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Sleepy Crew: Aaron Beier (K), Jesse James, Britney Lindstrom, and Moi!

So, I haven’t been the best blogger, but……So much has happened.  It will take too long to try and catch you up on everything.  Last I spoke was in March.  Since then we have finished the building, yet before that we completed the two biggest jobs of my life in the building.  This included the Bridge of Kiewit and a set of bus shelters for Smart Transit in Wilsonville, OR.  Here are a some pics.  The first one is at apx 6am, after being awake for 32 hours straight.  You can’t tell but I am so overwhelmed this project is done!



Sweet Hardware!

The Bridge, completely installed by 6am

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“Rediviva”Interview With Laurel Marie Hagner

Concerning your work:

When you are creating, what are your strongest themes?

Depending whether the work I am creating is for myself or for a client has a huge impact on the theme of the work.  My work boils down to using sculptural form, texture, subject matter, etc to communicate concepts.  Sculpture is my language of choice.  I feel to truly communicate a concept successfully, one must utilize appropriate materials and techniques.  Every aesthetic choice adds to the language.

I greatly enjoy working directly with clients that have a mission or meaningful concept they wish to communicate. A few commissioned projects I really enjoyed include work for Chemeketa Community College which focused on liberation through education (this theme has always been close to my heart).  Another was for the Seattle Zoo, where I was able to create cast bronze door handles for a children’s exhibit.  I strive to create work that awakens the viewer’s inner child, so creating work specifically for kids is awesome.  A third would be a project I’m working on for Kiewit Bridge and Marine, which focuses on engineering prowess and balance.  Engineering is essential to my large scale work, so focusing on this theme is exciting.

In my personal sculptural work, I focus on a couple themes.  My public work has become quite iconographic.  There are a great deal of things to be learned from the natural world around us.  For example, the life of the butterfly has been one of great study for me.  I look at the process this animal goes through to transform.  Their life exemplifies patience, determination, transformation, joy, and liberation.  What other creature can start out as basically a fuzzy worm, work diligently to find and build a safe home, go through a period of hibernation/meditation, and come out as a beautiful winged creature that gets to flit from flower to flower enjoying nature’s sweet nectar.  Now that’s reward, but only to be enjoyed for fleeting moments seeing their life span is so short.  I try to live my life in a similar fashion, working hard, attempting patience, seeking peace, spreading my wings, and absorbing what sweetness I can from living.  Life is short.

What inspires you most? God, the interconnected cycles of life and death, human ingenuity, strength, passion, peace, beauty, love, knowledge, and the our human experience would have to be my top 10.  While God is everywhere and in everything, life is a delicate balance of fragility and power, til death transforms us.  We are constantly tested by life as it unfolds.  It is through finding the courage to be true to oneself in life, that I am an artist not out of choice but out of necessity.

You mentioned, for instance, a strong feminine connection/message that has been hidden by historical factors which you feel is important to express. Could you elaborate on that concept and how it is reflected in your art?
As a young  girl I remember trying to figure out how I’d ever measure up, since so much of society was pushing me to believe I was supposed to look like twiggy.  Instead I was strong, soft, well spoken, creative, and determined not to be messed with.  I’d already endured an entire childhood of not fitting in, then had to face being a girl.  And even more frightening was trying to figure out what it meant to be a woman.  Society has a lot of definitions that didn’t seem too appealing.  And in church they were so busy talking about the boys I didn’t know where to turn.  I felt like women were this whole unrealized race in hiding from the greater societal and spiritual consciousness.  It wasn’t until college when I began studying art, philosophy, religion, and sociology did I begin to understand the diversity and power behind femininity.  It is my belief that we all look to our own image and relationship with God for ways to define ourselves.
I started learning about ancient cultures that revered femininity through manifestations such as the compassionate mother, the fertile lover, the wise healer and the warrior priestess.  I questioned why something so exquisite, beautiful, nurturing, and strong would be captured and destroyed.  My heart ached but my artistic voice and identity as a woman became strong.  I started to see the world as a balancing act….between destruction and creation…life and death.  And while to refer to yin and yang may seem cliche, there is much to be said for the qualities of opposites.  This is what brought me to truly question the gender definitions I so struggled with as a young woman.  Not one of us fits in to standard gender definitions, and if we are….then its probably frustrating.   My most personal work at this time exemplifies the mystical qualities of the feminine, drawing from ancient stories, artwork, and artifacts, while reflecting on my own experience as a woman in an especially industrial and technologically driven world and profession.  I look for parallels from historical and archaeological findings that may tie our present existence to our past ancestors.  This is where I find a great deal of inspiration.  While today’s world offers spiritual lessons at every turn, I feel a sense of purpose in revealing the links between diverse and ancient cultural stories and our present day personal experiences.  This is not only a woman’s story, but reflection on the human experience.  My mission now, is to remind the viewer of a place and time, still present within ourselves, where our hearts are open, the inner child runs free, and our minds take flight.

Concerning your studio space:

Would you define Glassometry as an industrial space or an art studio or perhaps both?Glassometry Studios is a dream more than anything.  While it falls under the manufacturing facility definition… definitely is both an industrial space and art studio. The methods I utilize in the production of sculpture are predominantly industrial in nature due to the media, ie; large scale metal fabrication.  Working with glass on a large scale is like being a mad scientist.  There are no clear cut recipes for success and its fragility can be a real heart breaker.    Oh and did I say “I like to play with fire?”

