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The Blog of La Mancha

Life in a glass garden with photos & words by two friends who are artists.









Renovations…….

It seems that we have always been renovating or adding something here at the Gardens. There always seems to be something to do or improve. It's a constant create on a one acre canvas. 

In the past months we have done some major changes. We've set up 2 kilns, rebuilt work areas and are now completing some needed improvements on the gallery and its main entrance (fortunately there are 2 entrances). The new entrance will be done in a couple more days so I thought I'd document a little of the process that we've been involved with.

We had a gallery entrance with a cute little roof sheltering the gallery doors. The roof was supported by posts…and then the posts began to get shorter. The roof began to get lower. We had to start warning tall vistors to watch their heads as the entered. Pretty soon we needed to warn short visitors. Termites were eating the posts from the bottom up and the posts were getting shorter and shorter. 

So the posts and roof came down and we got to work on the entrance and the gallery interior. 

Here's a bit of a timeline:


HALFWALL COMES DOWN

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TREE TRIMMERS MAKE ROOM FOR NEW ENTRANCE AND CAREFULLY SUPPORT HUGE WISTERIA

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NEW POSTS ARE IN AND BRICKS ARE BEING LAID

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GALLERY IS PAINTED AND BEGINS TO BE FILLED

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THANKS TO JULIAN, JESSE AND JUDE FOR ALL THEIR HARD WORK!



Yes, another Library we loved working on!

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Blackshear Georgia is a treasure of a historic town. When they built a new library with a railroad theme we were commissioned to design and fabricate the carved glass. These are three of the panels. We'd love to work on more libraries!

Yes, We Really Do Love Libraries!!

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The Children's Section at Clearwater Main Library

 

The director of the Library Foundation at the Clearwater Main Library had seen the glass that we donated to the Tarpon Springs Library ( see this story in an earlier post ) So, when a local family and their many kind friends wanted to make a donation to the new Children's Library in memory of their daughter, our second library project was born. 

Debbie Rosewater Ryan was a young mother who was tragically killed while reading to children outdoors. A car, which had been left out of gear on a hill, rolled into Debbie's yard. Debbie managed to get all the children out of the way but her life was lost.

She had loved reading to children, the family told us. 

The focal point of this 3 piece installation is Debbie reading to her two daughters. 

As Debbie reads everyone listens and this love of reading spreads.

Soon otters, lizards, turtles, pelicans and their friends are all reading and inviting visitors to the library to join them.


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We were honored to be part of this project.




We Love Libraries!

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THE CHILDREN'S LIBRARY IN TARPON SPRINGS

It started years ago when our first grandchild, now almost 18, was born. Our town was building a new library, and we were approached to donate a piece of carved glass for the new building. We decided to celebrate our entry into grandparenthood with this gift. We surrounded the children's library with 5' X 7' panels depicting local kids & our own kids as mer-people playing in the ocean. 

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A DETAIL FROM ONE OF THE PANELS (Jasmin)

Since this first library donation we have been commissioned to provide custom carved glass for 2 other libraries. It is always our hope that the sparkle of aesthetics we can provide will help encourage literacy by welcoming kids to their library.

Julian & Jesse Install a 3 Piece Carved Glass Divider

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Step by step an installation is completed.


Three stories up to the home of a happy client the components of the custom frame and 3 pieces of carved glass arrive...step by step by step. 

It takes a lot of strength and finesse moving heavy carved panels into a closely fitting frame. The communication required of people working together on an installation goes beyond words. You anticipate each others next move and then it goes smoothly. 

What started as a conversation with a client and designs rendered for their approval comes together as a completed, installed piece of art. 

And then there is the happy client…awesome! 



Photos of the ossuary installed in St. Nicholas Cathedral

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The Ossuary which contains a bone of Saint Nicholas.


Ever since Julian completed the carved glass ossuary for the St Nicholas Cathedral in Tarpon Springs (click this link to see the blog post showing the ossuary being built  Julian is commissioned to build an ossuary for the St Nicholas Cathedral in Tarpon Springs, Florida ) we have been visiting the Cathedral to take photos but always felt our presence was imposing  parishioner privacy. Last week we were able to take these and are happy to share them on todays blog entry. 


A Gift for My Parents' Church

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Installed in the courtyard and catching the sunlight 


Julian and I just returned from a trip to Marco Island where we delivered this carved glass piece to Marco Lutheran Church. The 60 inch tall glass is installed in a rolling stand so it can be moved easily to accommodate many year round activities in the church courtyard. Although we were already back at the studio when it was presented to the congregation last Sunday we heard that it was very well received. 

The organic gardens are thriving amidst the carved glass displays

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You can see four carved glass panels in this picture which was taken from the "veggie plot" on a porch. Fruits and vegetables are growing fast! In the gallery to the left of this picture we have shelves waiting for glass we'll fire in our 2 new Jen-Ken kilns. Last week Julian and I drove to Lakeland, Florida to pick up these amazing kilns. What an adventure! What expansion and what fun! 

It's Springtime and the carved glass is getting washed at La Mancha Glass Gardens.

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Several generations care for the Gardens.

One thing that I really love about our studio in the Gardens is the involvement of our kids and now our grandkids. Their help is valuable and appreciated. Their creativity adds to the magic!

Today at La Mancha Glass Gardens

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ORGANIC VEGGIES AND FRUITS ON THE NEW GALLERY DECK

Today we worked on the planting benches that Julian made to hold some of our EarthBoxes. Other EarthBoxes like the tomatoes to the right are on the deck sitting on bricks. This way they have room to climb.

This deck attaches, on the left side, to a new gallery space Julian is working on to hold art glass screens, multi-media doors, and large sculptural pieces. I like that clients will stroll past our "little organic farm" as they make their way to this new gallery.

Our Gardens have always been a beautiful backdrop for our carved glass. Now we're adding our adventures in organic gardening, which I also find very beautiful.

I thought since I'd mentioned EarthBoxes I'd give you a link to them...  http://earthbox.com 

© Karin Mesa 2012