I’m excited to announce a new program I’m participating in with support from the Nebraska Arts Council. The Creative Aging through the Arts Program provides grants to bring teaching artists into organizations serving older adults in order foster social engagement while learning new skills. A culminating event allows participants to showcase their work with peers, community and family.
If you’re interested, see the pdf attached below or view the full grant guidelines here.
Local artists from Lincoln Hot Glass are bringing treasure to you and going down in history at the same time. The United Nations has named 2022 The Year of Glass, and glass artists are making history with the world’s biggest marble treasure hunt by hiding their handmade marbles for you to find. Now, you can have the adventure of a lifetime and add some beautiful artwork to your collection. The hunt for the marble treasure is open to the public at no cost.
Nebraska is home to many talented, locally and nationally recognized glass artists. Marc Kornbluh has been making and selling marbles to the international marble collecting community for close to 20 years. His marbles are in museums and private collections throughout the country, and one of his marbles resides in the permanent collection of the Sheldon Museum. “At Lincoln Hot Glass, we make a variety of marbles, from small memorial cremation marbles to giant globes. It’s the only place in hundreds of miles where you can learn to make marbles and other items on the torch,” notes owner Marc.
Matt Losee is the lead instructor at Lincoln Hot Glass and enjoys working with those 16 and older to learn about working molten glass on the torch. “Glass marbles are pretty close to indestructible. They’re very durable. Unlike stone, wood, metal, oil paintings or other art, glass is chemically inert. It won’t oxidize and degrade or rot. In a million years, these marbles will look the same as they do now.”
Carrie Strope is a local glass artist and teaching artist who uses all forms of working in glass, from fused glass and mosaics to stained glass and torchworking. “We’re excited to be joining the World’s Biggest Marble Hunt during the International Year of Glass to help bring a fun, free, family-friendly activity to Nebraskans. It is exciting and engaging for even the youngest of marble hunters.
We hope to inspire folks with the marbles they find and look forward to showing them how accessible it is to make your own marbles at Lincoln Hot Glass”, says Lincoln artist Carrie Strope.
A couple of the glass artists that are joining the marble hunt and hiding marbles started out as students at Lincoln Hot Glass. Chris Apple started out taking an ornament class as a way to connect with his deceased Aunt, who was a glassblower. Soon after, he was taking every class the studio offered and realized he wanted to be at the studio more often. “Working with glass is a way for me to use my creative energies in a capacity that is not related to my creative day job. It’s meditative and therapeutic. Studio time is me time and is a great balance for my mental wellbeing.”
Another student turned renter, Doug Hanks says, “Glass, for me, is the perfect medium. Every piece is unique, and will last for generations. Where else can you balance lava on a lightsaber and make something beautiful?”
The many marbles being hidden throughout Nebraska use various techniques and are all original works of art. Some of the marbles are created with precious metals such as silver and gold while some of them are full of imagery created using small strands of glass or murrine, which are created by stacking many layers of glass and pulling it down to smaller patterns. If you’re interested in learning more about making marbles, Lincoln Hot Glass offers classes that teach you all of the steps in creating a marble that you could hide for others to find or for you to keep as your own treasure!!
A mosaic mural that was the largest of its kind when it was installed in the 1950s is facing demolition this summer in Lincoln, NE. A group of mosaic artists are doing their part to help raise a portion of the $1 million needed to remove the mosaic mural before the wrecking ball hits.
Lincoln artist Carrie Strope, in cooperation with Architectural Glassarts, is assembling mosaic kits that can be purchased by area residents to learn about and create small mosaics while saving a piece of Lincoln history for future generations.
Create and learn about mosaics while saving a piece of Lincoln’s history…
The mosaic mural that resides on the side of the soon to be demolished and outdated event center in downtown Lincoln tells the story of small midwestern town entertainment in the mid 50s with a nod to the activities that took place in Pershing Auditorium. It was designed by Nebraska artists Leonard Thiessen and Bill Hammond and fabricated by the Cambridge Tile Company.
