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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

Sunflower Mandala: Meditating Around the Circle

Sunflower Mandala Mosaic by Margaret Almon and the Grout Monster
Sunflower Mandala Mosaic by Margaret Almon and the Grout Monster

The Grout Monster came over before our open studio.  She grouted pendants, picture frames and a house number with ease.  Then came the sunflower.  The GM removed the painter’s tape after grouting, revealing a berm around the edge.  One petal reached past the others and broke through the berm, and she had the inspiration to begin carving the still malleable grout with a blade, tracing all the contours.  

She thanked me when she was done.  She had found it meditative. She asked me what mandala meant.  It is a sacred circle.

Her stepfather had died that week, and she told me about asking the funeral director to put the chairs in a circle.  This was the one thing she wanted, that her family could see each other and tell stories about her stepfather.  

In her grief, she created intricate beauty, both in the honoring of her stepfather, and in delicately outlined petals. 

Sunflower Mandala Mosaic by Margaret Almon and the Grout Monster
Sunflower Mandala Mosaic by Margaret Almon and the Grout Monster