Sunday, March 4, 2007

Art In The Glass

I'm making my first oringinal project at glass class: a freestanding table box lamp with a floral pattern taken from a phtoto of a particular kind of flowery succulent. I've transferred the image, stylized it, and created a background and border, and yesterday began cutting the pattern pieces.

There are 95 pieces to the flower panel. I am making two flower panels, with the remaining two being more simple, to allow for light to escape. Before I began cutting, Fred looked at the pattern and commented on the smallness of some of the pieces.

"I know," I replied, "but I kind of want this to be complicated. I'm eager to take on something that will take time and patience, because I find the whole process very relaxing."

Fred is interested in the project too, and helped me select glass for one of the panels (the flowers wil be different but complementary). I had the honor of having acces to his stash of high-end, beautifully patterned glass.

Once I had chosen the glass, I began to cut the pattern from the paper. Glass-pattern scissors have a channel that actually removes a strip of paper along the borders cut, to accommodate the foil and solder so that the finished piece retains its original size. This means that pieces are made smaller along each edge by a narrow amount. When I cut my small pieces, they ended up small indeed.

"Was I HIGH?" I asked my class, holding up a miniscule slip of paper. "What makes me think I wanted to cut this?"

"I was wondering that myself," said Lisa, who had removed a few small details from a pattern she was working on, for the same reason.

"Well, I guess this will teach me patience," I said philosophically.

I heard Fred chuckle behind me. "You are going to lose your mind, and I can't wait to see it."

"My lamp will be so gorgeous that you will weep," I said. "And if you're lucky, I'll let you sell my pattern on a commission basis."

"Yeah, because I know all kinds of people who want to cut 95 pieces of glass the size of their fingertip."

I love going to this class. It's like being home.

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