Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Ring Out The Old

It has been awhile since my last musings here...the holiday season was good to us at Crescent Moon. But here I am at 5:55pm on 12/31/08 thinking about the year 2008 and as the saying goes… to Ring Out The Old and Ring In The New!

I won’t belabor you with recapping the year on a national level, since all the media channels, websites and newspaper headlines cover that very nicely. And what fodder there was from record breaking Olympics to historic politic happenings. I will however take a line or two to ring out 2008 for Crescent Moon and Mike and I.

  • We end our second year as owners of Crescent Moon
  • We start on our fourth year living on our boat
  • We weathered the start of the recession and learned much about retail markets
  • Mike finished his first year apprenticing in glass blowing and wants to do more
  • Joan learned to write a blog and entered into the cyberspace marketing era

We couldn’t have marked any of these milestones without our loyal customers and friends. We will strike a deal with all of you. We will continue to be here if you continue to be here. We will continue to strive to provide you with great service, beautiful glass and metal art, and a friendly atmosphere to do your shopping.

We wish all a wonderful New Year, 2009 upon us already. Wow it slides by so quickly. We are thankful for so much. We are thankful for our customers. Have fun and be safe!

Namaste….Joan and Mike

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Tis' the Season

Tis’ the season to be jolly! And optimistic if you are in retail. Mike and I are fortunate in that regard, we are positive people. He has always helped me see that the glass can be half full even in the most trying of times. The media coverage and belabored analysis of the gloom and doom economy are enough to rattle the most optimistic personalities though. Until your customers make it a point to come back to see you again this year like ours from Howell, NJ did this Thanksgiving weekend. Then our faith is renewed. We have done our job in encouraging happy repeat customers who love to come see us and even ask for a hug before they leave. The group shot to the left tells it all. They are the holiday season. The boys love to select their piece of art glass and this year it was Curtis Cecil’s “eyeball” marble. They still wear our T-Shirts that we gave them last year and they make their parents proud with their maturity and politeness.

Our goal this season is to continue our friendly service, and customer building tradition. Without them, obviously, Crescent Moon would be nothing. We give thanks this holiday weekend for our customers and their appreciation for the art that we offer. We will continue to add artists that delight and encourage the collector.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mike Went to Jail

Mike got locked up today. Thankfully for a good cause. The jailbirds have to ask for bail money from friends and family for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, a wonderful non-profit helping thousands stricken with this disease. He successfully returned to the shop after spending a few hours at Bonefish Grille and treated to lunch. His bail ended up at $375.00. Not bad for a 1st timer.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

History and such

History set the beginning of glass production nearly four thousand years ago is Mesopotamia where potters fused sand and minerals while firing their clay. One clever Mesopotamian managed to form a glass tube and blow a bubble at the end, creating the first blowpipe...and hence the art of glass blowing.

Glass after all is a blend of sand and metallic oxides and...extraordinary, blinding heat. The result is a substance that flows and drips like honey. When it's hot, glass is alive.
Uplift by Rick Nicholson

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What Can I Say....

As I sit and think about writing this entry for our blog, the day after a momentous presidential election, I am struggling with what I could possibly say about art or boating that someone would want to read right now. Anything I might say would seem so trivial when everyone’s attention is diverted to this historic event. Understandingly so.

So I will write about neither. Simply put, I am very hopeful and proud.

More art info next week!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The "DreamList" Gift Registery Service in vogue at Crescent Moon

Did you know that the practice of a bridal registry was first instituted by Chicago-founded department store Marshall Fields in 1924 at its Marshall Field and Company building as a means for the engaged couple to indicate chosen china, silver and crystal patterns to family and friends. US-based Target stores were the first to introduce an electronic gift registry in 1993.
We have an established Art registry that is titled “Dream List” on our website, Now the shop will have a DreamList Corner to make it easy for customer to browse around with a registry list and pencil in hand, and either create their registry themselves at the dedicated computer center, or leave the list for us to enter later. Telling family and friends where to find your DreamList however is the important part, and in your hands.
We wanted to provide a way for anyone, not only bridal couples, to start collecting art that they could enjoy for many years and someday pass on as heirlooms. With many couples setting up households prior to marriage, the need for linens, dinnerware and appliances is not as great at wedding time, allowing them to instead collect or decorate with “art” works. For anyone, getting a beautiful piece of art glass that you want is much better than another sweater that you end up returning.
With the holidays approaching Crescent Moon is anticipating a positive response to our DreamList registery and wer’re looking forward to wrapping a lot of gifts. Don’t forget we offer FREE gift wrapping and will ship and insure any purchase.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Understand the Language of Glass

Mike and I started this blog to help inform glass lovers about the art therefore it’s time to educate those interested a little more. For most people who love art glass, glass lexicon can be challenging. Glass collectors and decorators trying to find the right words to describe a glass piece, or look may want to bookmark this blog because here I will try to list some of the words and techniques and an explanation. There are many words from A-Z, so I have decided to break the alphabet up into a couple of blog posts

Here we start with A-C

Cords - Flaws in the material, which affects the artist's ability to work with the glass.

