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Glass Blowing Houston

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!

Small Business Saturday – Come shop at Three Dimensional Visions

 

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This Saturday is an opportunity for you to go support the small business’s in your area.  We ask that you don’t forget us!

There are advantages to shopping small businesses which include avoiding crowds and getting personalized service.  Why don’t you come on out to Three Dimensional Visions this Saturday ?  Avoid the  crowds and come do your holiday shopping with us.

You’re unique, shouldn’t your gifts be?  Come to our studio wonderland for glass art and one-of-a-kind experiences.  We have functional, sculptural and architectural glass art and craft items.  See something you like but want it in a different color scheme – we do custom orders.

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 Create a special gift – from your hands to their heart.

Blown glass ornament or pumpkin $29 – 30 minutes

Dichroic glass jewelry $100 3-4 pieces during a 4 hr workshop

Jumbo glass workshop $225 for a Rondelle form

Gift certificates.  You select the value – valid for instruction or purchases.

Glass Blown Ornaments for the tree. Pick them off our tree or order your specific colors.   1@$20 4@$70  6@$100  >12@$15 each

Stocking stuffers.  Paperweights, dew drops, and sun spots for your desk or window ledges.  $20- $70

Collectables.  Glass Rocks and Flowers. $20-$90

Wearable art.  Dichroic glass jewelry, sterling silver hand made jewelry $20-$1220

Serving pieces.   Adorn your holiday tables with glass blown pitchers & bowls starting at $45

Glass tumblers.  Containers for your favorite beverages, beginning at $15/each. Order a set in your favorite colors.

Decorative containers.  Vases, bowls and lidded jars for your tables or art nooks. Priced depending on size, color, and       quality – starting at $60.

Rondelle forms in stands, as bowls, or for wall installations, starting at $100.

Sculptural glass art to enhance your surroundings.

Traditions, Holidays and You

Remember when you were a kid and you asked your folks what they wanted for a special occasion, and they said “hey, just make me something”?  Perhaps Grandma and Grandpa said the same thing.  You made something it came from the heart, you gave it to someone and they were thrilled.  Okay, it’s time to start that tradition again.  Now that you are grown, take the next step and make your loved ones something that could last in the memory of generations to come.  Currently we are doing Make an Ornament classes on Sunday, but you can sign up for a class anytime, or give a gift certificate for someone else to take one.  Make this a holiday that both you and they won’t forget with a gift that comes from YOUR heart and is as unique as you are.  Come on out to Three Dimensional Visions- Glass Blowing Houston and create a memory that can last a lifetime and beyond.

Giving Thanks

Gatherings, turkey, and pumpkin pie are things that we associate with Thanksgiving.  Year after year you celebrate with families and friends.  What do you remember?  The warmth of family, the smell of pumpkin pie, the taste of the turkey and dressing?  Isn’t the setting as important as the meal?  You can come and purchase a pumpkin for your table or blow your own glass pumpkin on our  “Make an Ornament / Pumpkin” Sunday.  A Kingwood family came to our studio and made their own and now their Thanksgiving table is set and ready for their gathering.  Will yours be ready?  It’s not too late.  Set up a time and create a unique setting for your feast with your own glass blown pumpkin as the centerpiece.

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We are thankful for all of our families, friends, and other blessings.  We are thankful for the ability to assist others in preparing for their Thanksgiving festivities.

 

Enriching lives through artistic self-expression.

Enriching lives through artistic self-expression is the tag line for our business, Three Dimensional Visions.  So you might think, what’s involved with that, what does that mean?

New experiences are one thing – like providing people with the ability to work with hot glass at Three Dimensional Visions- Glass Blowing Houston.

Gaining new creative ideas or perspectives are another. That’s why we are collaborating with other artists like renown kiln worker Miguel C. Unson.  It’s the blending of styles, ideas, and subjects that help create new expressions of creativity.

And, that’s why we are hosting art exhibitions in our indoor/outdoor gallery space.  Giving new interpretations a fertile environment helps their growth.  Our first Call-for-Art is announced for our 1st Annual Winter Solstice Exhibition.   You can register and submit your entries online via our website.  Come meld your expressions with ours and gain new perspectives.  We are excited to see what emerges.  Come be a part of something new.

