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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.

Kokomo Stained Glass: Indiana Treasure

Kokomo Opalescent Glass Factory
Sheet of Art Glass in Progress by the Kokomo Opalescent Glass Factory


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.

Sunset Mandala by Margaret Almon
Sunset Mandala by Margaret Almon, stained glass, gold smalti and dichroic on slate, 7 inches.

Read more about Stained Glass Factories in the USA

Orsoni Gold Smalti: From Cartellina to Incorporation

Orsoni Gold smalti in orange. Photo by Margaret Almon.
Orsoni Gold smalti in orange. Photo by Margaret Almon.

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.

Fire Spiral Mandala by Margaret Almon. Glass, gold smalti, dichroic on slate, 7 inches.
Fire Spiral Mandala by Margaret Almon. Glass, gold smalti, dichroic on slate, 7 inches.



Margaret and Wayne Oregon Coast

O is for Oregon and the Years of Poetry, Rain, Lava and the Coast, A to Z Challenge 2013

Margaret and Wayne Oregon Coast
Margaret and Wayne Oregon Coast, 1991. Photo by Bert Almon.


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.

Margaret and Wayne on Lava Bed
Margaret and Wayne on Lava Bed, 1991. Photo by Bert Almon.

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.

Squirrel Ironwork at University of Oregon Art Museum
Squirrel Ironwork by I. K. Tuerck at University of Oregon Art Museum, 1992. Photo by Margaret Almon.


My previous A to Z posts.

More images on my A to Z Challenge 2013 Pinterest Board.

A to Z Blogging Challenge April 2013


Bead by HMB Studios

Spiral Beads by HMB Studios and Perhaps the Best Hostess Gift Ever

Glass beads by Heather Boardman of HMB Studios resting on a Fenton Milk Glass Leaf Plate.
Swirly glass beads by Heather Boardman of HMB Studios resting on a Fenton Milk Glass Leaf Plate.


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.


Galaxy Art Show and Sale 2012: Benefit for NOVA of Bucks County, October 25-28, 2012

Blue Path Spiral Mandala by Margaret Almon.
Blue Path Spiral Mandala by Margaret Almon.


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

 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

Special Jazz Event on Sunday October 28th:

Jazz and Mimosas featuring the Delaware Valley Saxophone Quartet
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.



Spiral Mosaic Mandala by Margaret Almon

In Honor of an Ordination: A Spiral Mosaic Mandala in Abalone and Violet

Deborah Darlington Purple Spiral Mandala by Margaret Almon
Violet Spiral Mandala in Honor of the Ordination of Deborah Darlington. Mosaic by Margaret Almon.

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.

Commission Margaret