Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Couple of things.....

Here's a smaller Redento Raffinato we did for a custom order. Also a new can technique we tried for the first time came out pretty decent. The cane vase is 23" tall.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Without Janusz.....

...... we couldn't have done these. These are our latest and greatest. We made 9, we sold 3, we have 6 left. Here is a photo of the grouping of the "Redento Raffinatos". We are VERY proud of these! Make sure you click on the photo to enlarge it. It looks tremendous!!! The shortest one is 28 inches tall, the tallest is 34 7/8 inches tall! They weigh in at 16 to 18 lbs each.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Signature Chefs Auction report

The auction was a fun event. The food was really fancy and the Skirvin was really nice and high class. We sat at a table with some really nice folks, Glen and Vera Alexander. Glen does wood sculptures. Beautiful, contempory, wood sculptures! His sculptures were some of the most beautiful there. His web site is:

We fared very well, ours was the top seller in our catagory of about 9!! There were several groans thoughout the crowd when the auctioneer said, "SOLD!"

Signature Chef's Auction & The Latest and Greatest.......

Tonight, Linda, Krista, Micah and I are guests at the Signature Chefs Auction at the Skirvin Plaza. We were chosen as....
well, here's the promo on their website..

"This event will pair OKC's top chefs preparing a four course meal at the Skirvin Hotel Ballroom with local accomplished artists! March of Dimes mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality."

We donated the the centerpiece with platters on it for the auction. It is located on the Mickey Mantle restaurant table.

The Redento Raffinato pieces pictured here range from approximately 29" tall to 35" tall. They are absolutely gorgeous!

Many thanks to Janusz for all of his help!

Thursday, October 01, 2009


First Oklahoma got Seattle's basketball team, now the coup d'etat, we were able to bring one of Seattle's finest glass blowers (Janusz Pozniak) to Oklahoma! (Just giving you Seattle guys who are reading this a hard time :-)
Wow! Janusz (you pronounce that, Yah-noosh) went back home to Seattle Tuesday evening. It's amazing that 5 days can pass so quickly! Bella Forte Glass Studio is better because Janusz was here. Really, really, world class in every way. We did our best to show him a little what Oklahoma was like and show a little bit of Oklahoma what a really sharp Brit was like (We tried not to mention 1776 too many times ;-) Every person I introduced him to was really impressed. It was truly an honor to have him blow glass in our humble studio. I want to thank Andy Boatman and Craig Clingan for coming out to the Bella Forte Studio and meeting Janusz.
Janusz helped us refine a few of our processes on some pieces we do called the "Redento Raffinatos" and with his help (or him with our help) were able to do some pieces in the 30" range. What he taught us on how to cold work a piece would have been worth a few hundred dollars alone - SERIOUSLY!
He almost wore us out! We were glad when he left so we could get some rest. We weren't really glad he left, but after he left, we were able to get some rest. The guy is a work horse! We even took him to church with us (pretty brave guy), he went on a catering with me to Shawnee, he even did a demo for a little group that came out to the studio. Not to mention doing a demo for a few glass blowers who were wise enough to realize what an opportunity they had to be this up close and personal with someone world-class, also helping Micah and I upgrade every aspect of our game. The guy was frickin all over the place. He was like a one man volley ball team, this corner, that corner, the middle, then slam!-game over! I am gonna post a few pictures. The first photo is some of Janusz's latest works. The one where I have just hand fed him some fresh fruit and fixing to hand feed him some more. The story behind that photo: In the 12 page contract that he made us sign to get him to come down, page 9, item 62, stating that, "....fresh fruit must be kept on hand and be hand fed to Janusz at his every request" Unbeknownst to Janusz, I had just dipped the strawberry and pineapple slice in the dog's water dish before I fed it to him. You can see he was enjoying it almost as much as I was. Really, he was a good sport. He was able to dish it out as much as we were. Oklahoma is a good fit for Janusz and Janusz is a good fit for Oklahoma! He got to eat some Italian Jim's Pizzeria food, we fed him the best steak sandwich the world has ever seen and also fed him a Freddy's Triple Steakburger with cheese, fries, and the best custard at Freddy's Frozen Custard! I don't think he's used to eating like that. We figure 3 or 4 more trips down here, he'll put on another much needed 20-30 pounds. The other pics are some various photos of blowing glass and some various studio shots and some shots of some of the things we blew. The one pic of Janusz turning the pipe and me putting the jack-line in: The story behind that is..... Janusz was feeling a little homesick and missing Dante, so I took Dante Marioni's place and let Janusz turn the pipe for me while I set the jack-line in. It made Janusz feel better (see the picture with Janusz smiling and happy) It felt really cool being Dante! After that, the prices of my work went up 300%!
Looking forward to his next trip...... and the one after that..... and the 4 after that..... and the 12 after infinitum...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Janusz Posniak(see the 2 guys highlighted? The one to the right) here to demo and teach!!!