Core Forming - The technique of forming a vessel by trailing or gathering molten glass around a core supported by a rod. After forming, the object is removed from the rod and annealed. After annealing, the core is removed by scraping.

Core - The form to which molten glass is applied in order to make a core formed vessel.

Cracking Off - The process of detaching a glass object from a blowpipe or punty.

Crackle Glass - To produce the crackle effect, the parison is rolled in moist sawdust or covered with sand in order to give the surface a coarse finished. It is then submerged in water, causing the surface to crack, without destroying the glass. A fresh layer of glass is then added and reheated until the cracks fuse together slightly so that the glass maintains its stability.

Crown glass - Window glass blown into a crown or hollow globe that is flattened and cut before use. Produced by reheating and spinning out a bow-shaped piece of glass (bullion) that causes the glass to extend into a flat disk by centrifugal force.

Art Glass - Generally, any ornamental glasswork made since the mid-19th century.

Batch - The mixed raw materials used in manufacturing glass that have been blended and proportionally mixed for delivery to the glass furnace.

Bending - A process whereby the shaped glass article still in sheet form is placed on a stainless steel, sheet steel or cast iron mold coated with talc or powdered chalk. The temperature is increased until the glass sheet sinks in to the mold.

Bits - Pieces of molten glass snipped off a blowpipe or punty rod and applied hot to a glass form.

Blank Mold - The metal mold in which the parison is formed.

Blank - Usually refers to a glass parison that is formed during the first step of glass molding. The piece is then transferred to a lamp worker or glass blower for final shape configuration.

Blister - A gaseous inclusion or bubble in the glass.

Blobbing - The technique of decorating hot glass by dropping onto the surface blobs of molten glass, usually of a different color or colors.

Block - A block of wood hollowed out to form a hemispherical recess. After it has been dipped in water to reduce charring and to create a "cushion" of steam, the block is used to form the gather into a sphere, prior to inflation.

Blowing - The technique of forming an object by inflating a glob of molten glass gathered on the end of the blowpipe. The gaffer blows through the tube, slightly inflating the glob, which is then manipulated into the required form by swinging it, rolling it on a marver, or shaping it with tools or in a mold; it is then inflated to the desired size.

Borosilicate Glass - A high silicate glass with at least 5% boron oxide.

Bubbles - A pocket of gas trapped in glass during manufacture.

Bullions - One of the few forms of flat glass still produced by the hand process. Cable - A pattern resembling the twisted strands of a rope.

Came - A grove strip of lead or (rarely) another metal, generally with an H shaped cross section, used to join separate parts of glass window.

Cane - A thin, monochrome rod, or a composite rod consisting of groups of rods of different colors, which are bundled together and fused to form a polychrome design.

Caning - The removal of glass from the surface of an object by means of handheld tools.

Casing - The application of a layer of glass over a layer of contrasting color. Cast Cast Glass - Glass produced by "casting', in other words by pouring molten glass into a mold or by heating glass already contained in the mold until the glass melts and assumes the shape of the mold.

Cerium Oxide - The oxide of the rare earth, cerium, used alone or together with other substances as a polishing agent for glass.

Cobalt - A silvery-white magnetic metallic element, which, even in small quantities, gives a strong blue coloration to glass. It can be used as a decolorizor on its own for opal glasses.

Cold Working - The collective term for the many techniques (such as engraving or cutting) used to alter or decorate glass when it is cold. Cords - Flaws in the material, which affects the artist's ability to work with the glass.

Core Forming - The technique of forming a vessel by trailing or gathering molten glass around a core supported by a rod. After forming, the object is removed from the rod and annealed. After annealing, the core is removed by scraping. Cracking Off - The process of detaching a glass object from a blowpipe or punty. Crackle Glass - To produce the crackle effect, the parison is rolled in moist sawdust or covered with sand in order to give the surface a coarse finished. It is then submerged in water, causing the surface to crack, without destroying the glass. A fresh layer of glass is then added and reheated until the cracks fuse together slightly so that the glass maintains its stability.

Crown glass - Window glass blown into a crown or hollow globe that is flattened and cut before use.

