A Peacock for January
With the new year, I have returned to a format a bit larger than the ornaments. A friend had requested I try a peacock, so I started looking at photos. I had settled on this photo, but it seemed to be missing something.
I didn't think the image was interesting enough or dynamic. I did begin to sort colors of glass which I would need, but I didn't begin until after I happened to be looking through some images from the Villa of Poppaea at Oplontis. (There was a discussion about the color yellow that was used in fresco painting in the area around Pompeii.) When I saw this picture, I said to myself, "AHA!"
Look at the way the tail breaks the frame! Perfect. I was going to do a yellow/gold border like this one, but also wanted to keep the yellow/brown grass from the original photo. Romans also liked red, so I went in that direction.
I traced out my design on a mirror and played around with colors to make sure everything would look okay.
First, I would need to make the border, and I was determined that the outer edge should be as straight as possible.
Admittedly I had to pull off part of my beginning line of red because I realized it wasn't lined up with the bevel in the mirror. But it didn't take me too long to complete the square.
The full border I knew would not be perfect because I am still cutting my glass with nippers. The sizes would not be perfect and it would be more difficult to have perfect straight inner edges, but I tried.
I feel like I get the most done on Sunday during Zooms with friends. We drink Prosecco, one friend tats, the other reads from her novels, and I just work on my mosaic. Sunday Zooms have been the best thing to come out of this pandemic. But I digress.
Once the border was about 98% done, I began the tail.
I was really pleased with how the peacock "eyes" in the tail feathers were coming out, both in shape and color. As I finished the tail, I also completed the border that is adjacent to the tail.
Before continuing with the body, I decided I better get the grass in.
I wasn't sure that I would like the grass, but I think it turned out okay. The rest of the body didn't seem to take quite as long to do. I was afraid that my design had shifted since I had to erase the initial lines but the peacock fit.
It's tricky to get a straight-on photo without getting myself or my phone in the reflection. I took a couple more photos outside to get the sunlight reflecting off of the glass and mirror.
All in all I am very pleased with how this turned out. I was sad that I promised it to a friend, but she is a teacher and her school is returning to in-person learning. I think she needs this guardian more than I do.
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Ramblings of a retired Latin teacher, creative creature, and general person rediscovering life after teaching.