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.