Friday, December 16, 2016

The final days of 3Zs

I finished off the final days of 3Zs by
 Day 8 brought us Pokeleaf.  I always get Pokeleaf and Pokeroot confused.  Pokeroot is round and Pokeleaf is ...well.. a leaf!  Not sure where the confusion comes from.

I drew 2 tiles using Pokeleaf.
I like the way the 2nd one came out better than the first.

On day 9, We drew Auraknots.  I added Pokeleaf, Diva Dance, Knightsbridge and Golden Tipple

Day 10 introduced a new tangle: Drawings.  I learned to draw this tangle at ZenAgain in November.  I love drawing Drawings.  It is so graceful and fluid.

Here is square tile with Drawings.

Day 11 brought us another new tangle: Icanthis.  I like this new tangle as much as I like Drawings.
Icanthis is drawn with Marasu and Tipple
And finally, day 12 gave us Crasy Huggins, a twist on Huggins.

Lastly, I drew one large (combination of three 3Z tiles) drawing with 9 of the 12 featured tangles of the 12 Days of 3Zs from the blog

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Tuning up my Tangling

It has been a good year since I sat down and tangled; but 3 months ago, I picked up my pen again and have been drawing daily since.  I even went to ZenAgain in November to rejuvenate my enthusiasm for all things Zentangle.  What a great experience that was!

While at ZenAgain, Rick and Maria introduced new tiles to the Zentangle line of products.  They are 3.5" equilateral triangles called "3Z".  I have really enjoyed tangling on them.  They are made of the same quality paper and fit perfectly with the original tiles.  Go to to purchase these new tiles.

For the past 7 days, Zentangle,com has showcaseds a differnt tangle on the 3Z tiles.  Day 1 was Tripoli.  Here is my example.
I finished the tile off with some Tipple, my "go to" tangle.

On day 2, they featured Diva Dance
Again, I added some Tipple.

Day 3 featured Shattuck
as the 12 days of 3Z evolves, all previous tangles can be added to the tiles.

Day 4 featured Marasu
I did two tiles for Marasu.  The first one, I didn't like the way I drew Marasu.  I thought it was tooo narrow to really show the tangle.  So, I drew a second tile and drew the tangle larger.

This is the first tile.  Notice I added some Tripoli in this drawing, along with my standard Tipple.
Here is the 2nd tile.  I added Diva Dance and Tipple to Marasu to complete this tile.  

Day 5, it starts to get interesting.  The featured tangle is Tipple (finally), but with a twist.
Rick and Maria drew it in brown ink with gold accents.

I added some Tripoli to this tile.  I like the color variation.

Day 6 featured Molygon
Notice the detail now.  I love how to tiles have evolved over the 6 day period.  I included the gold Tipple, Diva Dance, and Marasu in this tile.

Finally, day 7 brought Knightsbridge

withs Shattuck, Marasu and a gold Tippled Molygon.

I am drawing these tiles in my journal.  I wish I had started them on the individual tiles so I could have a mosaic of drawings once finished.

I look forward to what the next 5 days bring.  I will post them here as they come about. In the meantime, check out the Blog on
Happy Tangling!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

After all this time

I didn't even realize how long it had been since I wrote the last blog.
My last blog was about the stained glass windows I was making.  Well, they are finished and waiting to be installed.  I am very excited about them.  They turned out great.... I think.

Since then, I have combined my love of Zentangle with my love of glass and came up with a new bird... and a couple of other things.

I first drew the Zentangle using pen and ink.  I then had those pieces made into a silk screen.  Using glass paint, I silk screened the patterns onto glass then fired the glass to bake the paint in.
I cut the glass out into the patterns I wanted and proceeded to create the birds.
I decided to frame most of the them, but did make one free standing.  Here is a sampling.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Making a Stained Glass window......almost finished

Remember the window I started on back in October ---- then go side tracked?

Well, I started working on it again and I am almost finished!  It should be completed by next Friday.  Then I will have to figure out how to install it.

Of course, I only work on it on Fridays -- and only for 3 hours, too.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Zentangle Birds

My latest creation: Zerds
 That is Zentangle Birds!

This is truly a work in progress, but I want to share the progress with you.

To start, I drew some Zentangle designs and took them to the sign maker to have a silk screen burned.  Unfortunately, I had purchased a size 110 mesh screen.  You will see why this is unfortunate in a minute.

It had been a while since I had done any silk screening, so I had to practice with the set up and squeegee methods. Then I had to practice mixing the paint (enamel powder and squeegee oil) to the right consistency.  Needless to say, I made a mess.  I didn't photo this process because there was paint everywhere and I didn't want to contaminate my phone!  It took several tries, but I was finally ready to print the glass.

The first attempt ended up in a washout.  Literally, I washed the paint off the glass.  Same  procedure followed for the next two printings.  I finally got something I felt I could go with.  So I printed a 12x12 piece of Spectrum 96 white glass and a smaller piece of yellow glass.  The lines in Zentangle are fine, but the mesh was not, so the prints came out pretty heavy.  The designs were recognizable, but not fine.  Still no photos -- sorry.

