Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Hope for a New School Year: 9.2.2015

Hope: Clearly immersed in a rainbow by Wayne Stratz. Purchase on ETSY

Hope was being put on a test run. How would it go to make a panel using our newly favored font? How would clear class work? I like it and learned about the process. I can go deeper into my understanding of making a word design because I examined this one.

Today marks my continuing life as a teacher that began on a winter morning in January 1987. Like everything else, my improvements over the years have depended upon someone examining my classroom (students, supervisors, myself). I have to examine the good and the bad and see my role in both.

Two years ago I sat through one of the better inservice moments of my life. It taught me about the Collins writing program, which I have utilized in my classroom. But I want to use it in a deeper way this year. That is my hope for improvement. I see conversations in writing with my students, which begin with a simple prompt to begin a class but leads  to all of us developing our writing skills and into a deeper understanding of science. We will see.

As always I hope to create a joyful classroom where both I and the students want to hangout. I hope to lead students into great discussions on science and to guide them into the creation of our gardens.

PS: if you dig my blog and art, sign up for my e-newsletter

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Blue Squashes: Rene Lalique at the Corning Museum of Glass

Blue Squashes: Rene Lalique at the Corning Museum of Glass. Photo by Wayne Stratz
I remembered Blue Tuesdays as we entered the realm of Lalique and his vase caught our eyes. My camera refused to take a photo of the tag, but even my poor memory could remember artist and title.

"Glass is a wonderful substance. Everything makes it an incomparable plastic medium in the hands of an ingenious artist, offering his imagination and talent almost limitless scope for discovery." ―René Lalique 
see full biography at Corning Museum's website

Blue Squashes: Rene Lalique at the Corning Museum of Glass. Photo by Wayne Stratz

Monday, August 31, 2015

Vonnegut at Cornell University: two eyes and a quote

art by Kurt Vonnegut as seen at Cornell University. 2015
 Do you like being asked about favorites? What is your favorite cake, flower, 80's band, color, ... author?  To say one is a favorite seems wrong to me. Really are Cosmos better than Dahlias?

There was a time period where Vonnegut was one of my favorite authors. His writing spoke to where I was in my early and mid twenties and I read everything I could get my hands on. I am not sure if I would enjoy it as much these days, maybe.
art by Kurt Vonnegut as seen at Cornell University. 2015

I did not go to Ithaca to see his art. I was much more interested in seeing waterfalls, which I did. But it was there on a steep campus and now I can remember my younger days. Legs and spirit that would have carried me about a campus that now looked better suited for mountain goats than humans.

But here is a Vonnegut quote shared by the museum currator, and at this moment in time, as brief as moments can last... It is my favorite. Maybe it needs to be taken within me when I enter my studio.

quote by Kurt Vonnegut as seen at Cornell University. 2015

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

TBT: painting a two studio row porch 2005 ... and again today

2005: the first time Stratoz painted the porch
I dove into the project in 2005, using tape to scetion off areas, maybe it took ten years and a rotting board to forget the project to the point of doing it again. But I have enjoyed the color.

And I guess I am grateful we didn't buy a house with a huge wraparound porch. Our two studio row is all about moderation. Small yards, small porches, small studios... it fits us nicely... most of the time.

When we bought the house in 2004 it was to have more space. Space to create art; and from the beginning it was a two studio row. Eleven years have passed and art indeed has emerged; as well as pizza, strudel, jazz, blog posts, and glass.

So with a promise to Margaret to fix the porch, time off from teaching, and a favorable forecast; I began the project today. Feeling ten years older is not the only change. The yellow has more ochre, the dark green jumps toward the blue side of the sprctrum, and the design... simpler much simpler. And the sunflowers, well they weren't there in 2005. The rose bush has died, and today I am glad to not be painting by thorns.

August 2015: Stratoz painting the porch.

Friday, August 21, 2015

A sun and sky photo shoot at the Jesuit Center

Sunlight and Clouds: 1 at the Jesuit Center in Wernersville PA by Wayne Stratz

On a splendid spring day I took my Earth and Space students outside and told them to look up at the clouds. Fifteen minutes later the class period was over. It meant something to some of them who told me they were now checking out clouds.

When I am on Silent retreats I allow myself more time to look up and use my camera to try to preserve that moment in time. These were my favorite three from one particular photo shoot.

look up.

Sunlight and Clouds: 2 at the Jesuit Center in Wernersville PA by Wayne Stratz

Sunlight and Clouds: 3 at the Jesuit Center in Wernersville PA by Wayne Stratz

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Going Forth: What does one take from a Silent Retreat?

The second Ignatian Star: a design from Silence by Wayne Stratz

The Jesuits are glad to have us there for a time to be in silence, but they are joyful when we leave. It is then that the awakening of silence grows. No matter what the silence brings: days of wresting with God, a week of rest and rejuvenation, insight into who you truly are, hope to make the right decision, and/or a stained glass design. 

In 2013 I drew a design of an asymmetrical seven-pointed star. Each point consisting of three pieces of glass, which gives me that number I love, 21. It sat for nearly a full year before I made use of it. I remember feeling pressure of going on a retreat without having used a design from the previous. Feeling moved, I chose Three types of Youghiogheny Glass and this emerged:

The original take on the Ignatian Star by Wayne Stratz feauturing three varieties of Youghiogheny Glass

Retreats are where prayers are formed. Truth learned. Journeys begin. They are not vacations from everyday life. Everyday life can fuel what happens on a retreat. What do I truly desire from this life I am given? What pain needs to be released? How can hope remain?

They live on in you like a design drawn on an old wooden desk. The best work will resurface:

Ignatian Star: a design worth revisiting by Wayne Stratz
PS ... I do remember the moment in time the first one sold. It was in my living room and it was to friends, who had come to our open studio in 2014. To purchase an Ignatian Star: Go this this section of my shop which is where they reside


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