Not many people are versed in what it takes to produce sculpture, but it seems the best way to describe myself is one who produces intimate, engineered, architectural, forms created for sheer emotional impact.  I create huge problems for myself with the technical thrill coming from utilization of industrial processes.  Metal is power and Glass is fragility.  The ultimate balance.  Here are back to the yin and yang.

To clarify what an industrial art studio contains; there will be a glassblowing hot shop with a 400 lb crucible furnace, a kiln-forming area with the capacity of producing up to 12ft by 7ft sheets or slabs of custom art glass.  The glass area has a 1 ton jib crane with a 38ft diameter swing.  Wouldn’t want to miss moving something big and hot around.  There is a model and mold making area for clay work, a cold-working area for polishing, grinding and cutting (which unfortunately you can rarely escape).  And a simple yet effective metal fabrication area accessorized with a 24 ft tall 2 ton jib crane also with a 38ft diameter swing.  Thank you Schlosser’s.   You can’t see my face but I’m grinning from ear to ear.  There is also going to be a gallery and sculpture garden out front so I’ve got somewhere to put the large outdoor sculptures I so love to make.

[Would love to hear about the cranes you have installed! They sound so hard-core.]

The Glassometry studio was built over an old Hanel Lumber Mill, What were some of the challenges and successes of converting such a heavy industrial space into this new incarnation.   Well, there have been no shortage of challenges.  Once I realized that this site was one of three in the county that would actually work, I had to face the reality that saw mills are automatically on the list for environmental contamination, not to mention, society is always tearing down, burying, and building new.  So history became a big project.    Once my offer was accepted we started digging.  I couldn’t afford to build if I was required to excavate and fill or remove huge amounts of earth….its always the biggest mystery and possible expense in new construction.  We unearthed the original saw mill foundation….over 75 ft long by 20 by several feet thick with multiple stem walls, footings, etc.  This chunk of concrete was going nowhere.

Odell is historically a bog, with high water tables and silt, then you add in excess concrete, drains, fill etc. I orchestrated pre-digging all the footing locations, shifting things to avoid multiple old drains, and concrete, so the final building placement would either work around or utilize these things in the most cost effective manner.  Once the geotechnical report was complete we moved on to performing a Phase 1 and 2 environmental study.  The old log pond was located just 100 feet from my site, which is down grade so the main concern was hydrocarbons that would move through the water table.  The study covered an entire historical recap of the land going over any and all county and state records, as well as conducting interviews of past owners.  Once the historical data was gathered they determined we would need to gather soil and water samples.  Talk about stress.  For those of you unfamiliar with Environmental law, the point of this study is directly linked to the “Innocent Land Owner Act”.  Basically if the land were found to be contaminated after I purchased it, I’d be responsible for the cost of clean up, which can be huge, so these studies were performed to protect me from that liability.  The site being an old saw mill puts it on the list of high contenders for contamination.  Why….because of the excessive use of oils, gas, chemicals, and when trees break down in the log pond it produces high levels of hydrocarbons, which are poisonous, which can leach into our water table.  So long story short, we got lucky with minimal contaminants.  We did however have to over engineer the foundation utilizing huge 7/8″ tie bars, couplers, excessive re-bar, and 6ft by 6ft footings.  While all of these things created challenges, I feel I was extremely blessed by the simple fact that I was able to build.

Concerning the future of Glassometry:

It is very exciting for us to hear that you will eventually be hiring at Glassometry. How many employees you might be seeking when you are up and running AND what kind of skills you would be seeking in future employees? As anyone can imagine, my business fluctuates.  And if you’ve viewed my work, its obvious there are a lot of different skills necessary.  I have been the labor for the majority of my work up until now.   With this expansion, I will need to find people who are skilled at working with their hands.  Attention to detail and work ethic are essential.  They should have an interest in learning new things, solving problems, and working as part of a group.  They should also be comfortable with having a female boss.  I greatly appreciate the value of experience each person brings to the table when it comes to creating challenging works of art.  Since every piece is like re-creating the wheel, problem solving is essential.  Most of the larger sculptural projects require anything and everything from cad design work to engineering, metal fabrication, mold making, glass forming, carpentry, equipment building/maintenance, not to mention bookkeeping, sales, and administrative work that never seems to end.  I have done all of this.  I would like to say, depending on the public support and what jobs move through the studio that I would imagine I’ll hire 3-10 employees but this will fluctuate.   If its not clear on how the studio breaks down, there is the metal fabrication area, glass kiln-forming, glass blowing, mold and model making, cold-working, designing and rendering, and sales.  I am also considering creating internships, which may be an important source since again…”Art Studio”.  For employment, job experience or a degree is preferred.  Each material carries with it its own body of knowledge that only comes through experience.  It is important for any potential employees to at least understand this concept.

