Saturday, February 18, 2012

Current Obssession

I have a great affection for glass. Clear, colored, leaded, pressed, blown, cut... Some women go for glitter or diamonds, I like sparkly glass.

I had the nifty idea to use orphaned china saucers married with glass bowls to serve as whatnot dishes. I have a couple in my bathroom holding lipsticks and hairpins, but they could hold change, bracelets, sweetener packets, etc. I saw the idea for reducing clutter functionally in a magazine: You collect pretty cups and saucers, but have nowhere to display them, so put them in a dressing table drawer and use them to hold jewelry. That's all fine and good, but I don't collect teacups, and I don't have a dressing table. Also, the tiled-surface bathroom (where I put mine) seemed like a good way to shatter the pieces, so I used E6000 to glue them together, making it less likely that I'd tip the bowl off the saucer, making the assemblage more stable, reducing the risk that I'd end up with glass in my foot.

The center two are in the bathroom, holding hairpins and ponytail elastics, and lipsticks, respectively.

I was in Goodwill scrounging the pieces, and spent ridiculous amounts of time finding the right glass piece to go with the saucers I'd chosen. The base of the glass dish needed to fit in the depression that was for the teacup, and I wanted the look of the glass to compliment the saucer. For instance, the top right pair both have a swirled texture - hard to see from the picture, but the lip of the saucer has the same kind of texture as the little bowl.

So that's where my lunacy started. Then I looked at the piece of garden art my mom got me for my birthday: a "flower" of stacked glass (plate, bowl, vase, nested together and displayed on edge, perched on Rebar), and started looking online for other examples of repurposed glass. I found more flowers (most of them not as skillfully made as the one Mom got from a central Illinois artist), and I found "garden totems." Garden totems must be the official garden sculptures for the Royal Society for Putting Things on Top of Other Things. Basically: vase, plate, vase, bowl, plate, vase. They can be perched on poles or set directly on the ground. (Here's a link for pics and how-tos.)

It seems simple enough, until you hit the thrift store and start trying the pieces together. It's a little tricky to get scale, color (if you're using colored glassware), shape and fit just right. Like my saucer/bowl pieces, I want the various pieces to fit together well, so that the fit will help the glue do its job - if the bowl on top of the vase is too small, it will be harder to get the pieces to glue perfectly vertically; if too large, it might make the overall piece tippy even on a stake, and might lead to breakage.

Since I wasn't sure what I wanted, exactly, I might have gotten a little carried away...

Goodwill haul after hitting three different locations.

Most of the pieces I picked up were 99¢ though some were more, some less; they average at about a buck a piece. Colored glass was much harder to find and some of the glass is painted not colored itself. The orange vase is painted, so it may not weather well, but it was so pretty I decided to take a chance.

Isn't that orange spectacular?!

I'll pair that orange vase with some amber glass, and a small ruby bowl, and get a warm little tower for my garden. The green pieces might seem crazy... green glass in a (hopefully!) green garden might be lost. But perennials are expensive, and I'm far too lazy a gardener to mess with annuals every year, so my garden art will serve as pretty little bits of color until the beds fill in.


Making clear glass sculpture will be a cinch! Tons and tons of candle holders, vases, bowls, plates - some leaded glass piece, even. I'm looking forward to playing with this, and looking forward to spring, and making my flower beds look a little less sad...