Picture

It's the most wonderful time of the year and the perfect day to do a little baking! Using my soft and chewy sugar cookie recipe and colorful hard candies broken into tiny pieces, the house is filled with sweet cookie smells and the results are glittering edible treasures.

Your favorite sugar cookie recipe will work, or try one of the recipes with tips for making windows here.

Having used Lifesavers since my earliest baking days, today I tried Jolly Ranchers instead. The colors seem more vibrant. I combined different flavors on individual cookies, and the bubble-filled panes remind me of mouth-blown variegated glass. Once cooled, cookies easily peel away from the foil. Mmmm!

Picture
 
Picture
On a scenic fall hike several years back, we stopped for a rest nearby some old railroad tracks. I noticed something sticking out of the ground and dug it up. It was a large rusty key, shown in the above photo.
Finding it was the start of antique and vintage key collecting.
Picture
Photograph by Flickr member *April*
For hundreds of years keys have represented authority, security, and power.    Its symbol is found throughout history, on coats of arms, banners and even seals for kings, emporers and cities.  Found in art, including stained glass, keys unlock the Kingdom of Heaven and the Bottomless Pit.  And presenting a "key to the city" is a medieval tradition that continues to this day.  
Picture
I took a few of my favorites, created molds, and employing traditional goldsmithing methods cast each in recycled sterling silver. Here they are with almost every detail of the originals showing wonderfully.
Beautiful key necklaces, connecting to the past.  A key fascination.
 
Picture
Photograph by Flickr member bly2k

Incomparably rich colors with the lighting just right, looking dramatic and vibrant with intense tones...

I'm thinking about a scenic drive in New England during peak time for fall foliage. Have you ever noticed that when the sun returns after a light rain, the lush expanses of fall colors are even more breathtaking? This is the perfect time of year to plan a leaf-peeping trip to the historic village of Shelburne, Vermont.

Why Shelburne? With a collection of 50 buildings chock full of esoterica, Shelburne Museum is a destination unto itself, and it is the perfect destination for a leaf-peeping trip because of their special exhibit on view in the Webb Gallery until October 25th. Louis Comfort Tiffany: Nature By Design. This exhibit includes 75 works on loan from museums and private collections, including lamps, stained glass, jewelry, ceramics, and glass vessels, and many never seen before.

Time to plan a trip, pack a thermos of hot mulled cider, and as long as the sun comes out I hope it rains just a little!

Picture
Tiffany Studios Peacock Library Lamp on view at Shelburne Museum
 
Picture
Lichfield Cathedral angel window by Charles Eamer Kempe
Individual pieces of glass fit together, making a beautiful image that glows with life.  Mozart's notes fit effortlessly together, making beautiful music that lives forever.
Picture
Piano piece handwritten by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Today I've been commissioned to create a ring, eco friendly of course. It will feature one embossed musical note, which I will carve out of steel to use again in other designs.

 
Picture
Photograph by Flickr member Miltonmic

Lately, I've been embossing into recycled silver and gold a 19th century bird from one of my antique tools.

Picture
Machines cannot replicate the touch of human hands

It appears to be a dove, and for its age and small size the detail is wonderful.

Picture
This recycled 18K gold ring is hand created at my bench

With my attention on antique birds, it was a delight to stumble upon Kristen Hudgik's night lights.

Picture
Nashville Warbler image, transferred onto a piece of light amber glass

She is also inspired by the beauty and amazing effect of pure light captured in colored glass from another time.

 
Picture
Photo by Flickr member Aidan McRae Thomson

When the sun shines and every detail glows, stained glass windows invite us to stay awhile. This butterfly is in Wytham Church, designed by
Robert Anning Bell c1930.

Picture
Photo by Flickr member Simon_K

Striations in mouth-blown glass make it sparkle. This butterfly among flowers is part of a window in St. John the Baptist, a church in the seaside town of Felixstowe in Suffolk, England.

 
Picture

Making something unwanted, broken or discarded into a work of art, excites us. If you have visited our web site, online portfolio, daily Twitter updates, Facebook page and jewelry shop, then you already know this! From this blog you also know how we are inspired by the art of light, and of course that includes the magnificant works of Louis Comfort Tiffany. So when I learned about John D'Agostino's exhibition, Empire of Glass, I had to share with you right away!

The Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, Massachusetts is hosting this exhibition. Paula Tognarelli, the museum's Executive Director, wrote about it, and here is an extract from her article:

"John D’Agostino photographs discarded pieces of Tiffany glass. He was destined to do so. The stained glass of Louis Comfort Tiffany has inspired three generations of the D’Agostino family. John’s grandfather, Vito D’Agostino (1898-1968), had a passion for Tiffany glass and through scavenging and installment payments, amassed, piece by piece, a handsome Tiffany glass collection. When the Tiffany Studios were liquidated in 1933, workman removed large sheets of glass from the demolition and smashed the glass into pieces on the streets, dumping the remnants into the East River in New York. Vito D’Agostino rescued many large sheets of glass that would eventually be photographed by his grandson. John’s father, John E. D’Agostino, safeguarded his father’s Tiffany collection. As an abstract painter and collagist, Tiffany glass has influenced his understanding of 20th century abstract painting as well as the characteristic nature of his artwork. John E. D’Agostino says that his work is suggestive of stained glass."

We're planning a trip and recommend that if you are nearby Winchester, MA do visit this exhibition too and let us know what you think! -Caroline

 
Picture

The center photo shows a handmade English steel stamp from the 1800s, which I'm excited to share with you. It is in wonderful condition, and the detail is incredible. Even tendrils of hair delicately frame her lovely face. I wonder if the maker of this stamp was inspired by glistening gem-colored windows similar to the ones here. The features and countenance are similar. What is most amazing about this steel stamp is that it is under 1/4 of an inch! Part of my collection of antique steel stamps used in my work, but aside from admiring the workmanship and beauty, I have not yet decided how I will feature this one.

 

Searching "stained glass" on Etsy , these wonderful finds turned up. Starting from the top left: A handpainted candle holder, fine art print of stunning reflections behind ornate grating, beautiful gothic window photo notecards, and bright-colored vegan soap.

 

Beautiful glass gathered, blown, shaped and finished by skilled craftsmen done in the same way as when Blenko Glass Co. opened its doors in 1921.

The National Cathedral in Washington and many famous cathedrals in Europe are decorated with Blenko stained glass. It is one of only two U.S. companies that makes the one inch thick Dalle de Verre glass used in cathedrals and famous buildings around the world.

It was shocking news to learn about its closing this past January. But in just a few weeks, light is shining brighter on Blenko. The courage and fortitude that carried this company through the Great Depression has emerged because Blenko is resuming partial operation!
The mettle of American stained glass is alive.


© Beyond the RockZ All images and designs are the intellectual property of Beyond the RockZ. All rights reserved.