Monday, January 25, 2010

The birds and the beef.

The Mintoaur so far. This is the bottom section of the piece 16" x 11"--The layers are described below.

These birds will be the top section of the window.

Here's this bull again. This is sandblasted (the silhouette--lightly blasted--no detail, nothing fancy) engraved with a flexible shaft (Foredom) and filed with Starlite files. The glass is Lambert's 1006 Bl/cl B.

1st try at man--simple sandblasting into Lambert's 1001R/CL B.

I hesitate to show this image--but I think its interesting to note that glass, being transparent and all, the layer of the man and the bull can relate to each other in four different orientations. I chose the top one..but...wasn't pleased with the colors or contrasts. This image is not made with the man layer I used in the final but the one above. I wanted something more subtle and more blue. Also, this man isn't as sensitively done as I would like in terms of the shape.

This maze was made with a photo stencil on Lambert's 1001/R/CL A. Light sandblasting to negative space only.

After much experimentation, all in my bulk failure box now, I decided on this outline of a man. This is 1/8" (double strength) float glass. Hand cut contact paper stencil with light sandblasting. I rubbed a mix of Hancock's Red For Felsh mixed with Stencil Black 1059 Reusche paint into the frosty areas and fired it at 1213 degrees F. THEN I rubbed some transparent red oil paint into that area to pump up the color from a dull brown to reddish.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

birds and bull

This engraving is about 16" x 12"
Birds to go with bull. They are two layers.
some of the birds apart

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

"Sin Eater"

Hey reader of Noose! Scroll down to see a second new post with pictures (and the long woeful tale) of "The Cold Genius"! Meanwhile, heeeeeeeeeeeeere's "Sin Eater"!

"Sin Eater" is 25" x 46"

"Sin Eater" contains...oh....ten billion pieces of glass. Here's an image in reflected light.
I finished it New Years eve and it looked like that. I wasn't happy with the upper right hand corner so I rebuilt that part. Here's the older version.

"The Cold Genius"

Please click images to enlarge.
"The Cold Genius" is 30" high x 35" (bottom) x 43" (top)
The brownish red branches are a separate piece of glass that will be placed about 1/2" in front of the window in the lightbox. Here it is without that panel.
In reflected light (upside down and right side up)

Call me Ishmail. No wait…I think I’m Ahab. Well here’s my Great White Whale.

Those who’ve followed this blog for more than a few months will possibly recognize this piece as the subject of the ‘design contest” a while back. Yup—you picked the right one…but when I made t…I wasn’t satisfied. At any rate, I made this piece four times. And one time I even got it soldered together.

Versions one through four (note version three is soldered together. The corpse is in my studio)
Stained glass peeps: NEVER DO THIS!! De-soldering a copperfoiled window is about as fun as putting your hand in a wood chipper. And as bloody and mangling too. If you do decide you must resort to this, here’s a photo demonstrating the proper attire and attitude.
The proper tools are always a plus.
proper attitude demonstrated by the expert.

So to recap: first I made the head. Ahhh…and what a head!!! I don’t think I have attained such spot-on idealness before. Definitely my best head to date. Of course I desired a body and context that would do this face justice.

The face that launched four windows.

Yikes…never ever wish this….because this set into motion a series of impossible to meet standards, goals ratcheted to unattainable levels, yadda yadda yadda blah blah blah.
So I had this face. Made in glass and at some point shortly after its birth, I saw this YouTube video by Klaus Nomi. (Yes, I was a big fan in his actual heyday in the early 1980’s). This is Klaus doing a rendition of “The Cold Song” from Henry Purcell’s opera “King Arthur”. The clincher is that Klaus was within weeks of his own early death and is literally singing the song as if it’s his last…so sad…….
The song is sung by a character called The Cold Genius who is praying to be allowed to freeze to death (presumably because he was lonely and freezing was a familiar emotional condition for this character). I was really taken by Klaus Nomi’s amazing performance—and inspired by the idea to make my own Cold Genius. So the face was married to the theme (freezing is a theme I have done before) and a body easily followed.
Then it was a matter of resolving the piece with an appropriate background. Since The Cold Genius is in hell, albeit a cold one, I decided a RED snow scene would be an interesting take on it. I was able to make a very satisfying image as a digital print…that is all well and fine but this really stymied me when I tried to use it as the basis for glass. See, the glass didn’t want to conform to the print AT ALL…which is why they are different media, right? Right.
"Cold Genius" limited edition print
So my first attempt, based on the print looked like a load of ick. On to the second solution, the one I had the contest for. This ultimately bugged me for a couple of reasons, the main one being I wasn’t discovering any new territory here but just trotting out the usual ornamental stuff I have done in the past. Not good enough!!
Nothing I tried could pull this image above average.
The third image came to me whilst being acupunctured. This procedure really relaxes me and often I have “visions” while resting, stuck with needles. I “saw” this oval and bare shrubbery….
So this is the final solution although I made it wrong first as a black and white piece. That’ would be all well and fine but also not really pushing the envelope. I also made it fairly sloppily. And the figure seemed too small in the composition…and there were many technical difficulties….yakkity yak….
So I made it over again and THERE IT IS, above!! Thank you for reading this, if indeed, you have.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Show and talk in Mobile Alabama!

Hope you can attend!

For more information about this event click here

For reservations, contact Darby Ulery at 208-5210 or email

For more information about the show click here (scroll down)