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September 2011
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November 2011

October 2011

Glass and Wood

I have been thinking about making some more metal and glass jewelry.  I started making some drawings with silver PMC in mind.   I am so in love with the pieces Vickie Hallmark is doing and wish I could go take her workshop on making painted glass and silver pendants.  Alas, it is just too far away for me to attend.

So, I thought I could work on it and figure it out on my own.   Like I said, I did some drawings, but then thought that the cost of the silver might outweigh what I could charge for the pendants.  I am not in the jewelry business and right now I know my clientele is not in that market when they are looking at my work.

However, I couldn't let the idea go.  Then, I thought - why not continue with what I already do and know - glass and wood!

I started with a new sketch and a bunch of notes to myself.  I tried to think of all angles - shape, size, thickness, materials, etc.

Wood and Glass pendant 2


   Wood and Glass pendant 3

I had such a busy schedule that I had to put off actually attempting to make this piece for several days.  It was killing me.  When I finally got into the studio, it didn't actually take me long to get this done.  I cut the basice shape from a block of mahogany.  Then I shaped it on the band saw, trimming the thickness on the back edge to create a domed back.    I drilled a circle into the face about 1/2 way through the thickness.  Thoroughly sanding, shaping and varnishing finished the wood piece.

Then I cut the piece of amber stained glass, painted it and fired it.  I created the copper bail with copper wire that I bent and soldered together, hammered into shape and drilled.  I drilled a hole through the wood and used a piece of copper wire with soldered ends to pin the bail to the wood. 

The coppere wire was coiled and hammered and I drilled holes in the wood, poking the wire ends from the front to the back and coiled it on the back to be decorative, but also to hold the wire in place.  When the glass cooled, it was glued into place. 

Wood and Glass pendant

Wood and Glass pendant 4

The Bandit

Raccoons are fun animals.  They are so smart and adorable.  And they are perfect candidates to paint. 

This little guy is painted on a 4" square glass, has a Terra Cotta colored glass background and is framed mounted on a piece of rust/orange fabric.  

The Bandit
The Bandit - 4 x 4" tile

I think the fabric backing really makes this framed piece shine.  The fabric was from a bunch my sister Kristin - a fabulous and fun quilter -  hand dyed and sent to me.  Thanks Sis!!

Mountain Quail

I met a gentleman at the Art on the Lake art show that I did in August in Big Bear.  He is a birder.  He requested a custom order of a Mountain Quail - life size and framed.  

For some reason I had difficulty with the colors of this quail.  In the picture I was working from, the lower body of the quail looked very maroon or purple.  I really struggled because red is a very hard color to work with in glass.  They claim that in the glass paints I work with red is not mixable.  Meaning you can't mix it with another paint color to create another color.  I have actually had mixed results with this theory.  

My first attempt at this quail which is an 11-1/2" square tile came out too pale.  The "maroon" came out peachy and the gray upper body was just too light.

Finished close up 2
ale Quail - close up.

So, after agonizing over the color and testing a dozen more mixes, I thought I could get a better match.  I discussed it with the client and he said the magic words - "it really is a little more brown".  Well, apparently my computer was playing tricks with the colors.  So, I looked the quail up in a different, more detailed, bird book and they described the color as "chestnut".  BINGO - that made sense and finally broke my losing streak.  

The finished quail came out great.  I got it mounted in the frame and delivered to the happy customer. 

Quail 003Mountain Quail Close Up