As I said in my previous post, I was working on a project -- the largest project I've done so far -- and though it's not complely finished, it's come a LONG way. This project has been such a great learning experience for me! It took me over 1 month to complete the pieceing toether in my studio and over 3 weeks to install. It also took the help of many, many of my stained glass friends and of course, my mother. Jana Moore, with Jana More Stained Glass in Bethany, Oklahoma helped me design the three-dimensional pattern and fit all the sides together. Jana also did a ton of glass cutting and fitting on the trunks. Thank you Jana! Because the wall was not plumb, I ended up having to cut and piece the upper portions together on-site so that everything lined up. My glass friend and instructor Niki Albright with In Your Eye Studio in the Paseo helped me with fusing the glass to make the entry way sign. Thank you Niki! And Carole Brock, wigh Glass Designs Studio in Oklahoma City came though at the last minute when I needed more glass. Thank you Carole. My mother, Anna Patterson, was a hugh help in not only listening to me when I was feeling overwhelemed, she babysat many hours so I could work uninterrupted. I'm not sure exactly how many leaves we used, somewhere in the neighborhood of 300, but Mother also drew each leaf onto the glass for me so I would have a patern to cut from as I sawed each one by hand with my handy Tauras Ring saw - and she also painted the caps of each acorn -- about 400! She also helped me do the installation of the leaves along with my friend and fellow bead junkie Susan Biles. Thank you Mother and Susan.
I was up early today, which is kind of rare and didn't feel pressure to hurry up and go, which is even rarer still. So I spent some time this morning catching up on my yahoo groups. When reading firstname.lastname@example.org I came across a post asking for artists to donate mosaic blocks to be made into a mosaic "quilt" and then auctioned off and the proceeds going to naturehelps.org - an organization raising money for charity through long-distance hiking - whose charity is National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. It brought back memories of my friend Norma, who committed suicide when I was in the 9th grade, she in 8th. At the time it was not my first experience with loss, having had grandparents and friends of my parents pass away. It was my first experience with just not being able to understand why and of course regrets -- could I have done something had I known? It's been 33 years and I still can't wrap my head around it. It still makes me sad as I think about her and all the things that never will be... So I am inspired to contribute a block in her memory. The blocks are supposed to be "nature" themed and I have the perfect idea and it's so serendipitous to what I'm working on in my art right now. I've been commissioned to do a mosaic with the theme "might oaks from little acorns grow" so I'm making hundreds of stained glass leaves and fusing them together for some depth. I just started experimenting with making glass acorns. My prayer is that every acorn has the time and the resources to grow into a mighty oak.
A client called a few weeks ago asking about repairing a glass plate. She had purchased a plate during her travels and had it shipped to her home. It was delivered broken. I'm not sure why she didn't just call and have another one delivered, perhaps this one was special to her, or a one of a kind. Our conversation was over the phone and I had not seen the piece. I suggested she bring the plate to the studio and I would see if I could use my wonderful UV glue*, and glue the pieces (it was broken in 3 places) back in place. I explained that the uv glue would reduce the crack showing through, but that most likely she would still be able to see the crack. My recommendation was to first glue the piece and see how it looked. That might be all that was required. If she didn't like the gluing repair, we could decide to fuse glass over the cracks or use the broken pieces and a make a mosaic of some type.
When the client arrived at my studio with the plate, I was happy to see that the plate was a mixture of colored glass leaves and was a very busy pattern. My first thought was that the cracks would not be very noticeable - especially if the plate was set upon a high shelf and not looked at closely. It was an overcast day and I tried to make the repairs while she waited. UV glue requires sunlight (or a UV light bulb) to bond. However, it was just too dark outside. I asked her to leave the plate and I would call in a few days after it was repaired.
I left the plate on my studio table for another day. That evening, my 8 year-old daughter and her friend were playing and roughhousing in my studio. I had requested that they settle down numerous times. As I was just getting up to move them out of my studio and settle them down elsewhere, my daughter used a string to reach out and catch her friend's hand. The string missed the hand, but caught a porcelain bird statue I had as a centerpiece on the table. The bird statue was yanked over on top of my customer's plate - breaking the bird statue and shattering the glass plate. No glue in the world could fix that mess!!!!
After yelling and crying and generally feeling sorry for myself overnight, I decided it was time to take a deep breath and figure out what to do. The dilemma - do I tell my client what happened? I called the client and told her that the glue was not working and I needed to refuse the plate. I would call when it was finished.
I would have to make a new plate. Fortunately, I had the exact same colors of glass in stock in my studio. I took a pattern of the leaves from the broken pieces and started cutting. After I cut enough pieces - 26 leaves - in three different colors -- my mother and I worked to lay them out like the original. The next step was to fuse and then slump the plate.
The finished piece came out beautiful! The client was thrilled and couldn't wait to get her plate home and on display. Another happy ending!
*Super glue makes a glass glue that is activated with UV light. Available at most do it yourself stores in the glue aisle.
My niece, Katlyn Gorelick, is a cheerleader for Midwest City Schools - at Midwest City High. Annually the cheer squad attends a conference where they compete against other city high schools. .... Katlyn asked me to make gifts for each girl - and one guy - on the squad to celebrate the event. The school and cheer colors are gold and black. We had seen a how-to sheet at Hobby Lobby about doing something similar in resin, so I modified the idea to work with glass. Here's the end result!
Necklaces in the making... Final Piece
I am frequently asked: "How did you get started doing stained glass?" or "How did you get started doing repairs?" This is the short version -- and the beginning for me of a hobby that turned into a talent and passion:
My husband, Scott, drew a self-logo as part of a workshop conducted by the great motivational speaker, Anthony Robbins. The drawing was so beautiful to me, I thought it would make a perfect stained glass window for our home and a perfect birthday gift for my husband. I took a computer composed image of the drawing to a local stained glass shop and asked if I could have it made into a window. The proprietress of the shop, Nicki Albright Townley, who has since become a good friend, suggested that I take a course to learn stained glass and make it myself. Challenge on. After the first small project, I was hooked! The window came out beautiful and it was a great birthday surprise!
When Nicki Albright Townley's stained glass shop was open, she would have an annual glass show. This piece won first place in the beginner's category.
My first stained glass piece ever!
I am an Oklahoma glass artist. Specializing in on-site glass repairs. I love all kinds of hand work, including clay work, quilting, beading and embroidery. When not in my studio, you can find me tending to my indoor aquaponic garden or my outside garden and hopefully soon -- my greenhouse.