Scholarships available for my September 2021 workshops

If you’re interested in taking a workshop with me there’s still plenty of time to apply for a scholarship from the American Glass Guild.  Their deadline is August 30th 2021. You will need to select a workshop (with me or another stained glass instructor) as part of your application. Those who have already signed up for one of my September 2021 workshops are eligible to apply. International applicants are also welcome. Here’s my schedule of Fall 2021 stained glass workshops for beginners, stained glass professionals and artists in any media who might wish to attend. And here’s the direct link to an online application for the American Glass Guild’s James C. Whitney scholarships for 2021.

It was once feared that stained glass would become ‘a lost art’ but the tide has turned in recent years. Thank goodness! Younger artists are taking an interest, many with the support of two US organizations that work tirelessly to keep stained glass alive and thriving.

The Stained Glass Association of America (SGAA) is a vital community of stained glass artists, artisans and aficionados of stained glass. The American Glass Guild (AGG) is a nationwide group of equally dedicated independent artists and professionals. Both organizations encourage and promote the creation of new work and the conservation of stained glass. Both have also, for 13 years now, generously supported my workshops with tuition scholarships. Please support them if you can.

Donate to the American Guild Guild

Donate to the Stained Glass Association of America

If you have questions please send me a message via my website. I spend long days in my studio and often forget all about my social media.

You may also explore my blog for hundreds of photos and articles about stained glass; watch short video clips of me glasspainting and discussing stained glass design; enjoy a 13 minute video of my entire process and learn more about me by listening to this 56 minute interview with Shawn Waggonner from her podcast Talking Our Your Glass.

How to paint stained glass; Stained glass design & painting workshop with Debora Coombs in session

Fall 2021 Stained Glass Workshops

Hurrah! We are beginning to lift our Covid-19 restrictions in Vermont. So if you’ve been waiting to take a design or glasspainting workshop with me you may. At last!

Hands-on, in-person, 5-day stained glass workshops will start September 20th 2021.

Right before the pandemic I created a new curriculum, a series of three stand-alone 5-day workshops. Maximum 6 people per workshop. Suitable for all skill levels with plenty of one-on-one tuition and playful group exercises to counteract any self-doubt or artistic insecurity.

Here’s the schedule. Workshops begin on September 20th 2021 with an introduction to glasspainting workshop followed by a stained glass design workshop and an advanced glasspainting workshop. Those who want to learn glasspainting and design in a single trip to Vermont may sign up for two or three adjacent workshops.  More information here.

Instruction includes Powerpoint presentations, technical demonstration, hands-on group exercises and individual projects. I teach practical skills and repeatable, step-by-step processes that are difficult to learn online or figure out on your own. You can learn how to mix slow-drying glasspaints to optimum viscosity for hand-writing, simple printmaking, wet scraffito and elegant, fluid brushwork; how to paint faux textures like stone, wood, feathers and fabric; and how to design a painted stained glass window from your own reference material.

Tuition costs $860 for each 5-day workshop and includes lunch and materials. Go to coombscriddle.com for a schedule, workshop descriptions, and general information on location, hours, scholarships, accommodations and more.  If you have questions, shoot me an email. Prefer to chat? Email me your mobile number and we’ll use text to schedule a phone call.

Why do I teach stained glass? In the midst of a glasspainting demo I gave in my last workshop one student said, I just learned more in 5 minutes that I did in 3 years of trying to figure it out on my own! Read this post about craftsmanship. Tip: there are some things that just cannot be learned from YouTube! Having said that, you may indeed watch videos of my beautifully responsive glasspainting mixture in action or read the story of my proprietary glasspainting recipe to get an idea. And if you’re wondering what it’s like here in Vermont, where workshops take place, watch the 11-minute video of me painting a stained glass window in my studio.

Lastly, if you’re curious about what drives me as an artist, listen to this interview about my life’s work in stained glass and how I transitioned to the mathematical work I’ve been doing in recent years. My resume in 57-minutes!  Many thanks to interviewer Shawn Waggonner. She really got me to open up!

