Friday, September 3, 2021

weird times

Each of my residencies is unique and offers it's own challenges.  This one involved collaborating with people that I did not even get to meet!  Obviously, I would have enjoyed working in person WITH these people but we dealt with the restrictions at that time, I did get to go in briefly, but most tile making was done at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, by the staff, with glass that I dropped off. 
This mosaic is 3x5 feet and is a different recipe than I have used in the past.  It features the tiles made by participants like in most of my residencies. The part that was different was that I assembled the mosaic myself.  I love assembling with a group, but when I work myself, I am able to do more complicated work than I can accomplish with the hands of 20 glass newbies working full speed ahead all at the same time.  
This art was definitely a "labor" of love.   The project was intended as an artistic outlet to benefit staff that has been on the front lines of the grind through a historically challenging time. I proposed my fingerprint idea as a way to symbolize the way these people touch our community. 

 There's so much personality in here.  I absolutely LOVE when people can point to the part or parts they made... where they were able to do whatever they wanted. Moving forward, I am hoping to find a lot more projects just like this... but hopefully in person.


Thursday, June 3, 2021

Dawson Residency of March 2021

It has been such a long time since I worked with kids.  Dawson School in Colorado was the first residency that I ever did out of my own state.  When I travel long distance, it is a challenge to make sure I have everything because I don't go home at night.  In this residency I was not only away from my shop the whole time, but I had to pack all tools to fly and purchase materials after I arrived. The design had to be adapted to what I was able to purchase.  Luckily, one of the best glass stores in the country, D&L Glass Supply was close by.  This residency was only five days which made things a bit hairy, but then the first day was cancelled due to a blizzard! These guys were fantastic and they pulled it off!
Dawson's was another project based on my favorite recipe.  Kids get to make tiles with few limitations.  Then we use those tiles to make the mosaic.  I was waiting to blog about it because I hoped to have a photo of it installed... not yet.

This mosaic had plenty of mirror and iridescent so it really twinkles as one walks past. I have been wanting to do a DNA strand for years and Dawson lived up to my expectations.  My daughter-in-law works at Dawson and I was fortunate enough to work with her on this project.  Next residency, I will be working with my granddaughter in my own state!

Thursday, March 4, 2021

"monarchs and milkweed" and "fungus and fauna"

Whew! It has been close to a year since I blogged.  I don't need to elaborate on how weird this year was.  You get it.  One would think that because I work by myself from home ANYWAY, my life would not have been affected greatly.  I thought the same.  At any rate... I had nothing going on to write about.  Then all of a sudden, I was so flipping busy that I didn't have time to write. I just finished two mosaics that were a commission for Limespring Oncology.  Each are 3 ft x 5 ft.  As soon as I get a breather, I will do a video of the fabrication of these two.  Well, that's the plan. 

The initial idea started with fungus.  I wanted to do a dead log with fungus on it and then planned on Pennsylvania wildflowers for the second mosaic.  It turned into a forest and a meadow.
I tend to get kind of wrapped up in my work.  In research for my forest mosaic, I ended up with three pet snails.  In research for the meadow mosaic, I ended up ordering a few milkweed plants that will arrive in spring. 

I have already started preparations for the next two projects.  Both will be group projects and each present challenges I have not faced before.  One is in a school out of my state.  I will have to pack and fly with enough tools for 16 kids and wear protective gear as requested by the school.  In the other project, I will prepare all materials and instructions for people that I will not even meet. I will collect all the glass they assemble and fire it into tiles that I will use to make a big fingerprint mosaic.  I have another residency lined up for summer and a small project that is also really exciting.  How can things get any better?!!!!  I'll tell you next blog post.  BTW, I saw last blog post someone commented and I had not seen it.  They said that they contacted me through my site and I did not see that either.  Please feel free to reach out to  I will look into the problem and fix as soon as possible. 

Thursday, April 30, 2020

It's showtime!

