Wednesday, July 13, 2011

home sweet design

A recent bathroom remodel offered oodles of design opportunities, the most challenging of which was what glass to put in the new linen tower.

The gray-blue walls look swell with the color of the glass tile in the shower/bathtub (reflected in the mirror, above). The silver and smoke colored porcelain liner tile looks like a woodcut (and is about the most astounding tile I ever did see). Here's a closeup of the tile, and a better look at it in situ [as we say in the law]:

I wanted to make fused glass inserts for the linen tower, and somehow use the woodcut design as my inspiration. At first I made a piece that was quite literal, using shapes from the woodcut design. Goldilocks definitely did not like this one:
It was static, flat, b o r i n g.

Back to the design boards. The cabinets are made of bamboo (element 1). The woodcut is a strong linear design (element 2) with subtle angles (element 3) and a bas relief texture (element 4). The room feels contemporary (element 5) and somewhat Asian (hardware design) (element 6). The predominant color is steel blue (element 7).

My final design:

The base glass is clear, with irregular black lines. On the base, five transparent raised vertical steel blue  lines echo the woodcut's bas relief, and in my mind, also resemble bamboo poles. The depth and angles of the vertical lines vary in each piece of glass.

Each insert required two firings: one to fuse the steel blue glass bars with the base, and one to achieve the bas relief effect. The whole process was delightful and lesson-teaching at the same time. I was "stuck" for several months, as the design would just not reveal itself.

This process is the same when I work in textiles. It seems a variation on the "Field of Dreams" mantra: If you build it, they will come.  The idea suggests both patience and inevitability. Good lesson for me.

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