I turned to owls next, screech owls, because I wanted to make a gift for a friend who discovered owls in his tree a few years ago after a storm split the tree in half. It took me a while to find some pictures to inspire my design. I relied on these two the most.
I sketched out a design and began cutting glass. My preference is to cut centimeter strips which I then snip into centimeter squares and further into four more squares. But I also cut half centimeter strips, as you can see here.
For the branches, I cut glass from a sheet that had a range of colors which would help with shading and texture.
I also had a brown sheet of glass with many shades which would work for the feathers, along with some white. I try to cut up as much glass as I can before I begin the design itself because it does save time.
I decided to cut the leaves in a particular diamond shape. I made a point of making different sizes. Eventually towards the end of the project I also cut some little yellow leaves to add interest. Here I am just getting an idea of what the leaves will look like when in place.
After cutting the glass, especially glass for a specific purpose like the yellow glass for the eyes, I put them in little cups and labeled the lids.
I began with the border, determined to keep those lines of glass as straight as possible.
I left an opening in the corner so that I could have a leafy branch break through the boundary of the border. Ironically, I accidentally used a different grey glass (that didn't look as natural) and I actually had to remove this branch and replace it with the more natural grey. But I was just excited about getting some of the leaves placed.
I tackled the big branch next and was pleased with how the colors worked out.
I really wanted to play with the leaves more--I really liked all of that green--but knew I needed to do the tails next and work the branches and leaves around them. I dared another set of branches on the right, but knew it was time to tackle the owl faces.
The eyes had to be right or this mosaic would not work. All the dried and drying glue makes this look rough, but I feel I was able to capture the piercing glare. You can see where I am erasing the lines of the design as I work. (I often thing how nice it would be to work on just glass and have the pattern/drawing underneath the clear glass.)
With the eyes done, I finished the outline of the owls. I wasn't ready to settle into working on the feathers, so I added more leaves. Did I mention that I loved the leaves? Not sure why but I just thought they were fun to add.
Finally finished after 83 hours of work. (I decided to keep track this time.) I took it outside for some good light for this shot.
On the back, on the left & right, I put two messages. The first in Latin.
m. Feb. an. MMXXI anno secundo coronae. Ginny Lindzey LXXXIII horis me fecit.
February 2021, 2nd year of the corona virus. Ginny Lindzey made me in 83 hours.
The second was a haiku:
High in the branches
the owls gaze down with wise eyes
studying the world.
It now resides on my friend's wall. (The line down the middle is a reflection of a cord for the blinds.)
Ramblings of a retired Latin teacher, creative creature, and general person rediscovering life after teaching.