Thursday, September 29, 2011

"Can you give me two hours? That's all I ask man, just two hours to sleep before tomorrow. I suspect it's going to be a very difficult day." ~ Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

OK, I am going to get more then two hours but BOY OH BOY do I need some rest!  I was so tired and busy today you only get two photos!  I was walking a bit like an old man cowboy from my lesson yesterday!

There is not a whole lot to say... more of the same craziness.  But here are two things they made yesterday:

Crazy sculpture that looks a bit like a sand castle to me... The colors turned out cool I think.
 And this is a super thick bowl which they "smoked" to give it that grey effect.  They made another one today that is not so big and thick and a little nicer I think.
The other pieces from yesterday were taken away almost immediately after they came out of the anneahler!

Today we worked and worked and still had to stay later.  They did several large graals, one graal with an an encalmo top in a very tricky color, and in general some nice pieces.

The students have their exhibition of their works Saturday afternoon so it will be nice to see them all finished properly.  I also look forward to the lamps having lights in them! 

Now, I am off to bed tomorrow is Pukeberg (last day), riding lesson (dressage again uhg), and Orland to sell glass until 1AM!  Its going to be long!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"I've got a great ambition to die of exhaustion rather than boredom." ~ Thomas Carlyle

I am going to go with a solid "AMEN" to that comment.  I am currently in bed... totally exhausted and wishing I was asleep 30 minutes ago and it is only 10 PM.  Today was jam packed full of action!

I went to Pukeberg again from 9-4:something.  Today Josefine (it is really spelled with an "f" apparently) made it and so there was less running around.  We worked in the morning making big lamps, vases, a crazy sculpture that kind of looks like a castle and various other things.  They said today was American day, "the bigger the better" and Micke made some really big things! I didn't sneak any pictures in, for some reason it never seemed like a good time...  I also managed to give everyone a good laugh today by scaring the shit out of myself.  I was standing next to the pipe cooler that shoots out water on the pipe and I put my hand down to lean on the top of it but instead I lean on the lever that turns the water on with my ass against the open part.  Water shoots out (with force) soaks my ass and I jump and yelp! It got everyone laughing for a long time, even the students laughed and I think every time Josefine looked at me afterward she thought of it.  A few minutes later Micke said "You really scared yourself! I am glad you came this week." while still laughing. At least I am good comedic relief :) 

But, here are some pictures of the stuff made yesterday!

OK, this one was made on Monday, I took a picture of Micke making it.
 I still think it is kind of weird and pointless. 
 This was a really cute sketch but the top got a bit messed up because the colors were softer when heated then they thought.  It is very baby cute, does that even make sense?
 This was the huge graal that is supposed to sit in that crazy bowl with the blue rim.  It is too big I think, I never got to see it in the bowl... but it is HUGE... I need to find a size comparison... and it weighs a TON!
 This was the challenging piece due to lack of communication.
 Sadly the face the girl put in looked much better when it was just a graal post and not blown up.  I wonder if she will be able to fix that on her next turn.

After working Josefine and I went to McDonald's for a treat and I got the McFeast... is this something new that has arrived since the last time I went to McD's or is it a Sweden thing?  I think it is Sweden/Scandinavia.  Apparently Josefine is super bummed because in Denmark they toast the bread they use for the burgers but not here! Toasted does sound nice.  Anyway, the McFeast was burger, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and McFeast sauce (aka mayo with some lemon in it)... pretty tasty all in all.  I just learned on Wikipedia that the McFeast was originally a piece of ham with cheese but that went away and now it is as I described in only Scandinavia and only in Sweden is it not served with ketchup.  Who knew?!?!  

I also went to my riding lesson this evening.  It is my second dressage lesson... but luckily I got Hilma, who I am liking more and more. 
 She is pretty cute when you aren't putting the saddle on.  I was trying to get a shot of her in front of this awesome sunset but my camera and I were having a hard time agreeing and she kept moving...
But, my lesson was an hour long dressage lesson with NO STIRRUPS!! And all but about 8 minutes of that lesson were spent trotting continually! I thought I was going to die! Luckily by the end there were a few "good Theresa" comments but during the beginning it was the regular "sit DOWN, check your hands, stretch yourself UP, looong legs, check your hands, come on more leg, more contact, sit DOWN"  It was the first time in a long time I was thinking of so many things I was constantly forgetting one or two.  I was thinking so hard about my position that Hilma would nearly walk and then I could go faster and on contact but then I was leaning forward and sideways and my elbows were sticking out... and for the first time (since I was a kid) I felt like I didn't have long enough legs on a horse! In the end I am even more exhausted, my ass hurts and today I have not one but TWO blisters from my lesson in a very uncomfy spot.  Which is what I usually expect from my dressage lessons.  

