49. Lotuses

•2013/07/20 • Leave a Comment
Lotuses, glass on glass


tumbled glass on glass substrate, 2013

Last summer, my partner and I installed an iron fence into our backyard garden, and we’d envisioned a grid of rusted iron into which we would (eventually) incorporate glass-on-glass mosaics.  The fence faces to the west, and sunset light would filter through the pieces.  We’ve yet to install this piece into the fence – updated photo (once we do) coming soon…

This is the first of several pieces we plan to integrate into the fence.  I’ve recently completed a workshop in Seattle given by Michael Kruzich on using the Ravenna technique.  Even though the class worked primarily in stone, I used some of the andamento techniques into this piece.  In the Ravenna technique, there’s much more emphasis on values (gray scale) rather than color.  While I worked on this piece, I discovered that the polished and riven sides of the tesserae carry different values.

I also was much more deliberate in this piece on how I constructed the background andamento.  Above the surface of the water, I wanted to extend the lines of the flower outward, so that the light of the piece was centered on the flowers.  But beneath the surface of the water, where the colors mute, I used sets of horizontal lines, with the suggestion of currents that sway the stems of the lotus plants in unison.

watercolor study for Lotuses

watercolor study

To the right is the watercolor sketch I used to plan the piece.  One of the advantages of working glass-on-glass is that you can work directly on top of your study.  In this case, I sketched a small watercolor to the size & scale of the substrate glass.  I then fastened the study directly to the back of the glass, so that its outline was visible through the glass as I worked.

48. Currents

•2013/06/16 • Leave a Comment

This piece began as a project to place a mosaic cover over some exposed pipes in the garden.

An unused cobalt-blue flower vase, turned upside down would cover it nicely.

My idea was to have each of the five sides portray currents which carry from one side to another, flowing like rivulets or streams of air.

Currents (East) - glass on glass mosaic

Currents (East) – glass on glass mosaic

Currents (Top) - glass on glass mosaic

Currents (Top) – glass on glass mosaic

Currents (West) - glass on glass mosaic

Currents (West) – glass on glass mosaic

Currents (North) - glass on glass mosaic

Currents (North) – glass on glass mosaic

Currents (south) - glass on glass mosaic

Currents (South) – glass on glass mosaic

47. Salamander

•2013/03/23 • Leave a Comment
Salamander, glass on glass mosaic, 2013

Salamander, glass on glass mosaic, 2013

This piece is a continuation of my experimentation with glass cutting techniques for mosaics. With smalti and marble mosaics, there was very little variation in the sizes of the tesserae–but here, working with a much wider range of glass pieces, I could experiment with different textures resulting from using larger and smaller pieces.

In the blue areas, I experimented with the limits to curvature using a cutting technique that gives me a range of concave pieces.  I wanted to see if I could suggest a wave, the flow and curvature of a breaking wave.  But I was able to bend the wave further and further, it eventually collapses onto itself to an almond-shape.  The eye of the wave, or further up the mosaic, the eye of the salamander.

46. Dragonflies and Macaw

•2013/01/13 • Leave a Comment
Dragonflies and Macaw, glass-on-glass mosaic, 2012

Dragonflies and Macaw, glass-on-glass mosaic, 2012

The fourth and final side of the flower vase mosaic.

Here, I’m experimenting with incorporating glass beads into the work. The blue dart-shapes represent the bodies of dragonflies. The green “T” represent the wings and tail of a green macaw.


45. The Reeds

•2012/12/20 • Leave a Comment
Reeds, recycled glass mosaic on glass. 2012

Reeds, recycled glass mosaic on glass. 2012

This is the side three of the four-sided glass mosaic flower vase.

This side incorporates a much simpler palette than the others, more subdued. The gold and red mosaic pieces are cut from tumbled glass. The violet glass pieces are much smaller and sharper, many of them retain the “ribbing” from the original glass bottles.

The patterns here remind me of lake reeds, how they gather into swirling parallel lines as they float not-quite-to the surface of the water.  Here I’ve cut the glass to suggest water and waves. At the center of the vortex of reeds is where we find the treasures of the lake.  Water spiders. Bits of floating blossoms. A sparkle of sunlight.

44. Sunset Palm

•2012/12/15 • Leave a Comment
Glass-on-glass mosaic

Sunset Palm, cut recycled glass mosaic vase, 2012

This is the second side of a four-sided glass vase. Although this project had begun as a “practice piece” for an upcoming major outdoor installation,  I love the way the vase is evolving into something more than just playing around.

The tesserae are cuts of broken, recycled and tumbled glass, affixed with Weldbond. The tumbled pieces were intriguing to work with. Thin cuts of the longer pieces turned into interesting shapes–scimitars, ovals, concave and convex wedges. Stacked, they rendered into a shape suggesting the grooves of a palm tree trunk.  Arrayed as a star, they suggest palm leaves.


43. Poppy

•2012/12/11 • Leave a Comment
Flower Vase, glass-on-glass mosaic

Poppy, cut recycled glass mosaic on glass vase, 2012.

I’m finding that mosaics are always a little trickier to capture by photo. They’re rarely rectangular, and usually three-dimensional. But let me try…

This is side one of four of a glass-on-glass mosaic.  Here, I’ve cut broken and recycled & tumbled glass (using hand-nippers), and affixing using Weldbond.

I’m experimenting with some new mosaic ideas on this piece.

I’m deliberately cutting the glass into more organic shapes, and trying to steer away from right-angle cuts.  The tumbled glass often cuts with convex/concave lines.  These shapes make for interesting flows–either stacked, or to extend flow-lines end-to-end.

This piece won’t be grouted.  I’m thinking that the opaque grout will dim the light that comes through the vase.

There are suggestions of flower petals and stems, a theme I have carried to the other sides of this vase.

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