This was to be a yellow sunflower, but the orange slipped in. Yellow is pliable and molds into orange easily. The days are going to get longer now that the Winter Solstice is here. The sun will slip into the darkness and intertwine night into day.
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.
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.