Now, I am in bed, happily worn and tuckered out! Hopefully I won't do anything too embarrassing tomorrow at Pukeberg :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment." ~ Claude Monet

This one might be a little short today because I am super tired! 

So, day two of practik (I don't know if it is with a k or c at the end) at Pukeberg this time ALL ALONE because Josephine was sick.  Needless to say I ran around a lot but it was fun and I was glad to do it.
 The day started by turning on all the machines then sitting on this bench with a cup of coffee while they warmed up.  It is the official Ikea "liar's bench" for old men to sit on and tell their tall tales. Haha pretty funny!
 This is our space ship furnace.  I think it holds 50 liters of glass (around 13 gallons).  
It is Danish and pretty awesome.
 This is our work area in general from the point of the view of the student's observation benches.  The furnace is on the left with an attached glory hole, Glenn's bench is the right and in the middle, far back is Micke's bench and glory hole.
 The morning started by blowing up a bunch of graals the students had decorated.  Here Micke is applying some murrine (small beads with designs in them sort of) to a graal face.  They later added stripes of color in a long swirl and made a pretty cool piece.  
 That piece turned out to be pretty tricky because the student had a hard time communicating what they really wanted the shape to be.  Then it turned out that the shape they wanted was not possible and it got more confusing.  I guess this whole thing is to help teach the students how to communicate with artists/craftsmen but still frustrating all the same.
 I ate lunch outside in the sunshine and then walked around of the beautiful area.
 There was a bike/walking path next to a large stream...
 And I guess this is Puke Mountain... that is what Pukeberg means someone told me.  This is the only thing I have seen that is any taller then flat... it is about as tall as a house... If this is the mountain it is even smaller then anything we call a mountain in the Appalachian Mountains which are pretty small!
 But, it was prefect autumn, sweater weather, blue skies, changing leafs and pretty great!
 After lunch we made more graal blanks for the students.  They have SO many colors to choose from!
 Though sometimes they are still disappointed by the end color result.  Sometimes they put colors together that don't go like white and black so close that the black takes over the white.  Or the grey is just too grey... But it is hard not to be a bit jealous looking at all these colors they get to choose from!

At the end of the day they made a really nice vase which they were then supposed to destroy.  I tried to sneak this picture but got busted and told to "open the door please!" but I wasn't late! I don't think they really care but I was like "eep!"  In the end they didn't destroy it very much, just made some dents in it.
 Here is what got made yesterday!  Except the green bottle, that one disappeared very quickly with it's owner.
 This is graal with a yellow over lay and blue lip wrap.  Today they made a big tear drop vase which is going to sit in the middle of the bowl some how... I don't know but it is big!
 These two in the middle were pieces of colored glass that they rolled the clear onto to get that pattern.  It looks a bit like a science project but I like it.
 This graal turned out really nice.  It looks like a scene from Winnie the Pooh or the silver birches here in the forests.  It is really pretty, well balanced and looks better in real life.
 I took a picture of them making this one yesterday... It is two bottles stuck together.  It is wild looking but pretty cool all the same.  I said it needed a big pink daisy sticking out of the top of it which just made Micke laugh and shake his head... I don't think he approved of the idea. haha
 Then I hurried home to evening class where I worked on finishing some of the pieces we are going to sell this weekend at the Harvest Festival on Orland to raise money for the Venice.  

Then I let myself be convinced to go the gym with Kresten and Bjorn.  I don't know why I went... The only time I sat today was when I ate lunch pretty much and I was dead tired.  But, I did get to see this awesome sunset :) and I feel nice and healthy!
Now I am off to bed early so I will make it through tomorrow at Pukeberg then riding (its dressage this week)!  Tomorrow Josephine should be there so maybe it will be less running around.  I am excited to go back :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