Find D-G on the next blog posting.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Just Some Thoughts

We get questioned literally three or four times each week why we would want to live on a boat or what made us move onto a boat. We often just say we hated our HOA (Home Owner Association) in the condo community on the bay in NJ so much that we decided to try something different. Something so flexible that if our neighbors started to act ridiculous we could simply untie the lines and moved to the next marina! But once aboard, after downsizing our life and house of "stuff" we discovered there were so many other benefits to living on our boat. It's cozy and charming. It floats and the floating is restful. We meet very interesting people on the docks and talk to many traveling the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway) from all over the eastern seaboard. It isn't that we wanted to become a cliche or anything. Moving aboard wasn't a life long dream either. It simply fit the time and disappointment we were feeling about our sour experience to something we originally thought was going to be our dream home on the water. I could write a complete separate blog on the evils of HOAs and what a little bit of power does to otherwise nice people.

Instead, I am now sitting on our aft deck with a high and low weather pattern converging over Wilmington, providing rain and a chill, and once again feel snug and comfortable. Swaying a little does not seem to be affecting my typing. It is appropriate that our home is named Quiescent (quies is latin meaning to rest). After a day of paperwork or working at the shop, to rest, is exactly what both of us needs.

I would go so far as to encourage everyone that has responded "I've wanted to live on a board always" when they learn we do, to just get your finances in order, have the yardsale, and just do it. Putting a dream off year after year dims the dream. It then can become simply a memory.

So after all I have said...Why in the world have put our home up for sale? It comes down to a matter of economics. Boats do not gain equity. Real estate hopefully will provide equity in the coming years once again. But until Quiescent does sell, I will enjoy my easy bake oven and Barbie shower while living aboard.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Pink Ribbon Event 2008

Pink Ribbon Event 2008

I went to breakfast today with over 200 women and men for a great cause. Crescent Moon is one of the Retailers for Ribbon sponsors for the 2008 Pink Ribbon Event for Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Wilmington. We will donate a percentage of our sales during this month. Mike also has the five "PINK" vases shown to the left on sale at the shop and proceeds from them will be donated.

If you have never heard of the local Pink Ribbon organization, let me fill you in. I will paraphrase directly from their program...Since its inception in 1998, the Pink Ribbon event has raised more than $850,000 and provided over 4,000 "Comfort Bags" to area women as they undergo treatment for cancer. Distributed by the Zimmer Cancer Center and area physician groups, the Pink Ribbon Comfort Bags are designed to bring comfort to women as they traverse though their cancer journey...from diagnosis to treatment.

It was an energizing way to start the day and inspiring. Frances Weller, always an enigmatic speaker was the Mistress of Ceremonies. Brief words from Jack Barto, President and CEO, of New Hanover Regional Medical Center and the Presenting Sponsor of the event, and Event Chair Sandy Spiers, brought home the importance of local donations and participation in fundraisers benefiting this organization's work. Besides the Comfort Bags, the proceeds provide funding for uninsured women receiving mamography through the Coastal Care Van, our region's only mobile cancer screening van. We all know how crucial early detection is.

As a daughter, sister, cousin, aunt, and friend, I have been fortunate in the fact that I have not had this dreadful disease touch my life up close and personally. But I know I have met and shared conversation with probably hundreds of survivors in my lifetime without knowing their struggles or challenges. Which brings me to mentioning the guest speaker at this morning's breadfast, author Dana Sachs, who has traveled the world, now calling Wilmington home. Her work includes the books "If You Lived Here", a novel, and "The House on Dream Street, a memoir about her experiences living in Vietnam in the 1990s. In her talk she paralleled her journeys abroad with those of a dear friend recently lost to breast cancer. She offered a different perspective, one that made us laugh at one point, but struck a heartfelt chord throughout her speaking.

I guess my point is I've been considering myself lucky to not have had this ugly, debilitating, and sometimes humilating disease touch my surrounding life. But in reality it has. It is there with every woman that has to take the journey to survival. It touched me this morning being among 200 people who care and want to see a cure in their lifetime so that we don't have this reason to have breakfast together.

I have my mammography scheduled for October 17th. I will wait nervously until I hear the results. And I will remember all the support for women that was at this Pink Ribbon event. If you have not scheduled a yearly exam, please do so now...for your sake.

Six friends and my sister joined me at this breakfast and each and every one of them is important to me. I never want them to need a comfort bag, but if they or I ever do, the Pink Ribbon in Wilmington will be there for us.

Information on Breast Cancer Awareness Month:
National Breast Cancer Org
Susan Komen Org

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Yad is not a Yard in Boston

With Rosh Hashanah approaching at the end of the month, and the expansion of our art glass Judaica line, I thought it would be appropriate at this time to explain some of the most interesting works of art depicting the pieces used in the rituals of the Jewish religion. One such item is the yad. Most yads found in homes and synagogues are made of metal. But leave it to an inspired artist, particularly a glass artist, and you will discover what we here at Crescent Moon have; simply the most beautiful works of art by a few Jewish artists. Wikipedia is my resource of choice to look up definitions or to sort out information. The wiki below provides the best explanation for a yad.

