Showing my stained glass in two exhibitions that open tomorrow, Sat May 21

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ornithologist

WILLIAMSTOWN MASSACHUSETTS

My stained glass panel Ornithologist is hanging in The Shops at the Library Antiques in Williamstown as part of  IS-183, the Art School of the Berkshires  25 year celebration Faculty Art Show. This delightfully unconventional exhibition takes place in various non-traditional gallery spaces up and down Spring Street in Williamstown Massachusetts.

Artwork by more than 75 artists from across our region will be on show until  June 16. Maps will be provided at the opening reception on Saturday, May 21, from 4-6pm, at the Purple Pub. After that, visitors may pop into any participating venue, pick up a map and take a self-guided walking tour.

MANCHESTER VERMONT

And… as a new member of the Vermont Glass Guild I am showing six of my stained glass panels alongside the work of 30 other Vermont and New England glass artists at the Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester, Vermont. All are from my seven-year long, 14-piece series Menfolk that explores the emotional landscape of men over time and in different circumstances. Included in the exhibition is Sir Edmund Hillary (below, detail). This was the subject of a lovely 13min video made by our son, Jack Criddle that documents my process, showing how each separate piece of glass is cut, painted, fired and assembled.

Coombs_Debora_SirEdmundHillarysAngelDetail1

There will be an opening reception for “Modern Alchemy – The Art of Glass” in the Wilson Museum and Galleries at the Southern Vermont Art Center, in Manchester, VT on Friday, May 21, from 5 – 7pm. I’ll be there to greet visitors and get to know my fellow glass artists. The show will run through July 10, 2016.

menfolk

 

 

Glasspainting demo; gorgeous smooth, wet mixture

Here’s a very short video (146 seconds) showing how my glasspainting mixture allows for some sumptuous textural  and printmaking effects. On Aug 31st I’ll be teaching a 5-day glasspainting workshop that will explain my mixing procedure and techniques. I still have one place available if anyone is interested.

Dates: Aug 31 to Sept 5th. Cost $720. Location: southern Vermont (3 hrs from Boston, 4hrs from NY city). Go to the teaching pages of my website for more details. Please use the green NEXT buttons and scroll down to read all the text.

Thanks to Ginger Ferrell, who shot this sequence at the Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts last summer, and the staff, colleagues and students who made it such a wonderful experience. I hope to teach there again some time.

Glasspainting at the easel (videos)

IMG_2609As promised,  here’s a little insight into my wet matting technique. Propylene glycol allows the glasspaint to remain wet (“open”) for much longer than a traditional mix, so I can create graduated shadows while the paint is still wet. I can also leave some areas of the glass completely clear to maintain the sparkle. Watch me apply and manipulate a wet matter in real time in this two minute video  Glass Painting at the Easel Part 1 and brush back the dry matte to remove highlights in Glasspainting at the Easel Part 2 (2.5 mins).

I am painting glass that has been previously painted, fired and fixed onto clear glass easel plates with a mixture of beeswax and rosin (how this is done). Working at the easel with my painted glass up against natural light (not on a light table) allows me to manipulate the transparency/opacity of each piece, add final shadows, and see the window as a whole.

Pics and a video from Arrowmont

Last week’s Arrowmont workshop included slide presentations, design seminars, instructions on mixing, thinning and applying glasspaints and several painting demos.  You can also watch a brief (2.5 minute) video of me painting basket weave with my fingers and printing with plants. Enjoy!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This next slideshow shares some of the work completed by students last week. All photos by either Ginger Ferrell or Laura Goff Parham. Thanks both!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I just have to end with this picture, taken behind my back (ha ha) by my long-suffering Teaching Assistant, Ginger Ferrell. Thanks Ginger for minding the kilns and taking some lovely photos.

early morning yoga

early morning yoga

I had a really great week at Arrowmont. My mornings started at 7am with yoga on the screened porch with Jean Campbell, one of the nine other instructors.