Monday night only! Monday night, September 28th, 4 hours, starting 6:00 pm. Up close and very personal. Only a few slots possible. Janusz will be demonstrating, answering questions, giving some instruction, and just in general demonstrating what a Glass Blowing God does! $50 per person. Want to be included - Call me before there is no more room left! 405-659-6169 There will be light refreshments served.
The photo is of Dante Marioni, Janusz Posniak (Not faded out), Paul Cunningham (between Dante, who is on the left and Janusz who is on the right), then starting on the far left the other folks are the hot shop team at the Tacoma Museum of Glass. By the way, not only was the hot shop team very talented, but they were extremely nice to us throughout the whole week. This photo was taken when Micah and I went there and watched them for a week. First there is, Alex Stisser, (I wasn't introduced to the next 2 ladies and don't know who they are) then Dante, Paul Cunningham (who I've already mentioned who is a close friend of Dante and Janusz), then Ben Cobb, then Gabe Feenan, then Jeannie who did alot of announcing at the TMOG.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Janusz Posniak at Bella Forte Glass!!

Janusz is coming to Oklahoma! Janusz is coming to our studio to get a few pointers on how to blow glass from Micah and I. We may have to dumb it down a little so Janusz can keep up, but it will be good for us to remember how we used to be.
If anybody tells Janusz we said that, we will immeadiately go into counter-attack mode, which is, DENY, DENY, then make COUNTER FALSE ACCUSATION!
Actually Janusz is coming down and we are so excited. It's like a dream come true. We are goIng to blow some glass and express some xtreme southern hospitality to this World Class Glassblower and Artist and just hang out some.

On Monday, Sept 28th we are gonna have a four hour demo time with Janusz where you can watch, ask questions, get some pointers and interact directly with this truly World Class man for the very small price of $50. We only have a limited number of slots available, so it's on a first come basis. If you are interested email me from the link or call me at 405-659-6169 to get the details.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Back From Seattle

Hello everyone! This is my first day back from Seattle. I took a workshop taught by Janusz Posniak. Janusz is an extremely gifted glassblower and teacher. I learned much more than I have ever learned in a short (5 days in the workshop) time. I had a great time in Seattle. The summers there are so much cooler than here in Oklahoma. Janusz and I went out to Ruth's Chris Steakhouse in Seattle and had a very good steak and the best dessert he or I had ever had. I should have taken a picture of it before we ate it and posted it. Anyway I had a great time and am happy to be back home - enjoyed making friends with folks there and enjoyed my accomodations. Now to put into practice what I learned......

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Bella Forte Glass NOW at Dean - Lively Gallery in Edmond

Better late than never (I guess). Tonight we are showing some new styles of work we have done, plus some of the other styles we've done in the past, this time only BIGGER. DEAN-LIVELY ART GALLERY at 16 N. Broadway in Edmond, OK 5 pm - 8 pm.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Answer to Larry's Question...

Thanks for the nice words. The individual cups were blown out on another day beforehand. When doing the cups, I would blow out 5-7 cups at once out of the same stuff. Like, if I wanted a transparent sea green cup with light green cane, I would start by picking up a chunk of sea green rod, get a couple of gathers over it, then pick up the light green cane. Then I would blow it out and stretch it out until it was long enough to start making 5- 7 cups out of that one thing. Then I would repeat the process several times for other combinations. Then, when I had the right combinations I would pick the cups I wanted and heat them to about 1050-1100 degrees, pick them up and add them in whatever order I wanted. The exception to that is the first cup, which I do on the spot for the piece I am about to make. Then I start adding the other previously made cups till I get enough. Then I change the axis and blow out the piece. I don't have a lot of other pics right now of the process. Just took those hurriedly with my cell phone while blowing.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

7 Incalmo Cup Piece

Here are a few pics of an incalmo piece with 7 incalmo cups and ultimately a change of axis.

