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CREATIVE GLASS (article first published : 2002-12-28)

Believing that plain pieces of glass are like a blank artist’s canvas waiting to be embellished and transformed, skilled UK designer Dorothy Wood offers some beautiful ideas to decorate glass with wire, beads and mosaic.

In her book Creative Glass, she has chosen a range of designs that require basic tools and can be produced by people of all abilities. John Freeman’s crisp and clean photography guides the reader through the preparation process towards the finished article.

The various types of wire suggested are readily available from electrical suppliers; jewellery-making suppliers; florist stores; bead suppliers and craft shops. Also used is wire mesh in sheets or rolls from hardware stores or craft suppliers and the new wire mesh ribbon which can be found at selected florist suppliers. She also suggests different materials for the mosaic pieces such as pebbles or broken china although the beginner may prefer to buy specially made tesserae because of its even thickness.

Strong emphasis is made on the use of protective gear such as dust masks, gloves and safety goggles to protect against shattering glass or ceramic. Wire has a nasty tendency to snap if the tension is too high when being twisted. These and other safety hints are placed throughout the book as a reminder.

Strong emphasis is made on the use of protective gear such as dust masks, gloves and safety goggles to protect against shattering glass or ceramic. Wire has a nasty tendency to snap if the tension is too high when being twisted. These and other safety hints are placed throughout the book as a reminder.

The book cover features an innovative beaded tulip vase while other ideas include a large glass jug ringed with gold wire and red beads and a pair of candlesticks decorated with pale green and lilac leaf beads to make an attractive table setting.

Those wanting to turn their hand to mosaic work can produce a simple mirror, rectangular vase or a fruit dish as well as a sturdy and attractive butterfly decorated hurricane lamp.

The basic techniques involve wrapping, coiling, twisting and weaving. For mosaic work, you’ll need to know about cutting and grouting. There are a few basic templates to copy as well as a list of suppliers.

Creative Glass is published by Struik and retails at R99.95. It is also available in Afrikaans as Kreatiewe Glas. – Caroline Smart




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