Monday, January 26, 2015

Connections, inspirations, what have you...

It's a Monday and while there is nothing quite special about today, I am proud. Proud that I have been back at it. Back at cutting glass, back to designing, practicing pattern drawing and connecting to other artists and crafters. The connection with other creative folks is so exciting and integral. It keeps the spirits high and the inspiration flowing. My great and long time friend, Bethany wrote an entry on her blog yesterday about getting back into her art. We both have young kids and are very aware that they make it difficult to get anything done. I never planned on writing about having children but it is a part of my process now. Cutting glass pieces out while the baby is sleeping is just a part of my work now. Bethany, who is working to get back into it herself, wrote out a list of personal artistic goals. A great list. She also shared a link to this post, How to Do a Drawing a Day. I plan to draw a design a day. I am inspired to make this part of my daily practice (beginning tonight). Today, I cut glass. Leaves and more feathers!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Softs Arts on Sunday Morning- Sweater Pants!

It is a beautifully sunny Sunday. My little one is napping much less these days so I have been looking for crafty projects that I can do with her around. Clearly glass cutting or soldering is not the choice while she is awake. (I have a hard time not being productive at all times.)Well, the weather has been cold and the babe has a lot of pants that just don't seem warm enough. Combine that with a shrunken wool sweater that I can not seem to part with. I took a glimpse online and found a tutorial that I liked, teaching how to turn that felted sweater into baby pants. I took it to the next level with some custom needle felted hearts. What a fun project and a great way to reuse and keep baby warm!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Old Friend, New Commission

Oh boy, I heard from an old friend today looking for a custom stained glass window to be installed in their home. I am so excited. My inspirations so far based on our discussion...

Very excited about this one. I will keep you posted!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Staying fired up!

I am inspired to MAKE lately. As the calendar year turned over I have scheduled some courses, I have been plugging away on my current window project for our building, and I have been connecting to other mosaic and stained glass artists. This used to be the world I was surrounded by but now I have to seek it out. Looking at people's work, studying technique, practicing. So motivating, these things. As with anything, keeping my practice going everyday, whether it is sharing my process here, physically cutting some glass, drawing up designs, dreaming of murals on walls downtown or designing a mosaic outhouse for our land someday. Staying fired up! Took a trip to the library yesterday. I really look forward to doing more architectural work someday. This is where I want to expand my studies. As we get closer to building our own home my mind is reeling with ideas. Grabbed a book on interior tiling and found a couple of fun mosaic books that I actually didn't know.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Valentine's Day Ephemera

It is Monday morning and yucky outside. I swung by the ReSOURCE this morning to check in on work that is for sale and to see how class sign ups are coming along. As I walked through the aisles of tea cups and patterned dishes, I could only think of smashing them with a hammer. I suppose that is not the everyday thought of people walking through the store but I just love it. The next workshop I am teaching there will be so fun. It is precisely that, using broken dishes and ceramics in mosaics. We'll talk about that later.

Today I wanted to share these. I was sorting through my supply shelves again and found these little Valentine treasures. They are 1" pendants featuring vintage ephemera Valentine card images from days gone by. They are double sided and hand soldered with lead free decorative solder. I used to have so much fun making these tiny pendants and magnets. I just love to solder. These pendants are a bit tedious for me these days but a select few will be for sale at my Etsy shop through February. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Soft Arts on Sunday Morning

Sunday morning in January. Lazy day. Bright white sky. Coffee. Homemade bread. Sleeping baby. I have been thinking about Day Breaks Glass and why I feel the need to share my work and process. I don't think there is much to it besides that I want to share my work and process. I enjoy teaching and helping to give appreciation for the work that goes into my art form. I also love taking photos. I am no photographer but when I see my work through the camera or in a picture, I am able to see it from another perspective. Seems silly to let these pictures sit in a file somewhere.

What this thought train brings me to is that I am sharing here my GLASS art. Really my glass work is more business to me than hobby. While I am studied in it and passionate about the manipulation of such a temperamental material, it is by no means the only craft I am into. I actually prefer what I like to call the soft arts in my home. Aside from cooking and gardening, I am getting very into fibers. And along with that is passion for the re-use of perfectly good materials and products. While this blog is a place for me to share and teach about the craft of glass work, I would like to begin to share some of my other "soft art" projects on Sundays, just for fun.

