Monday, December 26, 2011

Holiday gifts

I like making special orders for holiday gifts. Here are some flameworked glass and silver earrings , and a "Pollination" brooch.
When the pieces are worn, the glass bees seem to hover around the floral forms.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

My Bloody Eye

You can break blood vessels in your eye just from sneezing or coughing too hard. I was lying down in a sauna when I sneezed. The combination of increased circulation and the sudden burst of pressure caused some vessels to rupture, but it didn't hurt or affect my vision. (I didn't even realize for almost an hour!) Apparently, it's pretty common, so don't be scared if you puke or go bungee jumping and come up with a bloody eye. It heals itself and there are no meds for it. Using Visine or other "cures" can slow the healing process.
Photo by Dave Fischer/

This is what it looked like when it first happened. What a shock to find in the mirror!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Handmade Nation Screening and Peru FAB7 experience share

This Wednesday, December 14th from 7- 10 PM
at the AS220 Labs (on Martha Street next to the AS220 Printshop)

I'll be hosting a screening of Handmade Nation, Faythe Levine's documentary about contemporary DIY craft in the U.S. 
Locals also featured in this film are The Dirt Palace, and Deb Dormody of general awesomeness (If'n Books and Marks and Craftland.)

The movie is one hour long and will be preceded by a slideshow about FAB7, the fascinating international digital fabrication conference that took place this past August in Peru. The screening  will be followed by a conversation about the importance of DIY, and how Fab Labs are facilitating that all over the world! 

Snacks and drinks will be provided!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Glass Rain

Last year I began flameworking thin pieces of borosilicate glass to sculpt raindrops. I assembled lots of pieces to construct these "Glass Rain" installations.

I installed a Glass Rain chandelier at the offices of the Rhode Island State House over the summer. It was on display in the Atrium Gallery for August and September.

This piece was about ten feet high, five feet deep, and four feet wide. The glass drops look so realistically watery when they're full of light!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Lasercut Textile Class at AS220

The weekend before Halloween I taught a class about lasercutting textiles at AS220's digital fabrication laboratory .
Every person in the class had attended RISD or taught at RISD, so we had quite a wealth of knowledge and experience. Everyone contributed so much!

Mary Beth Cryan tied lasercut tabs on a rayon blouse.

Katy Westcott lasercut bubble wand shapes and assembled jewelry with the pieces.

Erika Tazberik lasercut hand- drawn patterns in silk.
Katy Dika also lasercut beautiful patterns in fabric.
I made a sample to demonstrate thinking in three dimensions with two- dimensional components.

Matt Obert stopped in the lab and showed off a handmade Halloween costume. He spent days cutting his leaves with scissors!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Ivy Glick

Ivy Glick is seven days older than me and we have been friends for half of our lives.

waiting for a pie to bake in 1998
We met in RISD's Pre-College Program when we were both students in the jewelry/ light metals course.

1930s ice skating dress in 1998
We lived together when I moved to Providence full- time in the spring of 1998.

She was majoring in photography and I was a frequent subject.

This was from a photo shoot for my RISD yearbook picture in 2001.
I first introduced her to glass torchwork in 2002. She was finishing her Master of Arts in Teaching.
October 15, 2011 RISD Alumni Sale
Now she does this and teaches art in South Carolina.
Ivy introduced me to the idea that a photographer's sentiments towards a subject can be legible in their images. She still takes the most flattering pictures of me. I love you, too, Ivy!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Rubber Duck Tomato

This picture was taken at the Common Ground Fair in Thorndike, Maine this past weekend. This tomato just happened to grow in the shape of a rubber duck!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Xander's film

For some time now, Xander Marro has been working on a film that has something to do with witches. This is a film still of me and Lauren O'Connor, shot a few years ago. This October Xander's solo show, Cursed New England, opens at SPACE Gallery in Portland, Maine. The show will include some of these film stills and tons more work!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

