I did the Salvador Dali face (see the process at my new Lori Greenberg Glass Art page on Facebook) and it got me excited me on shadows and faces even though my shadow colors were too subtle to show; although once he’s fused that could change as the edges of the chips soften and collapse in. Now I’m working an image of Alex from Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, also in progress on the facebook page.
On a recent trip to Santa Fe I came across an artist’s work in a gallery there and it has stuck with me. Veruska Vagen does grid pattern mosaics with tiny dots of glass, which process she calls dot de verre. According to her process, she uses fusing of manufactured glass dots that are no longer in production. The pieces I saw were reproductions of Master painters work. This got me to thinking about reproductions and what that means to me. Is it copying? I thought yes. What about translating photographs into other media? Still yes, in my mind. I have also always been inspired by Chuck Close’s amazing photo based mosaic-like paintings.
The more I thought about it, the more apparent it became to me that that doing ‘reproductions’ of images made some sense for me at this time. I cannot draw and I don’t want to take the time to learn. I thought about how apprentices to Master painters learned in the first place. They copied master works and through that they learned technique, color theory, lighting, etc.
I decided that reproductions will allow me the freedom to learn more about the micro mosaic process that I’m developing. While some may say that is ‘copying’ I see it as a huge accountable color study. With my own designs I have not had to match colors. Whatever I made in the first few tries was what I used. With the reproductions my aim is to match exactly the colors and gradation of colors in shadows and highlights and learn that intimately. Trust me, this will prove to be important in my work. You will see what I mean when I get closer to where I want to be with all of this and look back to my beginning work.
The process itself lends so much to variation and uncertainty that even a detailed reproduction will never be the same as the original image. But anyway, the new idea.
While still loving the faces, I am not thrilled about where the current Alex work is heading. I’m doing it in color, trying to achieve highlights and shadows within flesh tones with strange lighting. Blech. I feel that way most times as I look as what is emerging. Today though I came across an image of a Rose Window and the brilliance hit me. More thinking about reproduction work.
Churge of Gesu Rose Window
You know I love mandalas and what better mandalas to translate into the micro mosaics than Rose Windows? I love the effect of black outlining in the micro mosaics.
One of the obstacles I have to take into consideration when doing my pieces is how the light shines through, or doesn’t. The background shows through transparent colors and clear cores of the tiny murrini. This, many times, is what disappoints me about the finished product. So then I got the idea to create LED display stands. I’ve been wanting to move more towards displayed work rather than jewelry and beads. How cool would it be to have a lighted stand to give the effect of light coming through glass? The pieces do glow when held up to light.
So, there I am. As soon as Alex is done, off to Rose Windows I go.
If you want to see real-time photos of what is going on in the studio, please do like my Lori Greenberg Glass Art page on Facebook. I am posting quick shots regularly there and you can see pieces through to completion, day by day.