In Pennsylvania, we are still on lockdown.  Although I am home alone most of the time anyway, quarantine has not been as simple as I had thought it would be.  Regardless, I finished the video for the recent mosaic that I made. Here is a link on YouTube.  
Thanks for watching!   Share if you like it.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

amor fati

According to Wikipedia, amor fati is a Latin phrase that means "love of fate." It is used to describe an attitude in which one sees everything that happens in one's life, including suffering and loss, as good or, at the very least, necessary.  "amor fati," my latest mosaic, is about four feet tall and three feet wide.
Yeah, I always say the same thing... "I wish you could see this in person." Right?  Photos of my mosaics makes them look flat.  The black number matrix tiles are inlaid over half an inch deep; the beetle body and the eye of Horus protrude about the same. So I have this done now, and I can't even show the rest of my family under the current quarantine circumstances because we're following recommended precautions.  The only two people that have seen this are the two pictured in the mosaic, Rob and myself.  The mosaic is about a woman that loves to make art.  If you see things in this that make you think the mosaic might be deeply personal, you are correct.  
I started this back in the summer, and was hoping to be done by Thanksgiving, ha!  I took photos and clips throughout the process and will start on a video tomorrow.  Can't wait! I always figure that people may be mildly curious about the process, but not enough to hear all the boring details so I will try my best to squeeze months of work into 4 minutes. 
The brown/gold/blue band across has my handmade glass; bubbles, polka dots, stripes and the usual stuff that makes me so happy.  The features in this had me cracking up the entire time I was working on it.  My dog is a shih tzu so the rendering of him in this mosaic is hilarious.  Yes, this is basically what Rob wears when he cooks.  Notice his sword to fend off attacking enemies. 

I thought long and hard about the art that the woman would be painting in the mosaic.  I knew I wanted blue on her brush and was initially thinking the wave or the astronaut.  Having her paint the beetle... I mean, the actual mosaic that she is in... was kind of an after-thought but it works for me.
The art that she has created is actually referencing my work.  I couldn't fit everything and a lot of my favorites were omitted just because I felt they would be hard to render in this size. 
For me, signature tiles are serious stuff.  Often, they are thought out long before the mosaic is started.  The signature tile for this mosaic was going to be another numbers matrix tile but towards the end of completion, I decided on a cartouche.  I know it is way off of what a real cartouche looks like but I am thrilled with how it turned out.  The "crumbling" walls that reveal the numbers are something that I have never done before.  They are a layer below the surface of the rest of the mosaic.  Maybe the best part is the dimension that you can see when you move from side to side looking at those columns of numbers.  I have a video of them on Instagram if you're interested.  OK!  I'm pretty sure the next mosaic is a beta fish.  I have a cute commission first so we'll see.  I have a while to change my mind.

Monday, October 7, 2019

cloud watching

September was so much fun for me.  I finished another month long residency in Midd West again, for the sixth time.  Each kid got to make at least one tile and we had somewhere around 150 kids. This was my five advanced kids and I have had the honor of working with each of them before.  As you'd guess, they produced amazing tiles.

Kids were allowed to work in white or grey, some tiles with a combination of white and grey.  Some of these are so impressive especially considering the majority of the participants never worked with glass before.  We assembled all the tiles to make clouds.  The sky was made with a glorious mottled blue Youghiogheny, probably my favorite glass.  They already have it hung in the grade school that it was gifted to.  I want to get in there to take a good photo of it eventually.  Till then, they sent these.  

If you're on Insta, I put a video on there that shows the iridescent in the sun a little better.  Life is so good.  Thanks Pennsylvania Council on the Arts for funding projects like this.      

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

thanks jess!

I had this "Ball" jar idea for years but never moved on it.  Jess, my intern that I introduced in last post is the most flowery flower person I have ever met.  She talked about flowers so much that I thought that during her 9 weeks with me, I should work on a floral something.  This is the result.  I had a lily made as a sample for a class so I knew one flower that I would use and hydrangea makes a nice blue bottom for the bouquet. Snap dragons were Jess's idea and I love them too.
This isn't framed yet but I will put it up on Saatchi as soon as it is.  The blue glass is over half an inch deep.  "Billet MOSAIC" just cracks me up and it is my favorite signature tile right now.
 I can't wait to see it framed.  Until it sells, it will be loved in my home.
I was trying to work on the canning jar bouquet and a beetle at the same time.  Now I am all about the scarab.  It's going to be an Egyptian thing and I can almost see the end.  I am hoping to work a favorite movie, "Matrix" into it too.  We'll see.  The Matrix part is another thing that has been simmering for a while.  I might be too ambitious to think this might be done by the 26th when I start another residency.  Hmmmmm...