Sunday, September 28, 2014

Ptarmigan Tunnel Trail - Glacier National Park

This new mosaic is inspired by one of the hikes we did in Glacier National Park in Montana in the summer of 2013. We combined the Ice Lake Trail with the Ptarmigan Tunnel Trail. 

Ptarmigan Trail - Glacier National Park, stained glass mosaic (framed), 30" x 30", 2014 ~SOLD

On this scenic 15 miler there were too many awe inspiring views to count and not possible to choose a favorite as turning each corner was like unwrapping a new gift. Heading toward the tunnel, we were taking in the lush and colorful, flower filled landscape.  Emerging through the tunnel we were met with a stark contrast.   The final view of the earth-toned Belly River Valley with the bright blue Elizabeth Lake nestled between the rock and the trees appeared on the other side and it was so drastically different than everything leading up to it that it made the strongest impression.  It felt like a mirage.  Everything seemed like a miniature, far, far way.  Today it is as clear in my memory as if I was just there. 

Hands down it is one of the best hikes I've ever done and would do again in a heartbeat. Don't miss it if you are planning a trip to the magic filled Glacier National Park. This is a photo I took after emerging from the Tunnel, looking out at the Belly River Valley.  It is the inspiration shot for my mosaic. 

The charcoal sketch I created to help me visualize and to feel the landscape before diving into choosing my glass.

Choosing my color palette

More colors!

Holding a glass 'Elizabeth Lake' in the palm of my hand - it is fun to be an artist =)

 Slow progress ...

Detail of the little rocks I hand cut with flat-head tile nippers. 

Weeks later, I am finally getting somewhere!

Some more detail on the rocks and trees.

Working on the sky - the light at the end of the tunnel becomes visible =)

All glued and almost ready for grouting - just gotta peel the tape off.

As always this is my favorite part.  Grouting really makes the mosaic finally come a live!  Now we just have to frame it and it will be all ready to find a good home with someone who loves the mountains and mosaics as much or even more than I!

Here I am holding the framed mosaic for scale as otherwise it difficult to truly convey the scope of the work. 

Close up of frame and sky.

Close up of the detail - every single piece of glass is hand shaped by me with basic hand tools.

Seen in a different light - the mosaic really changes in different light - it looks best when properly lit.

Each stone is meticulously hand shaped with tile nippers.

 Detail of mountains and sky.