A Little Composition in Christmas Colours

In the midst of getting ready for the holiday, I couldn’t resist playing with some stained glass shards in various shades of greens and reds.   We decided to use it for the splash page to our website, to set a colourful tone….

Stained Glass composition, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com

( BTW, if you’d like to comment just click on the title and it will take to the post with a comment section.  We love comments)

 

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More Stained Glass Scraps Transformations

Stained glass composition, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com

Today, another stained glass scrap composition….up close, from the side, in the sun. Love seeing the edges of the glass. Cool eh?

I’ve been enjoying this view for quite some time in our kitchen window while having my breakfast. Love the light bouncing through the colorful and textural glass. Ok, I do have a weakness for lots of color. And this is even better, it’s glowing colour!

Stained glass composition in window, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com

I call it “Floating Black”, my attempt at a descriptive title. We took this one and did a bit of transforming magic in Photoshop. And now we have it flattened into a composition of colorful shards on a white background.

Stained glass composition, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com

Makes a lovely print in our shop on Society6. Just click on the pic to go to our shop.

Society6 print, summerhouseart.com

And if you look through our shop on Society6, you’ll find it as an iphone case too.

Society6, iphone case, summerhouseart.com

(BTW, if you’d like to make a comment, just click on the title.  It’ll take you to comments….and we do appreciate comments )

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Just A Few Scraps of Stained Glass …

You just never know where a few scraps of stained glass will lead to…Blue and Orange stained glass abstract, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com

I’m one of those people who never throws much out. As artists, we can see potential in old chipped dishes, old furniture, old scraps of paper and magazines, and even old scraps of stained glass. Back in 2010, I’d been given lots of small stained glass scraps by someone who was cleaning out “junk”. Well, as it’s often said, one persons junk is another persons treasure. My friends know me well, and later that year, I got a couple of boxes of stained glass scraps for my birthday and I did make some mosaics with these scraps.

Abstract glass mosaic, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com

And then, everything sort of sat around for a bit. But I did happen to have an old illuminated sign box that I use as light table. Now the thing about colored glass, what really excites me, is what happens to all that color when light shines through it.

So a few years ago I started to have some fun applying shards of glass to glass, first old windows then those glass frames you used to be able to find where you have to sandwich the picture between two sheets of very thin glass. Now, I wasn’t interested in creating the usual stained glass where you surround the piece with leading, because what really interested me was the layering of color in the light. And I got a bit frustrated gluing glass on glass until either Will or my son Dave, walked by and said, “Well, why don’t you just glue glass to both sides of the glass?” Well, duh. And that is how I got onto gluing glass on both sides of the glass.

Also, I wasn’t interested in creating pictures with glass. What I played with was just using the scraps as they were and creating abstracts with them. Which turned out, at least to me, rather well. I loved the look and the windows have been sitting on windowsills in the house ever since I made them. Here’s another view of the glass piece at the top of the post.

Abstract Glass in Window, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com

Now the beauty of having a mind that’s open to possibilities is that you never know where you will end up next.

I’ve always wanted to do more with those compositions, and I looked at light boxes and all sorts of things for a while and then just sort of forgot about it all. Then a few weeks ago I was looking at prints, and print files and looking around for what I could convert into prints. And in one of those ah hah moments my eye lit on the stained glass comps in the windows of the kitchen. So, together with Will, who is more of a master of photoshop than I, I played around with it and found that the glass transformed really well into abstract compositions on paper. Which we immediately ran through our new printer and loved the result.

We do have some print on demand shops, one being our shop on Society6. So today, I’m happy to show the first of these new Stained Glass Prints,

composition-in-blue-and-orange131768-framed-prints Society6

already converted into a few fun products, one a pillow, and much more to come yet. Just click on the pics to go to Society 6.

stained glass society6-pillow by summerhouseart.com

 BTW if you’d like to comment, and we do appreciate comments, please just click on the title to bring up the post with a spot for comments at the bottom.)

 

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Another Student Taking Mosaic in Her Own Direction

I never really know where my mosaic classes might take a student. Some only try the medium out on a one time basis, mosaics being one more thing in a series of hobby classes they “taste test”. Some take off with doing more of the Pique Assiette type of mosaics I teach, like Murray Goode, who was featured recently. And some use the class as a jumping off point to other forms of mosaic. Such was the case with a student I had a few years ago, Anne Hauser.

