Sunday, April 29, 2012

Of Glass and Stones

The way it is with my husband and I is this: he's got his shop to fix and assemble his works of art and craft, and I've got mine. Only sometimes we overlap and I take over some of the space in his shop (though he never gets any of mine). Fair, right? The surest path to complete and utter happiness in a marriage is having your own space in which to meditate and create, without interruption (at least that's how it is in our family).

He bought a connex (a connex is a really ugly 8' x 40' steel shipping container), plopped it onto our property and fashioned it into a workshop. That is where his genius lay; he can make anything out of the most meager materials. I insisted he put a roof on it so it would at least look like a regular building; or something other than an ugly steel shipping container; but that didn't work. It's still ugly. And it still resembles a rusted steel shipping container.

But oh, the magic that transpires inside. I've been working on this mosaic for almost a year (minus 6 months of winter when the shop was not heated), and I think we may be nearing the home stretch. It is cut glass that, once assembled, will be grouted. It is mounted on plexi-glass so light will shine through the colored glass.




The pattern looks somewhat hodge-podgey, but vastly improves once the grout is laid in.


My husband is a born geologist. He loves rocks. There are rocks all over our house, which to me, don't look like anything special until after he cuts and shaves and tumbles and smooths them into stones for jewelry. 


A few of his specimens are petrified wood collected from the banks of the Gallatin River, Montana, where friends Gordon & Peg Lehman fish for trout and raise horses on their ranch. I've known Gordon since college days when a gang of us used to go camping at Grass Lake in Michigan. Back in those idealistic days, we talked about living off the land and building our own houses and gardens. Looking over the group dynamics, we had a nurse, a couple teachers, an artist, a sociologist, a business man, a pre-med student...just about every occupation was covered to form our own hippie commune.

We could create a beautiful community, with a common garden and meeting area where young people would interact with their elders, where we'd help each other with day to day chores, make healthy meals, and play music together. Just think...we could imagine and construct a personal hands-on micro-culture!

Or as Austin Kleon put it, "you are a mashup of what you let into your life." All of it acts of creation.

But I digress. We've all been scattered to the wind and let the current lead us to where we are today.  

Still creating, still wrought with compelling conceptions bubbling below the surface of our minds. I keep pen and paper next to my bed to catch ideas born of dreams. Only thing is, I could use another lifetime to fulfill the long run of stream-of-consciousness ideas.

More time to fancy the art of creation; to romance the stone. To love each and every new piece.

I went digging around behind the light box (in the big, ugly connex) and ran into this piece of glass I bought last year, or maybe two years ago, but I'd forgotten it. For a scant second, it took my breath away.

At least for now, I can't cut this piece...it's aesthetically pleasing and too darned beautiful just the way it is. The exciting part is dreaming about what piece of art this sheet of glass will someday inhabit. Who knows?

We're always a work in progress; ourselves...and all of our grand ideas.


7 comments:

  1. Such beautiful, truly incredible pieces. I'm sensing a few metaphors here. :)

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  2. Hahaha! Oh, Emily...you're right on that one. The joy of making metaphors is you can frame it anyway you'd like! Thanks for your kind words.

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  3. That is one beautiful sheet of glass! I did stained glass in E.Lansing for about 6 mos... Found some brown that oozed and dripped, reminded me of maple syrup swirling with my melted brown sugar in my oatmeal.. hee. I used it to fill the wood valances with flourescent lighting behind, over the living room windows of my 8 x 30 trailer... Made the room look like a funeral parlor, ha.. but was beautiful.. People noticed even when not lit up...
    Nonna, whom you remember, had this tiny house in Royal Oak, about a mile from our house. She filled it with antiques, had 17 actual Tiffany lamps... could only show one at a time, so 16 sat in the attic waiting their turn... The garage sale/antique craze didn't take off until 6 mos after they moved... I went back but new owners through out lamps and other fantastic stuff, ugh... Sooo, build something nice, then bury it, ha... for someone who can appreciate it will find, ah. Cheers & love, Mike
    Nice stones, Kent. My son's mother has an uncle who has turned him home into showcases with lighting for thousands of rocks, etc. has a 2 story shop in back... travels the US for stones, minerals, rocks... ah.

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  4. Hey Mike. Yep, I sure do remember Nonna. Wonder what happened to her Tiffany lamps. I've never tried making a glass lampshade, but guess it's not too hard...just follow the pattern.
    As for rocks, I love the Lake Superior sea glass. Bought a green sea glass necklace last time we were in Yooper country.

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  5. Thank you, Vickie. Call Kent if you're in need of cabochons!

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