Each Piece Has a History: The Mysterious, Old Brass Plate

I bought this old brass tray several years ago at the Ark, nearby my old studio in Chicago. It was my favorite junk store; a great place to search for vintage objects that have been discarded and abandoned. Many items, like the old brass tray, are dirty, tarnished or scratched. But with a good cleaning and a little care, they can be revived.

I cannot find a manufacture’s mark on the plate. Where and when it was made  is a mystery. However, somebody, somewhere, at some time held and used the old brass plate. It has a history.

Before giving a new life to the plate after cleaning, I worked with a series of old, quick sketches that I did from photos of ballet dancers . The drawings were done for a show that was canceled due to the pandemic. I have reduced the sketches to simple lines, hoping to capture grace and movement.

Work on the mosaic, giving the old brass plate a facelift, starts with glass selection. After the glass and colors have been chosen, the process of cutting, fitting and gluing begins. This is a slow process as I am not working with a set template. It is a bit like working a painting. I may have a palette in mind but will decide to make changes as the mosaic evolves.

The old brass plate’s facelift is completed. It has a new look, character and its’ own identity. 

Facelift Completed

The Austin Wall, Abstract Painting in Stained Glass

The Austin Wall Clifford RossI was made aware of the Austin Wall by a Sotheby’s blog, titled  “Clifford Ross Brings Stained Glass Into The Digital Age.” Although I have not seen the Austin Wall in person, only through images on the internet, I thought it an impressive work. Stained glass, a 1,000 year old medium that most people associate with churches, is relevant to contemporary art. The Austin Wall is an example. People who like art should be aware of the power of stained glass and what can be accomplished in the hands of a talented artist.

austin image 5

Clifford Ross spent six years in designing, creating and building for the new federal courthouse  in Austin Texas. The Austin Wall is massive 28′ by 28′ and weighs over 6,000 lbs. To learn more about the Austin Wall, I recommend that you visit Clifford Ross’ website: cliffordross.com.