Children’s Illustration made into glass

For this project I replicated a children’s book cover to be displayed in a local library, Belvedere Tiburon Library. The book is called “A New Leash on Life” about the relationship between a dog and a new baby, and their growing up together. This window was a commission through Stained Glass Garden in Berkeley, CA.

I made most of the glass by using powder colors on clear. By doing this I was able to create a fade to make the hills recede into the distance. It is a local story, so the Golden Gate bridge is a prominent image in the distance.

I painted the grass onto the hills and on the girls leg to have her nestle into the land. Both the girl and the dog have powder shading around their edges. The illustrator, Alexandria Gold, uses a lot of shading techniques, so I wanted to replicate her design as accurately as possible.

The window was created to honor the life and work of author, Kara Hamilton, who passed away in 2017.

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Victorian Commission

 

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Victorian

This project was a sidelight for the entry of a Victorian home in the Bay Area. The client wanted me to make a window that was inspired by/ or reflected on some level, the window on the second story of her home. That window looked like this:secondstoryI was most interested in capturing the leaf movement, and texture of the glass. I made flowers with only four petals, and focused on designing a window that would be a presence for the entryway. I used opal jewels, mouth blown antique clear glass, mouth blown antique grey glass from Poland, and mitered the corners of the border. I also was excited to see the hourglass border “float” by surrounding it with clear glass. I wanted the window to be ornate but not overpowering. I wanted it to be welcoming and exquisite.

This window was a commission through Stained Glass Garden in Berkeley, CA.

 

Stained Glass. Who knew kitsch could be so rude?

I find the stained glass technique to be the most effective medium for expressing my ideas. It is an art form and process laden with traditional associations- churches, kitsch and hobby art – and is therefore ripe for distortion. My work is largely inspired by sarcasm and contradiction: tough and fragile, spontaneous and contrived, naivety and experience. I believe these themes reveal the humor and complexity of experience and perception, and therefore become an honest representation of life.

My “fracture” sculptures capture the random, the spontaneous, and the destructive. This work is created by breaking panes of glass either underfoot, or by objects that are dropped from pulleys. The shards and broken pieces are then soldered back together, preserving the unpredictable pattern of how the glass shattered. In attempting to reconfigure the original shape of the glass, I in fact help create its altered state. Repairing the glass captures the moment when the glass was broken and for me, is a reflection of how experiences alter and shape us.

Sign is based on a traditional transom window that would be found in a residence. The pink and purple colors, bevels, and script lettering suggest a warm message, but the reality is aggressive and bold.

Sign

The Land of Golden Opportunity at first glance resembles a child-like fantasy of unicorns and rainbows, but upon closer inspection exposes a scene which could be interpreted as pornography or a wildlife television parody. It is rooted in the art of the American West, faux wood paneling, kitsch and ideas of American “Utopia”.

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I am inspired by artists who dare to take intellectual, emotional and political risks. Historically, the artists I find most influential are Eva Hesse, Marcel Duchamp, John Cage, and Joseph Beuys. These artists used elements of chance, redefined the common and the everyday, broke from the established art of the day, made fun of themselves, and were aware that an individual’s actions and ideas can influence the world. Within the contemporary art world, the Chinese “cynical realists” are inspiring examples of artists who use humour to express frustration. I feel the current wave of sarcasm in the art world reflects a sense of personal political impotence and is also a reaction to Western decadence.

Seed Pod Commission!

Seed Pod Commission

This commission was for a woman in Ann Arbor, MI. She sent me images of seed pods from Northern Michigan, where she spent time as a child and continues to visit. She wanted the seed pods to be the subject for the window. She also sent me photos of her kitchen window, and we discussed visibility and colors. She wanted to have clear glass in sections, so she could continue to connect with neighbors from her kitchen window. We corresponded by email and phone to solidify colors and design that would work well with her kitchen.