To save this piece of Americana and preserve a bit of our local history, the Committee to Save Pershing’s Mural and the Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation are raising funds spearheaded by Liz Shea-McCoy, a local artist and arts advocate.
Most of the funds for safely removing the mural from the front of the building have been raised, but more funds need to be raised to store and re-install the mural in its new home. To help with fundraising and to introduce area residents to the art of mosaics, Lincoln artist Carrie Strope and Heather Swartz have donated their time to assemble kits using glass and mirror donated by Architectural Glassarts.
To contribute, area residents can purchase mosaic kits that upcycle jar lids to make sparkling mosaic ornaments. To purchase kits, contact Carrie through her website, https://calyxglass.com/contact/.
The stitched glass heart grew out of a class that I offer in the local studio where I teach, Architectural Glassarts. I needed to make a sample heart for a stained glass window inclusion, and I had the idea that I wanted it to have a Crazy Quilt kind of vibe. My mom was a quilter, and all things textile have a strong influence on my work.
In addition to the crazy quilt inspiration that will provide the background in the stained glass “quilt” that I’m working on, I get feedback that the hearts remind folks of Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas. And while I can definitely see the similarity, I like to look at these hearts as a stitching together of a little piece of all of the people that make up our lives; the hearts of all the people who have touched our lives.
If you’d like to purchase a Stitched Fused Glass Heart, visit my etsy shop.
If you’d like to learn how to do this on your own, I’ve got two video lessons on my Patreon page that show variations of this project, with firing schedules and patterns.
The CoExist in Kindness Mosaic Mural Project in Steelton, PA has come to a close! Lead artists Carrie Strope and Natasha Moraga teamed up with the community and many volunteers who learned how to make mosaics. Here are some of the finished mural photos. If you look closely you can see the submissions sent by members of the global glass and mosaic community.
Surprise your love with a special gift carrying a thoughtful and romantic proposal with a candy heart dish as to commemorate your special day.
Customized messages available for a 100% unique gift.
Let the candy heart dish speak for you with a concise and to the point message, or flirtatious suggestions.
Vegan, Cruelty Free and Gluten Free 😉 Won’t fade – all glass, easy to clean Compact so it can be stored next to the sink, in the office or on the bedside nightstand to keep treasured mementos near to their heart.
For Season three of the 100 Moment in Mosaics project, I decided to explore the strip technique that I used for the background of the flower pattern from last year’s submission. It is a slow and very tedious process involving first cutting the strips to the correct size with the mosaic nippers, and then grinding down each piece to get just the right angle for a proper fit. It’s definitely a technique I’d like to explore more.
I first remember being wow-ed by this way of laying stained glass strips while in Murano for the Glass Art Society conference. The lovely textile inspired and pillowy pieces beckoned to me from the walls of Berengo Gallery. I was so entranced, I must have missed the artist’s name. (I’m still searching and will update here when I discover the talented person behind these wonderful mosaics! UPDATE: With help from a friend on the island, I can credit the artist, Dusciana Bravura.)
The One Hundred Moments in Mosaicproject is a non-juried collection of work representing the full spectrum of SAMA’s diverse and richly creative membership. For a third season, an open call was issued to members to create a 6” x 6” mosaic, using materials of their choice and original design.
The work of seasoned professionals is displayed alongside enthusiastic newcomers to the mosaic making process, culminating in 100+ moments of life rendered in mosaic by artists from all over the world.
This collection was presented on October 31 – November 3, 2019, at the Sculpture Objects Functional Art & Design Expo in Chicago, Illinois at the famed Navy Pier.
The collection will also travel to Tucson, Arizona for installation in conjunction with the American Mosaic Summit, May 12 – 17, 2020.
