This blog is about process. In art and maybe thought. The quasi-dictionary definitions are to describe the 'feeling' part of the process because there is always an emotional/passionate component beyond the tools and materials. What is it that got this particular piece off the ground? What was the personal involvement? In reading bios/artist's statements, I sort of get lost in the language, so I decided to make this one served by the K.I.S.S. 'one word' principle for each piece.

As for biography, I have had a great life, great friends and teachers, great parents, great husband, great kids and grandkids. Seattle born and permanently attached to living in California. Great high school art program that directed my path. I do lots of stuff. I love it. It's a journey.

Favorite quotes, both from Emil Zola:

"An artist is nothing without the gift, and the gift is nothing without the work."


"If you ask me what I can be in this world, I, an artist, will answer you. I am here to live out loud."

I think both of those quotes have to do with being unafraid. "Today is the day to do it." —carole dwinell

Thursday, August 26, 2010


procedure  — 
             1  way of proceeding, performing a task
          2  series of actions, conducted in a certain order or manner

Dragonfly Gourd

This is a hardshell gourd with wood burned design, color pencil, copper wire and my 'plique a jour' dragonfly.

The gourd was first subjected to my wood burning some accents into its already beautifully mottled surface. After that, using just three Derwent color pencils, the primaries of red, blue and yellow, I layered all of the color onto the gourd, then applied a UV protective coating. Paying attention to the resident natural mottling, I twisted and turned, hammered and spiraled the copper wire onto the stem, forming it to match the recently applied embellishments. The last addition was the plique a jour dragonfly. 

Plique a jour is made by hand sawing a design, in this case the dragonfly, from a 18 or 20 gauge commercially available copper sheet with a jeweler's type coping saw. For the enclosed cell, you have to drill a hole first, then unlock the blade of the saw and thread it through the hole, cut the shape, unlock the blade again to get it out. There are about 42 different little cells in this little dragon. Did this while the dragonfly was still 'in' the copper sheet. The hardest part was sawing the whole dragonfly free of that sheet, especially his little feelers!

The edges are then filed smooth, sanded and cleaned really really clean. The piece is placed on a sheet of mica and open cells are filled with different colors of ground glass. Same as the material used for enameling. The little copper piece is then fired which melts the glass ... resulting in a tiny, tiny stained glass window. 

The dragonfly on this gourd is less than 1-1/2" across!