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.
This was to be a yellow sunflower, but the orange slipped in. Yellow is pliable and molds into orange easily. The days are going to get longer now that the Winter Solstice is here. The sun will slip into the darkness and intertwine night into day.
Stratoz created a festive 21 Days of Free Shipping on 21 of our creations. Fortunately, some of them are orange, including one of my quilt inspired trivets, a jazz inspired suncatcher and a blue spiral through the orange desert in mandala form. Click on any of these photos to go to the listing and order. December 15th is the last day to participate in the free shipping.
I love how Stratoz describes our collaboration on this New Day Mandala(Early Bird and the Night Owl):
Orange and Blue are opposites that complement each other in this mandala to greet a new day. As refreshing as a night of rest this glass mosaic is a circle of hope for being renewed with the rising sun. Designed and started by a blue early bird and detailed by an orange night owl. . . “I like the sunrise ’cause it brings a new day, I like a new day, it brings new hope …”(Duke Ellington/Mitchell Parish) A sign that announces to the world that gravity will not weigh you down, hope is perched on your soul.
I am not a morning person, but the sunrise brings this Kurt Elling version of the jazz standard into my head and heart. Elling interweaves a Rumi poem in Mitchell Parish’s lyrics. Take a moment to read the poem and listen to this beautiful tune.
“Where Everything Is Music” (trans. Coleman Barks)
“Don’t worry about saving this music / or be scared
if the singing ends
or the piano breaks a string / for we have fallen to a place
where everything is music and singing /
everything is recovered and new / ever new and musical
and even if the whole world’s harp should burn up /
there would still be hidden there
the spirit of song there to linger on /
and even if a candle’s blown out by wind
the fire smolders on in an ember and then sparks again /
the singing is a drop / just a drop in oceans of seas /
grace keeps it moving through bodies like these
and the sound of a life sends an echoing out /
the poem sings willingly in each newborn’s crying shout /
but it’s growing slowly / and keeps many secrets /
stop the words and listen / feel the echo of it starting /
open a space in the center of your beating heart
and let spirits fly in and out . . .”
Sheets of stained glass migrate back and forth between my studio and Stratoz’s studio. He had a commission for a larger version of his Sophia Spiral, and needed something special for the center. I had some Oceana glass that I used in an Orange Sunflower mandala, with beautiful mottles of yellow and orange. Holding the glass up to the light revealed the yellow like portholes of light.