Sunday, December 31, 2006

Web Site ~ I did it!

Kaleidoscope Beach Glass-inspired Art Wind Chime. For more information, or to buy, Click Here.

After years of putting it off, I resolved to make a web site. Knowing nothing about HTML etc., you probably can understand why I put it off! But, in the end, it was not too hard. It is still rough, in need of tuning, you might say (if your nice), but it only took one day, so far. Easier than I thought it would be. Any comments would be very much appreciated. You can visit my new site here: tsk Design Home & Garden Art

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Thank You Notes

Large natural beach stone wind chime. The stones are smooth and rounded. The chimes are large and musical. For more information, or to buy this wind chime, Click Here.

I had a nice, busy time selling, packing and shipping before Christmas. Now several people who received my work as a gift have actually emailed a thank you note to me ~ How nice is that! My goodness, I have enough trouble getting my thank you notes off to those friends and relatives who were kind enough to give me something, without tracking down the person who made the gift.

That these people take the time, and care enough about the gift, to actually send me a note, now that is thoughtful! Now I find myself writing thank you notes for the thank you notes.... this may never end! Honestly, there are so many nice people. It's really great to know they enjoy my work.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Late Christmas Shopping Tip

Beach glass-inspired wind chimes, suncatchers, deluxe birdfeeders~ something for everyone!

Can't decide what to get for someone special? Sometimes it is really hard to choose. That's why this year I am offering gift certificates. And the code to use in a nice card can be emailed to you, so you never even have to leave home to do your shopping. Even better, you might get a discount. See the details by Clicking Here.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

An Inch Bigger Would Cost $300

Would you guess that an artist might be influenced by the post office? I can assure you, that is the case~ at least for me. Sometimes I do enjoy building big, but must always have a tape measure handy, and the table of maximum sizes for regular mail. This large freestanding driftwood wind chime is a case in point.

The driftwood section lifts right off the cedar plank. It had to be designed like that for ease of shipping. But the main thing is, one single inch longer and it would exceed the maximum for Expedited mail, and need to be ship Perolator; the postage jumps from $60 to $360. So when I get the urge to build big, I keep my tape measure handy.

I always feel great when something like this sells. And then I feel not so great, because I realize I need to pack it. A real challenge! It takes time, a lot of packing materials, and some skill and imagination. No, the jobs not done until it's on its way. Once it's shipped I feel great~ until I start to worry about all three packages arriving in good condition!

Last minute shopping tip: Gift certificate cards now available! Click here.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Got Snow? How about Helping Out the Birds?

Deluxe red cedar art bird feeder wind chime. No~ the birds are not in the least frightened by the chimes. The beach stone clapper produces a sweet sound, either from the wind, or often when birds land or take off. Treated with an exceptional foodsafe tung nut oil finish. For more information, or to buy this wind chime, Click here.

Not into feeders? Not to worry. A huge selection of unique, very well crafted creations for the home, office and garden. Quick shipping. Great gifts! To see an amazing selection, Click here.

But remember~ shipping can take a little longer from Canada, so don't wait.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Holiday Gifts ~ Unique, Well Crafted~ Special!

Wow~ Already December? Time Flies. Well, the good news is that there is still plenty of time to order a really special, unique gift. From small ornament suncatchers to giant freestanding wind chimes~ all unique, all well crafted, all special. From $20 delights to $400 WoWs, all sorts of treats for the home, garden or office. Why not check out my store? Click Here to find that perfect something ~ surprise someone this year!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Snow Days

Unusual weather here on the Sunshine Coast. We rarely get snow, especially this early in the year, and especially so much. Most often if we do get some, it starts raining within a day or so, but this stuff is sticking around. It's cold!

The kiddies and the dogs are having a ball. I felt bad, because I like to ship orders right away, and could not get out on Monday. Fortunately, there was a brief break in the weather yesterday, and I could dart out to the post office and also pick up a few groceries. Now we are back to... Snow!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Christmas Rush

Cobalt blue beach glass-inspired copper art wind chime with a beach stone clapper. Beautiful, and Very well made. For more information on this wind chime, or to see a wide assortment of art for the home, garden or office, Click Here.