2021 Joint Mathematics Meeting

I am feeling a little giddy because I just won an award for the first mathematical artwork I’ve ever exhibited. “Laura’s Flowerpot” is a collaborative work made with my friend Duane Bailey, a mathematician and professor of computer science at Williams College, Massachusetts. The exhibition was curated by the Bridges Organization for the 2021 Joint Mathematics Meetings, an international conference of mathematicians. You may visit the exhibition here, and watch a 9min video of Duane and I discussing our sculptures.

The Artist Reception is today, Friday Jan 8th by zoom. All are welcome. Time: 4pm EST, 9pm GMT Information on how to attend the reception is below.

Join the Zoom reception via your web browser, the meeting ID is 867 8631 2058, and the Passcode is JMMbridges. If accessing by phone, the Passcode is 7707585650. Find your local number here. There will be Zoom breakout rooms so that small groups can split off to discuss particular topics in more depth. To access these you must have version 5.3 or later of the Zoom app. Please upgrade before the meeting if needed, at zoom.us.

Happy New Year indeed! I’m looking forward to connecting with old friends and meeting some new ones.

Scholarships: support them; apply for them. Don’t let stained glass become a Lost Art!

photo5Thank you Carol Schaller for your delightful comment below. I started this blog as a way for Carol and others at Trinity Episcopal in Branford, Connecticut to follow their commission. Starting with my very first post in April 2013 are dozens of descriptions of  the different stages of making Trinty’s stained glass windows. Type Trinity in the Search box and you’ll be inundated with work-in-progress photos and technical information.  These include glasspainting and design, the subjects of my May 2020 workshops.

It was once feared that stained glass would become ‘a lost art’ but the tide has turned in recent years. Thank goodness! Younger artists are taking an interest, many with the support of two US organizations that work tirelessly to keep stained glass alive and thriving.

The Stained Glass Association of America (SGAA) is a vital community of stained glass artists, artisans and aficionados of stained glass. The American Glass Guild (AGG) is a nationwide group of equally dedicated independent artists and professionals. Both organizations encourage and promote the creation of new work and the conservation of stained glass. Both have also, for 13 years now, generously supported my workshops with tuition scholarships. Please support them if you can.

Donate to the American Guild Guild

Donate to the Stained Glass Association of America

Here’s my schedule of Fall 2021 stained glass workshops for stained glass professionals, beginners and artists in all media. Check out the websites above for info on their scholarships.

ps I will also be offering residential art-making vacations for non-professionals during 2020 but these workshops will NOT be eligible for scholarships from the trade guilds.

pps I do recommend reading The Lost Art: a Survey of 1,000 years of stained glass by Robert Sowers.

Oct 2019 Glasspainting Workshops

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If you know of anyone else who may be interested in taking a weeklong glasspainting workshop with me in October please pass on this message. All the info is on my website, links below. Dates are Oct 21-25 (intro) and Oct 29 – Nov 1st (advanced). Last year I canceled to be with my Dad before he died. It was hard, but the right decision. Thanks for waiting. I am so looking forward to meeting those of you who did.

Luis Gianera, a wonderful stained glass artist from Buenos Aires just posted an appreciation of this 4 minute video showing me painting stained glass roses in real time using my proprietary mixture. This is the technique I will be teaching in October. The image here shows separate pieces of glass on the light table. No lead. In the bottom rh corner the glass has been painted and fired only once. Multiple firings allow you to permanently fix good strong tracelines then -without losing what you’ve already done -experiment with textural effects and matting techniques.
Luis was unable to study directly with me. Instead, we corresponded, he read my Notes for Students and figured out how to use these methods himself. Beautifully. To all my other blog and Facebook followers – now from 46 different countries around the world; Happy Glasspainting!
      Videos of me glasspainting in real time (scroll down past the math)

Mountain Laurel

Mathematical art geometry raised 3D Penrose tiling by Debora Coombs & Duane Bailey at Williams College

Mountain Laurel (oblique view)

 

Mountain Laurel is one of three recently completed sculptures now on display in the Schow Science Library at Williams College. They show an area of three-dimensional Penrose tiling that continues to infinity in all directions. This ongoing series is a collaboration with my friend computer scientist Duane Bailey who has spent 30+ years investigating Penrose tiling. Our exhibition is called a.periodicity a mathematical term for this curious symmetry.