I always try to encourage every student to work on projects of their own design. My classes feature a shopping class where we look for dishes to break and use since that is my focus in mosaics. But the method of mosaic lends itself to other types of tesserae, like glass. It’s always interesting to hear from my former students and see where they have taken the original classes.

Anne did stay with dishes at first, as shown in this very creative composition she made of a broken teapot. The teapot had been a favourite of a friend and Anne recreated it in a mosaic for her after it had broken. I liked not only the sentiment but the composition was unique too. The pot was the only mosaic on the surface, not surrounded by mosaic in the background. Quite novel.

Anne-Hauser-teapot-mosaic

Anne says she hardly ever works with dishes anymore and has switched to using glass now. She created a music themed piece for her husband as a gift where there is a bit of transition to glass. The sax is from a plate and she added gold sprinkles to the grout as it set. The rest of the piece is from glass. Anne-Hauser-note-mosaic

She’s gone on from there to create collages of a sort with mosaic surrounding photos under glass and a mirror frame with glass and rhinestones! As she said recently in an email   “….I seem to have gravitated to glass and tiles along with odds and ends that I find. I’m working on one now that incorporates a pewter sailboat, beach sand and pebbles, some tree leaves I made from putty, and glass.  Not sure how it’s all going to turn out, but interesting”

I really like that she is having fun and sounds quite fearless, really, with not being sure how the piece will look in the end, but being ok with that.  That’s real creativity.

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Stained Glass Mosaics and Synchronicity

close-up-glasswm

I like the idea of synchronicity, which in the dictionary is defined “as the coincidence of events that seem to be meaningfully related, conceived in Jungian theory as an explanatory principle on the same order as causality.”  My foray into stained glass was definitely a “coincidence of events”.

I also like the idea of serendipity which is our motto in our studio. Serendipity is  “the gift of being able to make delightful discoveries by pure accident ” which was coined by Horace Walpole after the “Three Princes of Serendip” , a fairy tale.

And so it was that synchronicity and serendipity both worked for me in my latest mosaic endeavors. One day Silva from Mosaic Road blog visited my blog and left a comment. I, of course zoomed over to her site and discovered her wonderful stained glass mosaics. Silva not only covers old guitars and stair risers in stained glass but she does wonderful vase sculptures using stained glass. Thank you Silva for the inspiration!

Then, while investigating Flickr I found to my delight groups of mosaic artists to lose myself in for hours. And in one group, I serendipitously found another glass mosaic artist who totally caught my eye, Rebecca Collins. She made mosaics from glass glued over compositions that she’d created in Photoshop. Plus, she made videos on how to do it! Thank you Rebecca! Ok, now I was getting interested thanks to both of these artists who were wonderfully generous with info and now all I needed was glass.

And here again synchronicity worked for me. One day soon after making this decision to try stained glass mosaics, I got an email from a close friend that her friend’s daughter was getting rid of her mosaic supplies. Would I  like them? Well, I said, I’ll be happy to have a look. And what should these supplies be but all sorts of stained glass bits and pieces! Baggies and boxes of gorgeous colorful stained glass, jars of glass in lovely, luscious color! I greedily scooped it all up and with help from Bill, hauled it home to the studio.

box-of-glasswm

Soon I was experimenting and creating my own stained glass mosaics. And learning that with glass there is such a thing as “grout creep” where the grout creeps under the glass and looks sort of messy.

bird-mosaicwm

But this next piece turned out quite well, I thought. The collage underneath is based on some of my writing and also some photos of amaryllis and slices of windmill palm photos  My daughter-in-law, who is also a very accomplished mosaic artist, liked it. So I couldn’t resist giving it to her for her birthday.

grn-glass-mosaicwm1I’ve still got lots to learn and still more equipment to get. For one I need a tumbler to soften the edges of the glass if I want to try using it on vases like Silva does. And I need to get a grinding stone to grind down the sharp edges for future pieces.

This last one is still ungrouted, but I’m liking the abstract composition. Now all I need is to find more time……

abstractwm

Here it is grouted….

Abstract glass mosaic, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com

(BTW if you’d like to comment, and we do appreciate comments, please just click on the title to bring up the post with a spot for comments at the bottom.)

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