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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Phil Phixes Phear of Phiring, or How to Make Friends with Your Electric Kiln

A 14th century kiln

A 21st century electric kiln

And these are beautiful examples of glass art created by Dreamweavers using temperature and time to fuse different glass elements together.

Last Saturday, Phil Materio, owner of McMow Art Glass and resident specialist in fusing techniques offered a special class to students and artists of the glass arts who choose fusing as their medium of expression. Specialty glass has different co-efficients of expansion and knowing how much and how long to fire the piece is critical to the process of fusing. More than 25 fusing artists came to learn the intricacies and subtleties of this fascinating process. Come by the McMow studio galleries for an up close look at some of these marvelous pieces.

Memorial Day

To honor all those we remember with gratitude and affection, the Dreamweavers at McMow will spend the day with family and friends in celebration of the life and liberty we hold so dear. The McMow studio/gallery will be closed on Monday, May 31st and reopen Tuesday, June 1st.


If we had lived a century ago, we would be celebrating Decoration Day today, instead of Memorial Day. While the patriotic sentiment of honoring the fallen remains the same, the holiday, originally celebrated to honor Union troops who perished in the Civil War, has changed in scope; we now honor all war dead on Memorial Day. As seen in this c. 1907 embossed patriotic postcard, the term “Decoration Day” is used to describe the holiday.

Great care has been taken in detailing the post card, which shows an elderly veteran with a cane saluting his fallen comrades, with a large wreath of forget-me-nots placed in the foreground and the whole enveloped in a patriotic red, white and blue surround.

The holiday fittingly began as a black history celebration, with the first impromptu Decoration Day observed in 1865 by liberated slaves in Charleston, SC, at Washington Race Course (now Hampton Park). The race course had been both a Confederate prison camp and a mass grave for Union soldiers who died in captivity. In a process which took only 10 days, freed slaves exhumed bodies from the mass grave, reinterring each Union solder in an individual grave. When finished, the former slaves built a fence around the graveyard, added an entry arch, and declared the site a Union cemetery. On May 1, 1865, a crowd of up to 10,000 mainly black residents, including 2,800 children, went to the graveyard and celebrated with a picnic, sermons and singing. And thus Decoration Day was born. However, Waterloo, NY gets the credit as the official birthplace of Memorial Day, because the village first formally observed the holiday on 5 May 1866.

Major General John A. Logan, a Murphysboro, Illinois native, helped popularize Decoration Day. On May 5, 1868, while commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic (a veterans’ organization), he issued a proclamation calling for nationwide observance of Decoration Day; it took place on 30 May, a date chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any battle. Noted postcard publishers such as Raphael Tuck created Decoration Day postcards, while postcard artists such as Ellen Clapsaddle created dramatic patriotic compositions. The London-based Tuck publishing company also created a series of much scarcer Confederate Memorial Day postcards; the South, unwilling for years to participate in a holiday honoring Union dead, didn’t adopt Memorial Day celebrations for the most part until after World War I, as Memorial Day began to take on a larger meaning commemorating all war dead. The alternative Memorial Day name, first used in 1882, didn’t become more common until after World War II. It wasn’t until 1967 that it was declared the holiday’s official name by Federal law. Copyright © 2009

Monday, May 10, 2010

McMow Art Contest

The Dreamweavers at McMow welcomed artists, family and friends to the 12th Annual Art Glass Contest on Friday, May 7th to celebrate and highlight the many talented people that have become friends over the years. This contest was designed to showcase the extraordinary talent of our glass artist friends and to promote the medium of the glass arts. Our common dream is to keep this ancient and beautiful art alive and thriving into the future. Here are some of our friends who made the evening festive.

Click on any of the images to make them larger and click the back button on your computer to return to McMow Daily Times. Enjoy.

Special Thanks for the support offered by our friends,

Katrina Gaffney, who supplied the wine for the evening Mayor Rene' Varela and Tanya, our celebrity bartenders Greg Rice, our emcee for the awards presentation Randy and Carol Wardell, for their years of continous support Annie Shank, our Featured Artist for the evening.

Prizes for the artists were kindly donated by our generous Vendors and Sponsors:

Action Bevels, Houston Glass Craft Supply, Glastar Corporation, Victory White Metals, Art Glass House, Wardell Publications, Yougiogheny Glass, Diamond Tech International, Gemini Saw Company, Morton Glass Works, Bullseye Glass Company, Kokomo Glass Company
The grand prize, $800 worth of art glass , donated by McMow Art Glass, Inc.

Before we share the names of the winners in all categories, here are all the fabulous pieces that were entered.

In the Mosaic Category

Three Dimensional Entries

The Fused Glass Entries

Pattern Adaptation Stained Glass

Original Design Stained Glass

Featured Guest Artist Annie Shank

And the winning entries are...