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New Glass Designs: Orbitals


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I hope everyone had a great holiday. It’s been a busy one at Stafford Art Glass. A shout-out goes to all the people who helped make our Fall season so much fun!

For years I gave been making oversized suncatchers for our clients. This came about organically when someone who was looking at my small 4-inch ornaments wondered if I could make them way bigger for a large window in their new home. The Orbital was born.

Orbitals are about 9 inches in diameter and are made to fill a window with color. Hung by a thin stainless wire, the piece doesn’t get lost like smaller suncatchers do.

In the Fall of 2017 I began designing new Orbitals for the line. Up until that time every piece was unique and people were wanting us to make them copies of pieces they had bought for themselves or for their friends as gifts. The idea was to go crazy with color…and with the names for them.

Blown glass suncatcher, rich transparent colors, nine inches in diameter
Orbital-photo by Stafford Art Glass

That’s Blue Sky Riot, in the picture above. It’s blue with a riot of other colors thrown in, naturally!

  • Approx. 9″ diameter
  • Ships within 3 days of your order
  • Includes story card and stainless wire with directions for hanging
  • Made by hand in our studio
Handblown suncatcher in rich colors, nine inches in diameter
Orbital-photo by Stafford Art Glass

Purple Mango Multiverse is a great pairing of purples, oranges, and reds. Perfect for a lover of all things purple.

  • Approx. 9″ diameter
  • Ships within 3 days of your order
  • Includes story card and stainless wire with directions for hanging
  • Made by hand in our studio
Milette's Garden is a large scale suncatcher in light green, golds, with light splashes of purples and pinks. This suncatcher is handblown and is approximately nine inches in diameter.
Orbital-photo by Stafford Art Glass

Millette’s Garden, which is lighter and has ribs that fold color, seeks to create a feeling of all things natural. A splash of blue, a hint of cranberry, this piece is subtle while elegant…but in a country garden kind of way.

  • Approx. 9″ diameter
  • Ships within 3 days of your order
  • Includes story card and stainless wire with directions for hanging
  • Made by hand in our studio
Caliope is a large scale handblown suncatcher in a beautiful mix of colors and is approximately nine inches in diameter.
Orbital-photo by Stafford Art Glass

Caliope is a georgeous mix of colors including blue, green, purple, orange, gold, and red, a combination that works in virtually any decor (hint: it’s also very popular with our customers).

  • Approx. 9″ diameter
  • Ships within 3 days of your order
  • Includes story card and stainless wire with directions for hanging
  • Made by hand in our studio
A handblown suncatcher with bands of color from reds and golds to blues and green. Nine inches in diameter, approximately.
Orbital-photo by Stafford Art Glass

Earth Wind And Fire. This piece reminds us of Hawaii. There, you will find active volcanoes spewing molten lava into the ocean. At that interface all of the colors in this piece are represented in dramatic fashion.

  • Approx. 9″ diameter
  • Ships within 3 days of your order
  • Includes story card and stainless wire with directions for hanging
  • Made by hand in our studio

There are many more Orbitals to shop for in our online store. Every piece is made here, is signed and ships with stainless wire for hanging along with instructions on how to hang your piece. Look for the link at the end of this post.

A Closeup & Our Promise To You

We pack a lot of color into our pieces. No two are precisely alike, but we guarantee that if you like the sample, you will love the one we send to you. If not, you are welcome to return it, no questions asked, up to two weeks after its arrival.

We hope you enjoy this closeup of a Caliope piece!

Beautiful closeup of transparent colors of a Caliope Orbital, a large nine inch handblown suncatcher
Closeup of Caliope Orbital – photo by Stafford Art Glass

Saving Money With Stafford Art Glass

I have announced specials on Facebook in the past and found lots of people asking me where to find the specials once I had already announced them just the day before. I would explain, “I just put it up on our Facebook page!” But a lot of people weren’t seeing our posts. I wondered why. For many, it was because they didn’t “follow” our page. Facebook has been throttling our exposure on your feed unless our fans click “follow” not just “like.” Talk about setting up hurdles. Sometimes even if you are a follower, you can miss our announcements in the tumble of the Facebook feed.

