Thursday, July 2, 2015

Forever In Our Hearts

      On March 24th, 2015 San Jose Police Officer Michael Johnson was killed in the line of duty. In responding to a call for a violent suicidal man, he was shot in ambush and died. Sworn to protect and serve, attempting to aid a man bent on destruction,  he paid the ultimate price.
    As a retired SJPD dispatcher, this hits a nerve. Nothing I say, nothing I create will begin to fill the hole that Officer Johnson's death leaves, but I wanted to make a memorial panel for his family.
   As I began the design process, I realized it needed to be more abstract than literal, more representational than figurative.
    The two jewels represent Officer Johnson and his wife. They are surrounded and protected by a family of blue who will never forget their sacrifice. And because the Thin Blue Line and The Thin Red Line are protected by the thinnest Gold Line, the dispatchers, there is a thin band of gold representing them as well.
    Officer Michael Johnson and his family will be forever in our hearts.

One Angry Bird And One Lucky Lady

     Ellen's Angry Bird is done, and I like it a lot more than the first one I made several years ago. I'm not sure what these birds are so mad about, but they always look irritated.

    I also had a request from a friend for a panel featuring tulips. She recently moved stateside from The Netherlands. Her favorite tulips were called Lucky Lady, and wanted that particular tulip incorporated into the panel. I titled this one Stephanie's One Lucky Lady, because I liked the double entendre.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Hot Stuff And Angry Birds

     Aimee's Raven Steals The Sun is all done and ready for framing. I like the movement in the red baroque glass in contrast with the gray seeded glass I used for the raven. Lots of texture and movement going on here.


  Another bird is on the wire now. This one is a remake of an Angry Bluebird I made for my daughter, Ellen, when I first started making stained glass panels. It met with a terrible accident.
     I have the pattern drawn and squared up on the work board, using this grumpy guy as my base. Tomorrow I'll start selecting glass.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Raven Steals The Sun again

     When I began with stained glass, one of the first panels I made was Raven Steals The Sun, which is a Pacific Northwest Native People's story, which can be read at length here . The first panel I made was very linear and rigid. My daughter requested a panel with the same theme. Since her birthday is a few months away, I got started. This one is more fluid, and has more movement. I have all the pieces cut out and it's ready for foil.
    Ravens, of course, are black, and black glass doesn't allow any transmission of light. Here I used a seeded and textured gray to imply black.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Stitch And His Ride

   Elicia's  birthday panel is all done except for the wood frame. The plating worked well. I like the bevelled border too. The water is Uroboros ring mottle, plated by a very light green muffle glass, which was also used in the border. Those features will have more impact when the glass is in direct sunlight.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Little Tiny Stitches

   I really really don't like cutting tiny pieces. Stitch's feet are just little tiny toes. I'm glad I have them all done. The first layer is cut. Now to foil them, get it soldered, and cut out the back layer for the plating.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Elicia's Lilo and Stitch

   My granddaughter Elicia found an image that she asked me to make for her. It's a Disney image of Lilo and Stitch, so is off limits to make for sale, but I can make it and gift it to Elicia for her birthday.

This one is a challenge, because I will either need to plate the glass or fuse it for the underwater portion. I've had very little experience plating glass, and no experience fusing it. I'll need to do some reading on both to decide the best course of action.
   The primary work is done on the pattern, but I will need to refine it.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Thinking Clearly

    There are those that would say that most teenagers do not think clearly.  I'm here to tell you differently.
    Both my granddaughters are very artistic.  When she was 13, Serena drew a sketch that fascinated me, both because it was thoughtful and because it was different. I asked her if I could use her artwork to create a stained glass panel.
    "Nona, why do you even ask?"  She said.
    "Because artist to artist, I need your permission to use your original artwork, even though it may look a little differently when it's done. It's still your concept, and because it's the polite thing to do."
    Insert teen eye roll here.

    So three years later, I managed to get it done.  I used teal green waterglass, dark blue waterglass, clear baroque glass, and brown streaky granite glass. Then I soldered some steel bicycle gears on the back side.  The style is definitely all Serena. I'm just the glass cutter.
   Serena's "Thinking Clearly".

Friday, February 20, 2015

Out Of This World

   Well I'm pretty happy with how Pillars Of Creation turned out. I debated on putting a bevel border around the whole thing, and finally decided against it. Really, the contrast between the dark blue water glass and the interiors of the geodes is amazing, and when it's in the full sunlight, oh's out of this world!

Friday, February 6, 2015

A Change of Direction

  Instead of starting Serena's piece, I got sidetracked in a different direction...actually a different galaxy.I have become entranced with a photo from NASA's Hubble telescope, nicknamed The Pillars Of Creation. I've been trying to figure out how to make it in glass. Should I plate it? Sandblast? While in Angel's Camp last month I bought a pile of agate slices at an amazing rock shop, and I think it's a perfect compromise. Today I worked on the pattern and will probably start cutting glass next week.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Glass Addiction

  I thought I could put the glass away for the winter, especially after finishing the huge project for the church. That lasted about a month, and I found myself hauling it all out again.
   Last year I bought a metal cutout of an Egan dital harp, with the intent of including it into a stained glass piece. Since my design process is a little regimented, I tried for a looser feel for this piece. I don't know that I nailed it, but it was a fun piece to make.

    Just as I began working on the church windows last year, a woman in Seattle contacted me about making a panel for a bathroom in their Bed and Breakfast. I had to ask her to wait since I was committed to the church project. I just finished the panel Molly's Iris, last week. The colors are subtle in ambient light, but absolutely glow with direct light.

   Next....something inspired by my granddaughter Serena's artwork. Stay tuned.