Every year some people wait too long before ordering for Christmas. Shipping can take longer (sometimes much longer!) from Canada, and if you are thinking of ordering some unique tsk Design creations as Christmas gifts, you should order soon. I try to ship fast, but things can get hung up at the border, especially at this time of year. So shop now to assure timely delivery.

Free tsk Design earrings with sterling hooks update: I still have a few sets left. See my 'Me' page on eBay for a picture. Until I run out, every order ($75 or over) gets a pair for Free! These are Great, and would retail for around $25 easily.

So check out my great selection of home, garden and office gifts, and shop early. Thank you!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Reverse Painted Double-sided Art Wind Chime

A new series of double-sided reverse painted art wind chimes~ Colorful and very well made. The paint is all on the inside of extra-thick plate glass, well sealed against the elements. So you can hang these all year round out in the garden~ weatherproof! Or use them in the home or office as kinetic art~ for more information, or to buy, Click here.

I do so enjoy making these. It's very different from my usual glass work. I started out with paints, years ago, and to be able to go back to paints once in a while is refreshing. A customer down in Texas bought four painted glass works from me, and so I had to renew my stock. He just received his order, and I don't think I've ever had a customer write such an enthusiastic email. That sure helped to brighten a rather gloomy day!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Free Earrings ~ tskDesign, Sterling Hooks

To say thank you for a great year, I am giving my customers a pair of my tskDesign earrings with sterling silver hooks for all orders $75 and over. My wife is something of an earring fanatic collector, and of all the pairs she has, she says mine are the amongst those she enjoys the most, as they are pretty, unique, and very comfortable.

Colors are mossy green, light green, cobalt blue, light blue, champagne and frosty white. I used to sell these for $25 in a local store.

There are lots of good reasons to shop now, as, if past experience is anything to go on, things are going to get crazy in a couple of weeks. Prices may go up, and selection may go down. To see my amazing creations for the home, garden and office, Click here.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Great Wind Chime Store

Received an email from a fellow who had seen my work around on the Web. He asked if perhaps he could place some of my wind chimes on his website. It turns out he runs an online store dedicated to wind chimes~ Wow! Of course, I said yes.

What a wonderful job he did! I never imagined he would go to so much effort~ he did a super job! Others must like how he set things up, too— I've already had some sales. If you are at all interested in wind chimes, check out this great wind chime site (click here).

Thursday, October 19, 2006

eBay Guide

Beach glass inspired artist-made glass, tung nut oiled red cedar, copper chimes with a beach stone clapper. To learn more about this wind chime, or to buy it, Click here.

There are wind chimes, and there is art, and then there is wind chime art. My thoughts? Why own just a wind chime, when you can enjoy wind chime art? I explore this further in my eBay Guide on wind chimes~ you can read it by clicking here.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Copper Wire

Price January 2006: $95.00

Price October 2006: $199.00

Price increases are expected. But the mega jump in copper prices (not just wire, but hard copper that I use lots of too), is a drag.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


tsk Design Beach Glass Inspired Artist-made Glass with Copper Wind Chime
For more information on this and other glass art, or to buy, Click Here.

There is good glass, acceptable glass, and bad glass. Sometimes there is excellent glass. Even though I have been working with my glass for years, I still can never be one hundred percent sure what I am going to end up with. There are a lot of variables at play. Even now, with years of experience, truly exceptional glass is not an everyday occurrence.

The glass for this blue glass wind chime is excellent. I'm all the more happy, because blue and frosty white are by far the two most difficult types of glass to work with. They are thinner, and more brittle. To get the mat finish and smooth edges, I need to work the pieces long enough, but if they are worked too long, they become thin and fragile, and fracture easily.

When the pieces are just perfect, they have a nice mat finish front and back, and are still thick. Most often, I have to settle for a little more gloss than I would like. But this time, for this wind chime, the glass is perfect.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Yukon Holiday ~ Cool Paradise

Kluane National Park, Yukon Territory, Canada

The Yukon was just great. In the past, we'd driven back and forth across Canada, and explored Southern British Columbia extensively, and those trips had many special moments and places. But I had always wanted to visit the Yukon. I thought it would be 'my type of place', and it was. I love it up there.

