Vintage, silver plated trays are not fashionable. They sit discarded in second hand stores. However, I find them to be wonderful items that can be converted into colorful, luminous abstract art pieces, decorative and functional.
The Newport Abstract began with a vintage, silver plated tray made by Gorham Manufacturing; the mark, Newport Gorham, is stamped on the back. The image, below, shows the initial look of the tray, used and tarnished.
With work, the tray is converted into the Newport Abstract . It was essential that the surface of the tray to be highly polished to reflect light as it passes through the glass. This gives the piece a deep, luminous feel. The tray’s rim and handles frame the stained glass mosaic, adding a sculptural element.
Many times, in creating the mosaics, I incorporate older, used objects into my art. Although the trays, plates and bowels have a certain beauty and character, the rim is the most important feature. The rim frames the mosaic and adds a sculptural element. It is an essential part of the art.
Below are a few images of my mosaic art where the rim is a key element.
After I am finished working on the stained glass panels, I am left with buckets and trays of scrap glass that are hard to rework into a new panel. The scrap pieces are large or small and have odd shapes. They are still good and usable. And I felt it would be a damn shame to toss them, a waste of money and time. They have value and a wonderful look.
This has led me to mosaics, painting with glass, a craft and a fine art form. Rather than fuss around with an instruction book or take a craft class, I enrolled into classes at the Chicago Mosaic School, a major center for mosaic arts in the United States. Aside from its professional staff, the school hosts influential, international mosaic artists who teach aspiring artists in special workshops.
First steps are ragged as I am learning the craft but, I believe, promising. Below a sample of the my first attempts at mosaics.