May 27, 2010

Time to Pass The Hat

I don't do this very often. In fact, this is only the second time I've made a direct appeal in the six and a half years I've been doing this blog. I've never considered the blog to be money making entity, but I've spent a huge amount of my time on this and the economic times are still shaky.

If you've ever wanted to say a simple thank you for the time and effort I've put into the hundreds of entries I've done in Vitreosity, a donation would be a very nice gesture and this would be a good time. Thanks in advance to those who choose to donate.

Posted by Tom at 10:05 AM

May 25, 2010

Judith Schaechter Interview

The opening for the new Judith Schaechter gallery show at Claire Oliver Gallery, Beauty and the Beef, was last weekend, and I am so sorry I couldn't be there. The exhibition is up through June 26th, 2010. You can see the official press release for Beauty and the Beef (one page pdf).

I did this interview with Judith Schaechter as part of the latest newsletter for the American Glass Guild, which I edited. It's a four page pdf, and 1.5mb.

There is also this video on YouTube, that I mentioned in a post about 6 months ago, but did not embed. Here is the embed. In the light of seeing the finished pieces it's interesting to see the same panels while they were in process.

Posted by Tom at 07:18 PM

May 23, 2010

Blended Halftones

Halftone screens are what I use in my stained glass photographic transfer work. This image shows the original greyscale image, next to the 45 degree angled line screen and the 90 degree angled diamond screen, and then a 70 degree angled diamond.

Follow up to a video I made last september called Transforming to halftone screens in Photoshop.

Click on the image for a more high resolution image to pop up.

Halftone Process on Wikipedia

I rarely just lay down the halftone and let it be, like most people. I usually blend it after applying the paint.

These are two versions of portraits of the stained glass artist Sarah Whitman.

This is from my Sarah Whitman Quotation Panel.
While the paint and oil will blend on their own, I usually do at least some light blending with a badger blender. This one was more lightly blended, and being a fairly high contrast image, there are some areas where glass is not covered in paint at all. This can be disconcerting depending on the glass and the lighting conditions at the clear areas tend to blast out and clash with the illusion of the image.

This is from the Four Women panel.
This is one that is more vigoruously blended. More oil is sprayed on and the paint is not only blended with a badger but also with smaller brushes, quickly. As soon as the desired effect is achieved this would probably have to go before a fan to arrest the blending.

more on the process below the fold...

Two Step Screening and Blending

I also occasionally screen and blend in a two step process, using a low contrast version and a high contrast version. It's roughly equivalent to the traditional trace and matte, only applied in reverse, with the flat contrast 'matte' done first, then fired and screened again using the high contrast 'trace. This allows for a more precise portrait, with fewer painterly brushstrokes. It's preferred for commissioned portrait work, where people are less inclined to want a semi-abstract look.

This is a detail of the author Gail Godwin from the Asheville Authors panel.

Final Stained Glass

This is the original photo -

This is the "flat contrast" version -

This is the "high contrast" version -

Alternative Halftone Patterns

You can use shapes other than dots and lines to make up the halftone screen
This one is pretty unique, and appropriate for a self portrait.

A self portrait that has not yet madeit into a full panel.

The original halftone screen -

A close-up of the blended screen.

and a closer detail of the screen just in case you haven't guessed what the 'pattern' is.

Posted by Tom at 12:12 AM

May 11, 2010

Kiki Smith's Lodestar

I've already noted that Judith Schaechter has a new gallery show coming up in New York. Well, there is another, even more prominent (to the New York art establishment) gallery show in New York featuring stained glass and it's alread y up and running. In this case the stained glass is by Kiki Smith, in an exhibit called Lodestar. I'd only heard about it vaguely, but I came across a video this morning.

I suspect that the video, short as it is, gives a better sense of the show than the rather unwieldy and flashy Pace Gallery website (why all the graying in and out boxes? Very distracting). More informative is the PDF press release for 'Lodestar', which has some interesting process photos, while she made the pieces at the Mayer Studio in Germany.

Small added bonus from the New York times is this Kiki Smith as Glass Artist Slideshow

Posted by Tom at 10:26 AM

May 07, 2010

Glass Art Society: Meet Politics

The Glass Art Society just announced that it is canceling its 2011 conference in Tucson, Arizona, based on its 'fiduciary responsibility'.

The reason for that financial worry, though, is political, and the political hot button is the severe new immigration law in Arizona. The key section of the email -

GAS is not boycotting the state of Arizona but made the decision to cancel the conference because the economics did not support going forward in this political climate. With a Latin American focus for this conference, the controversial issues in the state are particularly poignant. Whether glass artists south of the US border would come; whether GAS would be liable for things that could happen in Arizona for the Latino members; whether GAS could weather the negative economic impact to the organization that this issue could cause; whether in this economic climate the local committee could raise the money needed for the conference; were all issues that the Board needed to consider.

I do feel for them, since GAS is a largely apolitical organization (artistically clique-ish big time, but apolitical). This could not have been an easy decision for them. The tone of the email is one of shock and sadness, not political defiance. That seems about right. I wish them well.

They haven't posted anything on their website about this, but I will provide a link if and when that happens.

[update May 9, 2010 - From Glass Quarterly, an Interview with GAS Executive Director Pam Koss]

Posted by Tom at 07:45 PM

May 05, 2010

Good News for Salem Stained Glass

My old stomping grounds, Salem Stained Glass, got some good news this week. Not many stained glass studios get an Audience with the Pope.

Posted by Tom at 06:58 AM

May 03, 2010

Kasai Broke

Stained glass referenced in the weird pop culture world of gadgets and gizmos, from a CNET article called Go medieval with stained-glass USB watch - a thing called the Kasai Broke USB charging LED watch. Oh yeah, and it would appear to be entirely unreadable, but apparently that is the company's specialty, all kinds of unreadable watches. Egad.

Posted by Tom at 08:08 AM

May 01, 2010

Judith Schaechter on Beauty

Long Essay on Beauty by Judith Schaechter.

nuff said. go read.

I should add that I just did an email interview with Judith for the next AGGnews. It's funny, thought provoking, passionate, and just plain astonishing, like Judith herself.

Stay tuned.

Posted by Tom at 02:13 PM