For shear beauty, for wide open and uncrowded, for low stress and peace and quiet, you just can't beat it. The long days are a bonus, since even if you pull into a campsite at seven or eight, you still have lots of time to set up camp, relax, cook dinner, and relax some more. The government campgrounds were all clean, well designed, and inexpensive~ $12 including firewood. The firewood was much appreciated, as it was much cooler than we had thought it would be, often getting down to around 40 at night, and only hitting 65 even on a sunny day. That coolness, by the way, was one more thing I really liked-- I hate traveling, getting out of the air conditioned car, and melting!

Not infrequently, there were only a couple of other visitors at a large campsite, and once we were alone~ a little scary, but also a memorable experience. When camping elsewhere, our lively, young golden retriever usually would have to be restrained on a twenty foot leash at a campsite, but not often in the Yukon. First, there would most often be no one for him to annoy with his friendliness, and second, those few times when someone was nearby, they were dog lovers and invited his attention. The Yukon is truly dog paradise, especially for a water dog like a golden, as there is a lake or river always a stick's throw away. The cool air and cold water limited our own swims to very brief plunges.

The roads and highways were all excellent. The few towns are (mostly) adequate for supplies. No malls (wonderful!). Very little traffic (low stress). Very few bugs (nice surprise!).

Driving back south after an all too brief visit, how odd that Northern British Columbia, that before had seemed so sparsely populated, now looked developed and busy. Even a short visit to the Yukon can change the way you see the world.

Monday, October 02, 2006

A Really L-O-N-G Break

Why so long without a post? Well, a two week (wonderful!) holiday up to the Yukon (see the grizzly mom and cub) and a week to take it easy at home. I was all set to get back to work, and threw my back out~ Ouch!

It was all I could do to keep working and packing and shipping my art, so the ol' blog had to be put on the back burner. All is going much, much better, back-wise, now, and I hope to post more frequently. Thank you so much to those who continued to look in and check out my blog, and I am sorry it was always the same old thing. Stupid back.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


A variation on my 'kaleidoscope' wind chime~ large beach glass inspired artist-made glass pieces, tung nut oiled red cedar, five copper chimes with a beach stone clapper. For more information, or to buy this wind chime, Click here.

I've been without a saw for several weeks, and so fell behind in all my wood work. Fortunately, my very kind neighbor just loaned me an extra saw he has, as the repair shop in Vancouver is now talking about August for getting the parts needed to repair my two year old (!) Bosch 4000. If my neighbor had not come along with this super offer, I guess I would have had to consider investing in another $800 saw. How nice not to have to do that!

So I have been working hard trying to catch up. I make my 'kaleidoscope' style wind chimes in a series, usually five or six at a time. A store in Victoria B.C. wants six of this style, and the store in Gibsons is sold out so I need to get some down to them. And then eBay always needs some. Putting these together, I suddenly thought of trying larger pieces of glass. Wow~ I like the look! Funny how just a little variation changes something so much.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Warm Days Mean Dry Driftwood

A large, freestanding, Pacific Driftwood copper wind chime on a large cedar plank. For more information on this wind chime, or to bid on it, Click here.

It's so much easier working during the summer. To be honest, I enjoy cool days, where you don't have the sun sapping your energy. But I think most projects take about half as long when it is hot and dry out. I swore I would not complain about the heat, after so many wet cold days last winter. And, so far, I have kept my word.

In the winter, one frustration is any wood I collect from the beach is bound to be sopping wet (not to mention the stuff from the lumber store!). That means several weeks drying by my big wood stove. In the summer, even if it is a little wet from the ocean, it dries in no time outside. So nice! The large driftwood wind chime pictured above is a case in point. In the winter, I doubt I would have retrieved that piece~ it would be a big thing to have lying around the stove. But I certainly could not resist it now, knowing it would dry quickly. I brought it home, even though I was not sure what I would do with it. Who could resist?