As a note I do want to clarify that the majority of those employed in the construction of this job were local suppliers.  This was one of my goals.  I am only doing this once (I hope), and it meant a great deal to make it part of the community from the start.  The local companies involved included Bounds Excavation Inc, Mission Construction Inc, Land Electric, Pride Plumbing, C & R Gutters, GPSI, Hanel Developments LLC, Tenneson Engineering, Fastenal, Mid-Columbia Overhead Doors, Dog River Coffee (many meetings), Cascade Accupuncture Clinic (much less stress), Dolly Brandt (massage me), Home Depot and Tumalum of course, The Mt Hood Country Store (happy hour), Print It Sign Media, Honald Crane, Schlosser Machine, and Your Rental and Party Center.  Please forgive me if I’ve failed to mention your company.  My thanks is in the bill being paid.  There are many other individuals through this process I have been grateful to.  The kindness and helpfulness I have met on so many levels has been beyond remarkable.  I hope to thank all of you with the Grand Opening.

Glassometry Studios:

“Specializes in breaking imagination boundaries using glass and metal”

Artist Statement:

“My satisfaction comes from giving sculptural life to beauty, strength, grace, and liberation through artwork of dynamic scale and intricate design.  By exploring existence my work serves to create welcoming and compelling interest.  In a world where our daily lives are filled with repetition, I hope to give viewers breathing room to feel, think, and embrace the beauty and meaning in life.”

So with the roof on, there is just a little bit more to  attend to… tightness.  As some of you will notice….this metal building doesn’t have your standard windows.  It has windows with trim.  This called for some special attention from Mike and Worm….the window and insulation finish team.  So yes, custom trim was made not only for the sides to create what is like individual window gutters, but also flashing was also cut specifically to follow the profile of the metal on the top, then screwed into place and sealed.  We are dry.  R & M Steel, the building manufacturer’s actually told me that because of my windows they are now creating a window flashing package specifically for this type of window.  (Wish I hadn’t been the first!)

Did I mention I had volunteers?

Worm ignoring camera...Mike trying to ignore camera.

This orange clad volunteer, actually right hand man is Daniel as many of you already know from his star roles earlier in the construction.  In this shot he is preparing to whirl wind almost all the trash on the site into a huge rolling trailer ball that we then took to the dump.  It was really amazing and I’m sorry I didn’t get more pictures.  But at least I am proud to say we have managed to clean up the site, make it pretty, and never bring in one of those huge expensive dumpsters.  Amazing really!  We are bon-firing all the wood debris.  My birthday was the first excuse.

Has anyone seen this woman?

So, its not easy to take pictures and be in them, but I’m not one for not trying.  So here I am in my mom’s garage, gettin’ my grove on with my welder.  Yes, I’m skipping around.  Like I said, a lot has happened.  So while the guys were busy roofing and sealing at the site, I was busy fabricating the glass blowing benches.  There is a great deal of equipment to come, but I figured I’d start with something a little creative and fun.  The table there I also made, and will get a 3/4″ slab of polished steel on it when complete.  This will serve as the marvering table in the hot shop.  You’ll have to come check it out to understand what I’m talking about.

Not quite complete, but on its way.

Let the framing begin!

I’m jumping forward again to try and catch up, so the next picture is the first few days of framing.  Included in the interior framing is the gallery which is apx 800 sq feet with a 1/2 wall that allows viewing into the glass blowing area.  There is an ADA restroom for the public.

Then there will be the coldworking area which is also framed in, a nice sized utility/bathroom and a mini-kitchen.  Above all this is an office and storage area.

Fire wall?....what?

While framing has been going on for a while now, I became the designated welder for installing the garage door track bars.  Here you can see me about 20ft up in the turtle lift, cutting into girts to weld in angle iron for the tracks to be mounted to.

There are 4 garage doors so this was a fun little challenge.  Good thing we had a lift.

The Angel, just installed in front of the studio. Hey, is that Hood River News catchin' some shots?

We were fortunately also able to use the lift to install the Angel outside.  In the front of the building there will be a sculpture garden.  There are a total of 9 concrete pads with placed around the property made specifically to display large scale outdoor sculpture.  Eventually we’ll have lighting and landscaped paths and areas to relax.  Right now I’m happy to just have the first sculpture installed.

The Angel specifically was designed for my dad who passed away at the end of 2007 from Hodgkins Disease.  He didn’t get to see this while here, but I’m sure he is watching and even more sure now that his angel is here guarding.

Howdy everyone!

For newbies…the art website is

Sorry its been so long since I wrote and updated the blog, but as you will see, a lot has been going on.  So much that at times I haven’t been sure which way was up or if I was still one person.  My mom put it well, “I have one daughter, but she is 3 people.”  That would be accurate.  It will be nice once the General Contractor in me is finished and I can go back to just being 2 people.

I didn't know Todd could smile til I said "blog"!

So now that Rediviva has published this blog I better get to it.  Where did we leave off.  Oh yeah the shell.  So right before we got dried in, we lowered a 24 ft crane column through the roof.  It was most exciting. Before I jump ahead, here I am (not in the picture, but driving the truck) picking up the 24ft 20in diameter pipe that will serve as the column for the crane.  You can see Todd and Tom, the guys who run the steel yard at BBC Steel in Canby.  Good guys, you just got to know what names to call them to get good service.

I love these 24ft flat bed trucks I rent from Penske.

I think Tom is playin' the sultry steel guy in this shot.