FAB 7 report back

FAB is the annual international convergence of the Fab Lab Network. Last year I was a student in the pilot year of MIT's Fab Academy at AS220 and our graduation was at FAB6 in Amsterdam. This year FAB7 took place in Lima, Peru at the National University of Engineering. I was thrilled to reconnect with folks from labs all around the world! Pictured above are traditional Tijeras dancers in Lima's Government Palace. Their performance was only one part of FAB7's fabulous welcoming event.
Fabsietecito (Little FAB7) took place before the conference began. Kids came to Lima's new Fab Lab and made cardboard robots with LEDs!
It's so valuable for us all to converge and communicate about sustainability, organization, and other issues. It was a relief to know that we each are not alone in our challenges in Fab Labs. People always share lab stories that project positivity, especially photos of smiling faces at parties. We don't speak as openly or as often of classes cancelled for lack of enrollment, threats due to lack of funding, or the situations most pregnant with potential for improvement.
Mostly, things are going swell! Labs are increasing exponentially all over the world, but it is still a challenge to get new members into the labs, to help people understand why these resources should be relevant to them, and to bridge the chasm of intimidation that many people feel because of a lack of experience with electronics, programming, or contemporary technology in general.
Here folks from 5 countries on 4 different continents collaborated to construct an Ultimaker, a great 3-D printer from the Netherlands. It took 8 hours to assemble it and start printing.
These forms were all printed on the Ultimaker, and the largest vase (clear and yellow, about 9 or 10" tall) only took about 15 minutes to print! All of the vessels hold water.
There are many stray dogs around Lima, and different buildings at the engineering university have adopted animals. Under the table above you'll see Fabita, one of that lab's mascots.

All over Lima it's easy to find ambulantes, or mobile vendors, especially in the form of food carts. The design challenge at this year's conference was to fab an ambulante. First prize went to Rachel Hamburg for her Bananalas (in English, Bananawings.) Rachel and Daniel Greene cut the wing form on a Shopbot, and hung the fruits to look like feathers. Those in attendance interacted with the Bananalas ambulante as if plucking fruit from a tree!
Next year, FAB8 will be in New Zealand, and FAB9 will be in Japan in 2013!

Monday, September 12, 2011

World Maker Faire in NYC

The World Maker Faire will be taking place next weekend, September 17th and 18th, at the New York Hall of Science. I will be demonstrating glass torchwork with my oxygen/ propane torch set-up as well as with the Hothead torch, and I'll be bringing my little kiln with me from Rhode Island!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Food in Peru: Streets and Markets

A Peruvian microwave's control panel-- apparently stuffed peppers and rice pudding are popular dishes to heat up.
At Mercado San Pedro/ Mercado Central en Cusco, Peru many different vendors offered the same type of traditional pan (bread.)
Peru has such an amazing history of agriculture, and tremendous amounts of varieties. The dark maiz morado on the lower right is most popular cooked with lemon, sugar, and pineapple rind to make a dessert beverage. Maiz morado can also be used as a dyestuff!
This was a tamer image of the meat vendors at Mercado Central.
Ah, the ambulantes! In the foreground we see a vendor of fresh pineapple slices, to the right and below, a bakery on wheels, and in the background above to the far left is a music vendor whose ambulante is a big amp with CDs displayed on top!
A bakery on wheels
A really vertically integrated business: at the bottom, a cage of quails and their feed; hidden next to the quails, a propane tank; above them, raw quail eggs; at the top, boiled quail eggs for sale with condiments and salt! 5 eggs for one Peruvian Nuevo Sol, or $0.36 US.
Choclo is starchier than the sweet corn widely available in the US, but one ear of the large kernels is about as filling as a whole meal, also for about one Sol.
Crema volteada and leche asada are both types of baked eggy custards.
Churritos are little churros, just like you can find so easily in California. These are served with sugar, pero sin canela, without cinnamon. Dough was placed in the canister above and extruded into the hot oil below, heated with propane. Her perforated spoon was used both to cut lengths of dough as she squeezed it out, and to fish the finished product out of the fryer. This vendor was at the FAB7 conference, and her cart was decorated by a participant.
Perhaps the most famous traditional Peruvian dish is pollo a la brasa, or well- seasoned rotisserie chicken. This image is from a culinary museum in Lima.

Look out below, sensitive eyes and stomachs!

Another well- known traditional Peruvian dish is cuy, or Guinea pig.
I thought this hank of tracheas was striking.