It sat around curing in the sun, and I spent time thinking about what to do with it. These big cedar stumps left by a recent logging operation were just the thing to cut big planks from. That done, I knew I wanted to somehow mount this big piece of driftwood. That is where the thinking came in: How best to do that. I thought of all sorts of possibilities, most comically complex. In the end, as I have come to learn, the simplest is the best: Two feet of copper driven into the base of the driftwood, and a hole in the stand into which the protruding copper fits. Simple and sweet, and set for shipping.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Cool Ideas for a Hot Summer

Deluxe tung nut oiled red cedar bird feeder garden stake with two sets of handcrafted copper chimes~ beach stone clappers. Beach glass inspired artist-made glass. For more information on this, or to buy it, Click Here.

It's been hot here, and sales have been hot too. A little overwhelmed, folks. And the Bosch table saw is still at the repair center in Vancouver~ sigh.

Should the bearings burn out in a $700 saw after two years? No. Has it happened to others? Yes. Browsing through the Amazon customer reviews, I found about 5 others that have had the motor burn out. Not good enough, not by far.

The good news is that not having the saw has given me time to catch up a little on chime production. The deluxe copper chimes with beach stone clappers take quite a while to make, and I am always short of them. I made about eighteen sets this past week. That's good.

And I also had time to put together some new ideas. Like the bird feeder double wind chime pictured above. I've wanted to do that for a long time, but never quite had the time. Now it's done. I also used my chain saw to cut some unbelievable planks from a cedar stump. Spent an hour sanding the top of one of those yesterday, and treated it with tung nut oil. Too beautiful for words! Not exactly sure what I am going to do with it~ but it's going to be great!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Logging and Chopping

Busy? Oh yeah.

Not just the usual glass making, creating, picture taking, listing on eBay, packing and shipping (already a job and a half!), but now a logging operation.

I needed to cut next season's firewood~ actually a chore that should have been done late last winter, but...

And then I saw that there were about fifteen cedars blocking most of my firewood trees. You don't want to burn cedar~ much too nice, and not great firewood anyway. So I am selling those to Westcoast Log Homes. You really should treat yourself to checking out there website~ Unbelievable homes. My cedars will be turned into part of some of these outstanding, artistic homes. I believe that they will be happier there, than in my fireplace.

By the way, did you know wood is actually one of the most ecological ways to heat? At least if you have a high-energy efficient stove?

But as you can see from the picture, back breaking work is involved. It's not a lot of fun wading through that war zone with a heavy chain saw. And it's not a lot of fun lugging the rounds out. And it's not much fun chopping the stuff up either. Fortunately, I have a very strong 16 year old son who works like a mad man-- if I had to do it all myself, I think I would collapse. Especially having to do it all under the blazing sun we have recently been enjoying. Well, gallons of water, both down the throat and over the head, and little by little it all gets done.

On Tuesday the heavy machinery comes in, and everything is going to look a lot tidier... I hope. Not exactly Better Homes and Gardens stuff right now.

Sunday, June 25, 2006


A very large natural beach stone garden stake. Natural beach stone. Artist-made beach glass inspired glass. Beach stone clapper with copper chimes.

Not to brag, but must say that I like everything I make. (I guess that is bragging!) Late yesterday afternoon, there was an opening party for a little gallery in town here, where I have lots of things, and people were wandering around oohing and awing (and yes, buying!) my work. Than Last night we had friends over for dinner, and they were wandering around oohing and awing about this piece and that. Nice for my ego.

This morning I was scanning through my eBay listings, and wondering which, out of all 85 creations, is my own favorite right now. Tough decision! I do like them all. But the one pictured above is perhaps, for now, my choice.

It's been out in the garden by the big Japanese maple ever since I put it there to photograph it, and it seems to have found a home there. I'm in no rush to sell it. On the other hand, when it sells, I will enjoy making another of this style. The big copper fork on the base of the large natural beach stone should be buried all the way into the soil, but I left it a little exposed so people could see how it works. It's super stable, and super cool~ and, for now, my favorite.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Broken ~ Yipes!

I use my table saw almost everyday. Yesterday, it broke. How did I ever live without it, and how am I going to survive for the two weeks it will take to have it repaired?