My first season participating in the 100 Moments in Mosaic project was Season 2, which was on display at SOFA Chicago and the Parthenon Museum in Nashville, TN for the SOFA conference. “Applique Mosaic” is pictured below.
For the upcoming 2020 artVenture program, I was honored to be the featured artist for collaborations! I enjoy being a part of the artVenture program because I believe it helps girls learn how to work together collaboratively and creatively, helping to develop crucial skills for a quickly changing world. No matter what career choices the girls make, being able to creatively problem solve and communicate well with each other are important life lessons.
I have been working with a different group or groups of Girl Scouts going on nine years now, and I like to work on new and different projects when we meet at Architectural Glassarts. Some of the projects can be repeated with different results, but I like to challenge myself with new ways of evolving the process. This year, I decided to see how the girls would do at translating bouquets of flowers into glass. I had a personal goal of getting on the torch and using some new tools that I picked up in Murano during the Glass Art Society conference in 2018. The girls would create the fused glass focal flowers, and I would create the filler flowers and leaves. (Did I mention I also have a degree in Horticulture and took some Floriculture and flower arranging classes in college?)
It was a whirlwind two hours that we met, and I demonstrated how to safely work with glass, then the girls worked at cutting and piecing together flowers to go in the kiln for fusing several pieces into one.
After the flowers were fused for the first time, they had to go into the kiln a second time to take their shape. (The temperature at which glass melts together is higher than the temperature at which it starts to “slump” or fall around a ceramic mold to take a three dimensional form.)
Once the flowers are fused together and have taken shape, it’s time to build the armature for the sculpture and mount them. After a trip to multiple hardware stores to find just the right pieces and parts, I was able to solder the armature together and attach the flowers.
At this point, the flower sculptures look pretty naked. So, summoning my floral arranging days, I gathered some glass and hopped on the torch. While I was in Murano for the Glass Art Society conference in 2018, I picked up some tools from a famous and high quality glass tool maker shop, Carlo Dona; specifically a bell flower mold. (I love the shape of these flowers, which would make great jewelry, as well, which I think is what most folks actually use them for. )
After a couple of sessions on the torch, I had a collection of smaller leaves and flowers that I could arrange around the larger flowers to fill in the space and really make the fused glass flowers stand out! I can’t wait for the girls to see our bouquets hanging this spring for the only fundraising event for the Girl Scout Spirit of Nebraska. Proceeds from the event support statewide programming and a financial assistance fund to provide opportunities for more girls to participate in fun leadership activities, like artVenture!
I’m excited to share an interview I did with Renae about the glass projects I’ve worked on with the Girl Scouts during the artVenture program, and then Girl Scout Annaliese shares the highlights of her 6 years in various artVenture collaborations.
From the ArtVenture FAQs:
“artVenture is an annual event where small groups of girls are matched with artists in their communities. Together, they create a piece of art from conception to completion. Through this project, girls learn a new art medium or technique, work closely with an artist in their studio, and get to know other girls interested in the same art form. Girls also make a small piece of art to take home as a keepsake. Participating girls and their families are invited to a reception, where they can view the collaborations on display and celebrate their contribution.”
The Luminary Award was created with kiln formed glass. After drawing out the design and selecting glass colors, the glass was hand cut and pieced together in several layers and dammed and fired in the kiln. After firing, the piece was sandblasted and cold worked to recognize the award recipients.
The award ceremony typically accompanies the Winter Lights festivities such as a tree lighting ceremony, a choir singing carols, cookies and hot chocolate, and sometimes Santa and Mrs. Claus drop in to visit.
“Winter Lights is an annual event to mark the change of seasons and to celebrate the people in our community who light up our lives and make our City a great place to live,” says former Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler in a news release on Nov 22, 2017.
City officials involved in the award selection process were hoping to echo the look of the Tower Square in downtown Lincoln, which was designed by internationally acclaimed, Omaha-based artist Jun Kaneko. The accent of the square is the glass tower, “Ascent”.