A yad (Hebrew: יד‎), literally, "hand," is a Jewish ritual pointer, used to point to the text during the Torah reading from the parchment Torah scrolls. It is intended to prevent anyone from touching the parchment, which is considered sacred; additionally, the fragile parchment can be damaged by the oils of the skin. While not required when chanting from the Torah, it is used frequently. A yad can be made of any number of materials, though silveris most common. The yad is often shaped like a long rod, with a small hand and an index finger pointing from it.

Now that you know what a real yad is…you’ll never confuse it with a yard pronounced by a Bostonian! The picture above is a cobalt yad flame-worked by Andrew Pollack, a Crescent Moon artist from New Orleans, Louisiana. Crescent Moon has four other Judaica artists with Passover, Rosh Hashanah and Hanukah art glass items. More on the artists and art as we go along.

Friday, September 19, 2008

How in the world did we get here?

I need to start by saying "it was a 5 year plan that became a 2 year plan that became a 9 month plan within a 1 hour car ride back from the Atlantic City boat show in 2004. Everyone should have a plan B when you work in the corporate world for 25 plus years. Ours turned out to be moving aboard a 42ft. trawler. Downsizing again from our townhome on the bay in central NJ and leaving jobs. Well, it didn't take us long to realize we didn't want to live onboard in the winter in NJ, soooo we were very lucky to have my sister and brother-in-law living in Wilmington NC to be our support system there. We cruised south on the ICW in November 2006 and spent the winter in Southport NC, fell in love with the area, found out Crescent Moon was for sale, and made an agreement with the owners to buy it in January 2007. Whew, that was a major Plan B for two jerseyites used to secure 8-5 careers in business and 50 something to boot! We wouldn't reverse our decision for anything! We cruised on our roomy Jefferson sundeck back and forth, met wonderful cruising friends and continue to live aboard in Wilmington; now at Wilmington Marine Center on the Cape Fear River. So we are living and supporting Plan B as retail owners of the best little art glass shop on the east coast and loving it. And...we've got Plan C in our dreams, and who knows maybe Plan D that we will look forward to.

Pictures: Above our home. To the left is just one of the sunsets we enjoyed

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The "jellies" don't sting here

Artist Rick Satava and his truly realistic Jellyfish in glass have been a part of Crescent Moon for many years. Each year they attract our visitors and customers over and over. We hear it several times a week from people that they bring in friends to see his work. A shelf of "jellies" is pictured to the right. Do many assume it is a real jellyfish? Oh yes, and that is the testament to the talent of Satava. Even his magnificent Nautilus and Petroglyph vases, on display now, appear to have been painted with an artist's brush. We like to say..."Rick paints with glass without a brush"!

Jellyfish have been found on earth for over 650 million years - before sharks and even dinosaurs. They have no head, heart, brain, bones, cartilage or real eyes. Yet they're among the major predators in the ocean. Their tentacles carry stinging cells that are among the most complicated found anywhere in the animal kingdom. Did you know Jellies are 95% water and humans are 75% water?

Rick says that the complexities and contradictions along with the translucent beauty and grace are the characteristics that intrigued him and seduced him into spending five years developing the colors and hot glass process necessary to capture "jellyfish" in glass.

These sculptures are built from the inside out - starting at the core and adding one tentacle at a time and finally the clear dome is added and the "jelly" is born. Everything seen in a jelly is a different color of glass. The way it is layered gives it a translucent appearance. Developing the chemistry, yep chemistry even in glass work, was the most challenging aspect for Rick to bring the ethereal, ghost-like quality into his glass sculpture. His exclusive formulas blending various metal oxides such as silver, cobalt, selenium, cadmium, and others into molten glass work in tandem with his vast experience in hot glass, to bring to life these amazing works of art.

Come visit and experience the art of Satava...maybe one will captivate you!

Monday, September 15, 2008

It's a new day...

This blog thing is all new to me and I must admit a little intimidating since I don't consider myself a journalistic type. Writing copy for ads and such is another thing. But today's marketing says you should have a blog, build your followers and keep them interested. So here I go, diving in head and feet first with my first blog post at 11:18pm while watching the Eagles play the Cowboys and oh, what a game. I'm an Eagles fan big time, and I'm sure some cheering will enter into my future blogs as the football season progresses. Oh, and I love the football season.

But art glass, yes art glass, is our theme here. At our gallery we display close to 65 artists who work in glass. Blown glass, fused glass, stained glass, flame-worked glass all categorized as functional, collectible, decorative, wearable or for outdoor. I'll attempt in this blog to inform the reader about art glass, and it's allure. And throw in some interesting stories about us.