"Let them eat cake." ~ Marie Antoinette

If you remember, today I was at Pukeburg in Nybro!  This is the place, established 1913 I think it said on the factory... very pretty.
 These pictures don't really do it justice, or maybe it was so nice to be outside at lunch after sweating all morning that it looks better in my mind?  Like when you are super hungry even ramen noodles are delish?
 Well here is some of the things that I saw them blow on Friday, which feels AGES ago weirdly.  They turned out pretty cool though they still need some cold working to be done on them by the students.
 This is a graal turned inside out so the pattern (some sort of mosquito or wasp) is actually on the inside of the cheese/cake cover.
 This graal turned out cool, it is a hand holding the piece.  I think it looked better before it got so fat but I still like it now.
 This is a lamp which is supposed to have a white piece inside of it I think.  It is pretty big, black and has very nice straight and sharp lines.
 So, the morning started at 9 when I surprisingly got introduced to the class of design students by their teacher Ole (or Ola, I don't know and I don't really care) Victor... we can just call him OV.  Then we started working on making a graal blank for one of the students.  This is Glenn and Josephine in the plaid and the student in black.... they dress just how design students should... all dark and artsy with glasses.  Am I stereotyping?
 This was my view a lot... sitting at the end of the bench getting ready to blow... That is Micke just past the glory hole and furnace talking to a student about their designs.
 Here he is with Josephine gathering... sadly you can't see the AWESOME furnace, it looks like a rocket ship full of glass!
 So, within the first hour I burned my finger... OK, no big deal.
Within in the second hour I had dropped a cake on the floor where it broke and burst into flames.  A cake is the piece of stone that sits in front of the glory hole's hole to make it smaller.  
 When the piece of glass you are working on gets too big you have to reach in with this long iron stick and hook it, pull it out and put it on the floor in a metal bin.  You do all this while being blasted with heat and balancing a very heavy, awkward stone on the end of a 3 ft skinny stick.  It is no wonder I haven't dropped one before now!  But I blame it ENTIRELY, ok maybe not entirely on the idiot OV.  I don't like the guy (he showed me the school years ago and was a jerk still is today) but now I really think he is a class A idiot.  I was changing the cake, he comes and stands behind me, between Micke and myself and when I back up to take the HOT, HEAVY cake out I bump into him! I get knocked off balance and promptly drop the cake.  HE SAYS NOOOOOOOOOOOOTHING! Doesn't even acknowledge that it happened!  Luckily, I kept it together (Josephine said she would have cried), Glenn helped me put the fire out and Micke just laughed and said "shit happens."

So, after lunch they brought us a new cake for the glory hole... Josephine and I put it on to get prepared for the next session and 20 minutes later we hear this loud BANG and chunks of hot stone fly through the air! We freak out for a minute then decide the cake exploded and it probably won't happen again right?  No! 5 minutes later another explosion and more bits of dust and rocks fly about 15 ft into the air and we all jump, this CONTINUES to happen another 3 times!  Turns out the cake hadn't been properly burnt (who knew?!?!) and that was why it was exploding.  Not our fault but it did kind of feel like it anyway.  Not a good day to be a cake at Pukeburg... 

After that things went smoothly... they made some crazy creations and had a successful afternoon.
 That guy in red is the dreaded OV... doesn't he look like a jerk!?
 This piece is a crazy bottle with a hollow bit stuck perfectly on the bottom.  Micke was very pleased with himself for pulling off that one and said "shit good" which is a weird Swedish saying when he finished it.  It was really cool, but I have no idea what it is for... 
All in all I had a good time, the people were nice, joking and laughing and helpful critics.  I look forward to see what they made tomorrow when we can hold it on our hands! Also I look forward to not thinking I am going to break the cake each time I look at it! I am exhausted from concentrating so much today but it was fun and I really enjoyed it.  Josephine was a bit sick and I am not 100% she will be there tomorrow, I hope so otherwise there will be a lot more running around for me I think! 

So, tomorrow, no more dropping, or breaking or letting cakes burst into flames, or explode in general.  I have been jumpy all day since then every time I hear a bang or something!  I will try to take some more pics tomorrow!

"Baa-ram-ewe! Baa-ram-ewe! To your breed, your fleece, your clan be true! Sheep be true! Baa-ram-ewe! " ~ Babe

Sorry for the delay... I pretty much suck at the whole blogging thing this year...

So, Tuesday was horrible remember?  Here is what I made:
 This is the plate that made the day not COMPLETE crap... just mostly crap.
Wednesday turned out to be much better! I worked with Joseph and we made things with canes! I don't have any pictures of what I made because I haven't even seen it yet! But the day was much better and I was really happy for a good and fun day.
 On the way to the barn I found this HUGE dandelion:
 I figured it was a good sign, so I made a wish and blewwwwwwwwwwwww!
I took a few tries, it was so big, but hopefully the wish police let it slide.

