Photo: Picture of shards of Tiffany Favrile glass in the collection of the Queens Museum.
I have been busy fashioning scrap stained glass that I have been collecting from all over into mosaic tiles.
Fun Fact! Stained glass artisans often don't bother to use their scrap glass and there are a lot of them out there trying to unload it. I visited a stained glass shop and school that had boxes and boxes and boxes of scrap. After looking through maybe three boxes the proprietor showed me more and also said there were full crates outside. I was dumbfounded. I took two boxes, but should have grabbed more.
I'm guessing if you are making stained glass projects according to patterns you don't have time to go in and sort your scrap and reuse it.
I started by sorting glass shards into more or less the color palette I will be using. Then I started cutting and shaping the reddish glass into tiles for a maquette. The warm colors in the palette are rosy and pinky and, unfortunately, rarer in stained glass. But I have enough for the maquette. I was unmoved while working with the reds. Ho hum.
Good yellows are extremely hard to find. Yellow stained glass runs amber or has an acid green hue mixed in. Neither of those will work for this project. I am mixing some glass paint to approximate the hues I need for the project. I'm painting repurposed clear sheets of glass that I've cut into tiles. If I get the commission there is an expensive glass paint company that will custom mix paint colors for you. I will invest in those then.
For the last three days or so, I started processing the blue scraps. Dear Reader, cutting and shaping the many varieties of blue glass I've collected has been an immersive and heady delight. Every time I toss a new tile onto the done pile, it's like gazing into an increasingly deep and enchanted pool. Just gorgeous. I have plans for this glass.
Oh! and I'm really excited about this new translucent grout. Normally, I hate grout, but this stuff is The Answer. No, it's not the cheesy glitter grout.
Thanks to Lynne Kornecki of ArtBeat for interviewing me for ArtBeat's Artist Spotlight. Click the logo above to visit the article at ArtBeat. Text of the article follows:
Roselle, IL artist, Julie Mars, poses with her work -- "ARCTIC ICE SHEET" -- convex security mirror topped with decorative glass bead mosaic design. Scroll down to see more of Julie's art pieces...
Many of Julie Mars’ art projects begin with a treasure hunt. By exploring thrift stores, garage sales, flea markets and other second-hand sources, Julie finds glass or mirrored items that are just the right shape and size to upscale into a unique piece of shimmering art.
Preferring to work with highly reflective surfaces like large, circular convex security mirrors or glass globe vases, she weaves her favorite sized glass beads to create an intricate mosaic to layer on top. She uses off-loom weaving techniques like the peyote stitch, and then glass paint to act as a clear adhesive when affixing it to the substrate.
While studying at Chicago’s School of the Art Institute, she focused on 3D and sculptural work. In her 20s, she started experimenting by decorating small jars, but the finished result was too craft-like for her taste. So, she decided to start scaling up in size.
“I really like how light passes through the glass bead mosaic pattern on top and then bounces around through my work and out again,” Julie explains. “It makes the finished effect extra luminous. As the light changes throughout the day – so does its reflectivity. They’re so much fun to make.”
Julie’s Artist Statement explains more…
My love for glass and reflective acrylic beads comes from the diverse colors, lusters, translucencies, and other optical effects they offer. Recently, I have been working on installations and a series of woven bead mosaics on convex mirrors, exploring new possibilities in my chosen medium.
…My work is driven by a deep passion for environmentalism and the beauty that can be found in repurposing used items. I strive to create pieces that not only bring aesthetic pleasure through innovative design but also inspire others to reflect on the impact of their choices on the environment.
Through my bead mosaics, I hope to spark a dialogue around sustainable art, and to demonstrate that post-consumer materials can be transformed into something truly beautiful. Ultimately, my goal is to promote a more mindful and eco-conscious approach to art and consumption.
Julie has over 25 years of experience as an artist, gallerist, and museum administrator. Currently, she works at the Addison Center for the Arts as Communications Director, where she fosters and promotes arts in the western suburbs.
She accepts commissions and her weaving techniques can be found on a YouTube tutorial that she created here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3n0ZxzVToLo&t=37s
Her work is currently part of the Addison Art Guild’s 2023 Fall Members’ Show, 213 N. Lombard Road, Door 4, Addison, IL on display now through December 9, 2023. Additional pieces are on exhibit at the Epiphany Center for the Arts, Chicago Sculpture International, 201 S. Ashland, Chicago; Art Events - Epiphany Center for the Arts (epiphanychi.com)
The opening reception for Elemental Impact is Friday, November 17, 2023 from 6 to 9 pm at the Epiphany Art Center's Chase Gallery. This is a group showing of Chicago Sculpture International and will feature the work of 34 sculptors. The exhibit was curated by K. R. Fowler. For more information follow this link to RSVP and get more information.
I will be showing "Arctic Ice Sheet" from the Floe Series.
Julie Mars' current events, projects, & inspirations.