Virescent is like a mixture of two of my favorite words, iridescent and verdant. Virescent describes becoming green, a word of spring. The way yellow turns into green is one of my favorite transitions when I am making mosaics.
When I saw Simon Garfield’s book on the color mauve, I checked it out of the library immediately. I wasn’t a mauve enthusiast, but the idea of a whole book about one color was intriguing. William Perkin(1838-1907) was experimenting with coal tar, in hopes of finding a cure for malaria, but instead noticed an intense purple color in his beaker. Perkin pursued the manufacture of mauve, a world awash in shifting purple pinks.
Because it is also Orange Tuesday, I will mention another coal tar dye called Methyl Orange. It changes color, from red in acid, to yellow in base.
Dichroic glass is a dazzler, with the ability to show off two different colors, and from which the name comes: Di(two) Chroic(Color). A thin coating of metal is applied to glass in a vacuum chamber and involving lasers. The process started out as a project of NASA for protecting equipment on spacecraft, and coatings on astronaut helmets. In a poetic turn, a NASA Technical Report refers to it as Chameleon Glass. The coating interferes with the normal transmission of light, and two colors emerge, one from transmitted light and one from reflected light.
My interpretation of this effect in my Helix Nebula Mandala is that the dichroic glass in the center above mostly is transmitted green, whereas the photo below, taken at a different angle, shows reflected magenta.
Coatings by Sandberg arose from a coatings engineer observing Murray Schwartz, engineer and artist, taking out of spec dichroic mirrors from the trash to make sculpture. Talking with Schwartz, Jerry Sandberg realized there were artists who would adore working with dichroic glass, and he started his coatings company specifically for the art market.
This photo from Kokomo Opalescent Glass Factory caught my eye ~ a sheet of molten orange waiting to become art glass. There is something satisfying about all glass starting out orange. When I was researching stained glass factories in the United States, I discovered that Kokomo was first, founded in 1888, in Kokomo, IN. Even as Tiffany created his own glass, he also bought glass from Kokomo.
Read more about Stained Glass Factories in the USA
The folks at Painted Paisley were sharing some of their beautiful suits for Diwali, and I wanted to know more about this celebration. As I discovered, Diwali is a festival of lights celebrated in India and in other countries by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains. Diwali is the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.
Rangoli are part of the celebration, and the Sanskrit word means a creative expression in art using color. Women often create them on the floor, or at the doorway to welcome guests and the Goddess Lakshmi. Rangoli remind me of mandalas, and the vibrant color resonates with what inspires me in art.
Diyas, clay oil lamps, are lit as an expression of this triumph of light over darkness at Diwali.
The lamps made me think of Stratoz’s stained glass night light.
The color orange is woven throughout Diwali, from glowing orange lights, to rangoli composed of marigolds, to Diwali sweets like carrot halwa and jalebi, to deep orange sarees.
The cartellina is a veil of blown glass which protects the gold leaf laid on a glass chunk, making a delicate sandwich. The cartellina, overlaying each of these pieces from the Orsoni Foundry, is variegated from yellow to red orange, like flame. Incorporate is the first word that comes to me when I contemplate using gold smalti in my work: unite into one body.
Mosaics from the Source: Orsoni Smalti Veneziana Great photo essay by James Martin on the process of making smalti.