Sunday, December 6, 2015

Nebraska Landscape Commissioned Lightbox

Detail of fused glass hills, mosaic flowers,
painted church and cloud.
During my last visit to Flowing Stone Art Gallery in Beatrice, Nebraska, I was able to slip into the public library to see my piece installed. The remodeling of the library has taken a bit longer than planned, so the piece has been waiting to go up for awhile. It looks so great on the wall, all lit up in it's own framed light box. I heard that the family who commissioned it was all really excited to see it and happy with how it turned out. It's a memorial piece for their father, and they all agreed that he would have been very happy with it.

Installed on a basement wall within a light box.
The window is a combination of techniques in glass. The whole thing is leaded together in the traditional leaded glass technique. The cloud and the church are painted on with stained glass paints that are fired in the kiln to be permanent. The flowers are glass on glass (GOG) mosaics, glued and grouted, then leaded into the panel. The landscape glass is all fused glass, with several bits of glass tacked together to make it layered and textured.

To view the window in person, visit the newly remodeled Beatrice Public Library.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Creating an Art Research Journal from a Paper Bag

How to Make Books: Fold, Cut & Stitch Your Way to a One-of-a-Kind Book
by Esther K. Smith

Making an Art Research Journal is a great way to document process and record ideas. I like incorporating Art Research Journals into my artist residencies because the students are generally collaborating on an art project that they won't be taking home. With a journal, at least they have something they can take home as a reminder of the project and process, but also something to share with their family and friends. In addition, an Art Research Journal can also be an assessment tool for teachers to see that the students are understanding the process, feel involved and are having their voices heard, and for sticking a grade on something, if necessary.

This particular style of book is great because it starts out as a paper bag, which I have a seemingly endless supply of as they pile up each time I forget the reusable bag at the market! First, the bag has to be cut open (or carefully torn open) and then trimmed a bit to take off the rough edges and even everything up to be a rectangle. Then, following the illustration below...
Illustrated step by step to build a mini book out of a paper bag.
 A) Fold the bag "Hot Dog" style and unfold.
B) Fold "Hamburger" style and unfold.
C) Fold the open ends back to the spine, and then unfold.
D) Cut on the middle "Hot Dog" fold line from the folded side of the paper bag, but only cut halfway. Then, there's a tricky bit of folding and the book is ready to go!

I generally use a glue stick and glue the insides together so the book stays together without unfolding. The inside is the outside of the bag (with the print on it).

Sample paper bag books

An Art Research Journal is also a great tool for artists to use! The book above shows the samples that I've been working on with a new product and technique. A peek inside:

Finding the perfect firing schedule and experimenting with lettering.

Examining shrinkage of powder wafers on a tack fire
and different firing schedules.

Writing my observations next to each set of samples
helps me to remember and explain what I did. Then, if I
want to reproduce my results, it's easy!
There are a bunch of other book suggestions in How to Make Books: Fold, Cut & Stitch Your Way to a One-of-a-Kind Book. This one seemed to be the easiest for the materials I had on hand and the size is really nice for glueing separate samples in and building a journal scrap book style.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Floral Mosaic Serving Tray

Napa Glass Therapy is hosting me for
this Father's Day 2015 weekend workshop.
I am so excited to be "coming home" to Napa for a Father's Day weekend workshop in mosaic making!  This is going to be a very fun class where we'll complete a luscious wooden serving tray mosaic at a relaxed pace over the course of the weekend. 

A commissioned mosaic tray made with my signature lotus mandala pattern.
Napa Glass Therapy is excited to host International Glass Artist and instructor Carrie Strope Sohayda for a 2 day luxurious workshop in Napa, California on June 20th and 21st. Experience the therapeutic qualities of glass as you create your own keepsake mosaic tray.

My example for the class is very eye-popping! (I love bright colors.)
During this 2 day workshop, Carrie will teach the tricks and skills she has learned and perfected over her years as a glass artist. earn how easy it is to use No Days Groutless Mosaic Adhesive on wedi board in creating a sturdy wooden serving tray mosaic at a relaxed pace over the course of the weekend.  We will discuss basic color theory to help you choose your glass, talk about pattern variations and the best way to approach cutting a pattern out of a sheet of glass, learn tricks for cutting circles and finish with grouting pointers as we complete a mosaic in a weekend.

  AND, since it's wine country, we'll be going out each night for dinner and drinks, with a little wine sipping, too! Anyone coming from out of town is more than welcome to join us, if you don't already have plans :)
Student projects from a previous class taught in Southern California.

Learn how to cut glass so that it breaks where you want it to every time, join in the fun and at the end of the second day, leave with your own gorgeous mosaic keepsake tray measuring 13.5" x 19" serving tray that can double as a small mosaic table top. No previous glass experience necessary!

$200 includes all materials, tools, supplies, as well as lunch for both days, delicious homemade snacks and sweets, and specialty, organic, fairtrade roasted coffee to keep you focused!
Contact Carrie Strope Sohayda at 707.225.1361 for more information and to save your spot!

I hope you'll join us for this great weekend.
We always have a blast in my classes!

Carrie has been working in glass since 2005 and is enthusiastic about sharing her knowledge with participants. If you've got questions about fused glass or stained glass, she can answer those (or point you in the right direction), as well as all of your mosaic questions. Carrie has experience working with preK-12 students in the classroom with glass and has lots of project ideas that can be adjusted to the capabilities of your students.

This is a great class for refining your glass cutting skills. You'll learn how to cut glass so that it breaks where you want it to every time, join in the fun and create a beautiful keepsake 13.5" x 19" serving tray that can double as a mosaic table top. Carrie has several resources for teaching artists and teachers in finding tools and materials for the classroom, as well.


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