This got to be a problem. I decided to solve this problem and put all of my specials, offers, events, and promotions into one email that would get sent out each month. Then our customers would have all of the most important information at their fingertips! The V.I.P. Insider was born. I found out this was what other businesses have had to do because on social media, data is constantly moving, and if you snooze you can lose important announcements. An email is they way to deal with this.

This is the best way to save on our glass. Promotional pricing can be up to 60% off regular retail through our specials. Some specials, like Seconds, which are only available at the studio, are off even more! We recently sold a vase that would have been $80.00 for less than $20.00. It wasn’t even a second. The customer asked why it was a second. I explained I had no idea why it had not sold. It was beautiful, but it simply sat. It was a classic shape, and beautiful color. The customer felt the same way (and saved a lot of money!), so I decided it was time to mark it down. These are limited to sales at our studio and we announce them through my Insider newsletter.

I issue coupon codes good for each month for specific items bought online. I issue coupon codes for $ off classes or workshops at the studio too. In 2019 alone, customers saved over $1400.00 on classes at the studio. Some discounts were $6.00 for ornaments while others like pumpkins were $10.00 off per piece that they made.

For example, for the month of March, Orbitals will be 30% off. There will be a coupon for free shipping, too. You can get this and other discount codes by subscribing to the V.IP. Insider.

We promise we wont load up your inbox with spammy emails and it’s super easy to unsubscribe at any time. You can sign up for our V.I.P. Insider HERE.

Here’s the link to our SITE

Here’s to another great year. I’m looking forward to it!

~Parker

Art and Design, Creativity, glassblowing, sculpture

Upcoming Work For 2020


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Photo By Chris Risch

 

2019 was a busy year with over 2 dozen new designs being worked through, a gallery renovation, and a lot of visitors to the studio to make pumpkins and ornaments. It was a blast!

2020 promises to be just as creative with a host of new work that will be designed. So what is on deck? Right now I am taking a break from production and classes in order to do some repair work in the studio as well as to build a new piece of equipment, a miniature reheating furnace. This will be a great new addition to the studio since this furnace will be the most fuel efficient model to date. That makes the boss happy and if he is happy, I am happy too! (winks)

I will be working on developing some designs for cast glass later in the year. I will be outfitting an older ceramic kiln gifted to me by a friend with new heating elements to turn it into a casting kiln for new glass creations. I already have a design I am eager to get started on, which is a larger than life feather cast entirely out of glass that will be used as a wall hanging. After that, I have some ideas for some angelic wings that I think should look pretty great, but I have to work through some technical issues before I decide on exactly what these wings will look like. Both pieces will deal with the idea of the presence of the divine and the angelic.

I am in the process of ordering new glass color for a line of work that has its roots back in 1999 and is called the Fiamma Series. These are contemporary works in jet black with dichroic glass. I will begin with a series of bowls that will be made available through the studio gallery and will be available online as a studio limited release. I expect these pieces to be available by early Spring.

New ornament designs will continue to be worked out through the year in anticipation for the Fall season. I hope also to offer a class on making your own blown glass bowl. As soon as the bugs are worked out on that, it will be included in our roster of classes on our website at www.staffordartglass.com/classes

Speaking of the website, I will be adding a new booking calendar in the hopes that this one will be a better and more compatible solution with our site as well as our users mobile devices.  I appreciate your patience as we thrashed through what turned out to be a pretty awful booking calendar!  The sheer number of people who persevered in spite of it shows just how popular glass is.  We love glass, that is obvious, but we are very glad that so many people in our area do, too!

I will be adding custom sourced boxes for our most popular items as well as labels of our logo that will go on them to give our work a more professional look. I will be busy making new story cards for ornaments as well as our other blown glass work. These will help provide our customers with a better presentation when giving our work as gifts. These will make our Christmas trees look breathtaking as a gift once the holiday season rolls around again.  I know that we just got through Christmas, but we prepare for Fall months in advance!

The studio will be closed for the month of January and will be open to the public the second week of February. Thank you for your patience as I work on the studio and get it ready for the next season!

Happy New Year!

Art and Design, glassblowing, Uncategorized

Your Input Is Welcome


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I am currently working on a redesign of my website.  It has been a bit of an effort making new designs, then figuring out how to photograph and present them on the site. Today I am coming to you to see what you think about one aspect of my web design, which is for the large sun catchers I have been making and which many have gotten to see for the first time on Facebook.