I fired the first printing and it was a further disaster.  Because I was using high-temp enamel paint, I fired on a full fuse (1450).  The single sheet of glass bubbled up pretty badly.  Oops!  I did get some workable glass out of it though. 

With this glass, I created the Zerd below.
This piece was OK, but the paint looks muddled to me.  The tail, wing, beak, and feet are out of dichroic glass.  I think the tail is off and would look better placed closer to the body.  Since this bird is made of a single glass base, I fired it on a contour fire which gives the layered dichroic glass some dimension.  I am trying to become a fan of dichroic glass, but I am reluctant.  I like bright colors better than shiny colors.

Here is the second piece I did.

Pretty bad.  I was also experimenting with a few other techniques with this creation so they added to the "badness".  First off, I tried doubling all the glass to make a sturdier sculpture.  I tried to do all of this in one firing.  Mistake #1.  When you fire glass to a full fuse, the glass pieces literally melt into each other and fuse completely to become one piece of glass.  This makes the whole piece flat and very glossy.  The glossy, I like.  The flat, I don't.
Further more, some of the glass pieces shifted during firing.  Notice the left leg.  I placed a copper rod between the two pieces of the legs for mounting and to add rigidity.  The glass slipped and the rod is exposed.  The tail pieces shifted as well.   See the yellow dot on top of the right wing?  That dot was placed at the base of the tail. 
However, the most disappointing aspect of this piece is the way the paint lost its definition.  As the glass spreads when hot to about a 1/4 in. thickness, the design also spread.
Back to the drawing board.

I have since redrawn the Zentangle masters into the shape of birds and will have a new screen made using 160 mesh screen.  This will keep the paint from being screened too heavily onto the glass, thus ending up with a clear piece of tangled fused glass. 
Stay tuned for the outcome.

Mosaic fish

First off, Happy New Year to all of you!  May your 2016 be the best year you've had thus far.

As I said, I really enjoy working with mosaics.  

I am working on a wall sculpture that will consist of 10-12 fish swimming in a school.  The fish are about 10" long and 6" tall.  

Right now, I am still experimenting with the technique and look.   Thus far, I have created 3 fish using slightly different techniques, combinations, and firing schedules.  However, they all look similar.  Since they will be placed on a wall approximately 10' up the wall, the difference won't be readily noticed.

I started out with a basic shape fish in clear glass, then I placed randomly cut sized and shaped pieces of transparent glass on the fish form.  I am using an Ombre color scheme going from blue to green with a few pieces of clear irid glass in the middle.

I start out gluing the mosaic pieces to the form, then tac fire to set the pieces.  After that, I will grout, embellish (I used red glass circles or frit) and fire again to a tac fuse so the fish would have some texture giving them some dimension.  I also used some 1/8" fiber paper to give the fish some contour.  

This is what I have so far.  I am still experimenting, but will post as I go along until the piece is finished.

Fish #2.  Hopefully you can see the contouring in these photos.  However, I fired this fish to a full fuse which took away the textured finish.  I used transparent red frit on this fish.  Not my favorite treatment.

Fish #3 going into the kiln for the 2nd firing and after firing.  I created glass dots out of a deep red opaque glass.  

You can see the difference here where I used a tac fuse.  The glass pieces stand out.

 I have placed these 3 fish on the wall to get a perspective.

Fish #1 on the far right has glass dots in a cherry red.  Too bright!  I like the deeper red dots.  I will probably make most of the fish like fish #3, but will copy fish #1 and 2 at least once more to give the school continuity.  Either that, or I will eliminate them all together.

However, I may not be through experimenting either!  

Thursday, December 31, 2015


I really enjoy working with mosaics.  I have created several ceramic mosaic pieces and even completed on glass mosaic, but have not done a mosaic piece for fusing.

The first piece I completed was on a 6x6 tile of clear glass.  I formed a fish using several colors of transparent glass in blues and greens.  I cut odd shaped random sized pieces from each color.  Then I filled in around the fish with clear glass cut the same way.  Newy Fagan helped out by filling in some of the larger gaps with smaller clear glass pieces (which enhanced the overall look).  The tile was then fired to a tac* fuse (the glass adheres but doesn't become fully fused leaving texture).
Then, using a mixture of CMC (a cellulose fiber used as a binder in foods like taco shells) and glass powder (black in this case), the glass pieces were grouted.  The tile was then fired again using a tac* fuse  to leave the texture and here are the results.
I wish I had used a different color for the face than dark blue, but I didn't know what it was going to come out looking like!

I really got into this method of creating.  So much so that I used it again twice! during the workshop.
Here is a second piece.  This tile was also created on clear glass.  I used a turquoise powder for the grout.  Then I fused the whole piece onto white glass to give the design more contrast.  
This tile was fired on a full fuse, therefore, the glass is flat.
I like the blue powder, but think a darker blue would give the piece more contrast.

*  Newy has her own firing schedules, so technically, I don't know that she calls the schedule we used as a "tac" fuse.  But for the beginner mind, like myself, I am using terms that can more easily be conveyed.  The terms I use are "slump, tac, contour, and full" when talking about firing schedules.