wire words

Stained Glass Home Plate – baseball theme

Baseball is American’s past time, right? Whether you play or are a fan of baseball or softball, this new stained glass home plate project is for you! But there is more to this than just an homage to these sports. Let me tell you the story.

1playballhomeplate-putnamlrEvery summer, I go to ‘Camp’ Camp, a week long summer camp for LGBT adults which takes place in Maine. It’s the base for a community of people which may have originally come together at random, but form strong friendships which are active all year round. One of our Campers, Eden, has been fighting kidney disease for many years. In June 2015, she received a kidney transplant from a living donor, and got a new chance at life.

And then in early January of 2016, health complications arose and have knocked her for a loop ever since. She’s a good friend, and I wanted to find a way to help. Eden is a passionate fan of the Red Sox, so after some thought, I came up with the idea of this home plate project. The plate itself is white, of course, and there’s a border around the piece which can be used to alternate any team’s colors, or be any color combination at all. Over the home plate itself, I can add a variety of words in hand manipulated 20 gauge wire. I’ve done ‘play ball’ on a number of home plates, as well as ‘go mets’, ‘go nats’, ‘go sox’, and more. The possibilities here are quite numerous.

Each plate costs $40 plus shipping. For each home plate sold, I am donating $15 directly to Eden to assist with her medical expenses as she continues her fight against kidney disease. I appreciate the support of everyone who has bought a home plate piece so far, and am keeping open a ‘made to order’ listing on Etsy to facilitate additional orders.

What would you like on your home plate? What team colors are your favorites?

Stained Glass Guitar and Banjo Suncatchers

I love music made on guitar and banjo. I’ve been a folkie since I was a kid, growing up listening to John Denver, Judy Collins, and the Clancy Brothers with Tommy Makem. As an adult, my music collection grows on a weekly basis, and earlier this year I started a blog dedicated to highlighting acoustic/folk music, Freelance Folkie.

Wired words finished with black patina to help them stand out against glass.In the glass world earlier this year, I saw some examples that someone had done of writing out words using wire. I was quite intrigued by the idea and kept simmering about it as I considered applications, pieces on which I could use such words. I bought a notebook, started writing out a few examples in cursive (which looks much neater than my usual scrawl I call handwriting), then left the ideas under the radar to see what might develop.

And along it came, that eureka moment when multiple ideas came together. It became a completely sensible notion to make guitars on which I could put wire words.  The notion grew a little more as I decided also to try a banjo. Of course, I can’t make just one or two samples. Over about 4 days, I had recreated a guitar pattern large enough to have words fit decently, created a similarly-sized banjo pattern, and set about to making pieces. When I was done, I had 7 guitars and 2 banjos to get the idea off the page and into reality.

Writing wire words is an engrossing process. It will take some practice to get some letters to look better and better, like the letters p and g, and others with loops in them. The letter t presented its own challenge. I am pleased with how my first efforts turned out, and feel confident that I can continue to refine this skill and make a wide variety of words to fit on these instruments. I had a chance to employ another new technique as well, using enamel paint to make the sound holes on the guitars. This gave me not only some new pieces for my repertoire, but also grew my glass skills, which makes this a successful endeavor in multiple ways.

Examples of guitar and banjo suncatchers with wire embellishmentsI am pleased with the end result, and I hope others enjoy these as well. The guitar measures 7 inches long by about 2.75 inches across at the largest point. The body of the pieces is a lovely amber brown, with transparent dark brown used for the neck and headstock. I played with a few different possibilities for decoration on those two darker pieces, and I welcome feedback for what works or did not. The banjo is made with a wispy white for the body, and also dark brown for the neck and headstock. I did details only on the headstock on these, and I think I actually prefer that look, personally. The body of the banjo is 2.75 inches in diameter, with a total length of about 7.25 inches. All of the pieces are set to hang on about a 40-45 degree angle. The guitars have been finished with a black patina on all but the headstock/neck embellishments. The banjos are in the original silver finish, polished to keep the shine.

Please let me know what you think. Decorations or not on the neck and headstock? What other words would do well on these instruments? I’ll be selling these for $20 each, plus shipping. If you want one, let me know. Check Etsy for listings there, as well. I hope you will consider adding a guitar or banjo to your own window! To see more of the prcess that went into these, and individual photos of the finished pieces, please visit the Stained Glass Guitar and Banjo Suncatcher gallery.

Various guitar and banjo suncatchers with wire words - first group!