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Mosaic Improvisation

Drawer of Stained Glass from Tower of Tesserae. Photo by Margaret Almon.
Drawer of Stained Glass from Tower of Tesserae. Photo by Margaret Almon.

Tomorrow is my 17th wedding anniversary!  We are going to hear some jazz, and have a “big date.”  Sometimes I feel very improvisational when I am  in the studio working on a mosaic, in fact most of the time.  I usually open up a drawer in my Tower of Tesserae, and start pulling out the colors or textures that appeal to me.  Even if I have a basic quilt pattern in mind, or some other design, the choices happen on the fly, as I glue pieces down, and then see what can play off that, and so on.  Like jazz, I start with a standard tune, and then see where the glass takes me.  The first time I discovered that some mosaicists lay all the pieces out first on a table and then carefully reconstruct the work on the substrate, I was amazed!  I’m sure they would be similarly amazed at my method. . .

Wayne Stratz's Stained Glass Patterning
Wayne Stratz’s Stained Glass Patterning

Within my own house, I have my opposite!  My husband, Stratoz, often takes a meticulous planning route when designing his stained glass art.  This is necessary in order for his pieces to fit together properly, but is also probably due to his father being a draftsmen.  The soldering requires pieces to snug up against each other, to avoid gaps.  He certainly does get beautiful results.

Bear Paw Quilt in Glass by Wayne Stratz.
Bear Paw Quilt in Glass by Wayne Stratz.

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