Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Kickstarting The Grandson of Charles Mingus

cdcovers/charles mingus/mingus ah um.jpg
Photo by Jason Hickey

 A grandson who never knew his grandfather searched for the story.  You can help support this project and become part of the story.  What I know is that the story is complicated, so I am hoping the grandson gets to tell it in full.  He needs our support.  Common people supporting amazing projects.  It feels good.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Shopping Local for a Scientist at Rocket Hub

Flying Fox in tree on footpath
photo by Sheba Also

Yes, Saturday has come and pass, but I hope all of you are still shopping locally.  I just did a bit myself by visiting a website that provides scientists a new way of obtaining funds,  from the public.  Mosaic woman and I figured if we can support jazz artists at Kickstarter (more on that tomorrow), we can support a scientist.  Well, as local as I could find was Susan Tsang in New York.  She digs bats in peril and her passion has led to a research project:  Watch the video below and feel free to  Support her here

#SciFund Challenge - Flying foxes: where are they from and where are they going? from Susan Tsang on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Support Local: Centennial Blueprint and my mandalas


I grew up with blueprints.  You see my dad work was one of a draftsmen...


and so many of the tools I use in my studio are those very tools which he used in his work.  The clear plastic angles that give you immediate right angles as well as the often used 30, 60, 90, and 120 degrees.  The tape which peels off so nicely.  The erasure that really work. The templates that have tiny circles. 

So I feel right at home with a local business with Blueprint as their last name.  And what Snowcatcher does not know about her lizard stepping stone is how important Centennial was to its existence.

It starts with my need for a big circle, and for that I needed the Staedtler kit I had bought at Centennial years ago ...

... but then I had a large design that could not be copied at home, so off I went to Centennial and got the copies I needed. 

so this afternoon I celebrated what these tools have led to in a video, it starts showing me in action drawing a card, then flashes to the design colored in, and then moves on to past designs with circles.  All the way Thelonius Monk plays Round Midnight... check it out here

also:  out Joy postcard and amazing new business card were created at Centennial!  

Friday, November 25, 2011

some thoughts of thankfulness

that for the first time in a few years we are not doing a craft show on "Buy Nothing Day."

that I am willing to buy something on buy nothing day.... I will be passing by Warner Stained Glass

that my mom makes pumpkin pies from scratch, which means she buys an actual pumpkin

that I have amazing clients, who show amazing trust in me, and so Di's red-tailed hawk needs some blue sky glass

that because I got the gumption to go to my 30th HS reunion I will be driving by Warner Glass

that very likely someone told Miles Davis that he had talent and inspired him to play a trumpet

that facebook has brought so many friends back into my life, including many of whom I will see at the reunion

that Mosaic Woman makes my lettering looks so good, as I prepare to take the above piece to the reunion

that there is a light that shines through our art

THANKSGIVING: for the light that shines through the glass

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Few (well 7) of My Favorite Things, jazzed up a bit

People who celebrate what they love.

Composers who are people who...

Musicians who celebrate composers who...

Piano players who are musicians who...

Improvisers who are piano players who...

Jazz for providing a medium of improvisers...

Friends, who ask me what I am listening to, ... and so by saying these words I ended up saying so many of my favorite things: Brad Mehldau playing My Favorite Things

Monday, November 14, 2011

introducing my students to Julius Sumner Miller

OK, Ted talks are inspiring and PBS's Nova has amazing production, but I had to let my students know how it was done back in the day...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

the math of amber hope

The pieces came together at the same time.  Two pieces cut and ground from each type of amber glass.  So which is for my friend from our time in Illinois (who was part of the best prank ever played upon myself) or the friend, who lives here in Lansdale, not too many blocks from home.

I imagined a project and threw the idea out there on facebook.  For a certain price I would design a mandala of hope while keeping your concerns in my thoughts.  You see, I had 14 types of amber glass out from a previous project.  The glass kept suggesting possible projects.  The glass clearly did not want to be thrown back into the bin of amber.  The mandala idea stuck.  All I needed was a friend to have faith in the project, in me, in hope.

When I saw two friends had responded, how could I say no to one of them.  So I said, "yes."

As I was in the midst of foiling I realized I did not know who would get which mandala.  The answer that emerged made me smile.  It did not matter.  For in the math of hope, the hope did not get split into two pieces; the hope did not double in size, but instead their hopes mingled and then emerged after growing exponentially.  Each piece is filled with my hope for them.  My friends have been brought together in the midst of amber glass.

They are done.  My friends will see them before you do.  Oh, and those dark pieces near the center.  Just imagine what light can do to something that appears dark.  and that my friends, is my definition of hope.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

imagining Hope, again

 The bad news floats between my friend and I.

I sit in her office, then she asks me to create a gift of hope.  In the past I have done stained glass pieces to bring her hope for healing, but mosaic comes to mind as I take in the news of our mutual friend's health concerns.  As the day goes on, a  design comes to mind, and when this happens it is always a rough draft.  I imagine a rectangular piece of slate. Hope fills the bottom left.  Below it I swoop a base out of glass.  At the top right is a swirl that flows across the top.  I imagine Mosaic Woman filling that swirl with warm colors.

Then we make it happen.