I got a real buzz from being in such an intensely creative community – the staff, faculty and students at Arrowmont. I came home energized with creative batteries recharged. I’ve already started planning my next series of stained glass exhibition panels and looking for somewhere to exhibit new work in the spring.

There are classes scheduled at Arrowmont right up until the end of October.

class photo

class photo

Easel painting prep

IMG_2597
Today I fixed all the little pieces of painted glass back onto clear glass easel plates with a mixture of beeswax and rosin ready for final glasspainting up against the daylight. This is where I add any final shading and adjust transparency where needed.

We made two very quick videos of the process for all those stained glass technique junkies….
waxing up a panel (68 seconds) and
putting the glass back onto the easel (22 seconds)

Here’s another panel, partly laid out on a glass easel plate prior to waxing up.

IMG_2600

IMG_2602

I have to end with a more interesting photo because I never know whether Facebook will choose my first or my last photo to post to my Page. If there’s anyone out there who can tell me how to control this please do!

IMG_2594

Watch me painting roses!

Moving ahead on the amateur video front: Painting rugosa roses in real time.

Since I do not know how to edit my movie I’m posting still photos too, starting with a camera’s eye view of my work space with cartoon in the background (full-size drawing) and dozens of pieces of partially painted glass on the light table.

IMG_2568

IMG_2565
If I switch the overhead light on and turn off the light table you can see my tools, paint and transparent-bottomed tray full of glass. Notice also the real rose, plucked from my garden this afternoon, in a vase beside my glasspaint.

Next, the video….

I am adding a second layer of paint to create a soft texture and some modeling to the roses. This layer goes on top of the first layer of sumi-esque, calligraphic painting (the tracelines), painted and fired a few weeks back.

IMG_2571

Notice that the roses on the right have only tracelines (the Fred Flintstone phase). The roses on the left have a second layer as well.

The thimbleberry flowers can also be seen at both stages, with tracelines only on the spray at the bottom and two layers of paint on the upper spray of flowers. These will become much, much brighter before they go in the kiln though. I will brush back (remove) the unfired glasspaint to reveal highlights on the petals.

In the last photo you can see the second layer of glasspainting in detail. The larger piece of pink glass I just painted on the video is right in the middle.

IMG_2570

Sparkle & sandblasting prep

Here’s why I use hand-made (mouth-blown) transparent glass in my windows. It’s beautifully sparkly! (watch 12 seconds of video)  As you may perhaps have guessed, this is my first ever movie. Please excuse the creaky tripod. My dear husband suggests I should stick to making stained glass!

Now, on to the sandblasting…
There are thimbleberries in the foreground of the window cut from flashed ruby glass. Yesterday my assistant Sam began applying masks to these pieces of glass to prepare them for sandblasting. Flashed glass is blown with a thin skin of one colour fused into the surface of another, usually lighter, colour. The rubies I’m using for the thimbleberries are flashed onto green or grey glass. Unmasked areas get sandblasted away to reveal the ‘body’ colour of the glass. Masked areas stay ruby. In this case, it’s the little red berries that remain transparent, sparkly red. I will paint foliage on the gray/green areas.

IMG_2336

Today I went to glass sculptor Bill LeQuier‘s studio to sandblast the thimbleberries, Joseph’s undershirt, Mary’s sandal, and the white hair and beard of the grandfather figure……….

DSCF0817
…………….here’s a photo of Grandad under the sandblasting nozzle. This is the view through into the sandblaster as I work, and the blob on the left is the thumb of my rubber glove. The image appears to be reversed. At this point the darker beige is the flash colour (just about to be removed) and the lighter shade is the mask.

DSCF0812

Removing Grandad’s mask to reveal white areas for his hair and beard. You can also see a little pile of thimbleberries on the tray (red glass still masked), and Mary’s sandal with the foot partly exposed.

DSCF0826

Learn more about flashed glass from the manufacturer, Glasshutte Lamberts.