November 28, 2011

RCI 2011 - Judith Schaechter

Somehow misssed this one. It was posted last summer.

I haven't seen the whole thing yet, but it appears to be more generally about her work rather than in the vein of her recent, more theoretical, talks on Art, Craft and Beauty.

Renwick Craft Invitational 2011 - Judith Schaechter - Smithsonian American Art Museum

1 hour and 43 minutes long.

This is in the same show at the Renwick where Judith was on a panel discussion called Everything Old is New Again. I remember seeing that this summer, but I didn't link to it (as I recall) because Judith gets so little time to talk amidst all the alpha crafty males. The panel discussion is about 1 hour 15 minutes, but Judith gets maybe 5 minutes in it.

Posted by Tom at 11:39 AM

November 27, 2011

The Animalarium

Every once in awhile you come across a nice non-glass site that is just good for looking at the pictures. This one is a blog called The Animalarium, which focuses on the stylized illustrated depictions of animals. Wonderful variety. Variety of styles, variety of animals (and birds and insects and other creatures). Much inspiration.

Just one sample - April 2011 post, Songs from the Garden, birds with flora. These are just a few from that post -

4 steinberg bird and insects 1945.jpg
Suau Steinberg, 1945

2 1955_baskin.jpg
Leanard Baskin, 1945

5 papier-desoupe-4-bird onpeutdisparaitreici.gif
Paper Cut, "on peut disparaître ici... "

Posted by Tom at 06:04 PM

November 25, 2011

International Glass Prize 2012

Triennale competition for arts, design and crafts
Deadline for submission: February 1, 2012
application is free, but must be submitted online.

This is the 'first edition', and is focusing on "THE OBJECT".

It will be interesting to see if any American glass artists make it through and if any who work in architectural or stained glass can find a way to fit in the with focus on "THE OBJECT".

Posted by Tom at 08:22 PM

November 24, 2011

Freedom Honor - Sacrifice

A link for Thanksgiving Day.

Freedom Honor - Sacrifice

A book of photography honoring veterans, published on Blurb.
By Marion Krepcio, my stepmom
All profits from the sale of the book will be directed to agencies that provide housing and the basic necessities for veterans.

Posted by Tom at 08:00 AM

November 23, 2011

QRazy Glass part 2 - Making a QR code

Since I posted about the prototype QR panel, I've been asked a number of times about how to make the QR codes. It turns out to be quite easy, though there are a few caveats to know along the way, even if you are only using them to put a QR code on your business card.

Again, this is the prototype QR panel I made last summer, with a brief description of what the QR codes link to upon scanning.


There are many methods for making QR codes. You can buy stand alone barcode generator programs or plug-ins that make every barcode imaginable, but those are often unnecessarily technical and have hefty license fees to match. But if you are only making a few QR codes or only once in a while, then free online QR code generators are fine.

continued below the fold...

Rights to use the QR code

There is no license to use the QR code as it is an ISO standard. Though one company officially owns the patent for the QR code, the technology is freely usable by any company or individual.

For details see the DENSO WAVE QR Code Patent FAQ.

To use the word “ QR Code” in your publications or web site, etc, please indicate a sentence QR Code is registered trademark of DENSO WAVE INCORPORATED.

This does not apply to any use of the image of a QR code, only when the QR code technology is being written about.

Content is King

I know this seems obvious, but before you go to create your QR code, think really hard about what data/content you wish to bring up with the QR code. The data contained within a QR code can be plain text, but is most commonly a web address. Qr codes can also scan data directly into your contacts program, or open up a Youtube video, or take you to a map where you can easily map out directions from your current location to the 'QR' location.

The QR code is very versatile, but has to be attached to content that adds value. Something that makes it worthwile for the end user to go through the extra effort of scanning the code.

Online QR Code Generators

Top 10 Free Online QR Code Generators, from the website
This gives a good overview of different online QR generators. I haven't tried all of these, but the ones I have tried are all okay.

For simple QR codes scanning to a URL (web address), then Red Laser or Kaywa are fine. For more options, I find that the creator of Qrafter, Kere Marken, has the best online QR code generator.

These online generators bring up an image which you can download. Some will offer a code that can be put in a website, but I'm a graphics guy, so I only use the images.

Data Equals Detail

One thing to remember in generating a QR code is that the more data to be encoded, the smaller and more detailed the squares in the QR code. QR codes with more detail need to be larger so that phones can read them without error. Example - a plain text QR code with 366 characters of text versus one with 13 characters of text. The difference is striking.

QR code Data Content - Kokomo Glass Samples

Again, the data contained within a QR code can be plain text, Web address, contact information, Youtube video URL, map locations, GPS coordinates, and more.

For demonstration, here are a different variety of QR codes using the Kokomo Opalescent Glass Company as an example. I made the prototype panel using Kokomo Glass (for reason I'll give in QRazy Glass part 3), so I had those codes on hand.