The sculptures are structurally identical -all precisely the same size and shape. But each is coloured differently according to some aspect of the mathematics. Mountain Laurel provides insight into the relationship between 2D and 3D versions of Penrose tiling.

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In two-dimensions Penrose tiling requires two different shapes to construct; a fat rhombus and a skinny rhombus. Although each tile in the sculpture is identical, Mountain Laurel codes them according to the shadow they would project onto a flat surface. Green tiles would project the shadow of a skinny rhombus in 2D. Pink tiles would create the shadow of a fat rhombus in 2D.

In all three sculptures, colour enables us to see unexpected shapes and patterns when the sculpture is viewed from different angles. Mountain Laurel is built from identical rhombi -the tiles are all the same shape – but the composition yields marvelously irregular patterns. Shapes and rhythms appear and disintegrate as you move around the sculpture.

 

The back of the sculpture provided its title Mountain Laurel. Here’s work in progress with binder clips and reverse-engineered clothes pins.

Aperiodic tilings are mathematical models for quasicrystals, physical solids that were discovered in 1982 by Dan Shechtman who subsequently won the Nobel prize for his work in 2011. I’ve also built them in stained glass, with mathematical rules encoded into the surface pattern.

 

 

 

 

Exhibition of new work at Williams College

This week I hung three newly completed mathematical sculptures in the Schow Science Library at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. I’m excited to be able to share this new work, made in collaboration with computer scientist Duane Bailey. It’s the first public showing of our series of three-dimensional Penrose tilings. The exhibit is in the Schow Science Library and open extended hours. See Williams College Visitor Guide for location and directions. Contact me if you’d like a tour.

Photos above by Adam Kozik.

Below, assembling Cloaking Device.

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2018 stained glass design and painting workshops

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I am offering three 5-day workshops in September 2018 at my studio in Vermont. Here’s a schedule and some general information.

For those interested in scholarships, application deadlines for the American Glass Guild James C Whitney Memorial Scholarship is March 19th. And for the Stained Glass Association of America’s Dorothy L. Maddy Workshop/Seminar Scholarship and Albinas Elskus Scholarship the application deadline is April 13th.

September 10th-14th, TRACE & TEXTURE 5-day intro to GLASSPAINTING FOR ARTISTS is open to all. Excellent for artists in all/any media (not just stained glass). Tuition $860, includes lunches and materials.

September 17th-21st, STAINED GLASS DESIGN, STEP BY STEP, All levels. Tuition $825 includes lunches and materials. Check out this post Why Teach Stained Glass Design.

Sept 24th-28th, ADVANCED GLASSPAINTING  is a workshop for those wanting coaching on a specific project or glasspainting topic/subject; familiar with my techniques and wanting a refresher; or simply interested in taking their skills to the next level. Tuition $860, includes lunches and materials.

Above: painted glass on the light table from the Archie Hanna Memorial window at Trinity Episcopal in Branford Connecticut. I started this blog in April 2013 to share the entire process with the congregation. There are lots and lots of posts to read…

Closing in for Carroll College

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Final stages of glasspainting on the two clerestory windows for All Saints Chapel at Carroll College, Helena, Montana.

Glass painting (8 second time-lapse)

setting out ready to fire in the kiln (4 second time-lapse)

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The stained glass easel; why?

In the process of making stained glass there are two stages where the glass is easeled up against the daylight. First, when selecting glass, then later, when glasspainting. Easeling glass is time-consuming and thus expensive, so why do this?

Here’s my current work for All Saints Chapel at Carroll College in Helena Montana. Note how the opalescent glasses change at night/dusk. This is an effect that can only be estimated, whether on light table or easel, because my north-facing easel does not precisely mimic the light in Montana. The easel does, however, take out a lot of the guesswork.

 

 

Check a few older posts if you want to find out more about how and why glass is fixed to the easel, and watch the embedded video links. Stage one, selecting glass for colour, transparency/opacity and texture the English way, by fixing it to the clear glass easel plate with Plasticene; about choosing colour for a landscape window with figures; using beeswax and rosin (which fires off later in the kiln) in the process of  waxing up (fixing painted, fired  glass onto the easel for further layers of glasspaint); and details of a specific wet-matte technique that may be achieved with my https://coombscriddle.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/spreading-the-word-worldwide/proprietory propylene glycol mixture.