Monday, October 19, 2015

dreams coming true

Once again, I thank the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts for what they do to make projects like this possible.  This was a tremendous undertaking for these kids.  I am just unbelievably proud of them.  Over half of the fifty foot mosaic was covered by seventh and eighth graders!  Some of the classes only had a handful of kids in them.  One of the cutest things is how wonky the letters are in Walt's name.  That was a student's idea.  A different student suggested that we use a mouse for the dot in his i.  
 One day when I asked them to clean up, they grumbled that they wanted to continue mosaicking a little longer.  I said they could if they promised to clean up fast.  They did!
 The goal was to make something colorful for above the book shelves in their school library.  This is a photoshop mock up of what it should look like once it is installed.  For the record, I FIRMLY believe this Disney quote.  Yeah, dreams coming true.

Monday, September 28, 2015

this is why

Today I started a new residency in Muncy.  This one is the first time that I have done the same school two years in a row. Because of that, there are a lot of these kids that I have worked with before.  Right at the top of my day, one of the kids I met last year told me that he remembered videos I had showed him and he said he already started working in a job that has him doing what he loves.  Yeah, it doesn't get any better than this.
Our mosaic is a 50 ft. Disney quote, "All of our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them."  How can it get any better?

Monday, June 22, 2015

looking forward

looking forward (30 x 48 inches plus frame)

OK, the very first residency I did was in Warrior Run, a school that really values the arts in every form because a lot of their admin is comprised of former art teachers.  The whole school has a wonderful feel to it.  Besides their own art from classes and residencies, they were really proud to show me their art collection purchased from various professional artists. I was impressed. 
 Each year, the graduation class does fund raisers to make money to purchase an art commission that will be added to the collection for future students to enjoy.  I was so proud that they chose me to commission art from this year. 

They wanted their logo and name somewhere within the design, so I chose to put it smack in the middle.
Then I continued on with all my stripes, dots and bubbles that make something billet.

Blue glass and blue glass and blue glass.  Life is good.  Thanks Warrior Run!

Friday, June 12, 2015

meanwhile... back at the shop

Working on a commission and eye'm getting really close to the end.  I had said that the difficult part would be the iris because most of it was hand made glass that was inlaid.  But yeah.  I knew that cutting eyelashes would be a crazy assed feat too.  I wasn't thinking about filling in around them.  Then seriously, find glass that is the right color to make a booger pocket for an eye??!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

how can it get any better??!!

A friend told me that when something really good happens, she always thinks to herself, "How can it get any better?"   ... and then it somehow does.  An example, you say?  So, I got this mosaic done weeks back and there was a little reception yesterday at the community center (MACC) where the mosaic was installed.  That's cool enough, right?  But here is how the Universe will one-up an already great thing.  We (my mom and I) drove a roundabout way through the mountains to get to MACC because we went somewhere to eat that was much further than I had thought.  So on the way to the shindig, we went RIGHT PAST the entrance to the Mt Pisgah alter that MACC wanted in their mosaic.  We had never been there before and happened to be just early enough to drive up.
You can see it was an absolutely stunning day.  Serious inspiration, for sure.  Anyway... kicking it up even further- I was told that there is another project in the works that has my name on it.  This one is about half an hour closer to home.  Somebody pinch me.  Thank you again, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

Saturday, April 18, 2015


So yeah...  It's been a while.  I just completed a residency that was my most ambitious yet.  I worked with about two hundred MiddWest art students for four school weeks.  I gotta give you a short run down because I am just blown away here.
Consider the fact that everyone in the room shuffles out and new people shuffle in every 50 minutes.  Then subtract the time for the repeated explaining and rearranging that goes on with each switch.  In my calculating, I came up with about 2 to 2 1/2 hours each day, working with about 25 kids (give or take a few) and about 2 hours each day, working with about 4 kids (give or take a few.)  Then subtract the first two days because they spent them just learning to cut glass.  We got done a day early so I will tell you that we completed this mosaic in 17 of those super short days.  I am not even sure how it all got done.  My biggest projects before were three panels in size.  Frankly, I am still trying to figure out how they managed to make those people tiles!

I took a little video but failed to get it in this blog.  An attempt to put it on facebook left it on my daughter's page.  Doh!  Check it here. Normally, the finished work remains in the school that hosts me.  This particular mosaic will be hung at the Middlecreek Area Community Center.  A great deal of the design was driven by input from them, starting out with mountains in the background- complete with the Mount Pisgah altar.  I thank Pennsylvania Council on the Arts for the funding that makes these projects happen.

If this isn't enough to have kept me busy, I have been working a part-time job since January.  If you are laughing at my photo, then YOU try and look cute in an orange apron!  I  hope your spring is turning out as fun as mine is.

Monday, January 19, 2015

grateful billet

The guy that gave us all the wood for my floor (previous blog post) did not ask for anything and I am so unbelievably grateful.  That's why I decided to make him a mosaic.  Our mutual acquaintance said he likes Grateful Dead. 
Now, in spite of the fact that I am constantly preaching to people that they need to quit worrying about what other people think, I did a lot of worrying about this mosaic.  I worried about people thinking less of me because the piece was almost entirely just a copy of someone else's work (a Grateful Dead album cover.)  I worried that the signature took up a significant percentage of the mosaic's space and people might think I am arrogant... even though the signature that I decided on could not possibly be cut smaller.
A simple mosaic that was to be a gift to make me (the giver) and someone else happy became the source of a lot of baggage.  I am trying to be aware of how often I do this so that I can redirect my thoughts.
When I copy, I do save myself some time in design, but I make it far harder for myself in craftsmanship.  I mean, making a skull is one thing, but to make exactly THAT skull... those zig zag cuts in 1/4 inch glass!  Working on another little thank you right now.  No copying, just easy breezy fun.

Friday, January 9, 2015

steal your face

Just working on a little mosaic.  I hope to have this done shortly.
All right, is it weird that I often have the signature figured out long before the rest of the mosaic?  I guess it is.