Friday, June 12, 2009

New Idea

We were experimenting a little bit with the ribs on the bowl.

Update of Bella Forte at Night

Here's a newer photo of our Glass Studio at night with the flowers grown up a little better.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Lt. Governor Jari Askins and Bella Forte Glass

We are honored that one of our beautiful fluted bowls, a Cerulean Blue with light blue accent, were choosen to present to our Lt. Governor, Jari Askins at the monthly AICCO meeting at the Meinders School of Business at Oklahoma City University. The accompanying photograph shows (beginning on the left) Micah McGahan, Lt. Gov. Jari Askings, myself-Chris McGahan, and Philip Busey Jr. at the presentation.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Pictures of Bella Forte Studio

I thought I had these in the blog, but after a quick look, I didn't see them. Here's Bella Forte in the day, (I'm getting ready to go into the studio - note the killer Chihuahuas) and here's Bella Forte at Night. Looks kinda Thomas Kincadeish doesn't it? Click on each picture for a bigger look.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

First Attempt at RETICELLO!

It's been a while since I've had time to post anything. I can't remember when I've been busier. Haven't worked out in over 2 weeks. (I can tell it, unfortunately) First, I want to say how nice it was to have Karl and Bill over to the studio again, and it was so nice to meet the guests they brought along. Dr. Long, Dr. Moore, Dr. Horstmanshof, and his wife. We had a great time enjoyed their company. Looking forward to doing it again. Also yesterday we were glad to meet Judy and Susan that drove up from Ardmore. Very nice folks.

Back to the reticello. We tried reticello for the first time yesterday. Very difficult to do unless you are Dante Marioni and Janusz Pozniak working together. They make it look easy these days. Well anyway, here's a photo of our first attempt. Not too bad for a first try. I know we will get better at it with practice. That's the way it always works. The piece is slightly over 16 1/2" tall and 9" wide.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Project almost complete

We were commissioned to blow 30 bowls for a corporate leadership team. Then an additional bowl for a commemorative gift to a high ranking govt. offical. So a total of 31 bowls. Here's a few photos of the bowls we were commissioned to make for a leadership team of a top organization. (A few of the photos of individual bowls were taken in an isolated setting.)

The First photo shows one of the blue tone on tone bowls.

The second photo shows the interaction of a different bowl with light and the background of it's surroundings. I love the reflection of light the bowls give off!!

The third photo is a different tone on tone blue bowl.

The fourth photo is of the bowls in the corporate conference room on the huge granite table.

The fifth photo is a different view on the same table.

The sixth photo is the bowls on the gorgeous lawn outside Bella Forte Glass Studio.

We have 2 more to blow, which we will do Saturday and the project will be completed ahead of the deadline which is the coming Monday. We had less than 2 weeks to get this far from the initial mention by our client. Yeah, that means we did good!

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Little Something....

This color combination is one of my favorites and to top it off, this bowl fluted out in a really nice and unique way. It stands about 9 inches high and almost 17 inches at its widest part.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Micah's Blue Caribean Vase

Micah blew this one. I thought he did a great job! It looks beautiful!

Great Group of People!

We had a great group of folks come out and watch us blow glass yesterday! Roger brought a group out to eat at the restaurant then come over to the glass studio and watch the action there for about 3 hours. We all had a great time! Here's one of the things we blew. It is a multi-cane vase. It stands about 9 1/2" tall and has canes that are "amethyst blue", "gold"(not pure gold-just the color gold), "blue", and "green". It turned out wonderful!!! I'm glad they got to watch us make it. Here's a few pictures of it.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Incalmo Platter

It turned out pretty decent. Not perfect, but pretty good for a first time. We will work toward perfecting it.

Friday, May 01, 2009

More New Stuff!

We continued on today with something new. If it turns out decent, I will post photograph/s tomorrow. It looked very promising when we put it in the annealer. Sometimes with something new, there are so many things to watch and moderate over I might have overlooked something that didn't look right. Right now, I am cautiously excited!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Expanding our skills!

Here's something new we tried yesterday and just got out of the annealer today. It's a five piece incalmo. It's the first time we have ever tried incalmo, and we did five of them. Very pleased with our first one. I know they will get better with practice. It's 23" tall before cold working. The four incalmo cups are in the annealer before we start. The 5th one was already on the pipe. The middle picture is before it was blown out. It looks pretty cool like that.