Hot Spot Blog 2017

February 15, 2017

Hi everyone


We‘ve recently acquired a new 3D printer which we finished assembling and have printed a few items.
We plan on using it to create some different things which we will offer up for sale in our gallery and possibly at local Farmer’s markets.


Stay tuned
Claude

 

Feb.12 2017

     One of the things that makes my work unique is that I formulate my own glass, right from sand.  Adding various metallic oxides into the glass batch makes the medium have a beautiful rich colour to begin with.  I develop the imagery using small chips of colored glasses called frit.  A painter will often put  a painting upside down and far away to see if it is balanced; I do my patterning and pontil-drawing upside down and at a distance.  While I was studying Fine Arts at  the University in Alberta I worked on learning to draw from my shoulder rather than from my wrist by taping my charcoal to the end of a five foot stick.  When I became involved in the medium glass  I had the idea that I could leave a trail of glass instead of a trail of charcoal and I began to develop my technique I call pontil drawing.
Through my art, I try to communicate ideas and images that many  can relate to.   Some of my Series, like “Rainforest” and “Distant View”,  reflect our shared love of our environment.   I try to capture different ways of seeing the world expressed,  as in the Impressionist inspired “Salmon Rivers” and the Abstract expression of  “Changes”.  I  demonstrate  the Modern use of simplified line in my Series entitled “Faces”  where I try to capture a beautiful sense of peacefulness.   Also, I will be presenting pieces from the “Waterfalls”,“Marine Gardens”, “Roots”, “Earth and Light”  and  “Tranquille” Series. 

Linda Westrom

 

Feb.12 2017

     One of the things that makes my work unique is that I formulate my own glass, right from sand.  Adding various metallic oxides into the glass batch makes the medium have a beautiful rich colour to begin with.  I develop the imagery using small chips of colored glasses called frit.  A painter will often put  a painting upside down and far away to see if it is balanced; I do my patterning and pontil-drawing upside down and at a distance.  While I was studying Fine Arts at  the University in Alberta I worked on learning to draw from my shoulder rather than from my wrist by taping my charcoal to the end of a five foot stick.  When I became involved in the medium glass  I had the idea that I could leave a trail of glass instead of a trail of charcoal and I began to develop my technique I call pontil drawing.
Through my art, I try to communicate ideas and images that many  can relate to.   Some of my Series, like “Rainforest” and “Distant View”,  reflect our shared love of our environment.   I try to capture different ways of seeing the world expressed,  as in the Impressionist inspired “Salmon Rivers” and the Abstract expression of  “Changes”.  I  demonstrate  the Modern use of simplified line in my Series entitled “Faces”  where I try to capture a beautiful sense of peacefulness.   Also, I will be presenting pieces from the “Waterfalls”,“Marine Gardens”, “Roots”, “Earth and Light”  and  “Tranquille” Series. 

Linda Westrom

 

 

 

The Sun and the Moon at the North Pole

 

The Sun and Moon at the North Pole

October 3, 2011
What an amazing photo of the sun and moon at the North Pole!

It made me remember my own experiences of the far north when I was just out of high school. 
My girlfriend Joyce had some connections somehow and told me where to go and apply.  It was
at a place called Echo Bay on the edge of the Great Bear Lake,  20 miles from the Arctic
Circle.  There was/is a silver mine and a small mine settlement.  It was fascinating to me! 
The miners worked deep in the ground and I went for a tour.  I have samples of all the
different ways they would find the silver expressed.
I think it was October through to January that I was there.  The winter nights were so crisp
and beautiful!  The hoar frost would be inches long...crystals stretching outwards...
I learned to curl up there and I was pretty good.  My mom was a curler for many years and
skipped her own team.  She won many trophys and even an eight-ender!
My mom also won awards for her marksmanship.  She said she learned to shoot by hunting gophers when she was young.  It was a way to earn some spending money.

The people who choose to live in the far north are a strange bunch.   When the rest of the
world is so far away the focus of the peoples lives becomes much narrower and it is the
immediate, day to day events that governed the conversations... with a lot of strong
emotional currents over-lapping or slipping by...

Linda Westrom

Icicles!

September 23, 2011

Icicles

I had the idea to make icicles in the middle of summer while I was driving north on the Malahat  many years ago.   I was returning home from Victoria and was listening to CBC on the radio.  Someone  remarked how one person takes a pound of steel and makes a steel bar while another person takes a pound of steel and makes pins.  I thought,  “What could I make using just a small amount of glass?”... “Icicles!”

I excitedly began to think about how I could make these.  I turned off the radio so I could concentrate. By the time I returned home to the farm where we lived west of Duncan,  I had a plan.   Claude and I figured out the idiosyncrasies and gathered up  the necessary equipment and set up an appropriate configuration.  We worked on our prototypes for a while then decided to go to the river for a swim.

While we were away another glassblower from the mainland stopped by and left us a note saying,  “I was here but you were not.”  We did not even get one season to bring out our new item.  He immediately returned to his studio and began to make icicles.  Some people have the ideas and some people just take them.   As we did our Christmas shows all across Canada other studios saw our nifty little items and began to make them as well, though not until the following year…

As each icicle was unique I priced them at $1.00 per inch.  I scanned a ruler and used the paper as a guide for calculating the length.  I always rounded it down so the customer felt good about their little purchase.  We had icicles in all the various colors of glasses that we make.  I also was happy to have something that anyone could afford to buy.  Children could come into our beautiful glass booth and enjoy the experience and also be able to find something that they could buy that was special and handmade.  Those are the kinds of experiences that stay in our memories and I know that those little icicles will be around for many lifetimes to come.

