Sunday, 18 November 2018

Through the square window...

The architect who designed the home extension we completed ten years ago,  was a big fan of the square window.  He may not have been such a fan of the preschoolers' staple TV programmes Play School or Tikkabilla, as we don't have any round or arched windows, but triangles do feature - which is quite a challenge when it comes to curtains!

This is the window he created between our hallway and kitchen so we can see who's at the front door.  It's also where I've chosen to display the fused glass seascape I made in the summer at Shelagh Swanson's studio in Aberdeen which features a wee oyster catcher.

If I had a bottomless purse, I'd have liked to commission a stained glass panel for the other square window in the hall.  So when an ad for fine art, craft and design workshops with Creative Learning Aberdeen popped up recently on Facebook I was keen to know more.  The online brochure entitled "Make Your Mark" included a two day stained glass mosaic course amongst many others, so I contacted my craft buddy, Carol, and we both signed up straight away.

Make Your Mark is a programme of short courses delivered by The Creative Learning Team at Aberdeen City Council who say: these workshops are designed for participants to progress their skills in the arts and receive excellent technical support and teaching from our experienced tutors.  

And they're not wrong!  Our tutor was Cowan Watson and he gently guided all nine ladies on his course at Rosemount Community Centre through the basics of glass cutting, design and mosaic creation in a lovely calm, encouraging way.  Some of the participants had attended previous classes with Cowan, including my friend, Carol.  He let those with previous experience work at their own pace but was on hand with help and advice when needed.  He'd a canny knack of being just at my elbow when I required confirmation that I was on the right track.

I sought out inspiration for my design from one of Cowan's many stained glass art books then drew out my own version with paper and pencil, thickening up the cut lines in felt pen.

Large tubs of stained glass pieces provided plenty of choice for colour and texture.

After a bit of glass cutting practice, I soon got back into the swing of things and began to build up my picture.

By the end of the first day, I'd cut all my orange sun rays and had started picking out greens.  The other class participants were generous with supplies of their own that they'd brought with them and June kindly gave me some of her glass pebbles.

I felt more confident in my glass cutting skills on day two and consequently cut better and faster as I shaped the tree trunk and branches as well as the grass.  Round pieces take longer to fashion so I opted to create my tree canopy from glass pebbles as I found I had some more of these at home.

Carefully lifting all the bits off my sketch, I prepared to start sticking the pieces onto the plain glass background.

Essentially the mosaic is a glass sandwich adhered with strong clear glue .  I raided June's tub of jewel coloured glass nuggets to add 'fruit' to my tree.

Cowan suggested I wait until all elements were in place before cutting out my sun.  I scoured the workshop for a suitable object to draw round that would fit the round space and my eyes hit on a rainbow roll of washi tape.  I cut a rough circle of textured yellow glass and ground the edges smooth.  With the picture finally complete I could putty the spaces.

Helen who was sitting opposite me had finished her floral panel and had some glittery putty to spare which she offered me.  She then showed me how to apply it with my hands, smooth it in and wipe away the excess.  She also gave me some beads to stick into the putty round my sun for added sparkle.

The friendly atmosphere in the class ensured there was plenty of chat as well as sharing of ideas and materials.  Here are some of the beautiful mosaics the other ladies created.

I brought my piece home and allowed the putty to dry whilst contemplating where to display it.

You see, I'd attended the two day course with no clear idea of what I was going to make or where it would ultimately hang .  The dimensions of my square shaped panel were defined by the piece of A4 paper I was using and were entirely arbitrary.  As the putty dried, and I walked past my picture as it lay in the kitchen, I mused about where in the house it should go.  I was probably mindlessly doing housework when the eureka moment struck and I took my stained glass mosaic picture into the hall - and the square window....

I caught my breath as it fitted into place, definitely more by accident than design!

Now I'm enjoying my very own view through the square window from inside the house during the day, and from outside when it's dark.


No comments

Post a Comment

© Never At A Loose End | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Designed by pipdig