First example - KOG Map location code on the left and, on the right, full contact info that can be scanned into your contacts program in your phone. Notice how much finer the detail is on the contact code, since there is much more information to convey.

This is what it looks like once the info is read and ready to transfer to my contacts program. Contact info QR codes are among the trickier for various reasons, mostly having to do with trying to be compatible with a wide range of devices and code readers.
This reading isn't perfect, but it works okay. The categories all say 'work' and the zip code is missing, butthis it does work fine in my contacts program.

These are QR codes that link to 2 different videos on YouTube about the production of Kokomo Sheet Glass. Depending on the phone and reader these should open straight into playing the video, or with 1-2 clicks at most.


Incorporating Custom Graphics

There is a high degree of 'error correction' in a QR code, meaning that the code can be damaged to some exten and still be scannable. One creative offshoot fo this is that you can incorporate some graphics into the image and the barcode will still be scannable. It does require some trial and error and a decent knowledge of a graphics program like Photoshop.

Here is the Kokomo Glass Logo incorporated into a web address QR code.

If you have any experience with the web and with computer graphics programs, creating your own QR codes should be easy. The trickiest part for me has been in figuring out what content to present in a QR code in what context.

Posted by Tom at 02:47 PM

November 21, 2011

Art in Religious Context Award - Northumberland, UK

Tiny Tyneside church beats Canterbury cathedral and Gormley in arts competition, about the ACE Award for Art in a Religious Context from the charity Art and Christianity Enquiry (ACE).

Engraved glass so delicate that frost can change its nature helps scoop top prize for Northumberland. The Northerner's arts monitor Alan Sykes reports

Make sure to check out all the links. Very interesting.
Of the 2 winners, I think I like the Jame Hugonin piece the best.

Contrary Rhythm (Glass)
James Hugonin, 2010
stained glass
St John's Chapel, Healy, Northumberland
photo via Ingleby Gallery

Posted by Tom at 03:55 PM

November 20, 2011

Daniel Maher Stained Glass on Vimeo

Another 3 minute background video.
Very well done, too.

Daniel Maher | Stained Glass Artist from Michael Callahan on Vimeo.

Posted by Tom at 03:46 PM

November 19, 2011

Mastercrafts - Stained Glass

This program was broadcast in the UK in the spring of 2010, as part of a series called "Mastercrafts". Again, my guess is that this is a bootleg and so it may not stay up on YouTube very long. Still, there is no other way to see it in the US, as far as I know.

I was wary when I heard of it, because of the "reality TV" aspect of it. I did find the competition part of it quite annoying, though not too overbearing.

I tried embedding the video first, but it proved to be way too slow, so I'm just providing the links to them - Part One, Part Two, Part Three, and Part Four

Especially nice, in part 2, to get a look behind the scenes at English Antique Glass.

[updated September 7, 2012 - the links above are dead. Currently there is a full length video of the stained glass MasterCrafts program on Youtube, for now at least]

Posted by Tom at 01:52 PM

November 18, 2011

AGG Education Blog

Education @ AGG - a new blog with most entries from the education committee chair of the American Glass guild, J. Kenneth Leap.

Educational resources, trends and ideas about GLASS compiled by the Education Committee of the American Glass Guild

Posted by Tom at 09:43 PM

November 08, 2011

Light Table for Panel Assembly??

The recent BBC documentary called Britain's Most Fragile Treasure is still online on Youtube. I was watching it again and noticed something curious.

Toward the end, starting at about 49:10, I noticed that the glazing table being used to assemble one of the panels is also a light table.

A screenshot showing that this is a light table.

This is a great idea, especially if you have a delicately painted window where there are very specific lines that need to match up from piece to piece.

But I've never seen a combination of translucent light table and assembly surface. Generally, on assembly surfaces, you need to be able to pound in glazing nails to keep the pieces in place while assembling. All light tables have a surface of either glass or plastic, neither of which can you just start pounding nails into. Most people today assemble stained glass windows on sheets of plywood. So - what materials are being used? What allows for translucency while being able to put nails or stoppers in while assembling?

I think the clue is in the close up shots.

Now, if you look at the close-up you can see the nice layout cartoon with the notations for broken pieces, etc. You can also see a regular pattern of dots which appear to indicate some kind of perforated plastic sheeting, the dots being holes in the plastic, and which receive the nails.
click on the image to see it larger -

So – my guess is that this is using something like a perforated polypropylene pegboard, perhaps similar to that which is shown on this website.

In any case, I want one!!

I’ll update if I get any additional information.

Posted by Tom at 12:22 AM

November 07, 2011

Judith Schaechter MIT Lecture on Creativity


84 minutes long.
I can't comment, since I haven't seen the whole thing yet.

Posted by Tom at 07:55 AM