About 3/4 of the way through building six deluxe bird feeders, the bearings went. Not good. Especially for a relatively high-end saw that is only a couple of years old. And while I use it almost everyday, most often just for a few minutes~ maybe half an hour on average. So I am surprised and disappointed that the bearings already went. If it is just the back ones, they will replace them. If it is the front and back, it will mean a new engine. The worse is that I had to ship it off to Vancouver, and it will likely be two weeks before I get it back.

The good news is that I will be forced to get on with glass-making (something I have been putting off) and carving beach stones. It's okay. I have a ton of work to do that does not involve the saw. But I will deeply miss it.

To see all the neat things I make (with and without my saw), just click on the gallery links to the right. Worth looking!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Cedar with Beach Glass inspired Glass and Copper Chimes~ Nice!

Somehow, tung nut oiled red cedar just naturally goes with my artist-made beach glass and copper chimes. I usually sell this style for a fixed price of $175. But for some crazy reason, I put this one up on auction for a starting price of only $137.50. For more information on this wind chime, or to buy it, Click Here.

I am still debating the best way to present a sound clip~ or even if it is wise to provide one. It seems like a good idea, but each recording is a little different, and I bet the system that it plays through adds even more variables.

Right now, the two best options seem to be a movie sound clip hosted on Google, or a sound Flash Media clip on Odeo. I am leaning towards the Odeo file, because the movie clip takes you to a different page (never a good idea, I think, to get people moving off your auction page), and I have not succeeded in producing anything but a very blurry image of the chimes.

My main concern with the Odeo clip is that perhaps not everyone has the software to load it. I wouldn't want to be responsible for freezing up someone's computer-- that's not a good way to gain customers!

Anyway, here are examples of both formats. Comments / suggestions / tips and hints deeply appreciated.

powered by ODEO

Saturday, June 17, 2006

If at first you do not suceed...

The MicFlex ~ a nice little USB mic that seems to do a good job.

My first effort at a chime sound file got mixed reviews: some said fine, others said not loud enough. Thank you all for your opinions. I picked up a neat little USB mic, and have tried to capture a better, louder clip. Any comments deeply appreciated.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

For the Birds

Remember my $100 workshop? Look what has taken up residence~

For a couple of days I was mainly using one of my other workshops, and this robin grabbed the opportunity to construct her nest. My workshop became her nest house, and I felt like an intruder anytime I had to go in and make something. So I kept my visits to the minimum and as short as possible. Somehow, it worked out okay, and the eggs just hatched. She is so busy feeding these guys she hardly notices me now, but I still work elsewhere, as much as I can.

So how long does it take for these babies to grow feathers and fly away? It's fun having them, but I still have to make a living.

If you like birds (who doesn't?), you may be interested in my super deluxe red cedar bird feeder with copper chimes~ the birds sure like them! To learn more, or to buy it, Click Here.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Fused Glass

Exceptional fused glass artist Karen Godin is responsible for the stunning windsail on this beach glass inspired kaleidoscope wind chime.

I discovered Karen's work over a year ago, and recently she made a few pieces especially for me (and hand delivered them all the way from Oregon!). Her choice of colors for this windsail reflects both her considerable artistic talent and her familiarity with my work. For more information on Karen, you can Click here. For more information on this wind chime, or to buy it, Click here.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Thanks for Your Help

I call these small suncatchers with built-in hooks 'accents.' Beach glass inspired artist-made glass with copper and a built-in hook. Great out in the yard all year long, or in the home or office-- beautiful little accent pieces. As a bonus, they make wonderful Christmas ornaments!

For more information on these, or to buy them, Click here.

Thank you to all who commented on my efforts with the chime sound file (last post)~ I deeply appreciate your help. It seems that the file sounds fine, but the volume is way too low, and speakers need to be turned up. Not good.

I spent yesterday morning at a friend's who has a microphone. Unfortunately his setup has to feed through an amplifier, and the file always came up with a annoying background hum. Also, converting the file to Quicktime reduced the sound level, once again, too low. So more work to be done. My friend plans to get a USB microphone soon, so maybe then I will finally be able to put together a decent sample. I never thought it would be so difficult to capture a little snippet of sound.