The crane column was engineered by Andy Stember, fabricated by Jeremy at Schlosser’s Machine shop here in Hood River.  Here is the crane column in progress and Jeremy reviewing the prints.

You can't tell but I swear Jeremy is 8ft tall. He could just spin that column with his pinky.

Knife plates! Fatty Welds! Yum!

Now they are getting ready to load this huge beautiful column through the roof.  I’m there in the little white hat.  Mike and Ernie of Honald Crane are dialin’ in the program.  We all look so tiny.  Hee Hee Hee!

This column will hold a 19ft jib arm with a 2 ton hoist.  This gives us the ability to pick and move things within a 40ft diameter span. Situated between the metal fabricatio

Little People! Big Column! Ready for lift off!

Unleashing the column once it landed.

Again, aren’t we tiny?  We set the column on the slab but had to pull one side of the strapping through to the center gable so we could pick it once more time and move it over to set on its anchors.  Protruding from the slab there are 12 anchors that are buried 2 or more feet into a custom designed 10ft by 10ft by 3ft deep footing with 3 grids of 7/8 rebar. Fortunately, the base plate slid right over those anchors with absolutely no adjustment necessary.  That’s pro for ya!  (We made sure they all fit before I took the plate over to Schlossers, and yes, an 1 1/4″ base plate can warp.  Actually the freaky thing is that a column that huge can also warp.  The way this column is designed to hold the 4000 lb load from 3 sides involves 2 huge knife plates penetrating the column at each mounting point.  Then there are 3/4 ” and 1/2″ reinforcement plates boxing everything in.  The weld are beautiful.

Quicky of inside with column

So now that the crane column has made it through the roof.  They proceeded to finish the standing seam roof.  This type of roof is great for all the snow and moisture, as well as hot and cold.  Its designed to move, while attached to what are referred to as mobile clips, every seam is also sealed with an electric seamer and along each joint where the two sheets lock together is a weather proofing sealant that gets crimped with the metal.

Tough guys Josh and Worm (Jeremy)

Overhead view of the roof prior to completion.

Here, Josh and Worm, both of whom spent a great deal of time working on this building, took me up in the big green (turtle) boom lift to take a look at the roof.

Too bad the weather wasn’t better but it sure is quite the view, regardless.

They don’t look excited, but they are….I swear.

Here are a few shots I took that are just cool, of while the building is being built.  Not to mention other crew members I want to make sure are included in the pics.

obviously a while ago, but such a cool pic. Don't think I posted this already.

Such different perspectives here between being on the ground with the shell exposed and in the air with almost all the walls up.  I am always so fascinated with the beauty of the structural forms.  I find this in the sculptural forms I fabricate as well.  I’ll get the framework done and plan to cover it but find it so much more intriguing to leave some of it exposed.

Sunrise of 84 on the way to the Dalles one saturday morning.

Just taking a moment away from construction, actually on my way to pick up these crazy old barn doors we’ll be adapting for some wierd sliders in the studio.  But decided on my way to the Dalles to stop and grab this nice sunrise shot.

Power! Raphael you sneaky electrician you....he keeps escaping my camera.

So back to the work.  Here is Raphael, my electrician.  Great guy!  Dave is also a power guy, he’ll show up inside.  But here is the conduit before getting covered up again.  We will have a 1000 amp 3 phase service to the building.  Fiber optics will also be included.  On a not so exciting side of things, we also have installed a duplex pump system to reach Odell Sanitation which is up the road a few hundred feet.  Here is Eric and Rich trenching and setting up the sewer lines.

Sand is used around the lines to protect from penetration.

Finally got Eric to let me take his picture.

I can’t say enough good things about the work Eric Bounds and his crew does.  Always completely on top of the job.  What a life saver.  Thanks you so much.  Here they just finished covering up all the utilities.

One more reason to come visit me in Odell, the rainbows!

Well, with two weeks having passed and much change on the horizon I can finally get back to bringing this blog up to speed. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday with their friends and family. We had a quiet one, being our first in Hood River. But now the excitement of the approaching New Year is starting to bubble. As you can imagine, 2010 will be big in my book.

Tripple Decker Man Sheeting Sandwich

So here we have Joel, originally from the Dalles, but flew in from Hawaii to help on this job (yellow pants). Then Worm and Mike in the middle. And Kenny and Josh at the base. Here they are laying the R19 insulation down over the girts, then fastening the sheeting over the insulation. A bit tricky if you ask me. cool to see the use of the lifts. I still need to work on learning how to run all that cool equipment. Only problem is most of the time they aren’t using it, its DARK.

So this was the 1st day of sheeting, tweaking the details. Since then a good deal has happened, but really a lot of the same so I will jump to a more exciting zoom through time to this…..

NW corner from the inside....sweet! Can you feel the warmth yet?

Here we have an interior view of the front of the building insulated and sheeted. Roofing starts tomorrow, but you can see where the gallery space will be in this image, as well as the 2nd floor office/mezzanine.

Speaking of mezzanine, while it would be nice if it were steel, I will be moving over to finalizing the storage and office area layout. Engineered prints will determine the framing and hopefully we will start this in the next few weeks. So much to do, so little time. Fortunately I did manage to finally get back to what I know better, which is fabricating. In this next picture you can see not only my crazy artist color design for the building shell (yeah), but also the sign I fabricated in my mom’s garage, along with the graphics I designed and had printed at “Print It Sign Media”. The logo I am so proud to unveil was designed by Christine Linder, a dear friend of mine who runs the Visual Communications Dept at Chemeketa Community College where I used to teach and be an administrator (all in the past now.)

