensional Visions – Glass Blowing Houston!  Reservations can be made online, safety waivers can be signed and then come on out and have some fun.  1 something /1 person / 30 minute time slot for $32 (yes the price is higher starting in 2015).  We will take appointments to “Make a Something” on other days but that cost is $35/session.

As a follow up to our “Make a Something” sessions we want people to be able to experience the magic of glass on a larger scale.  So Saturdays at Three Dimensional Visions – Glass Blowing Houston is now a day for The Jumbo Experience.  Come design and make your own wavy bowl form.  You select and apply the color and our gaffer will guide you on this individualized 90 minute experience.  Spots are limited so sign up early via our online calendar and again sign the safety waiver.  Cost to design and create your own unique bowl is $200.  What a great gift for yourself or someone you care about.

Hooked on working with hot glass and want to learn more?  We are starting our first Beginning Glass Blowing 1 class on Friday, January 2nd 10 am- 1 pm.  A 6 week class focused on forms in clear glass.  There are a few spots left, sign up via our online calendar.  Can’t do a class on Friday morning?  Sign up for an evening class and we will start it in January too!