Blowing Bubbles that Don’t Pop

During the HintonburgHappening there were all kinds of arts events — try a potter’s wheel, go to women’s drumming circles, make a thankfulness kit, watch (or assist) a magician, watch paintings being painted, be photographed by the LoveOttawaProject. One option was to go to the glass blowers.

It’s the same as pottery, in that you’re shaping the earth, except you’re dealing with melted sand at 2200 freaking degrees or so.

We’ve gone twice before to glassblowers that offered the chance but I wimped out.

I made it myself, kinda. Flo Glass Blowing does the kiln, tools, materials, explanations, guidance, but you get to be involved.

Hubby photographed me picking up my choice of colors.

While we were there there were 4 other pairs where one person photographed the friend doing this.

You could make it and then opt for it to be melted away again or pay and keep it for $15 which is around half the usual price.

My little pile.

Turn it smoothly and fast enough to keep the molten glowing clump on the stick and even in the glory hole.

Blow and stop when Melody says. Sounded a little like lamaze class. It was surprisingly hard to blow. Like a balloon, a lot of blowing to start and push thru the mass then less, in this case to not blow out the end of the bubble as the teacher rolls and shapes the other end.

Some people could blow steady and hard and fast and made a big bubble quickly. Others didn’t have the wind and it had to be taken back and reheated once or twice more. Some ended up with a big, medium or small ball. Mine needed a reheat. Apparently I’m not full of hot air.

Nothing phallic to see here. Moving on.

The instructors, Melody or Stephanie while we were there, cut it off the metal rod, added the molten gob and stretched and twisted it to make the eyelet for a string.

The colors while hot are different than what they’ll return to when cooled. All that padding is round-shaped and keeps the heat safely away before it goes in the fridge. The glass looks cool but they marked your number with chalk. The chalk flashed into fire.

I blew it last week. It cools a little bit quickly but entirely slowly. It takes a controlled slow cooling to not crack.

With that many people coming thru people have to cooperate in a system to keep the place in working order. Case in point:


Pretty tools!

They have a video at their site showing inside the studios. They have several classes to do things from paperweights to oil lanterns and glasses. You can rent studio time as with a pottery place. While you’re there you might notice there’s a stained glass store/studio a couple doors down in the same strip mall. They also do classes.

1 Jul 2014, 9:50am
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Happy Canada Day

getting dog all decked out
[Archived crowd shot in 2010]

Let’s continue to make, moment by moment, choice by choice, the country of compassion, love, honouring the different but equal, supporting the vulnerable and protecting and improving the air, water and land. Boundaries about respect not defence. See how lives in parallel can coexist without necessitating destruction or disruption. Curious and kind, taking time. All the time we need.

P.S. And this from this year:
Celebration woven into the chainlink.

27 Jun 2014, 3:13pm
Glad Game
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Glad Game: Summertime

The weather is not trying to kill us. Moving inside to outside isn’t a shock.

Barefoot in grass. And in hammock.

How hard and intense reading sessions are completed by work of the body. I see why monks do practical gardening and so on. The mind processes better and the body is more complete with useful muscle work.

Since 2004, this is post 2001 at Humanyms.

The yard is taking shape. The new doors in the studio brighten the whole place.

I found all the missing hats. The mysteriously missing baseball caps fell to the back of the top shelf. Thanks to a chair, I saw them, and the missing scarf, the badminton rackets, the frisbee and 2 bottles of sun protection.

That brings our total house count to 7. 2 empty. 2 creams of 30 and 50 spf, of known location. These found. And one other spray bottle on the lam.

Homemade rhubarb juice and homemade lemonade.

It’s date day. Our take off and talk about nothing instrumental or practical while we eat somewhere for a couple hours. It’s a lovely tradition.

Fireflies. I was sure I’d never see them again since we left the countryside but here they found us in our very yard. All this and bat swoop too.

Bruce Taylor Workshop
The Bruce Taylor workshop closed the season with lots of food for thought on didactic poetry from the time of Socrates to present. None of which I’ll pass on here in the interests of going back outside among the sun and ferns.


take a thing, leave a thing box
The exchange boxes are back. Here’s the story behind the people of this round

Make yourself a good day,

25 Jun 2014, 1:57pm

Say it with Flowers

Wordless Wednesday
A bouquet

Peonies season is short and closing.

I don’t think I noticed the buds are red when closed before. They looks like a city cousin of Evening Primrose

Inside the bells.