Tell me, have you see such a colorful warehouse?

So about these colors. I actually spent a great deal of time looking at tiny swatches trying to determine what the heck to do, and obviously this funny little combo is what I came up with. While one color would be drab, and two would be…well too much of something, the antique bronze, burgundy, and silver just seemed complimentary. Across the front of the building as I’ve mentioned before, will be a large glass and galvanized steel awning that will bring more silver into the composition…I mean building appearance. We’ll see how it all works, but what is done is done. Hope you all like it. I think its crazy rad. Just remember, tell people to look for the purple building……Right?

So before I leave this short post, I want to give some props to my crew.  Kenny the foreman, Josh, Worm, Mike, Joel, now Jeremy back on site (from concrete days), and last but not least Bobbie.  While Bob knows I can be a bit of a handful at times…..I Like Communication.  The guys enduring the weather, materials, and labor have been great.  I know egos fly sometime but I can’t express how much I appreciate their effort, good attitudes, and determination.  I look foward to the day I can offer them a hot cup of joe in a hot toasty studio.  And how Kenny and Josh make it to the site by 6:30 or so, even on some of these crazy snowy days (commuting from the couve,…I don’t know).  Thanks guys for the early morning starts and great work.

Sorry I haven’t written in some time, to those checking in. Busy week. Fortunately while I’ve been running around much of Oregon working on other projects, researching hot shops, etc, the team continued to forge forward with erecting the steel and the concrete work. Here you can see Levi diggin’ away pulling concrete down the shoot to get it in the last sculpture pad. It was cold and things were setting up quickly.

Levi, in the concrete shoot. Pouring the last pad.

Jeremy spraying off the top layer to expose the rock. Brrrrrrr

The concrete has a calcium additive that helps it set up faster, also known as an accelerator. This is partially to deal with the cold temperatures. It was to freeze a day or so after this pour so we covered everything with plastic and straw. In this image above you can start to see the expansion joints Levi added. It almost looks like a ginkgo leaf, the slab that is.

Josh and Kenny set perlins. Nice Mt. Adams view!

Things progress on the side of the steel erecting. Here you can see the main trusses and columns set. Josh and Kenny are the tiny people in that green man lift setting the purlins. Purlins are the cross member supports that run from truss to truss. You can also get an idea of the Mt. Adams view we’ll be having from the front of the building.

Josh and Kenny setting the last end column. Sweet!

Its amazing to see how such big pieces of steel go up so quickly. Its all in the details, the bolts, etc that obviously take a great deal of time. As you can see even though this week was bitter cold at times, the sun still came out to warm things up a bit. I think the temperature ranges swayed from 8 degrees to 25.

Glad they know how to keep warm. I think just a few minutes after this picture, they’d been moving around so much they started taking off layers. Not Me!

So while they were busy at the site, Thursday I took a trip to Cannon Beach to visit Ice Fire Glassworks, owned and operated by Jim and Suzanne. Nicest people. If you are ever out that way, stop in an check out their work. They blow some beautiful glass. They were excessively generous with their time and thoughts on running a hot shop (also known as a glass blowing studio). While we reviewed equipment choices and layout, I also admired their beautiful work.

Window display at Ice Fire Glassworks in Cannon Beach

The drive to Cannon Beach was beyond lovely with it only getting warmer as I approached the ocean. Sunny and crisp, I gave myself a few minutes to enjoy the sand, sun, and crashing waves before I headed back toward Portland.

35 degrees never felt so good.

After this brief but beautiful visit to the beach I returned fortunately to then pay a visit to Effective Heat Glassworks and Brent Hickenbotham the owner. While I’m in the midst of designing the hotshop, this company (Brent) will be building the furnace. Seeing that I built the last large piece of equipment for the studio, it is a huge decision for me to select an individual and or company to provide something of this nature. Although after a myriad of questions, which many of you know I am good for, and many good words about Brent’s expertise and reliability, I have chosen this route.

A little glass furnace history. So within the art glass world, an ever evolving realm in itself, artists have most frequently built their own glass melters. Designs have come and gone, been modified and expended a tremendous amount of energy along the way. Obviously the cost of running a piece of equipment at roughly 2100 degrees continuously in order to have several hundred lbs of hot glass available on demand is no cheap feat. So in the last few years when the development of the moly-furnace (named after the type of elements used for heating (molybdium) came about huge strides were made. Now after several years of development, Brent being directly involved in building, testing, and research, the furnaces being made have an excessively high level of efficiency due to the combination of thermal refractories, form design, high level electronic controls, etc. Brent would have much fancier language to use describing all of this, but you get the point.

Sanding board.

So the next day, I headed to the studio to be joined by Scott (friend, Architect, and art enthusiast) and Lonnie (fellow sculptor and curious about glass). The task for the day was to sand the 14ft by 8ft brick bed of my large kiln, flat and level, then level all the individual bricks for very large shelves to sit on for firing. Thanks to their help we accomplished this task by attaching a huge piece of sand paper to a board and framework (which you can see in the front of the picture), the laser level checked areas across the bed, then proceeded to sand.