 

My impulse has been to give these pieces names that are fun and inspiring.  In that same vein, I have tried to be creative with the descriptions that will accompany the pieces.  While I feel good about them, I’m not always the best judge.  What I am wondering is what you think?  Is it beside the point?  Does it help, set a tone, or is that not even necessary?  Would you prefer just the image of the work, and do you find it the text silly?  What do you think?  I really want to make this to be fun and inspiring.

I have put all of the descriptions so far for those large sun catchers called Orbitals below.  I have a few of the images that have been shot of them in the studio so you can have a few visual reference to see what it is that I am describing. I would love to hear your feedback, pro or con before we set this one in internet concrete. 🙂


 

 

Brava_Orbital_Sized

Brava

An Orbital is a world of sun-catcher color, done up large. Peaches, oranges, and gold’s vibrate like an early-stage sunset with highlight splashes of blues and greens.  A few carefully placed murine elements in bright red dot its landscape.  We lay on the color in patches, thread the highlights on, resulting in pieces that look related but are each unique.  Feel the warmth and bravery. Blown with sturdiness in mind, our pieces are not eggshell thin.  Made for the ages.  Made just for you, with our love.

 

·      Hand-blown in the U.S.A. at our Virginia Studio

·      9 Inches in diameter

·      Orbital hanger eye is sturdily built

·      Signed and dated

·      Sturdy Hook & Instructions For Hanging Included

 

 

Blue_Sky_Riot_Orbital_HR

Blue Sky Riot

Sometimes you just want to make a statement and aren’t in the mood for the urbane path.  You are ready for a riot.  We feel you. Solid fields of cobalt blue make their entrance with windows of gold, green, red and orange thrown in between gasps of deep blue bliss and a rumor of pink gold ruby.  Someone claims a fleck of purple makes an appearance, but you will have to hunt for it.  Remember, these are not punched out of a mold, my friend. We roll each one by hand and they bear the mark of uniqueness common to handmade glass.  Each one is a solid riot of color!

 

·      Hand-blown in the U.S.A. at our Virginia Studio

·      9 Inches in diameter

·      Orbital hanger eye is sturdily built

·      Signed and dated

·      Sturdy Hook & Instructions For Hanging Included

 

 

Caliope

Calliope

You have been all across our site and can’t make up your mind.  Calliope comes to the rescue in her broad reach of colors that will look great in just about any kind of décor (even if your décor changes-how cool is that!).  Includes blues, gold’s, greens, oranges and a flirtation with some pink ruby.

 

·      Hand-blown in the U.S.A. at our Virginia Studio

·      9 Inches in diameter

·      Orbital hanger eye is sturdily built

·      Signed and dated

·      Sturdy Hook & Instructions For Hanging Included

 

 

Earth_Wind_And_Fire_Orbital_HR

Earth Wind & Fire

Where else can you be confronted with all elements together in one place than here on earth?  Out on the ocean, split by sky, grounded in earth, and enlivened by fire, this Orbital bears banded blends of lively color ready to set your soul on fire as it cools your mind and helps your heart learn how to stand in the center of wonder.  Hand blown, each spot of color lays in its own way and melts, as it will, making each piece unique. The revolution begins here.

 

·      Hand-blown in the U.S.A. at our Virginia Studio

·      9 Inches in diameter

·      Orbital hanger eye is sturdily built

·      Signed and dated

·      Sturdy Hook & Instructions For Hanging Included

 

 

Mango_Multiverse_Orbital_Sized

Mango Multiverse

This Orbital will take your through an upward spinning journey from peachy oranges up into a multiverse of green, blue, and light sky blue. Is there anywhere you can’t go?  Hand-blown, each piece is unique, like a sibling all bound by the same design DNA.

 

·      Hand-blown in the U.S.A. at our Virginia Studio

·      9 Inches in diameter

·      Orbital hanger eye is sturdily built

·      Signed and dated

·      Sturdy Hook & Instructions For Hanging Included

 

 

Green Optic View2 Sized

Milette’s Garden

Somewhere in the south of France, she tends her garden, humming a tune as birds fly overhead.  This Orbital has a beautiful emerald green with highlights of gold’s, peaches, splashes of sky, reds and blues. Like grasses woven one into the other, you could swear you feel the wind as it whispers to you from a faraway time and place.  Handmade with love, each piece is unique but made from the same landscape where Milette dreams.