Do you know about, speaking to Ontarians here, name that wildflower? It is sorted by color pages.

Rain in the yellow daylilies.

Rain collecting in the serviceberry

24 Jun 2014, 5:40pm


Our World Tuesday is not really remote from Ottawa but is a road trip.

The Fieldwork Project has been going a few years on the wild to the west of Perth near Maberly if that helps. Take an unmarked dirt road off Highway 7 beside a lake and stay on it until the banner appears. The site has more directions. There’s a parking lot and a guide in a box, a comments book, a deet and guide to recognizing and removing ticks.

And five new installations by: Geoff Wonnacott, Marc Walter, Lisa Cresky & Susie Osler, Barbara Cuerden & Karina Kraenzle, Zone Vert and Carey Jernigan & John Haney. I’m not sure we ended up looking at them all. Installations by their nature aren’t photographical. One was a nest as if made for a giant with clay shapes in it that you were to raid, take around and break to let the seeds in them be dispersed.

Another was a “hunting” hide with the other side being the daily gathering of a photo in a built environment of grocery store. What is our story of self, of “adventure”, of “normal” and “nature” and our relationship to them.

Forget scarves for trees, how about a glove? Yarn bombing as art? It begs the question of nature and this construct of non-nature defined by humans not being evidenced. Except the grove of pines were probably planted.

That’s by the lady who is often around the tiny fieldhouse at the base of the park across from the National Gallery.

There was a mini picket fortress as if by beavers.

There was a translucent shelter with a ladder in it that lights up at night. First off eye-catching.

Hm, wish it didn’t light up at night even if using solar power. Light pollution happens one lumen at a time and dark skies are so rare. It won’t make a difference in the grand scheme but if it is moving in the wrong direction or right direction? I don’t know if this was part of the design of provocative or my bent.

If it doesn’t matter, but how could it not? I feel guilty for any lights at night. Regularly think of doing a note campaign along the streets to slide under businesses that keep their storefront going continuously to let them know I won’t shop there if they do. If a store is open 24 hours, it is in use. Showing off merchandise in the off-chance someone see it and wants. I like the Paris model where metal doors come down over the store front. Closed is closed.

Ghost barn. I don’t know that I moved to new thoughts. My failing.

I can’t say I get art. I keep exposing myself to it but little catches.


There was a monument to the book and decay. Presumably erosion of information.

You can’t tell but the stack is donut-shaped, narrowing as it goes up. Books are starting to fall off.

From the site info:

The work is about stillness, and interiority, the kind that is particular to the book. In an era where bookishness seems to be disappearing, Speaking Volumes is a testament to the internal voice and its absence – and the persistent beauty of the material object – being slowly returned to its source.

The structure is a sentinel made of books, in a small glade in the pine forest at FIELDWORK. The free-standing structure is accompanied by fragments torn from the books themselves. Words and phrases are suspended from surrounding trees, like nearly perceptible whispers.

There’s the aim.

In the trees around it were torn out bits of paper fluttering on strings and tangling in the pine branches. A bit of a gee whiz factor. Words everywhere.

Except what I appreciate about a forest is the absence of words. Why bring plastics (a different exhibit) and things into a cathedral of light of trees?

Does intention make a difference in effect? Was the yarn and thread cotton or tiny plastics that will stay forever?

It is a claiming of space that is claimed by field and fence and road and broken patchwork of forest, but this time claimed to examine ourselves in with physical prompts?

Am I a philistine? I may have been in the wrong headspace. Some parts of me wall up into skeptical with visual art. Occasionally pottery or sculpture can break thru but mostly I want representative art. Which is at odds with liking representative poetry least of the kinds.

It may have been that I was more concerned with ticks and lyme disease and sun making skin cancer and deet causing other cancers and aerosol eroding atmosphere and amazed that aerosols are still marketed for any use. And caught up what I could see.

flowers are to art what ideas are to words.

What is ephemeral is more interesting than just its aspect of ephemeralness but all the complexity that fits in that life too. We have 172 species of dragonflies in Ontario. Each compound eye has about 30,000 tiny, six-sided lenses or facets. It may buzz past a Bladder Campion which is that inflated pouch of a roadside flower with white petals. Perhaps someone taught you to pluck it and snap it against the back of your hand. As it ages the seeds inside it turn from white to pale and darker purple then black-brown. They are “weeds” because they’ve been here centuries, but came from Europe.

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