The Thicket

How is it that small fluffy birds have no trouble residing in thorny trees?

CrossThicket

So it is with family, sometimes (or especially), around the holidays.

Some try to smooth the edges, but there is still evidence of old daggers of insult and disdain. We may use the shards of injury to mend our broken spirits, but the rifts of past grievances still remain, even with their new configuration.

The nature of forgiveness, some say, is to help ourselves assuage our own anger. Forgiveness is not about letting someone get away with something. It’s about giving ourselves a chance to be free again, like little birds choosing to live happily amongst spikes and barbs.

Deep down inside the tangled underbrush our delicate hearts want to sing again.

No Fair!

This 30 paintings in 30 days concept is great, and it is motivating me to get in the studio. But I do have glass things I need to and want to make – soooo yesterday I guess I’ll have to chalk up my time to “painting” with glass. I’m working on a commission of Christmas tree ornaments in the form of crosses. So yesterday I “painted” with glass. Does that count?

image
4/30 Crosses on the Church
Porcelain Tile 6″ x 6″, Crosses 4″ x 2.5″

Here are three of my favorites I just unloaded from the kiln this morning. They are on top of a tile (I made that, too) embossed with the image of the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church.

And…you may ask, why did I title this post, “No Fair!”? Because while I “painted” them on the 4th day of the challenge, I had to fire them before they were done. That took me into the next day, but here they are.

Painting (really painting) is so direct – what you do is what you see…not so much with glass. There are always surprises.

Crossing the Line

Crosses20130616

I have been having a very meditative few days making these crosses. The form is engaging, and I am brought back to the time my friend, Julie, and I invented the concept of “4G.” This was way before the cell phone companies began calling bandwidth by the same name. For us 4G stood for Four Girls. We each had two daughters, and cross-making was a way for us to get together and think about what might be best for all four of them. When I find the complete description of that endeavor I will post it. Meanwhile here’s a group shot.  They are 2″ high and 1″ wide: pendant size.

The Bracelet Connection

We met again and completed our bracelets. Wow!

Bracelet Placement

Bracelet 4

Bracelet 2

Bracelet 1

Bracelet 3

Bracelet Wheel

In all we made 20 bracelets that night. Everyone was so patient as they sanded the metal, the backs of their tiny glass pieces, then cleaned them with rubbing alcohol to remove the oils from our fingers, and finally glued them with 2-part epoxy.

It was a labor of love and the results showed!

 

Em-Brace-Lets…

This post is about some wonderful people I had the privilege to introduce to fused glass last night. They are teens from the West side of town where opportunities are sometimes sparse. But last night some very special people, Clare Watson (one of the most patient, generous and persevering people I have ever met) and Amy Zimmer (one of the most energetic, sincere and creative people I have ever met) brought the 13 teens to the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts to make parts and pieces for fused glass bracelets. Anna Parker, the Museum’s Outreach Coordinator, was on hand to help with all our needs from setup to cleanup.

I loved, especially, watching the guys with their athletic builds and non-delicate fingers, get right into it. This is not the best photo, but here’s the idea…
Guys.results

The tiny pieces are only 1/2″ square. All the teens really concentrated, and seemed to have fun at the same time.

I love my calling as a teacher. It’s such a joy to visualize good things happening, and then have those good things unfold before my eyes. Of course it is in the planning, but it’s always like magic when it happens.

What’s the Fuss?

We packed up the car on April 26th, 2013 and drove to Troy, Alabama for TroyFest, 2013. We had two beautiful days and lots of fun…AND while there I was awarded a prize: Award of Merit in Jewelry! So this is one of the better-kept secrets about me, but I suppose I have earned the right to show off. Here is the first installment of some jewelry pieces. I hope you  enjoy. I will be discussing my aesthetic (as best I can) as time goes on. These pieces are all fused glass and represent a range of styles. Top: Big Hairy Pendant; Bottom, L to R: ¡Olé!, Kente, Spiral.

Glass Array

The Making of a Nine

I have been making my own specialized glass, and I start with making several lengths and varieties, such as the piece depicted here.

Before firing

Color Bar before

After firing

Color bar after

Then I cut those lengths into smaller pieces and design them on a base color. I don’t JUST use my specialized glass, but try to mix it up with other pieces, working out color and composition all the way along. The pieces are attached to the base glass with the tiniest speck of glue, just so they don’t shift as I put them in the kiln.

Before firing

Nine before

After firing

Nine after

Piece of cake, right?

Right!