I ride Wagner that night in a jumping lesson.  He was really good and enjoyed his apples.  I felt a bit bad, he had to be ridden in the very next lesson! I stayed after and watched the video I was supposed to watch which was about position and all in Swedish.  I am not sure how much I understood but it was good to see all the same.  I have now realized that the only time they have their shoulders over their heels is when they are in jump position unlike how I have learned.  Instead they have their legs a bit more forward at the girth and their shoulders very back and upright, much more dressage style of course.
Lets see if I can apply that newly noticed idea to my dressage lessons this week!

On a sad note, the people at the barn had to put Lady down :( I am not exactly sure why... something to do with her feet and pain is all I really got.  But it was a sad day on Wednesday in Nybro... she was such a fun jumper!!

 These next pictures I can't remember if it is Wednesday or Friday... I think Friday.
 But it is really fall here!! The trees keep changing colors and it is getting colder and darker... 
 On the way to the barn I stopped by Martin's little house because he said the sheep were near the house!
 He has been tossing them apples when he sees them so they are getting to know him now and come running and "baa-ing" for their apples! It is SOOOO CUTE!
 We tossed a few apples and then of course I had to climb over the fence and try to feed them from my hand...
 And it worked!!!
 They had black tongues! and the softest noses and TINY teeth!
 Then they got braver and braver...

 and I got a sheep KISS!!!!!!
 They were a little more scared of Martin because he stood up I think but still very friendly.
 I named the pushy-est one Karl.
 Look at that face!
 And as Karl walked away we saw that he was a she... and maybe Karl should be short for something girly!

Then my camera died and I realized I left my charger in America... so no pics for a while.

Thursday I was sick.  I picked up a stomach virus and woke up in the middle of the night sick to my stomach.  So, I spent the day in bed curled up with my computer and slept for hours once I stopped being sick.  I think I got sick at the barn because my teacher, Pia, was out on Friday sick.

Friday I still felt a bit rough so I went with Vegard to Pukeburg where Micke Johansson was blowing for the design students there.  We watched him blow up some big graal pieces and then, AND THEN, I got the second assistant spot for next week!! This week Linea (I don't know how to spell that name) and Josephine were there and next week it will be ME and Josephine! I am very excited to get to watch and work with Micke Johannsson, he is very talented and can blow anything it seems.  Here is his website: I have heard he can be a bit difficult to deal with but I have also heard really great things.  I am very excited, a little nervous and hopefully I can retain all the things I watch!  Also, I am going to try to think of something really tricky to see if he can blow... I think he likes the challenge, so maybe if I say "I bet no one can do...." maybe he will! mwauahaha... maybe.

Friday evening I had another jumping lesson, this time with Posiedon who when he isn't trying to stop at the jumps is running as fast as he can at them... what a weirdo! But it was fun all the same.

Saturday I went with Vegard to Transjo to watch them blowing but NOTHING was happening there.  Pretty damn boring.  I did talk to one of the Masters and asked if they took people for practik (practical studies) there and he said no, not really since they already have two students.  But I was welcome to come and watch and hangout and maybe they would have something I could do, but not enough to keep me busy.  So, I guess I will go and watch a few days when we have that holiday then the other days go visit Rosanne in Oslo or something.  Anyway, bummer about Transjo but oh well.  

Saturday night was big party for Sophie who has turned 20.  There was cake, punch (very strong), games like fishing, paper fortune tellers which actually just made you do something instead of saying the fortune, and chubby bunny, drinking the fastest, lip synching... lots of silly things but it was quit fun.  At one point we needed markers for one of the games and of course later we all just ended up covered in writing.  Luckily, here in Sweden they are nice and don't draw crude things, instead I had hearts all over my arms! 

Today, Sunday, I went to Kalmar and got a camera charger.  It is intense and universal! Then I went to spinning, I am so hard core I went to spinning when I was hungover! I am proud of myself.  It was a bit of a wimpy class but I was still there! Then home where I attempted to make Sam's Chicken Pot Pie from his website (  His version looks much better but I accidentally bought pie crusts already in pans... so mine looks like someone made tiny pot pies and then smashed them into a bigger pan... kind of like a clown made dinner....
 But it tasted good!
Then I picked up Sigrid and Kresten from the train and now I am going to bed so I will be well rested for my week in Pukeburg!  I will try to take lots of pictures!!!