I am not studied in the fiber arts but I like to play. Today I would like to share my attempts at rag rugs. One Amish knot rug and one braided. I will get better with practice. Still have lots of puckering and I hope that someday I will make them bigger. Great way to use up piles of fabric I had collected over the years and keep our feet warm during this very cold winter in Vermont.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Cold Day for Cutting Glass

It is about 10 degrees outside today. The sun is shining but the air is frigid. Beats the negatives this past week. My work space is currently in the basement so I wasn't sure how the glass was going to cut today. When trying to manipulate glass to break where you want it to, it mustn't be cold. I brought some of the pieces into the warmth of our living space and placed it in the sun for a while. Seemed to take the chill off long enough to get a few owl feathers cut out for the window I am working on. Nice to be cutting glass again. It has been a while.

Wednesday, January 14th 2015 at home in Montpelier

Scrap glass for later use in mosaic. Maybe a bird

Friday, January 16, 2015


The baby went down to sleep at 7pm last night. About 3 hours earlier than normal. A mixed blessing. I can now get some work done but when it is time for me to go to bed, she will wake. There is so much to do the choice to stay up and work is clear. Where the real choice comes in is what to do during this "free" time. It is often a choice between cleaning up the house, some painting in the building (which luckily it is so cold that I get out of that one tonight), doing some work for my part-time-work-from-home-paying job, or some glass work. Still plugging away at the Owl panels for the apartment building.

Well, I chose the window project. My husband was fixing some parts on the insulation blower up on the 3rd floor, my brother-in-law was in the basement playing with new tools for his wood lathe, and I laid the pattern pieces for the owl's breast feathers. People wonder what we do without TV. I don't know how anyone has time for TV! We all worked, produced, created until we were too tired to do so anymore and then we cleaned ourselves up and went to sleep. Well, I went to sleep for about 20 minutes and then the baby awoke.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Tumbling Glass

For many years my husband and I have been lessening our waste by purchasing much less and fixing and re-purposing what we do have. When I was doing stained glass work full time I accumulated a ton of glass scrap, much used for mosaic but I also tumbled a lot of glass in my double barrel rock tumbler. it takes 3 days to get a nice soft sanded edge. This is what happens with glass in the sea over many years and tides. Well I am not doing as much stained glass work these days but I do break glass and dishes by accident. I just can't throw away broken glass and it is not always useable in my artwork. OR I end up with so much back stocked that I will never get to it all.

SO I tumble it with beautiful results.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Cleaning House

My studio shelves are currently located in the basement of our apartment building. This year we built a laundry room down there for tenants creating much dust from sheet rock, sawdust what have you. I have just recently been cleaning out my shelves; buckets of glass, found object, tile, broken dishes, wooden substrates, grout buckets. I have also been scheduling some mosaic workshops lately, always a great motivator to clean out the shelves of supplies. It always excites me and makes me want to create. I found many unfinished projects, either in need of re-grouting, hooks on the back, or just a cleaning. Some pieces have just sat around too long. Maybe low down on the priorities list but at least some of these pieces have been uncovered, re-discovered, and cleaned off. Maybe I will get to finishing them up and getting them out to the gallery for sale.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Back to it

In my fleeting moments of free time I have been working on the stained glass window for our apartment building. The men put in the frame last week. In place of plywood it looks great. My father in law custom built the window frame in a five panel sun spray design. The rest of the exterior is still covered in Tyvek, peeling old paint of various colors, including the famous turquoise blue trim on the 2nd floor windows. The top window arch looks much better now. Soon enough the window will be the cherry on top. One step at a time, so they say.

After having made most of my glass selections, I have begun to lay out my pattern pieces. Lots of feathers! Going well. Excited to be making a stained glass window again after a couple of years off due to lead and babies, ya know, they don't go so well together.

Pattern pieces

Laying out pattern pieces, making sure the grain of the glass matches the direction of the design.

Night Sky glass selection