I present to you, Her Majesty, Elizabeth Tudor, in illuminated glass…

This piece is to pay homage to a woman I’ve always admired, Elizabeth I. The only good thing to come out of Henry IIIV, in my opinion.

She was a woman that had to survive in a minefield. It was a wonder that she made it to the throne. I can completely understand her frustration with her gender and with the role that being female forced on her. I totally understand why she didn’t marry. In her position, I wouldn’t have either.

So, here we go. The name of the piece is Glorianna.

“Gloriana was the name given by the 16th-century poet Edmund Spenser to his character representing Queen Elizabeth I in his poem The Faerie Queene. It became the popular name given to Elizabeth I. It is recorded that the troops at Tilbury hailed her with cries of “Gloriana, Gloriana, Gloriana”, after the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588. “

Wikipedia, reference.

 She is illuminated, like all of my mosaics, with LED lights, that are supposed to last a very long time.

Her ruff is made of lace, satin, silk and cotton. She has a green brocade back, hand sewn with gold metallic thread, and silk. Her lace is made of wide cotton, in the style of the era. All is hand-sewn with silk thread.

For reasons known only to WordPress, the two images below won’t sit next to one another, not like the bottom images. I have no idea, and after a very long time fooling around with this, I give up!

Front view, Tudor roses in honor of Elizabeth I.

Rear view of Glorianna

Side viewSide view 2, Glorianna

Elizabeth was a fascinating character. She was a survivor, no doubt. She was raised in a metaphorical piranha pool that was called the English royal court. She survived to rule for over 44 years.
She managed to remain unmarried, and therefore, the sole power on the throne. This is really not surprising. She had many reasons to not want a man in power over her.

Her own mother was beheaded by her father, her sister, Mary, had seen her mother put aside, as well. Because Elizabeth was a woman, she had to endure a daily life that required hypervigilance. It was very easy to lose one’s head, literally, in Mary’s court.
In fact, it was no picnic to have been under her brother, either. When he died, leaving the throne to Lady Jane Grey, who ended up beheaded, that most likely reinforced to Elizabeth that the status of women was fluid and totally up to the men in power over those women.

So no, I can completely understand why Elizabeth, after having achieved the stability as queen, would be determined to not share that power. To share was to lose her stability. To be sole ruler was to be in control of her own destiny.

I would have acted the same way. In fact, I have. I grew up during the Sixties and Seventies. At that time, it wasn’t easy to be a woman. We still have pay inequality, we still have laws that favor men in many domains, from employment to domestic to civil law.

Our culture, in many ways, would be very recognizable to the Elizabethan. We are bawdy, as were they. We are vain, and like our costume, as did they. Women are still not equal to men and that also is the same. In many ways, we are going backwards.

The current political climate has reduced women in many states, to being nothing more than a vessel. We see a religious push that is not biblically based, that opposes birth control. In the Old Testament, God gives a recipe to induce abortion. I suspect that means that God is down with abortion AND birth control. Where they get the idea that God worships the fetus is beyond me. God actually is pretty good with infanticide. I point to the order to Joshua to bash out the brains of infants.

This is the kind of thing that has stuck with us. That is the kind of thing that shaped Elizabeth. In her place, I suspect I would have done the same, refused marriage and kept the power to myself.

It was then and now, the best way for a woman to stay safe.

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The artist, FREED!!!

I am a newer person. I had surgery on July 1, to free the nerves that control my arms, from the bony prison they were encased in. I had lost a lot of function and the pain, well, I was ready to chew my arms off to stop it.

No MORE! That wonderful surgeon, Dr. Soldevilla, has freed them from their prison! I can PAINT AGAIN!!

I have oils, encaustics and torches, awaiting my attentions. Oh YEAH.

I can play with fire again. I LOVE my torches, and I have some visions of melding mosaics with encaustics….

I am one happy little artist. 🙂

Moving right along…

I have all of the mosaic work done, except for the rest of the little faces. Once those are done, then I can mount it in a frame, I’m leaning towards oak, as oak is tough, sturdy stuff that grows all over the place, like people.

Oak is a beautiful wood, one that is fine grained, which is what makes it a hardwood, and that makes it tough.

Today I spent working on the little faces. I have all of the male faces done, now I just need to finish the female faces.

I do each one separately, each is about an inch and a half high. I like to do them in clay, because the wax is hard to detail like the clay.

The clay lovingly accepts the strokes from my tools, my fingertips. The clay takes one twist to completely change the entire face; a twisted lip, an eyebrow raised, all of these change the little faces and make them individual.

After each is done in the cast glass, then I’ll glue them to their spot on the tree. Someday I’m going to fire these little clay heads, in my ceramic kiln, to keep them safer.

For now, here’s images of today’s little faces. Clay female faces for the Tree

Some of the little clay female faces for the Tree.

The next step is to wait for these to dry out a bit, then to cover them in latex mold material. After the mold is made, then I’ll fill them with the brown casting wax. Then those go into the glass casting mold material.

Once the plaster hardens, I put these in a convection oven and melt out the wax, leaving the mold for the glass. The glass, in big chunks, goes into the space and at the end of all of this, we get glass heads, like so, see pic below.

Tomorrow I have three of these little ladies left to do, as well as the latex on the clay faces from today.