Anyway, thanks very much again for all your help.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Sound Advice, Please

A really BIG beach stone freestanding beach glass inspired copper art wind chime garden stake. The beach stone clapper sounds great against the copper chimes. How great? I would like to let you listen~ the best way to do that is the question of the day.

For more information on this wind chime, or to buy it, Click Here.

Given that my wind chimes go all the way up to around $600, it's not surprising that I get some questions asking what they sound like. Perhaps more surprising is that I don't get even more questions about that before people buy.

I estimate that I have sold somewhere in the range of 500-700 wind chimes, and everyone has been very happy so far. But just recently I do have a lot more potential customers asking to listen before they buy. Before I used to offer to phone them, so they could hear them over the telephone. How primitive is that?

Then I found out that my new camera can record a five second sound file to a still picture. At only 150 KB, that's a fine size to email. But why wait for someone to ask to hear them? Lots of people would probably like to hear the sound before buying. So now I am investigating options for providing this service.

Being quite Web ignorant doesn't help. I learn as I go. What I came up with is hosting the image with the sound bite on, and working the HTML into a clickable button. I would very much appreciate any feedback~ particularly along the lines of whether this looks okay, if it works, if it sounds okay. It's only a five second clip. Thank you to anyone who helps out.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Copper Soars grump grump grump

Copper chimes: a treat for the ears, and for the eyes. I use heavy copper for all my large chimes. They have all copper connections (no fishing line etc.), and most have a beach stone clapper for a sweet sound. The wind is not always blowing, so why not choose a wind chime that is also a work of art? For more information on this Kaleidoscope wind chime, or to buy it, Click Here.

Recently I was delighted when I took all my copper scraps to Vancouver, and sold them to a scrap metal company for almost $200 at about $2.00 a pound. Foolish me! Not paying much attention to the business world, it is only lately that my ears have started to perk up as each day I hear reports on the radio of record breaking copper prices. How slow am I? Obviously, as the price of raw copper goes up up and away, the price of the copper I buy for my work is also soaring. I went to buy some yesterday and only one word is needed: Ouch!

Somebody told me that as a general rule, artists should not raise their prices by more than about 10% a year. Someone should explain that to the copper market!

Not long ago, copper was on the market for about $.65 cents a pound. It's reaching $4.00 now. Gulp. Not so long ago, I could buy a length of copper for around $9.00. It's reaching for $20 now. Big Gulp! Apparently, just a taste of things to come. If I had the cash, I'd buy several thousand feet Right Now-- but that is not in the cards. I need that money for silly things (like food).

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Wired ~ Copper, that is

(To learn more about this home or garden ornament, or to buy it, Click here)

To make things like this...

...I use a lot of this....

Copper wire. Do I use a little? I buy it in 150 foot rolls. But there are seven strands, and I unravel those to make 1050 feet of wire. Each year, I use about two and a half rolls, or 2625 feet. Over the five years I have been working full time on this style of art, I guess I have used about 15,750 feet of this particular type of wire (I use other types too)~ that's almost three (3!) miles of wire. Yep~ I use a little of this stuff.

If practice makes perfect, my wire bending skills must be pretty darn close to perfect by now. Let's just say I'm comfortable with the technique.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Kaleidoscope Variation

A variation on my kaleidoscope wind chime. The rectangular style has been very popular, but I've been making them for too long, and it's time to explore. Here's the same basic idea~ beach glass inspired glass trapped between extra-thick plate glass in a tung nut oiled red cedar frame~ but a large diamond instead of a rectangle. For more information on this wind chime, or to buy it, Click here.

The whole point of my work is to make new, exciting things. But when I have a design that is popular, it's tempting to just keep knocking them off. They are never the same anyway~ the glass is always different, and the wood, too. But still. So after a while, I just have to move on. Explore.

Sometimes that is not possible, oddly enough. There is a store where for complicated reasons I can only sell framed glass. At first it was great that these sold so well. But after making thirty or more, something had to change. Since this was the only style that could be sold in this store, I raised the price to slow things down. They still sold really well. So I raised the price again, significantly. That did the trick. I did not want to devote myself to making only framed glass.