Once the design was solidified, I found glass that worked in the color palette, and began building. I choose some antique glass, mouth blown glass, and fusible glass that had great color. The combo really made the design pop. I sent updated photos as I worked, so she could be included in the process.

Once it was complete, I crated it up and shipped it off with fingers crossed. It arrived in tact and all is well! So exciting to see it in its intended spot in the kitchen window.

It is 27 inches square. Shown below: top, in the crate. Next, full image. Last installed!

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Mosaic Animals

July 2017

Recently, I have been exploring with mosaics. It is a welcome break from the structure of leaded or copper foil glass art. I find it more spontaneous and loose, playful and free. I am enjoying this exploration. These are woodland animals. I think of them as animal portraits. Racoon is magnolia, owl is starry night. soon there will be fox and hare.

 

 

Feral Studio!

June 2017

Friends! I painted my studio and added trim details. New plants have arrived as studio mates. It is a calm and special place to be. I am working on new mosaics that I will post soon.

 

Napa Vision 2050 connection

November 2016

I am excited about a connection I have made here in California with a  local environmental organization, Napa Vision 2050. They exist to preserve local values and to protect our water resources, forests, rural communities, agriculture and open space. Now they will receive a $5 donation from each sale of my new fused glass panels!

I am grateful to be connected to a cause that contributes to the greater good of my community. I am a studio artist. I become more balanced by spending time in my studio for contemplation and the creative process. I refuse to be isolated and removed from the world, however. These small nests are a simple act that allows me to connect, contribute, reach out, stay educated, work toward something I believe in.

In these times that are confusing, disheartening and fearful, I have decided to act more intentionally and make choices that I believe in. I believe in teaching my children to be kind and accepting of diverse peoples and cultures. I believe in striving for a clean natural world. I believe in working toward the change I desire for myself, friends and children.

I was inspired to make these small panels because I wanted to make something comforting and calm. I wanted to build in a spontaneous way and focus my attention on a peaceful image. These were the results! Various images of bird’s nests in tree branches! These small glass panels are 4 inches x 4 inches, and can hang by suction cup (provided) in the window, or by nail in the wall. They are handmade by me, and are $45. The intention is to make them affordable for gifts, so the designs are repeated, with slight variation. They are fused glass which means they are melted in the kiln. They come with a colored bamboo fiber cord and brass ring for hanging. And as I mentioned, $5 from each sale goes to preserving our natural world! Interested in having a nest for your home? See all designs available: Click here 

New! Fused Glass Bird’s Nests!

October 2016

I am excited about these! They are small (4 inch square) fused glass panels to hang in a window or against a wall. They are spontaneous and sweet. They are secured with a silk cord and brass ring. They are repeats to keep cost down. They are the perfect gift, the perfect home cosy addition. They are $45 to allow for ease of pocketbook. A portion of each sale is donated to a local environmental group. They are for sale at my etsy online store.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/FeralStudio

Burning Man Adventurers!

September 2016

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The last time I went to Burning Man was in 2002. I went with my close friend Anna Erlewine. We drove there from Wisconsin. We swam in rivers. We ate ramen. We thought we saw a mountain lion. We spent 10 days in the salt flats. We helped build the temple. We rode on double decker art cars and borrowed motorcycles. We slept in a tent I made out of canvas and maple saplings. It was a circus type tent with circular windows and a skylight. We wore boots. We wore cowboy hats. We painted our skin. We watched things burn. We drank watery beer and our hair felt like wigs from the salty sandy land. The art that erupted from the land and human hands was spectacular. And watching the city build itself up during the days we were there was incredible. And sitting way out in the darkness of night and looking back at the lights was soothing. A city of art and music created in the middle of flat, wild land and dark night skies. Wow.

 

Quill Hyde made these amazing horses (Acavallo Art Installation for Burning Man) out of steel that people could sit on. I made stained glass for one of the horses. I used bottles and lenses, and mirror from the 60s. The cheeks had fire bursts. What an honor to be included in this project!