This worked out wonderfully. And while it was cold, we kept moving and managed to get the job done in 8 hours. Here they are and the beautiful shelves that now are ready to receive large amounts of melting glass. Thanks for tuning in. More to come next week.

Thanks to Lonnie and Scott for another leveling story

Big Glass on its way!

Well, a week of trusted steel erection is now underway with apx half the building framework up. Temperatures are dropping, yet this week the sun still shone. Many mornings greeted us with a mystical layer of frost, although I’m sure the guys were thinking of it in other terms. I set up a nice little spot in the shipping container, with warm beverages and such so they can have something to take the chill out.

Truss #1 on its way in place, day 1. Sweet!

Steve (looking), Kenny (on lift), Josh, and John

As the crew worked away to erect the steel, we were busy receiving a huge mountain of insulation. If you hadn’t figured out yet, I’m planning on staying warm in this building. For those of you don’t know, I haven’t had heat in my studio for over 6 years now. Last year I got pneumonia so, its the end of freezing my ….off. This building has radiant heat in the slab and an insulation package that exceeds code. Why make heat if you’re going to let it escape. I think I will have a lot of friends next winter looking to get warm. Come on by, but plan to sweat.

Massive progress happening. Levi rockin' the crete!

So here you can see the building being erected, a beautiful view of Mt. Adams, and Levi working to pour the concrete for one of the sculpture/picnic pads. This is actually a special project, I mentioned earlier, with the curved profile. Later that day we had good fun cutting in artistic expansion joints and placing glass in the concrete as it set up. After this pad, another truck came and proceeded to fill the rest of the 9 pads, all of which Levi filled, leveled, and finished. Hard worker that Levi. Excellent craft and couldn’t ask for a better attitude. Glad to have your help Levi. Hope we can do some more artsy crete in the future. You’re on for sidewalks right?

That’s all for now folks, I’ll write more tuesday. Have a great week.

Here's me, placing glass in the slab.

My mom and I on site, in front of the mt of insulation. No the building is not crooked, just the photographer.

So, this is my first blog, and to be frank, I’m still trying to figure out the way the posting works. Not sure if the dates of things are supposed to go backwards or what, but I guess if you’re a reader, you’ll find stuff by poking around archives to see where we came from since the most recent post obviously has some history behind it. So…where are we?

Beautiful sunny fall days in Hood River! Sun Dance in Action! The wind is starting to pick up, getting a bit blistery really. I’m just relieved all these guys are so tough. We’ll see how I hold up. I’m going to jump back in time, since I brought up history. What brought me and all of you here? Well…its my art. So I’m going to litter this post with some images of what I do, which in my mind…is really only the beginning since once this studio is up, fire will break loose. FUN!

"Sisters of Fire", 26" x 15" x 4" cast glass and stainless steel

Custom cast glass sink, counter, and vanity. Total creative freedom. Love it!

"Jamaica" 3ft by 1.5ft by 1ft, Cast glass

So, for those of you not familiar with any of the above. The top right shows a cast glass sculpture mounted in stainless steel. The process of casting glass requires a model to be made in clay. If one is only concerned in producing a piece just once, a high temperature mold is made around the clay. The clay is removed once the mold is cured, cleaned, and placed in a kiln filled with glass the color of one’s choice. Then the kiln is fired slowly to dry the mold and melt the glass into the mold. This happens at apx 1500 degrees. Then depending on the size and thickness of the piece it is brought down to room temperature over a number of days, ie. annealing. “Jamaica” took 1 month to fire and weighs over 120lbs.
Factoid: Glass weighs 156 lbs per cubic foot.

"Mariposa" 12ft by 4ft by 3ft, powder coated steel, cast and laminated glass

This is “Mariposa”, a piece I designed and fabricated in 2008. She is installed temporarily in Lake Oswego.

Sculpture is a form of visual communication. While I enjoy music a great deal, the silence that accompanies sculpture, gives room to the viewer’s own ideas, thoughts, feelings, and revelations.

I made this piece shortly after my father passed. While I had designed it several years prior, it seemed fitting to create a piece that revolves around the moment of rest, anticipation, beauty, freedom, and the many other images this work evokes. I have had viewers ask me if the base is a serpent or even a caccoon (its open on the reverse side). Well, its all of the above. The form yields the stem of a flower, an opening cacoon, as well as the serpent rising from the earth. Why only be one thing when it can be them all?

Well, that’s enough about the art thing. So, just scrapping the surface. The last few days have yielded an amazing point in our construction. The Arrival of the building. Now this was just stunning really. Let me share……I have dreamed of this for so long, yet just 5 months ago I finally designed the studio with markers, tape, misc…some computer work…I’m always caught between the two. The learning curve I’ve endured is insane to say the least. From selecting land, to diligence to selecting a building supplier, to engineering, to contractor selection to…its still going. Then there is the building, determining features…height, snow load (its over), future awnings, use of the space, flow, feng shui….you know all that. But the lingo. do you know what a C, Z, girt, purlin, mobile clip, standing seam, tri or quad lock is?….yikes. Now I know.

The Building Arrives!

