It’s been a while since I have really made a new pattern. There’s always something percolating (and a few other things are swirling in the mind right now), which means there is usually a fair amount of incubation from the first thought through to the first sample pieces.
That was not the case with this one, which came together very quickly. My fellow folkie friend, Kat, saw me post on Facebook about adding new colors to the small bird ornaments I make. Previously done only in blue and red, I’m now making them also in yellow and green. As a fan of They Might Be Giants, Kat mentioned that the little blue birds reminded her of one of their songs, Birdhouse In Your Soul. She had gotten a plastic blue bird nightlight some time back, but it had broken, so could I make one of my glass blue birds into a nightlight? Unfamiliar with the song, I went and looked it up. My glass bluebird itself was not, to me, enough to make a decent nightlight, BUT – since a birdhouse also figures into the song prominently, it made perfect sense to build the nightlight with both elements.
So, I fired up Photoshop and started playing around with creating a properly sized birdhouse pattern that I could use a backdrop. The small bird ornament itself was, luckily, already of a good size to put on the front. With some input from Kat and another artist friend, Suzanne, I settled on the pattern and set out to find the right glass. Having only two sets of nightlight works right now, it necessarily limited how many samples I could make. This is not a bad thing since I tend to think “sample? Let’s make SIX, in different colors!”
I am pleased with how this first round has turned out. I opted for a more opaque blue glass for the bird so that the birdhouse colors behind would not change the color/look. My personal preference in a nightlight is NOT to see the bulb too clearly through the glass when it is lit, so I also like to pick more translucent glass for the parts going right over the bulb. For these first two nightlights, I went with a forest green wispy glass outlined by a dark green transparent glass. I also had a similar purple wispy I used for the center of the other one. with a purple wispy waterglass used for the outer edges of that one. The hole is made with black enamel paint, baked onto the glass.
When I get more nightlight works, I am going to play with more color combinations on the birdhouse, and also birds of other colors. While this was inspired by Kat’s mention of the TMBG song, the nice thing about this pattern and piece is that it has great potential for versatility and appeal for anyone who likes birds and birdhouses.
Ultimately, this project came together in about 2 days. I wish all of my new pieces were that easy to get from thought to fruition. Thank you, Kat, for getting the ball rolling!
These will sell for $30 each. They measure about 4.5″ at the widest point, and also 4.5″ at the longest. Want one? Get in touch, and thanks!