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.
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.
O is for Oregon, where Stratoz and I lived from 1990-1993. I had enrolled in the MFA program at the University of Oregon in Eugene, and we drove our belongings in a red Honda Civic Hatchback, with a car-top carrier almost as big as the car itself. Our families enjoyed our stay in Oregon, because of the dramatic beauty of the landscape, and the opportunity to visit the rocky coastline, the Three Sisters mountains, the lava beds from the Sisters’ start as volcanos, and waterfalls, all of which were within two hours drive from Eugene. It rained all winter, and then the summer was hot and dry.
The University of Oregon had a beautiful art museum, across the quad from my teaching assistant office in the English Department. The doors had graceful ironwork by I. K. Tuerck, and the squirrel motif was my favorite. Oregon was where Stratoz and I got married in 1992.
In fulfilling Stratoz’s 2012 resolution to have people over for pizza, Heather and Harry Boardman were our last guests for 2012. They are a dynamic duo of artists. Harry does paintings and custom portraits, and Heather creates glass beads and when we attended their open studio tour at their house in the woods outside Telford, I gravitated to and purchased some of Heather’s swirly glass discs for focal points in my mosaics.
When the Boardmans arrived, Heather handed me a sparkly bag of glass as a gift, beads she made for me, in my favorite orange tones. I’d mentioned to Heather how much I loved glass tile with streaks of coppery crystals, and she had mixed in some goldstone to add the extra sparkle. It’s a thrill to have such a custom gift, and I look forward to incorporating them into my work. It was great fun having Harry and Heather over, talking about art and business and getting to know them better.
When I went to photograph the beads, I saw the Fenton leaf plate that my friend Joanne had given me, and it seemed a perfect setting.
For the first time I will be participating in the Galaxy 2012 Art Show and Sale to benefit the Network of Victim Assistance(NOVA), Bucks County. A portion of the proceeds goes to the important work NOVA, which supports, counsels and empowers victims of sexual assault and other serious crimes in Bucks County and works to prevent and eliminate violence in society through advocacy, training, community education and prevention programs.
The Blue Path Spiral Mandala is one of the works I am including in the show, and resonates the vision of NOVA of a society free of violence, one that empowers individuals and promotes respect for the privacy, diversity and dignity of all people. May we all find the blue path that spirals into our hearts and brings us peace.
Galaxy 2012 – 19th Annual Art Show and Sale to Benefit Network of Victim Assistance
Dates: Thurs. Oct. 25 through Sun. Oct. 28
VIP Preview Party: Thurs. Oct. 25 – 5:00 to 8:00 pm, ticket needed – $35 per person
Fri. Oct. 26 – 10:00 am to 7:00 pm
Sat. Oct. 27 – 10:00 am to 7:00 pm
Sun. Oct. 28 -10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Place: Bucks County Courthouse 3rd floor Rotunda, 55 E. Court St., Doylestown, PA 18901
The Church of the Holy Trinity Episcopal in Lansdale commissioned me to make a mosaic in honor of a special member’s ordination: The Rev. Dr. Deborah Darlington, celebrating one year as an ordained Interfaith Minister. I know Deborah through Stratoz, who is also a member of Holy Trinity and Chief Social Media Dude for the congregation.
Deborah is a woman of many talents, as described at her site, TheSpaceForGrace, celebrant of marriages and commitment ceremonies, spiritual director and coach, and as Chief Inspiration Officer of InspirationInProgress, consulting with companies in the healthcare and hospitality industries to inspire service excellence.
It was a pleasure to create something inspired by Deborah’s spirit, in her favorite color, in the form of a mandala, which is a sacred circle in many traditions.