Autumn harvest and exhibits

This has been too beautiful an autumn in northeastern Pennsylvania to spend all our time in the studio. For the past month we have been harvesting and canning pears from a neighbor s tree. There are jars of pear quarters, spiced whole pears, and pear butter in the cupboard. Now that light frost has hit the garden several times, Jay has brought in all the peppers to make Stuffed Peppers Ricci (his mother s recipe) for dinner or to freeze and will bring in the last of the tomatoes tomorrow. The harvest has been bountiful.

Our weather is cool enough to fire up the kiln again to fuse glass. Expect to see some small fused art pieces at our fall exhibits. Speaking of which, here is the schedule:

November 15 & 16, 2008 Silver Anniversary Artisans Marketplace, Waverly Community Center (northwest of Scranton, 1115 N. Abington Rd., Waverly, PA 18471)
Saturday 10 am to 5 pm
Sunday 11 am to 4 pm
For a discount admission card, send a request with your postal mail address to glass@paulukonisStudio.com

November 29 & 30, 2008 Holiday Arts at Skytop Lodge (Skytop PA in the Pocono Mountains)
Saturday 10 am to 5 pm
Sunday 11 am to 3 pm
For directions to and information about this beautiful 5,500-acre resort on their website. No charge for admission. Tour the lodge and take a walk around the lake after you visit the show.

Grand evening

Thank you to all who honored Jay and me by attending Friday evening’s reception at the Afa Gallery. We enjoyed meeting new people and being with many friends, clients, and other artists. It was pure joy seeing people delight in the glass. It doesn’t take much of a question to get either of us talking about our materials or work so by the end of the evening my voice started to go. If you didn’t get a chance to visit with one of us, do email or call. Or bring your query to the gallery talk at 8 p.m. on September 15. See you there!

Traversing another fireland

The morning after my last entry, Jay, our son and webmaster Michael, and I departed on what was supposed to be a vacation. We left home shortly after 3:00 am and drove fifteen hours (less rest stops) to Waterloo, Iowa, my home town. Three drivers is better than two and we played a talking book that interested all of us. Besides listening to a book on those long journeys, I enjoy watching the sun come up in the rear-view mirror, eating breakfast in the last Pennsylvania I-80 rest area, cross-country conversations for which there seems to be all the time in the world, and crossing the muddy Mississippi.

I also enjoy arriving at my parents home in Waterloo. They used to catch sight of us as we drove into the driveway. Now we make our way down the halls and up the stairs of a retirement village apartment building. Dad and Mom moved there three years ago as dementia claimed more and more of Mom s functioning. In order to ensure her care, they left the house they had built for our growing family when I was seven years old, and the huge old maple tree out front, and the big garden in back, and moved into a small apartment. Now Dad lives alone in the apartment since Mom entered the village s care center a year ago.

In July life again changed dramatically for my father. He had a heart attack shortly before our planned visit. Within hours of our arrival in Waterloo Dad s condition worsened. So instead of early-morning Masses followed by breakfast out, wheeling my mother to the patio with the newspaper, and a day trip to visit relatives, we listened to a ventilator and counted tubes running into my father in the ICU.

The last time my parents came east, a half-dozen years ago, I traveled with them for a week. It was a bittersweet time as my mother s confusion was already very pronounced. During that trip I translated some of the experience into a stained glass panel later named Traversing the Firelands. During our July trip I had no energy for designing but perhaps I may yet find a way to describe some of the journey via glass and lead lines.

PFaF pt II

A neighborhood spirit developed among the exhibitors in the lower half of the 100 aisle of this year’s Philadelphia Furniture & Furnishing Show. Some were able to lend an extra hand to others during set up and take down and we covered for one another when an exhibitor had to leave the booth for a meal or the necessary room. We offered professional advice, traded personal stories when traffic was slow, and shared a meal in Chinatown before loading vans and trucks Sunday night. The artistry in our neighborhood was extremely varied in style and all high quality. If you didn’t get to meet these artisans at the show, check out their web sites:

Alan Lee Levine makes brightly-colored modern interlocking and custom design furniture.

Tripp Gregson crafts capricious furniture and accessories from found materials.

Jean Bouteiller offers wood carvings as well as original and reproduction furniture.

Jason Berg creates functional cast glass at New England Glass Design.

Susan Madacsi uses traditional and non-traditional blacksmithing techniques to produce functional and decorative metal objects.

John Geraghty is known for using very large slabs of wood to create striking furniture pieces. And when we say large, we mean “even larger than you think.”

2004 PFaF

Hello again to all we met at the Philadelphia Furniture and Furnishings Show the middle weekend of April. Wasn’t that a terrific collection of artisan-made furnishings under one roof?! Two friends who had never before been to that kind of exhibit are still talking about it to family and friends.

One of our favorite aspects of the show is enjoying conversations with booth visitors about your hoped-for projects and what you see in the glass we display. Hearing about the environment where you want glass and discussing installation challenges is always stimulating. We get new ideas and can hardly wait to get home and try them out. If you left your name and address, or phone number, we promise to get in touch soon.