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Jazz Doodle by Wayne Stratz

21 Days of Christmas: 21 Gifts

Log Cabin Quilt Trivet in Coral and Cream by Margaret Almon.
Log Cabin Quilt Trivet in Coral and Cream by Margaret Almon, glass on wood, 6×6 inches, $57. SOLD.

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.

Jazz Doodle by Wayne Stratz
Jazz Doodle Inspired by Marian McPartland, by Wayne Stratz, SOLD.

 

Blue Path Spiral by Margaret Almon
Blue Path Spiral by Margaret Almon. Glass on slate, 9 inches, $162.

Art Deco Spiral Mirror Makes its Way

Art Deco Mirror by Nutmeg Designs
Art Deco Mirror by Nutmeg Designs with Wayne Stratz Selfie, $341. SOLD.

Our visit to Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton NJ was on the way to deliver the Art Deco mirror to a client. Stratoz had drafted the design and cut out the black stained glass pieces, gluing them to the mirror frame. I then had the mirror in my studio for several months, waiting while I created house number commissions.

Collaborative pieces remind me of jazz improvisation ~ the listening between musicians.  What I heard in the smooth black glass, was a desire for silver contrast, for textures and speckling and mottling.  The focal point arch at the top spoke in white gold nails ~ offcuts that are considered seconds by the factory, but which had the right shape to fan out.

Our client had cleared a space for the mirror, got the nail ready for hanging, and she showed us the gray violet wall, and the vase of white peacock feathers adjacent, echoing the shape of the white gold.  Another conversation begins.

* * *

It was a day of spirals, with two cool ones at the sculpture park.

Karl Stirner Steel Sculpture
Karl Stirner Steel Sculpture, Untitled(1987-1992), Grounds for Sculpture Hamilton, NJ. Photo by Wayne Stratz. Inadvertent inclusion of Margaret Almon.
Urchin Bronze Sculpture by Howard Kalish
Urchin Bronze Sculpture by Howard Kalish(2001), Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, NJ. Photo by Wayne Stratz(2015).
For Roger: Quilt by Julie LaRiviere

Spiral in both Quilt and Shell

For Roger: Quilt by Julie LaRiviere
For Roger: Quilt by Julie LaRiviere. Pennsylvania Quilt Extravaganza, 2013. Photo by by Wayne Stratz.

Julie LaRiviere created this quilt is for Roger Beatty, educator at the Cape Cod National Sea Shore, who brought a love of the sea to many children.  The nautilus spiral was my first spiral love.

Sea Spiral by Margaret Almon
Sea Spiral by Margaret Almon. Glass, gold smalti, dichroic, and abalone shell on slate, 7 inches.

 

Commission a Spiral Mosaic

In the Fabric’s Path: Orna Shahar’s Spiral Quilt

In the Fabric's Path Quilt by Orna Shahar
In the Fabric’s Path Quilt by Orna Shahar, Pennsylvania Quilt Extravaganza, XXI, 2014. Photo by Wayne Stratz.

In the Fabric’s Path was one of my favorites at the 2014 Pennsylvania Quilt Extravaganza.  Orna Shahar belongs to the Israel Quilters Association, and also to Encounters Art Quilt Group, with 16 Israeli quilters who meet to learn from each other, and learn from other art forms such as origami, ceramic, metal, papercutting, and glass. Quilting has been an inspiration to me as a mosaic artist, so it is cool to find quilt artists who explore other art forms.

Red Tail Rainbow Mosaic by Margaret Almon, glass on slate, 8 inches.
Red Tail Rainbow Mosaic by Margaret Almon, glass on slate, 8 inches, ©2011

My mind is percolating on how to make a spiral with bundles of vertical lines.  The Red Tail Rainbow Mandala I made in 2011 has a black background.  I just had to look up what the name of the shapes I used ~ apparently I am partial to scalene and right-angled triangles and quadrilateral polygons of the kite and trapezoid shapes.  In the process I found Paul Calter’s Squaring the Circle: Geometry in Art & Architecture, the chapter on Polygons, Tilings and Sacred Geometry.

Looking at the etymology of geometry, it originates from “measurement of earth, ” or Old English “earth-craft.”  I imagine the idea of surveying the land in the service of beauty.

Sophia Spiral in a Blaze of Orange by Wayne Stratz.

Sophia in Her Wisdom: An Orange Spiral of Light

Sophia Spiral in a Blaze of Orange by Wayne Stratz.
Sophia Spiral in a Blaze of Orange by Wayne Stratz. Stained glass, 7 inches. ©2015

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.

Orange Sunflower Mandala by Margaret Almon.
Orange Sunflower Mandala by Margaret Almon. Glass and gold smalti mosaic on slate, 7 inches, ©2015.

Margaret Almon Mosaics on Etsy

Stratozpheres on Etsy

Zulu Telephone Wire Basket and Nutmeg Designs Mosaic.

Z is for Zulu Telephone Wire Baskets: A to Z Challenge 2014

atoz [2014] - BANNER - 910

Zulu Telephone Wire Basket and Nutmeg Designs Mosaic.
Zulu Telephone Wire Basket and Nutmeg Designs Mosaic.

My sister brought me Zulu telephone wire baskets from South Africa, and I was mesmerized by the intense colors.  Zulu weavers traditionally used palm fibers with subtle colors for vessels to store food and beer.  According to Anitra Nettleton, men who migrated to the cities as night watchmen began using telephone wire to weave in brighter colors.  Now the Fair Trade cooperatives that create these baskets buy plastic coated wire directly from suppliers, who have added more colors.

Zulu Baskets at Wonderland Avenue School
Zulu Baskets at Wonderland Avenue School

 

Spiral Mosaic Mandala by Margaret Almon

M is for Mauve: A to Z Challenge 2014

Spiral Mosaic Mandala by Margaret Almon
Spiral Mosaic Mandala by Margaret Almon. Mother of pearl, dichroic, stained glass, gold smalti, on slate, 7 inches.

 

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.

Methyl Orange
Methyl Orange via Rubashkyn.

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.