Norfolk’s Horse: Each Piece Has a History.

This vintage silver plated tray, like many of my other finds, was sitting on a shelf in a thrift shop, along with other trays, neglected. It was tarnished, showing its’ age. Despite the visual signs of usage, the flat surface of the tray could be cleaned and polished to act like a mirror. The rim was wide, making an elegant frame for a mosaic.

After the tray was cleaned, I did several studies before starting the work on the mosaic. I didn’t follow the color schemes, but settled on the horse image. And then gave a name to the tray, Norfolk’s Horse, after the mark (Norfolk Rogers)on the back of the tray.

After the tray was cleaned, the image selected, the process of building the mosaic begins, piece by piece. Swipe left or click on the arrows, to see the mosaic evolve, from a clean surface to a finished stained glass mosaic.

Norfolk’s Horse in my old studio, in Chicago, sitting on the shelf with a few of his friends, enjoying the sunshine.

The Butler’s Tray: Each Piece Has a History.

I found this Butler’s tray at a thrift shop, close to my old studio in Chicago. The store, called the Ark, now closed, was a wonderful place to find vintage objects, tucked away on old shelves: silver plated and brass trays, elegant serving bowels and dinner plates, vanity mirrors and more. Great objects to house and frame a mosaic.

This butler’s tray has a history. It is an example of a vintage tray that is marked, tarnished and scratched, establishing a prior use. The manufacturer of the tray was William A Rogers, founded in 1890 and was absorbed by the Oneida Company in the late 1920’s. The history, the scratches, and tarnish make the tray one of a kind. 

Once cleaned, the process of crafting the mosaic begins. Glass, piece by piece, is added, bringing life to the mosaic. Swipe left or click on the arrows to see the mosaic evolve.

Once finished, the butler’s tray becomes part of the mosaic, adds its’ own unique touch. 

Broken Glass, Ragged Edges: Each Piece has a History

I recently moved to Saugatuck, Michigan and while setting up a temporary studio space, I began to unpack some of my stained glass panels. Sadly, I discovered that one of the panels was broken, snapped into two pieces. 

This was a piece that I did several years ago, just as I was getting back on my feet, after a lengthy hospital stay. In a way, sad, it was part of my rehabilitation program. However, accidents do happen; the glass was broken.

Although the glass was broken, I was aware of a traditional Japanese aesthetic concept, wabi- sabi, where beauty can be found in imperfection. An object can be old, scratched, dented or in this case broken, but has its’ own inherent beauty. As I took a longer look at the piece, the broken glass retained its’ integrity. The jagged edges gave the piece a different and distinct look.

I took the glass back to the studio, filed down the jagged, broken edges, so no one, including myself, would cut their fingers on the glass. Where there was one piece, now, there are two.