 

·      Hand-blown in the U.S.A. at our Virginia Studio

·      9 Inches in diameter

·      Orbital hanger eye is sturdily built

·      Signed and dated

·      Sturdy Hook & Instructions For Hanging Included

 

Oceanic_Borealis_Sized

Oceanic Borealis

A deep ocean of blue rises up through its watery depths with streams of green and splashes of yellow/gold.  Changing in the light, colors interact and blend with each other in fields of watery wonder. Turn it this way and that, you get to choose exactly which view works best to remind you of aquatic dreams.  Made entirely by hand, slight differences exist that give each piece its stamp of uniqueness.  We make it just for you, with love.

 

·      Hand-blown in the U.S.A. at our Virginia Studio

·      9 Inches in diameter

·      Orbital hanger eye is sturdily built

·      Signed and dated

·      Sturdy Hook & Instructions For Hanging Included

 

 

Purple_Passion_Sunset_Orbital_Sized

Purple Sunset Bliss

Here is how this vision unfolds: streams of purple and pink ruby twist around the body of this Orbital, a sun catcher like no other.  It is punctuated with streams of orange/gold lit with flecks of red.  Like a sunset, the view changes as you turn these in the light.  Hand blown, each one has its own unique story to tell.

 

·      Hand-blown in the U.S.A. at our Virginia Studio

·      9 Inches in diameter

·      Orbital hanger eye is sturdily built

·      Signed and dated

·      Sturdy Hook & Instructions For Hanging Included

BG Optic Top View Sized.jpg

Sky Dream

Sometimes you have to stay in while it rains and let the sound surround you as you wait for a dreamy patch of sky to open up, teasing you into the light.  Ladders of gold sun dance through the clouds as you dream in poetry.  Let the muses take you in this woven work of emerald and cobalt.  Gold shimmers in highlights along the top.  Ribbed, colors fold over and blend dreamily.  You are getting sleepy…Made with love and born from fire, because ours are hand-rolled and blown, each piece is unique but bears the same patch of sky each time with a little more wind here, a little less downpour there.

 

·      Hand-blown in the U.S.A. at our Virginia Studio

·      9 Inches in diameter

·      Orbital hanger eye is sturdily built

·      Signed and dated

·      Sturdy Hook & Instructions For Hanging Included

 

Wavy Purple Top View Sized

Wavy Purple Plum

Purple, pink ruby and splashes of orange are woven like the tresses of a transcendental mermaid who catches you in her otherworldly dream.  Only love makes things like this.  Hand-blown, each piece has its own song to sing you.  Let us start the music for you.

Art and Design, glassblowing

Fall Workshops and Classes


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If you follow Stafford Art Glass on our Facebook page, you will  know about the slew of delays I have had in getting the studio back online again.  It has been kind of exciting, in a weird way, if only because of the significant improvements I have been able to work into the studio while waiting.  Oh, and the fingers I broke last Fall are doing very well, thank-you (the first of a few of the snarls time-wise!).

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Myself, I have tried to remain as Zen about this as possible.  While I very much want to have glass available to an eager group who has expressed interest in it, I also know that once I get in the thick of things once the furnaces are turned on and the gas bills keep climbing, it will be harder to make the changes that I have made this past Spring and  Summer.  These are all great changes, they just took some time (some longer than others!).

As I sit here, the furnace is actually on  its second melt, which means that it is producing excellent glass, the doors to all of the furnaces and a kiln have been hooked up to pneumatic foot control (nice for when you are holding a blow pipe),which means they open and close without having to muscle them open and closed by hand. The vent hood has been enclosed for more efficient ventilation, a fan has been wired in for that vent hood, and some other equipment have also gotten some upgrades.

 

Over the course of the last several months I have ordered over 50 new glass colors, and I put in another order for over half of that amount just yesterday. I have ordered glass color that I think will make for really interesting pumpkins as well as expanded color choices for ornaments, increasing the choices ten-fold. Some of these colors are ones I have not used in my own professional production over twenty years of working in the field (so this is a big step). None of this has been cheap, but it makes for a better experience for all of the people who are eager to sink their teeth into some exciting new offerings at the studio. One of the upgrades has been making sign-up for classes or workshops something that you can do from your phone or computer online.

