One of my favorite materials is gold smalti: a chunk of glass plus a thin layer of gold and an even thinner layer of glass on top. This luscious dish of smalti was made by the Orsoni Factory in Italy, and I buy it by the ounce, even though I covet it by the ton. Someone asked me if this is the gold used in the ceiling of San Marco in Venice. I looked it up, and Orsoni has since its beginning in 1888, manufactured mosaics for the renovation of the Basilica. It supplied more than 1,000 ancient 24K gold plates that decorate the 8,000 square meters of the structure.
When I discovered dichroic glass and it was love at first sight! The name means “two colors” — layers of coating on the glass allows it to change hue depending the light. Originally created for the aerospace industry, fortunately it was recognized for its beauty and companies now sell it to artists. This new Moonflower Mandala Pendant shimmers between green and violet.
The Church of the Holy Trinity Episcopal in Lansdale commissioned me to make a mosaic in honor of a special member’s ordination: The Rev. Dr. Deborah Darlington, celebrating one year as an ordained Interfaith Minister. I know Deborah through Stratoz, who is also a member of Holy Trinity and Chief Social Media Dude for the congregation.
Deborah is a woman of many talents, as described at her site, TheSpaceForGrace, celebrant of marriages and commitment ceremonies, spiritual director and coach, and as Chief Inspiration Officer of InspirationInProgress, consulting with companies in the healthcare and hospitality industries to inspire service excellence.
It was a pleasure to create something inspired by Deborah’s spirit, in her favorite color, in the form of a mandala, which is a sacred circle in many traditions.