Monthly Archives: January 2015

Bead Cache: An Antidote for a Gray Day

When winter gloom has you down, and you’re weary of everything on your list of antidotes, try walking into Bead Cache in Fort Collins. Sparkling color dazzled me right away on a recent visit there, and I was struck by the endless possibilities for creativity.

I’ll share my visit with you in bold images so you can see what I mean.

Glass seed beads at Bead Cache in Fort Collins

Glass seed beads line a wall of Bead Cache in Fort Collins.

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Adagio Art Glass Means Business

Fused glass hardware and tile samples by Adagio Art Glass

Adagio Art Glass provides sample boards of fused glass hardware and tile to dealers across the United States. Mary Barron, the artist behind Adagio, offers each design in numerous colors. (Photo by Rick Barron)

Adagio Art Glass is a name known to tile dealers across the country. Around 100 of them carry display boards of its fused glass knobs, pulls, and accent tiles. But Adagio Art Glass doesn’t manufacture the hardware on an assembly line. Each piece is created in the hands of artist Mary Barron at her Fort Collins studio.

One of the practical advantages of handmade hardware and tiles is that customers can order any size they want. Mary even makes handles large enough for refrigerators when customers request them. If a handle must pull a lot of weight, she backs the glass with metal so that the metal bears the stress.

Mary’s work with fused glass extends far beyond hardware and tile. But helping customers bring the beauty of glass into their kitchens and baths has been one of her great pleasures since she started Adagio Art Glass in 2003. Continue reading

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Dyeing to Paint: The Work of Silk Artist Phillippa Lack

Silk painting by Phillippa Lack

Leaves floating in a puddle inspired this silk painting by Phillippa Lack.

You come to a puddle where a few autumn leaves float. You walk around it deliberately but barely thinking about it. You continue your walk immersed in your thoughts, the puddle forgotten.

Unless, perhaps, you’re an artist.

Fiber artist Phillippa Lack recreated her impression of such a puddle by painting leaves on two layers of silk, giving the illusion that some of the leaves lie below the surface of the water. From her back yard to Hubble telescope images, Phillippa finds inspiration everywhere for her silk art, often executed in three dimensions.

Here are some of the secrets she shared with me for working with a medium where paint – even paint especially formulated to dye silk – flows where it will. Continue reading

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Commissioned Art: Planning in Partnership, Letting Go with Trust

Commissioned art by Anne Bossert

Commissioned art by Anne Bossert fills what used to be a problem area of this room.

Sometimes I have a bee in my bonnet when there’s something about my home that’s not quite right but I can’t figure out what to do about it.

That was the case in July of 2014, when I worked with Anne Bossert to prepare the second post of “Handmade on the Front Range.” I had met Anne, a fiber artist and furniture maker, on the Fort Collins Studio Tour in June. A month later we went through what has become the usual interview, then follow-up questions, and finally fact checking. The post went up on the web on August 13 and readership went stratospheric for a day.

While I tried to stay focused on upcoming posts, the bee in my bonnet kept stinging me. What if I had Anne make a textile to fill the long, high bare wall that had been annoying me for the three years that I had lived here?

I wanted to kill this bee as soon as possible. Before August ended I popped the question. “Anne, would you have time in your schedule to make me a wall hanging?”

Planning a Piece that Pleases

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