When Lochlin and I went to Toronto to do the winter season One of a Kind Show, we had the good fortune of having our friend, Marion, take us to see the Niagara Falls.  I have a great picture of icicles that formed at a ninety degree angle because of the constant wind and water spray generated by the Falls!

Linda Westrom

Sand Castles, Long Beach, Vancouver Island

August 30, 2011
We got up early and drove out to Long Beach yesterday.  It takes about 2 1/2 hours to get there.  We have stopped at many of the interesting spots along the way many times : Coombs Country Market, Englishman Rivers Falls, Little Qualicum Falls, Cathedral Grove (with the giant trees), Sproat Lake, Kennedy Lake, the water-carved rocks pull-out, all the beautiful places that you can stop, just for a few minutes, and enjoy the Island.  But yesterday we wanted to drive quickly out to the Beach to enjoy the day.
We got there around noon and bought our parking ticket for the day and headed down to the beach.  It is always a wonderful feeling to be on the edge of the continent, where the water meets the land.  There is a special energy there at the cusp.  The white sound of the surf and the wide expanse of the ocean in front of you... I love it!
We walked and talked and looked for gifts from the sea... We took Sugar Bear and Spice Girl with us and I tied their leashes together so they could not run off in different directions and they would be easier to control, if necessary.  When we went past the rocky outcropping as far as we wanted we turned around and walked back, but higher on the beach, where all the big white driftwood sculpts the edge.  Then we returned to the car and got out our picnic lunch.
We took it down to the beach and parked ourselves next to a driftwood hut that someone had constructed.  Sugar & Spice dug themselves a hole and settled in.  Then Lochlin decided that this would be a good place for us to build our sand-castle.  While I went back to the car to get all the tools and molds, Lochlin set out the base structure, a large rectangle formed with pieces of driftwood.  When I brought back the shovel he began to dig "the lake" as we called it and to form "the mountains" for our setting.  I constructed the large lower floor, then started making the ramps that sloped up to the higher structures...  We enjoyed working and playing together in the cool ocean breeze and warm summer sun.  We finished up around 6 pm and took our pictures of our fabulous structure.  I had called it "the Temple of the Sun". 
We took a bit more time to walk down the beach to the South this time, then a cool wind came up and we decided it was time to head home, happy, tired and hungry.

Posted by lw. Posted In : Out & About 

Celebrating!

August 26, 2011
Today is the anniversary of our wedding.  We were married 33 years ago but we have actually been together since high school!  I was only 16...
One day I heard Joni Mitchell on the radio.  I decided that I wanted to learn to play the guitar and sing too!  When I got home I announced my intentions.  My younger sister, Bonnie, asked me, "Who is going to teach you?"
I replied,  " I don't know yet."
She told me that there was a new family in town and that she knew that James Duperron played the guitar and was in one of her classes.  We looked up their phone number and called to make the inquiry.I had decided that I would write a song and play it at the upcoming high school queen competition. 
James said that he was too busy but maybe his older brother Claude would be interested.  Claude and I spoke briefly and agreed on a price and time.  I went over to the Duperron home for my lessons.
I was not happy when I learned that I had to cut my fingernails!  I have always liked having my nails a bit long; my fingers seem to get cold if a nail breaks off and I have to keep it bandaged for a while... (we all have our idiosyncrasies).
Also, I was not aware that it hurt your fingertips and that you had to develop little callus's on the pads of your left hand in order to push down the strings.  It was a lot harder to do than how it sounded when Joni played!
With Claude's guidance, I bought myself a small, warm-sounding  Gibson guitar that I still have. It was built in 1953, the year that I was born! 
I wrote a simple song called "Smile" that I nervously played on stage at the competition.  I thought to myself, " How could I have been so foolish to think that I could do this so easily?"   Live and learn...
As I went to my weekly lessons and fell in love with music, I also fell in love with Claude, the Music-man.
We were together for many years and had many experiences before we took the time to get married.  By then I already had a strong sense of self that I was trying to get to know and I did not want to give it all away by changing my name.  The woman's movement had begun and I read many books by strong female authors.  I was awakened to see that I could develop my own direction and make my own contribution to life.  It was the times that I grew up in...

Posted by lw.

Waterfalls

August 8, 2011
We just finished making a large beautiful piece from my Waterfalls series.  It took us over 3 hours!  I am exhausted... I look forwards to opening the lehr tomorrow morning!  I will set up my pattern so we can do one more tomorrow...there is just enough glass left.  The image takes a lot of glass as I make many trips back and forth to the piece adding more rivulets until I get the feeling of cascading, cool, frothing water...

Posted by lw.

Coincidence?

July 21, 2011
Yesterday morning I was reading my book about the life and times of Camille Pissaro.  The author was describing the newspapers that were read by the local Parisians.  He talked about how Camille was deeply moved by the serial chapters of a story published in the Paris Revue by the author Gustave Flaubert. Flaubert was arrested and tried on the grounds of 'violating public morality' for his novel, "Madame Bovary".  When I read this I thought,  " What kind of story could get an author arrested ...

Posted by lw.