I've recently been invited by two stores. I never go knocking on doors~ can't stand that. These are people who found me, and wanted my work. That's nice. And I can sell whatever I want. That's very nice. Probably what I most enjoy about my work is dreaming up new ideas, and turning those dreams to reality. I don't want to make the same thing over and over and.... well, you get the point.

Sunday, May 14, 2006


Fused glass artist Karen Godin makes everything from nightlights to the most beautiful bowls and coasters. She made these windsails for me, and will be delivering them in person next week, all the way from Oregon.

Selling my art through the internet, I have met many wonderful people. A few have become good friends.

Karen Godin, an exceptional fused glass artist living in Oregon, bought one of my wind chimes quite a while ago. She mentioned her own artwork, and we had a couple emails back and forth. After maybe a year or so, I heard from her again, and we exchanged many more emails as we were both looking for good Internet markets in which to sell our work. It was fun to explore different sites, and compare notes. I got to know her, and her stunning art work, much better.

It turned out that although she was born in South Africa, she grew up in West Vancouver, only forty minutes from my home. After I got the idea of begging her to make some fused glass windsails for my wind chimes, it also turned out that she would be going to West Vancouver this coming week for her father's birthday. She made the most beautiful glass for me, and will be hand delivering them next week. Isn't that amazing?

I wanted to learn more about fused glass work, and was very happy that Karen just wrote an excellent tutorial~ even using the windsails she made for me to illustrate the process. Her skill and artistic talent shines through. I do look so forward to meeting Karen next week~ not to mention getting my mitts on these fabulous fused glass windsails!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Shop Talk

You likely have seen the bumper sticker on rusty old cars saying something like: Laugh, it's Paid for. Well, I could say the same thing for my main workshop. I built this in no time at all (you would never have guessed, right?) from driftwood dimensional lumber, reclaimed cedar shakes, free recycled windows, and a little plastic and nails from the hardware store. Total cost: under $100.

It ain't pretty, but it's home~ well, not exactly home. I do about 50% of my work in here. The saw is around back in a woodshed. And I work quite a lot in the garage, too. Picture taking, computer work and packing all takes place in the real house~ which fortunately doesn't look anything like this.

Would I like an attractive fully insulated well designed heated workshop? Sure. Would I like to pay the $40,000 plus it would take to build it? Nope. For now, I'm happy in my $100 hut.

Why not visit my store and see the beautiful things I make in my ugly hut? Click here.

Sunday, May 07, 2006


I don't mind admitting that I like everything I make. That's what makes my job such a pleasure. This large freestanding wind chime composed of a 60 pound natural beach stone base, 1/2 inch diameter copper supports, beach glass inspired artist-made glass and ten double brushed handcrafted copper chimes with beach stone clappers is right at the top of the pride scale. Yes, I admit, I love it!

For more information on this large freestanding double wind chime, or to buy it, Click Here.

Thursday, May 04, 2006


Working full time as an artist at home, a job I love, it's easy to forget to take a break. Thank goodness for Yukon~ he's watching over me, making sure I take time to play.

Years ago I lived in the big city and worked at a 9-5 job. Outside of work hours, I never thought of my work at all. That 9-5 job was just a job. Now, as a full time artist, I think of my work all the time, and work pretty much all the time too. I love my work. Yep, I have turned into a (gulp) workaholic!

Apparently one issue for many people working from home is getting out of the pajamas and to work. Quite the opposite for me. My problem is putting work aside and doing the other stuff~ fixing things that need fixing around the house, cutting firewood, grocery shopping, cleaning things up... all the things that must be done, but that are less interesting than the latest art creation. Even taking time for a little fun is not high on my agenda.

So, thank goodness for Yukon~ my four year old hound. They say dogs are Man's best friend~ I don't know about that, but I do know Yukon is high up on my list of best friends (and a mighty short list it is, too!). If it wasn't for this big yellow golden retriever, I have no doubt that most days I would work the whole day (workaholic), and be the worse for it.