Truck #1...The Red Iron Arrives! Thank you R & M Steel.

Truck#2 the Roof and Sheeting.

So here we have two very large trucks bringing my building.  Wow!

And thankfully John,  a very careful equipment operator behind the controls of the Gradall.  Now I know I’m probably spelling the name of that massive forklift wrong, but that’s how it sounds anyway.  I’m not clear as to just how many pieces came off those trucks.  Inventory is still in progress. But to see the steel in so many shapes and even colors and to know it will all go together to create the studio is beyond exciting.  Check out a few action and artsy shots here.

Standing Seam Roofing,...reminds me of wings.

The beauty to Standing Seam is that not one single screw penetrates the roof in its fastening to the frame.  It uses a mobile clip that bolts to the perlins (roof cross members).  Then the roofing gets seamed and clipped in, allowing for expansion and contraction with hot and cold exposure.  This type of roof will outlast any other standard metal roofing system.  We’ll need some snow breaks though if I’m to keep gutters on the building.

How to hug a building backwards!

Look at the size of those trusses!

Yeow.  I love it love it love it.  Hopefully I can make sculpture this big someday.  Hee Hee.

Next morning, columns go up.

One piece at a time, quickly it seems, this building is on its way up.  The new crew that is once again the Mission Men…or lets say men on a mission to get Laurel’s building up…before winter really sets in…include Bob, John, Ken, Josh, Gerry, and Steve.  I have only had the pleasure of meeting Bob thru Josh at this time, but they have all had at least something to laugh about on the site.   Not sure what though 🙂

Hopefully the positive attitudes will also yield warmth.

Extra Curricular Expansion

So on a side note, we (Tim, Daniel, and myself) have been working away at creating several sculpture pads around the site.  Most of which will be in the front and along the road where I plan to develop a sculpture garden.  Included in this next concrete pour, we have an artsy approach.  I’ve heard several gasps….mostly at the size and amount of the rebar I placed in this one area,  but as many of you are figuring out….I’m no shortage of ideas and if you are going to pour concrete and want it to hold something down…..might as well over do it so that something can be super big.  Right?  Here are a few pictures of my adventure clearing out the hole, designing and placing rebar.

My weekend rebar adventure.

Look at the beautiful perfect curve forms Tim and Daniel set up for the edge of this pad.  What outstanding work.  This is just a stellar example of how even though I designed this form, I don’t think I could have dialed this in nearly as well as this team.  Its like everyone doing their part, doing what they excel at makes for a beautiful creation.  I’ll just settle for being the Jacqueline of all Ideas, Master of Manifestation.  Jack can stay at home and master nothing.

Tomorrow we pour these pads, and this one has a little surprise coming.  Thanks for reading.

Jarred cleaning up trench lines for under slab power and sewer.

After so much framing, and compacting, things have to be dug up several more times to accommodate the under slab utilities such as power, water, and sewer. I drew out my locates in regards to where things needed to go, with walls and such and marked for trenches for multiple power boxes, the sanitation line/drain etc. Here you can see the trenches and misc utilities going in, with Jarred clearing out the trench for sewer.

Crazy to think once the lines are in, rock goes back down then gets compacted, then more layers to the cake get piled on, as you can see below here where we are starting to lay down viscuen and foam,….this is where Tim and Daniel had things covered.

1/2 the slab covered in plastic, foam, and #4 rebar on 2ft centers.

Clouds rolled in and out yet over the last two weeks we rarely felt the rain. We’ve been blessed with welcoming weather at a time where we could be rained, hailed, or snowed on.

Pictured here and below in a closer up image shows the guys (Jeremy, Mike, Jeremy, Worm, Levi, etc, with Mission Construction) working to fix the anchor templates in place.

Mike "the choir director", and Jeremy "crew chief, when Bob's not there"

How would you like to lay on steel for hours making this stuff work? Mikey will tell ya!

Worm and the Marine, dialin' it in.

So after a full week or more of framing, steel tying, re-enforcement, etc, we jumped out there with Dan and Zack of Wolcott Plumbing to rangle in the radiant floor tubing. There are three main manifolds and two zones, one for the hot working area and then the rest of the space . The plumbers, Daniel, Tim, and myself cranked out the whole floor in two days. Here are some shots of the tubing layout, etc. We are getting close to the pour now.

plumbing put in by Dan prior to visc., foam, rebar, concrete.

Can you feel the warmth?!?

Can you believe all of this is going to have huge amounts of concrete poured over it? I told you it was a crazy cake. So after we reviewed as much as I could think of to double check, we were ready for the pour on tuesday……low and behold….It was absolutely beautiful.

Sunny with blue skies, crew and trucks ready at 6:20am, inspector Dean Nygaard made the special trip to review our radiant pressure, along with Dan (the plumber). We were ready to rock, pump truck in position, 5 concrete trucks waiting and spinning, and the rock and roll began.

Bobby Breshear, "the leader of the pack".

I was wondering when Bobby would get his hands dirty. Well, pour day is no body’s business. He led the crew, kept things rollin’, and managed to stay relatively clean…..not sure about that part but its true. Amazing performance from all participants. Biggest mold pour I’ve ever witnessed. NICE JOB!!!

Mike Schultz....driver and maneuvering king of the flying concrete.