Creativity in Business

Sometimes I feel as though I am not doing anything creative at all.  That  even though I am an owner/artist at our studio I spend much of my time as the CFO, logistics manager, and property owner and all I do is take care of business.  And that every now and then I get to squeeze in some time to make some art.  However, there is a lot of room to be creative on the business side.  Trying to determine what to offer, how to offer it, who should and shouldn’t be involved are definitely not only business decisions but creative decisions that must be made.  Every time I get ready to make a decision I find myself doubting everything, challenging my perspectives.  This makes me take a moment and explore what my options are.  Sometimes I have the opportunity to chat with people about whatever it is I am trying to decide on and that helps generate new ideas about it.  Then I have to take it all in and try to re-evaluate and determine what is the best way forward.  I think this is creativity in action — whether you are making something tangible or building ideas into a business.

Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.  Andy Warhol

Creativity Revisited

Well, one of our readers said creativity is just putting your materials in your hands and letting something spontaneous happen.  Yes, that is one viewpoint.  The creativity I want to speak about today is taking something that was created for one purpose, melding it with a new idea and synthesizing it into something new. You could call this recycling old ideas and adapting it to new thinking.

We have been struggling over the idea of signage, something to put in front of the studio to announce who we are and what we are about.  Numerous sign companies have made a pitch to us all with valid designs, but wow the cost.  So we put the idea on the back burner hoping that something would just bubble up.

Then one day Patrick said why don’t we take that man from the back garden at the house and make him into a glass blower.  Well, that sculpture was originally a self portrait that Michael did back in the early 1990’s.  It is a welded aluminum piece entitled “Escape from the Trapezoid”.  He is life size and has one arm extended out in front of him just ready for a blow pipe and a little glass.  We have decided that the base will be about the same size as the man and will be covered by our recycled glass as a mosaic of flames.  The ball of glass at the end of the blow pipe will be sourced by an led light.

Now folks that’s one version of creativity – repurposing something to fit your current needs.  We are excited to get started on our new glass blowing colleague.  Come on by and see how he is taking shape!

Our pumpkins don’t go bad!

Our pumpkin seeds don’t come from the ground but from the minds and hearts of the glass blowers.  The pumpkin is started by collecting a gather of glass from the furnace.  Then depending on the size of the pumpkin another gather or two are made.  Next the color is applied to the hot glass – perhaps a traditional orange or you the maker could decide to do a purple and pink passion mix.  The choice is yours.  The next decision is whether the skin is ribbed or not and if so how deep the ribs should be, this determines which if any optic mold to use.  The glass is then stuffed in the mold.  The pumpkin is ready to sprout!  Shaping starts, at this point it is for heat maintenance so that the pumpkin and be blown and grown to full size.  Shaping continues using the jacks, marver and paddle to make it more oblong, oval or squat.  A little tender loving care is now needed, these pumpkins prefer heat to water.  One last flash in the glory hole while the stem is prepared.  The stem is gathered on a small bit rod with two-three gathers of glass depending on the pumpkin size.  The maker selects the color, it could be a traditional brown or green or perhaps it is raspberry.  What fits your personality?  The stem is stuffed into a smaller optic mold to give it some texture and heat is applied so that when it is attached to the pumpkin it can be twisted and turned to complete the look.  The pumpkin is torched to round the edges of the stem and perhaps reduce the color.  Then off to the box, where it sits safe from all the predators until it can be plucked in about 24 hours (the annealing process).  Ah, the joys of the pumpkin and the glass pumpkin patch at Three Dimensional Visions – Glass Blowing Houston.  Come on out and join in the fun!

The Fall crop is in!

Pumpkins are in season and everyone loves them! They look great on your table to celebrate Fall, Halloween, and for giving Thanks in November. So why buy a pumpkin that will spoil when you can get a beautiful glass blown pumpkin or set of them to adorn your table not only this year but for years to come? Or perhaps you want to carve your jack-o-lantern and then set a little glass pumpkin next to it to glisten from the neighboring flame.

We have built a bed which in the future may have some of its own live pumpkins and we plan on having some bales of hay. But the real joy of our pumpkin patch will be a variety of glass blown pumpkins & gourds in various shapes, sizes, and color combinations from which you can make your selection. We will be adding to our collection every day. Our pumpkin patch will be available every other Saturday starting on September 20th with the last pumpkin patch of this season on November 1st (you can always check our calendar to verify the dates).

Come any of these Saturdays to get your pick of the patch! Don’t see what you want or find one that you would like to have in other sizes or colors, let us know and we will try to accommodate. This is our first pumpkin patch season and we plan to make this an annual event. Why don’t you do the same?