Saturday, August 22, 2009


When I started with glass art, the creation of a piece was so rewarding. Picking the pattern, picking the right glass to give each piece it's look and then creating it. But since I started doing custom work, I've found that using my imagination to design each piece is as much fun as the making of it. And I'm finding something out about myself - I don't like the normal, run of the mill, stained glass pattern. I want them to be different.

My latest request for a stained glass small window was for a turtle. And as I said, I wanted to do something different. No typical green turtle for me. I remembered seeing a Hawaiian tribal turtle tattoo that I liked and sketched it. But it needed something more. I had the idea to make it so the turtle wasn't the main focal point and instead of the typical turtle shell pattern, I would make the shell a flower. The pattern was now done and it did just what I wanted it to do. NOT look like the typical turtle.

Now to pick the right glass that would give it it's own look. To do this, I wanted to make the flower almost appear separate from the turtle, like two pictures in one. I decided the flower and the background would be created using transparent glass and the turtle from opaque glass. A beautiful piece of baroque glass, a very swirly pattern in an amethyst color was perfect for the flower. I cut it using the swirly pattern to make each petal looked almost 3d. The background needed to be a color that would offset both the amethyst of the flower and the black of the Hawaiian turtle and decided on a tropical blue glass.

From the simple suggestion of a "turtle" came a piece that not only reflected a turtle but gave it the sense of something else...tropical flowers, Hawaiian islands and blue waters.

Monday, August 17, 2009


When I started designing and creating my stained glass pieces, I wanted each to have it’s own name. A name that truly describes the piece. I have found that sometimes that is not so easy to do. Also, I found that some people see it 'different' than I do and they can come up with a name that I just don’t understand.

As you all know, I’ve been creating pieces of stained glass art with a geode slab in it. The first being named, “Moonset Behind Desert Mountains” because the color of that geode slab reminded me of the color of the moon setting behind the western mountains of Las Vegas. It fully described the piece.

Then came the second piece using a geode. I added a geode to a very simple prairie design and couldn’t come up with a fitting name. I showed it to Ed, my husband and he said he had the perfect name. In a confident tone, he told me to call it, “Moon on a Fork”. I just looked at him in disbelief. “Moon on a Fork”?? I laughed and then told him that he was no longer part of the ‘marketing department’ and could no longer name any of the pieces. I decided to name it, “Prairie with Geode 13”, being it was a prairie design with the 13th geode that I purchased from Gary’s Gem Garden. I posted a picture in my photo album on Facebook, listed it and sold it.

Last week I received an email from Craig, a friend of mine on Facebook. He asked if I had time to design a special piece that he wanted to give to his friends as a gift. He asked if I could design a piece similar to the, “Sausage on a Fork” (aka "Moon on a Fork") piece that I had posted but he wanted the sausage being held over an open grill. “Sausage on a Fork”?!? Really?? Someone else also saw something on a fork in my “Prairie with Geode 13”?? I laughed and figured it had to be a “man thing” since my husband also saw the fork. I couldn’t believe that these two men were reducing my ‘art’ to something on a fork.

But then I thought about it. Who says that art can’t be whimsical and fun and ridiculous? Thinking that my friend was kidding, I still decided to see what I could come up with just for fun. I sketched a design with an open grill, with a geode as a sausage on a fork being held over the hot coals of the grill. I scanned it, emailed it and instead of him just laughing, he said, "Sold!".

And yes, I have named it, “Sausage on a Fork”.

Craig is moving to another state soon and he is giving his friends this piece as a gift to remind them of all the great times they had grilling together. I hope that every time that they look at it, they smile and think of Craig, their friendship and the good times they had.

This piece may not be considered glass 'art' and may be considered just ridiculous but I'm okay with that as long as it brings a smile to someone's face and good thoughts to their mind. Isn't that what art really is about?

Oh and by the way, “Sausage on a Fork” will be the first of my “Man’s Line” of Stained Glass which all pieces will all be named by Ed, my husband and 'marketing' co-director.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


This is a special piece of stained glass that I've been working on for the last few days. It's for my mom's 80th birthday present. Why is this pink flamingo special? Well, there is a story behind it.....

About 25 years ago my mom mentioned that she hated when people would put the plastic pink flamingoes in their front yards. She thought that they were gaudy.

Not long after that, I came across 4 plastic pink flamingoes at a yard sale. I bought them and held them until the time was right. That time came a few months later when she and my dad went on vacation. Imagine her expression when they pulled up to the house in the transfer van from the airport and found that they now had 4 plastic pink flamingoes in their front lawn for all to see. My dad told me that her expression was priceless. And the fun torment began.

Since that time I have bought numerous pink flamingo items for my mom...a coffee mug, a pencil with a flamingo on top, a pen in the shape of a flamingo, bubble bath in a big pink flamingo bottle, Christmas ornaments, sugar & creamer set, etc.

After 25 years of this, she has come to expect the funny flamingo gift. And has apparently kept almost all of them (the flamingo bubble bath bottle was thrown away after the bubble bath ate through the plastic), though most of them are kept 'safe' in a box in her guest room closet.

So, of course to celebrate my Mom's 80th birthday and the silver anniversary of this flamingo fun (for me, anyway), I HAD to combine this fun with my art. I searched 'Flamingo' on the internet and looked at many photographs, paintings, and stained glass pieces. With all of these images I came up with my idea. I sketched it, printed it out and went to work.

First stop, to see Lee or Danny at the Glass Art Studio in Las Vegas where I buy all of my glass supplies. I needed to get the perfect piece of pink glass, something that would capture the look of the bird’s feathers. After going through most of their pink glass, with the help of Danny, I found it and hurried home. I tacked down the pattern, traced the pieces onto the glass and began cutting the pieces out. I found, to make the curves of the neck without breaking the glass, I would have to grind out the glass rather than cut it, in order to shape each piece just right. Once that was done, I wrapped the edge of each piece of glass with copper tape, then placed it on top of the tacked down pattern and put it together like a puzzle. I then soldered the copper tape with a flat bead of solder until all the pieces were now one. It went together beautifully. The next step was framing the piece. My husband, Ed is my ‘Master Framer’. He has the strength to cut the lead and to form it around the glass so there are no bumps. He had it done in no time and did a great job as usual. I then added the rings and the chain, washed it, put on the pewter patina and polished it to a nice shine.

Voila, Mom's 80th birthday gift, "ADDIE'S FLAMINGO".

Hopefully, this one hangs in a window and is not added to the 'safe' box in the closet.

** Note: I received an email today from my mom, “Addie’s Flamingo” is now hanging in the guest room. Though, now that I've read the email again, it doesn't specify where it is hanging in the guest room.