Monthly Archives: February 2013

Design at Hannah’s {New} House

So given that we moved in October, I thought it might be fitting to show another several pictures from the decoration that we (I directed, Marty lifted) did when we moved in to our new place.  I am posting these up in sets of before and after shots, because the before was a liiiiittle bit craaaazy…  It took me three days – two washes, sanding, dusting, three coats of primer and two coats of paint – to ensure that the raspberry red did not come through, and to get the very sharp tape lines softened out of the walls so the pattern wasn’t a major part of the decor any more.  All in all, I’m really pleased with how it worked out.

Before:

Before 3  Before 1

After:

After 2  After 1

And when our landlady (our age, super lovely lady!) came back to say hello and check things out, she said how much bigger it made the room look.  Of course!

Finished

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This workspace is for workin’

It may not be the most perfect space, but it’s enough for me to be able to have some dedicated space to set up a light table that doubles as a grinder station, and a table surface that I can cut and solder on, so it works for now!  Sadie likes to hang out and keep me company, and remind me every few hours to take a break and pay attention to her instead…

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The last couple of days, I’ve pulled out all my tools, picked up a couple of pieces that I was missing (rubber tips for my running pliers) and started getting back into the swing of cutting some glass!  It’s been awesome, and I’ve only cut myself twice.  So far.  It feels good to be back into it, though.  The work is repetitive and kind of therapeutic for that reason.  I put on an album and just get in the groove – it’s a good feeling to focus on something and be fully absorbed for a couple of hours.  I feel like I don’t do that a whole lot in other areas of things I take on.  I have two goals for the next little while: the first is to use up some of the smaller pieces and scrap glass I have in my  possession.  So here is my next lamp project to start using some up some of this material:

Cutting out glass pieces

The second goal I have is to fix up a couple of broken pieces and complete some stuff I started working on a couple years ago (seriously, it’s been that long!)  Number one on my list was a pretty little butterfly sun-catcher I made in a class a number of years ago.  On of the wire antennas fell off, so time to solder it back on – a nice easy fix!  {As an aside – I highly recommend taking a beginner class to brush up on some skills if you’re a hobbyist or been doing it for a couple of years without any instruction.  I’ve been making glass projects for years and a class gave me a couple easy tips and tricks that helped clean my work up a lot!  Hmmm… Maybe a topic for another post?}  Asides aside, here is my good-as-new butterfly:

Glass Butterfly

 

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New Workspace!

Just got a free table, and started to put together my workspace for *hopefully* some stained glass!  I’ve been working on some designs based on the sketches I put up last post.  I’m finding SketchUp really helpful in making accurate patterns, and I’m trying out an offset thing so account for the copper foil in the pattern.  I will report back when I have something to report on!

For now, some pictures of my semi-permanent workspace.  My free table, with some glass being taken out of boxes and assessed for condition, amount and colour.  Clearly, the wall behind this table needs some artwork to make it more interesting and less blank:

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My old light table, with a makeshift work surface made out of an Ikea cupboard door.  I’m excited about the potential of having a raised grinder:

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Prairie Stained Glass Musings

Today I made Marty haul me out to an art event some friends told us about – the Market Collective.  It was really cool, and really inspiring!  There were a ton of really great artists and craftspeople there, and for the rest of the afternoon while we ran errands, I kept thinking about stained glass…  Nothing like being surrounded by so much creative energy to amp up that desire in me as well.

And I’ve been thinking about the pieces that I’ve really loved making, and those have been the lamps I’ve created over the past several years.  It’s hard to put together a studio because of the mess – the water, the chemicals, broken glass, glass dust – but I really would like to give it a better try here.  My favourite recent pieces was the Prairie Gold lamp that I made for Marty, because I love the geometric shapes and the contrast of horizontal and vertical lines that are predominant in this style (throw in a little diagonal or curve to add some energy!).

Prairie Gold Table Lamp

I started doing some sketching based on some of these ideas – I think in the back of my mind are some thoughts about the literal prairie (hey, I live in Alberta now…) so wheat and grasses are in some of those repetitive diagonal lines.  There are two designs with a couple of checkmarks beside them – obviously, these are the winners (and I think one was re-proportioned off of the first), so hopefully stay tuned for something to materialize before too long!

Prairie Glass Sketchbook

 

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A Little Bit More Painting

Put the effort in to try another painting this afternoon.  I tried another tutorial – this one of a lovely beachy sunset.  I have to say, it was more complicated than yesterday’s painting.  There were an additional two pigments to use in blending (there was a tutorial for blending the colours – most helpful), which was a bit more confusing, and I struggled to keep the paint on my palette from drying too quickly.  I used a lot of dry brushing instead of blending when the paint on the page was wet – I think my tones were too far apart and it ended up looking weird to begin with.  My notebook is not square (I probably should have just roughly painted in a square) so I stretched the image out a little bit, but I think it was fine.  All in all, with a bit more scrubbing and mashing of paints together on my palette, I think it turned out pretty good!

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I definitely think I need to find a solution for the paints drying out so quickly, though.  That was really aggravating.  Some of my paints are thick and old (half mine, half inherited from my sister), which really doesn’t help at all.  If you have any suggestions, feel free to leave a comment!

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A Little Bit of Painting

Painting is something I’ve always enjoyed, and endeavoured to do well – or at least well enough so that I like what I paint.  It’s been a few years, though, since I last had my brushes and acrylics out.  The place we’re living in would be tough to set up a stained glass studio (I may still try!), but for now, paint might be my mode of creative retreat.

I came across a really fab website to get back into it – the Will Kemp Art Studio.  (I’ve linked it – you should check it out!)  Will Kemp is a talented artist and lovely gentleman who posts up many written tutorials, free videos and lots of helpful tips and hints about paints, mixing, palettes and materials.  What a dream!

So this afternoon, I decided to go for it and try out a painting tutorial – I picked the intro tutorial on a still life jug.  The image was posted up on Will’s website, and his three tutorial videos walked you through the painting in a very straightforward and friendly manner.  My favourite part?  The soundtrack to the third installment of this tutorial is a very delicate classical guitar cover of Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream!

So without further ado – here is the original image next to my acrylic version.  Not too shabby, and I’m pleased at how easy it was with the tutorial to guide me!

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