After that, then the braces across the back. I’ll be putting three across and one long down, to remove a slight bow from the glass. Glass is pretty heavy; it accumulates weight as we go and with the addition of the grout, it gets really heavy.

I’m looking forward to getting it in a frame, so I can get the backlighting done. These look pretty without light, but it’s the light through the glass, making the little flaws as part of the design, that sends these into the realm of art. The backlighting makes it or breaks it.

I’ll post the pics of it lit as soon as I get the piece with lights behind it. I’m a real fan of the LED lights. I like the pure blue quality of the light, the way it illuminates the glass without influencing the glass.

The color of the back lighting affects the color of the glass. A yellow light, the warm light, is useful for some glass, but for the mosaics with a lot of different colors and ranges of warm and cool color, the cool, white light LED’s are best.

They are more of a sun type light, which is really the best light, for color clarity, as long as its not too bright.

I also like the fact that the LED’s are dimmable, they are compact, and they last for years. I also like that they stay cool, so I don’t have to worry about heat. The pieces don’t get hot, so they stay safe, as well.

Safety means a lot to me, because people see these, and they are often compelled to touch them. They often extend their arms, with wide eyes and one finger outstretched to touch the piece. It’s like they just can’t help themselves, the light and the glass call to be touched. I feel that since I know that, it’s my responsibility to make the piece as safe as one can make a piece of art made out of broken glass.

 

It’s been awhile…but I’ve been busy as HELL!

ImageHere’s what’s been going on:

The lights on the polar needed adjustment, so that took a couple of trips and a total replacement of the internal lighting. I took out the LED ropes and replaced them with LED strips, with all kinds of colors, dimming, and a remote to control it all! The bear looks great, the staff at the hotel told me that they had the bear Seahawk green for the Super bowl.

The staff is happy, and best yet, the buyer is happy. Happy enough, that he asked about us speaking about art in a few months. This is the satisfied feeling of a job well done, and a customer made happy!

I really do believe that the job is NOT done until the collector who commissioned the piece is happy. It was no trouble to me to do what had to be done to make this piece of art perfect for the collector.

Next, we had a funeral to attend. My brother-in-law, a complex relationship, died of cancer last month. He was a vet, Navy, and was cremated. We went to Reno, Nevada, for his flag folding and his celebration of life. One thing, that we hadn’t thought of, came to bite us, metaphorically speaking. Dogs are not allowed, not even in the car, in the VA Cemetery. I am not complaining, just that it meant that I stayed out while my husband went in. The dogs and I found a shady spot and spent the ceremony there.

Reno is the most boring city I have ever been to. My heart was broken when I went to the skybridge deal that connects the casinos, and the mermaids were gone! I was so disappointed, that they were gone. The charm of the old place had been replaced with a digital hell. I wanted to market some art, but to whom? It was not the Reno I was at years ago, and it’s different, and not in a great way.

Next, here’s the latest mosaic, in progress.

It’s the genetic tree of life, with mtEve and Y Adam as a red ribbon, wrapped around mtEve’s tree. The tree springs out of the earth, with the continent of Africa, where humanity evolved, in the forefront.

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The little circles are where little faces are going.

 

Busy, busy again!

I know it’s been awhile, but I’ve been busy!

I’ve applied to the Louisville, Kentucky art fair. If I get in, with my mosaics, I think I can sell them and gather some commissions, too.

I’ve also gotten a new gallery that I’ll be delivering art work to, the weekend after next.
I’ve also got new artwork that I’ve been working on! I’ll post more on that in a second…

I’ve been working on the form for the orca. I was going to use expansion foam, but that stuff is expensive stuff, so I’ve been working on the cardboard form, getting it just right. Then I’ll coat it in plastic and fiberglass it.

Before I do that, I have to finish the dorsal fin and the two pectoral fins. I’ll attach them to the form and then fiberglass over them.

In the mean time, I’ve also been working on some girls. I have two very close to completion, Persephone in Bloom, and Joy.

Persephone is going to have a companion piece, I think. Persephone, after the Fall. It will involve greys, browns and a smidge of red for the pomegranate seeds. I think I’ll also make some felted pomegranate seeds, for the sides.

Pics below of Joy and Persephone in Bloom…

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Persephone in Bloom, after grouting.

 

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Joy, after grouting.

Starting a New Project, a Mosaic Orca

I’m starting a new project, peeps! This one is going to be an Orca. Breaching on a column of waves. With lights, of course!  The orca I’m going to do in white and a dark violet, Black is the actual color, but it doesn’t illuminate the way that I want this to be. 

Here’s pics of the beginning of the form! Truthfully, this is a fairly crucial part of the process, It’s better to have the form as close to what I need as possible, to minimize work and the chances of error, 

I’ll be doing the dorsal fin and the pectoral fins separately from the body, then attaching them before attaching to the wave column. I need to be able to move the orca around in order to find the sweet spot for the center of gravity. I want this to be sturdy and to be able to stand a child getting overly friendly.

Today was the body, tomorrow is the head and the fins. I have to pick up some plastic to line the inside of the form for the expansion foam, then I can line the inside with it. Wrinkles really don’t matter, because I’ll just plane them off.

Here’s some pics of today’s progress!

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