Beginning the first of October, I will be rolling out my new internet booking calendar.  This calendar will be available right here on this blog at www.staffordartglass.blog.  This calendar will allow you to book classes from the comfort of your mobile device or from your living room.  From now until the calendar goes live, there will be upgrades and changes being made to the calendar to make it more useful for most of the classes that will be taught at the studio. Even though it is up right now, changes are in the process of being made, so it is not just yet ready for prime-time (but soon!).

Here are some of the classes that will be offered beginning October 1st:

  • Blow Your Own Pumpkin – offered from October 1st through to November 18th. You can pick a thirty minute slot for a small pumpkin or two slots for a larger pumpkin (I will have examples of these two sizes when we get closer to our class roll-out).
  • Blow Your Ornament Ball (BYOB) from November 30th through to December 22nd.
  • Make Your Own Paperweight – available year round.
  • Make Your own Suncatcher – available year round.
  • Weekend Glass Blowing Intensive – the first weekend of each month (subject to minimum enrollment).
  • One-Day Glass Blowing Intensive – the second Saturday of each month (subject to minimum enrollment).

That said, this schedule is just a guide to make things easier for all involved.  However, if someone would like to make a pumpkin in January or even in May, all you need to do is look on the calendar and see if the time is available.  The same goes for ornaments. If you would like to blow an ornament in October to avoid making something in December, you are welcome to do that. The way the calendar and the classes are set up for single items, I have those designed so that an ornament can be made  within a 30 minute booking session (which is how the first calendar is set up—and yes, there may be individual calendars for different classes but I have to work out the coding for that first). Since all classes are individual and include one-on-one instruction (except for the one and two-day intensives) this makes scheduling much easier. In truth, it might only take 15 minutes to make an ornament or suncatcher, but I give you that time to make sure we cover all the bases while each and every person is here.  Likewise, a small pumpkin can be made in thirty minutes and a large one can be made in an hour (you would book two thirty minutes slots and let me know that you want to make a large pumpkin when you arrive). The elegance of the way these experiences are set up is that by doubling up on two 30 minute slots is you get the right pricing and enough time to make your piece.  It is a modular system I developed that makes scaling up simple and easy.

There are many things I do not know just yet about the full functionality of the calendar and how many options I will be able to include, but right off the bat I know that there are some options as I write this that will be available.  For example, this calendar will be able to utilize coupon codes so those of you who follow Stafford Art Glass at Facebook or on other social media sites like Twitter can grab coupon codes that will be announced there and bring them here for making your final booking. To take advantage of these, go to the site for Stafford Art Glass on Facebook, hit “Like” and get the latest codes and updates.  We are located on Facebook  here:

https://www.facebook.com/Stafford-Art-Glass-273860936858/

In instances where the calendar does not allow for the type of flexibility that I might have hoped, I will be announcing work-arounds in the event that someone wants something custom or different from the norm.  But as of right now, I am still learning how to make this calendar as flexible for your use as possible.  I am using one of the highest rated booking calendars out there available for the Word Press platform (it even takes payments) so I am expecting a high degree of functionality once I uncover all of the bells and whistles in the next few weeks.  Given how this past year has gone, I am a little gun shy about making promises about exactly how I expect something like the new booking system will work.  I just know that once I sink my teeth into it, I will be able to work through the software to help bring value to my customers.

If you subscribe to the blog, you will be kept up to date about any new classes or events happening that involve booking your place for an event.  While there will also be updates on Facebook, these can easily get buried under new posts. Word Press makes it so that you can receive updates through email as well as SMS (text message to your phone) which can be even more convenient for many of you. I can also provide class descriptions here that may be too lengthy for Facebook readers.

You will find that prices are inclusive for all of our classes. That means no pesky add-ons that you have to worry about. Anyone taking a class also receives 15% off all merchandise in the gallery as a special thank-you for educating yourself about what it takes to delve into the world of glass making.

In the meantime, until we reach the first of October, I will be working to produce samples of a full line of ornaments that will make deciding on an ornament color combination easier once you show for your time slots. I will do the same with sample pumpkin color combinations, too. Then, if you get here and can’t decide what colors you would like, I will have some samples that might make deciding easier.

Thank you all who have been following along for your patience!  My hope is that the changes will be welcome and will make everything just a little bit more easy. Here’s to a fun and exciting Fall!

Keep It Hot,

~Parker

 

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