Starting with the stem walls and partial on the footings, the crew made their way around the entire perimeter, vibrating as they went. Activator accelerated the concrete so within what seemed like a short time the crew was able to walk over what they’d poured. This also meant they had to keep moving from the start of the pour at 7am to past 1pm. Here are a few more action shots of them making their way.

Cowboys of Concrete

Can you believe the size of that concrete pump/crane?

So the foundation you see being poured here took 12 designated trucks with apx 40 loades. 8-9 yards per load. Yikes! Now that will prevent uplift. Right Andy? (the engineer!) Here is a simple image of the anchor bolt and foundation plan. Hard to contemplate that a drawing could equal something so massive.

Foundation overhead plan, drawn by Andy Stember.

Footing details. MASSIVE, and don't forget about the cranes.

So this on paper yielded this finished product. As you can see them polishing and cleaning up the slab only a few hours after the pour. Long day for these fellows. Good thing they were receptive to pizza and energy drinks.

Polishers! Both named James. Weird!

Check out that beauty! The cake base layer is complete!

While all this craziness was going on, Tim and Daniel were also working to deal with the excess concrete at the end of the pour. Here you can see Jarred digging our sculpture pads out earlier in the day. Then Daniel and Tim did a most lovely job in placing our rebar grids, and then setting perfect framing for when we bring in our next truck load of concrete to finish things off. These pads will hold a variety of med to large scale sculpture that will create the sculpture garden in front of the studio and along the main road. Not to mention viewable from the Hood River Railroad. Work it!

I've been here the whole time, "directing" I swear!

The levelers, Tim and Daniel, keeping things on task. Thank you.

So what else to end with except that its not over yet. To date, we have a slab, the building arrives Nov 30, when the saga will then continue. Until then see Daniel and the slab and a most mysterious picture of the mountain and luminous sky of the area. Just outstanding!

Daniel in a Daze.

View of the East Hills from the site.

This was taken right before the pour began as the sun made its way into the sky. Thank you for shining when we needed you most.

Check back for more, this week the steel starts to hit the sky. I will also start posts on some of the present art jobs that are going are in progress.

Well, unbelievably the last year of diligent soul and solution searching has landed my body and business in the most beautiful and stimulating location of Hood River, OR. This blog, which has been a goal of mine for some time, will be the beginning of my personal and professional communication with friends, family, clients, art lovers, nature lovers, and those just looking for a bit of reflection.

While I hope to use this blog in the future to show exciting things going on in the studio, the first task is to show the studio being built. The studio is my latest and greatest sculpture. And while it is 7000 sq ft, with 26 ft tall roof and made entirely of steel, it also has many windows and will eventually embellished with some wonderful art glass awnings, lighting, etc. You know the drill!

Let the digging begin!

But until then, we start with the digging, forming, pouring….I did pick some cool colors for the shell. But you’ll have to wait a bit to see that. But only maybe 6 weeks. These guys know how to move. Which also brings me to my crew.

While some of them I have just met briefly at the moment, others I am getting to know well as the project progresses. Choosing a crew, especially never having done such a huge project before, and learning all the time, this was nerve racking. But thus far, I am pleased. I have found what seem to be hard working, diligent, competitive people my age (early 30’s) who are making a good honest life for themselves. Communication is key. I want to thank all of them as a start, especially since they are working in Nov/Dec in the mts, so you know its rainy, cold, and sometimes snowing. The wind hasn’t started yet. But, I commend their drive.

So now for more pictures and the process!

So, the selected Excavation Team is Bounds Excavation, owned and run by Eric Bounds.  I’m pleased to say, I couldn’t be happier at the quality, communication, accommodation, and get it done approach from Eric and his crew, Jarred and Rick.  These guys mean business.  And while Eric does not like being a new found star, I finally caught him on camera here. Break!

"Uhg, there she is again with that damn camera!" least I didn't catch you in those mt biking tights.

I live here!

So, things I didn’t catch on camera included the crazy day Eric dug for the utilities, only to find them 8ft under.  Ground water started coming in where they needed to work and the ground was falling in at the same time.  While the words “disaster” and “If I had hair it’d all be gone” seemed to describe the scenario, I was beyond impressed at how Eric managed and took care of everything.  Thank you Eric.
So here is Mt Hood. Just down the road from where I live and am building the studio. Yeah!Here Eric and Derrick work to layer rock and compact=
So, how does one decide on a building manufacturer? Uhg, you go see them. I made the trip to Caldwell Idaho to visit R & M Steel. A supplier of pre-engineered steel clear span buildings. Although, there doesn’t seem to be anything pre-engineered about it. There is lots of custom engineering. Especially for the supped up roof snow loads, future lean to, and artistic awning I plan to put off the building in the future. But after reviewing many suppliers, R & M Steel provides a very competitive building. And being an artist, budget is the word. They also had the best colors to pick from.
I ‘m going to jump ahead now to the excavation. We had a good amount of re-filling, compacting, and even required nuclear density test. Sounds freaky, and is slightly, but that reads the compaction level. So that was done, then we were given the go ahead to proceed with the framing for the monolithic pour that will be the foundation. Here is the site in progress, with and without snow.

So now that we’ve gotten started. Check into the Studio Build Project to keep tabs on our progress.