Most of the day, Yukon is content to sleep nearby, once in a while opening one eye to check on the odd things I do. But sooner or later, usually just when I am doing something particularly tough involving both hands, fragile glass, and power tools, he finds a ball, carries it over, and drops it at my feet. It's time for a little fetch. I appreciate that. It's a reminder that there is more to life than simply working away. And so I throw the ball. And everyday we go for a walk, a walk that often turns into a long hike.

Sometimes in the middle of a particularly interesting new work, I might begrudge him his fetching and his walk. But it is just a momentary nasty thought. Once out in the peaceful woods with my fine pup, I find my energy levels increasing, my head clearing. I can return soon enough to work, refreshed. And so we hike on.

Sunday, April 30, 2006


Turning this...

....Into this....

is a big headache challenge.

But the first impression the customer will have of my work is from the packing~ so it's important to do a great job. Also, fine packing reduces the chance of breakage.

The long thin box is the copper support. It is packed in a handmade birch plywood box~ really nice. The smallest box is the beach stone support, and weighs 50 lbs. Total estimated postage? Over $100.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

and Bigger~

The image does not do justice to the true massive size of this large, heavy wind chime. The beach stone base weighs 45 lbs. Packing this for shipping will be an interesting challenge to face this weekend~ fun. For more information on this wind chime, Click Here.

For those who scanned my last post about my urge to create bigger and bigger works, I have to tell you that I did succumb: I made an even larger piece, pictured above. The idea was that it would go to the new gallery opening in town here in a couple of days. I wouldn't have to ship it. But I liked the piece so much, I could not resist taking some pictures and putting it on eBay~ mostly just to show off. Well, as luck would have it, it sold within a day, and now I get to pack it.

How relieved I was to discover the upper limit for shipping through the mail is 65 pounds. And even more relieved to discover the base stone I used weighs only(!) 45 pounds. That's great~ not only can I ship this work via regular mail, but I can make something even bigger! This work will ship in three boxes~ lots of packing fun.

I'm sorry for the new gallery~ this would have been a real treat for them to have. But I'll get down to the beach and find some super stones, and next week make an even bigger one for them. No crane needed yet~ but getting there!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


At 50 inches high~ this is reaching the limits of what can be shipped through the mail. That large beach stone base is not going to make the postperson's day, either. For more information on this freestanding wind chime, or to buy it, Click Here.

I have the urge to make larger and larger works. Down at the beach, I see a beautiful beach boulder I can't even pick up, and I want to take it home and make something amazing. I want to use heavy metal rods. I want to build kinetic sculptures with boulders and steel and slabs of copper. I want hydraulic presses, acetylene torches, electric winches, jack hammers and that's just a start.

Sadly, I have to make things I can pack and ship through the mail. If I can't pick up that stone, there is no way the post office is going to take it, no matter how many stamps. I am making larger works, to be sure. But each one has to be designed to ship.

Already, with these medium-size creations, packing is a job. Cutting plywood to sandwich copper supports. Fitting large stones into big boxes with fragile glass~ now that's fun! It wasn't overnight that I got to this point, thank goodness. If when I started I had been faced with packing some of these works, I believe I would have given up. It's good to keep challenging oneself~ it keeps it interesting.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


Whether wandering the endless stretches of beach or exploring the tangled rain forest, the Pacific West Coast is truly beautiful and a source of great inspiration for me. Others are also inspired~ Here someone built a stone sculpture in the river. Natural art. To see my own stone work (wind chimes, lamps, vases) Click Here.

Everyday, I walk in the woods. There are miles of trails right down the road, so I don't need to take the car. Usually, it's just me and my dog, Yukon.

The bears are awake again, coming down the mountain groggy from their long sleep, snorting around for fresh greens. We ran into the first one on the weekend~ A big one. I was not happy because the dog chased it like it was dinner on four legs. That's no good. First, the bear might get ticked off and turn on my pup (a neighbor's dog was killed last year), or the bear might get ticked off, chase the dog back, and take its anger out on me. That happens, apparently. It's exciting hiking at this time of year, but a little scary too.