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Mosaic Improvisation

Drawer of Stained Glass from Tower of Tesserae. Photo by Margaret Almon.
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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
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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.
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Bear Paw Quilt in Glass by Wayne Stratz.

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