Monday, January 28, 2013

Vermont Autumn

Vermont Autumn, stained glass mosaic, 36" x 36" (37.5"x37.5" framed), 2013 ~SOLD
This piece is inspired by Vermont's legendary fall foliage. This past September when Kyle and I were driving up to our friends' farm, the reds stood out to me as particularly vibrant and shiny (the green conifers and half the red trees are created with iridescent glass which shimmers in the light). On our drive, there is a particular spot where you can catch a quick but a very expansive view of the mountains disappearing in all directions into the distant sky or clouds - depending on what kind of a day it is. On this particular occasion it was the latter, the sky was covered in semi dark clouds but there was still enough light to illuminate the the brilliant carpet of trees covering the mountains below. That particular view which I've never been able to photograph because there is nowhere to stop on the highway is what inspired this latest composition.

Me holding the framed mosaic for a size comparison.
Below are a few process shots I've taken over the 2 months that I've pondered over this piece and created it one small piece at a time.  I hope you enjoy!

Here is a shot of my my studio.  You can see one of the color sketches I've created prior to starting.  Besides working out my composition in the sketch, I've also used it as a basis for creating my color palette.

In this photo you can see the progress on the first layer of the forest in the foreground.  Even though I've had a color sketch for reference - it was just that - a reference.  The whole process was very spontaneous.  It took me a long time to look at what I've created thus far and to decide what my next move was, to figure what kind of tree and what color was needed to create a balanced composition.

Here you can see me shaping a conifer tree with my very good friend the flat tip nippers =)  Each tree was carefully cut, shaped by hand and fitted into its appropriate space as the forest grew upward and into the distance. Each new tree inspired the next. 

After completing cutting out all of the glass, arranging it into my composition and taping it all together, I cut the whole thing into smaller section for a more manageable gluing process.  Here you can see me holding up of my mosaic puzzle pieces up to the mountains in my front yard which can be seen from my studio window. Here you can also see all of the little spaces I left between the trees, those spaces will be filled with a black grout-line which will create a nice contrast throughout the whole mosaic.

This is a glimpse into my gluing process.  I glue the mosaic onto a custom built, lightweight, structurally supported and sealed plywood substrate.  The mosaic is glued with Weldbond and left to dry for a few days before I peal of the tape from the surface.

I grouted the mosaic in a sanded, charcoal black which is my choice for most of my compositions.  It creates a wonderful contrast in the colorful glass which has a more dramatic effect.  Looking back at the creation of each of my pieces, this is always my favorite part.  It ties the whole composition together and reveals all of the carefully considered and planned negative spaces between each piece of glass.  The grout takes a couple days to set.

Kyle framing the mosaic in red oak stained in English chestnut and finished in satin.

Detail of the frame. 

Details of the trees shimmering in the light.


  1. Just beautiful! Seeing the whole process makes it even more so.

    1. Thank you Gardenmom! I'm glad that you enjoy seeing the whole process =)

  2. Hi, Kasia, you did a nice job in this stained glass design. Very creative and reminds me of stained glass from a cathedral.

  3. Nice to see mosaic done on a large and ambitious scale like this.

    1. Thank you Pete! I hope that in the next few years I can create bigger and bigger work =)

  4. I fell in love with your work!!!