Stained glass nightlights with butterfly, dragonfly, breaching whale, peace sign

My goodness this is starting off as a very creative and productive year. I think I am up to about 7 or 8 new patterns in just this first quarter! In today’s news, I’m talking about nightlights. I never really anticipated that nightlights would become such a significant part of my catalog, but here we are. I am delighted to offer 5 new designs.

The details.

There are now two butterfly nightlights. One is just a butterfly alone, simple and pretty and wonderfully illuminating. It measures 4″ across and 3 1/4″ long. Cost is $25 each. I also wanted to try something a little fuller, so tweaked some nightlight backdrop panels to invoke grass or leaves, and put one of my ‘regular’ size butterfly ornaments on top of the backdrop. It is around 5 1/4″ wide  and 3 3/4″ long. Since I was trying this backdrop with a small butterfly, I tried it also with my dragonfly ornament. Measurements are the same. Both of these are $35 each. Colors can vary in all respects.

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The breaching whale light uses the same base as the whale tail nightlight I started making a couple of years ago. The back panels are split into two pieces each, to imply water and sky. I have a beautiful blue/green glass for the water which to me nicely mimics the waters of New England where I’ve been fortunate enough to see humpback and minke whales breach (it’s amazing). The nightlight has a humpback. The sky panels can be a variety of different glasses to get that effect; so far I’ve used a blue/white/purple, and a lighter blue/green, all ‘swirly’ to be a little more dramatic. The whale itself is white in the flippers and blue in the body. Measures 5 1/4″ wide by 3 1/2″ long. Price is $35 each, for both the breaching whale and whale tail nightlights. Am including photos of both for reference. The whale tail light here has a more transparent back panel than I usually tend to use, but you will be able to see some contrast and possibilities.

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Finally, there is the peace sign nightlight. This has been requested by a few people, and my challenge has been to make sure I have enough solder seams on which I can securely attach the nightlight clip which holds the base. I wound up doing a ring around the peace sign, keeping the sign itself simple by continuing to use the seams to make the symbol. The ring allows for a wide array of color options. The center can also be any color, really. The peace sign nightlight measures 3 1/2″ across, so it is nice and small and can fit just about anywhere. Price is $30 each. Postage is additional on all stained glass.

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Personally, I don’t like to see a nightlight bulb through the glass, so I try to find nice colorful glass which is translucent enough to glow but not so transparent as to show the bulb, or at least not show it much. I apply this translucency goal to all nightlights I make. For the peace sign, because the bulb sits entirely behind the sign itself, more transparent glass can be used around the outside, with just the provision that the clip can be seen through the bottom piece.

Note – the measurements here are all glass only. The base adds another couple of inches to each piece.

In these chaotic days out there in the world, wouldn’t you like a new little bit of light in your life? Contact me to place an order, or ask any questions. Thanks so much!

Stained Glass Wellesley College Lamp Icon – nightlight and suncatcher

We’re just a few weeks into 2016, and I am trying to hit the ground running. I have a lot of ideas I am hoping to bring to fruition this year. Watch this space!

Wellesley College - Galen Stone Tower and iconic lamp with post. Photo by Amy J. Putnam '90To get things started, I made a nightlight of one of my favorite icons, the lamp at Wellesley College, my alma mater. I am very lucky and privileged to have gone to school there as it’s an amazing place that has graduated many amazing human beings since 1875. It’s humbling to be amongst those folks.

We have several icons and images which are indelibly Wellesley, including a lamp post that is found all over the campus. Frequently, one might see representations of the lamp and post together, as seen in the photo here (along with one of our other icons, Galen Stone Tower). But, I haven’t been able to find a good way to do the post’s curl without ‘interrupting’ it with other seams and break lines to get the curve in there properly. So I decided to forge forward with the lamp alone.

When shopping for this piece, my goal was to find the right glass for the panes of the lamp. I really dislike seeing the light bulb behind any nightlight, so the intention is to get something that shows the light, just translucent enough. I found success with this white glass seen in the first pieces, below, and I love how the lamp just glows in front of the light.

For the round background, the school’s color is a deep blue. Each class is also assigned a color, one of four which rotates as a class graduates and new one arrives: purple, yellow, green, and red (I’m a purple class. Simply mauvelous). We also have students and alums who have attended outside of traditional college years. Because their studies often encompass more than the usual 4 years of a bachelor’s degree, they are represented by all four colors. So in making the first samples of this pattern, I did a variety of combinations to show blue with class colors either singly, or showing all four. And this certainly does not exhaust possibilities, as background can easily be all one color.

After some hemming and hawing about how to pull this off, I am pleased with the end result. Scroll down to see more about a suncatcher version of this piece.

The glass of the night light is 4 1/8″ in diameter. The length, with the nightlight works, is 5 1/2″. They are $40 each plus shipping.

Orders can be placed through the made to order listing in my Etsy shop. Contact me here or there with any questions. Thanks!


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Now there is a suncatcher, too! The pattern is essentially the same, but the overall piece is larger, coming in at 5 3/8″ in diameter. I’ve made four initial samples in that as well, pictured below. So if you don’t have need of a nightlight but would like a piece of Wellesley in your window, this lamp suncatcher could well fit the bill! They are $30 each, and I have also created a made to order listing on Etsy for these. Hanging chain is included with each one.

As with the nightlights, there is a wide range of possibilities for color layouts, with just a few seen here. Unlike the nightlights, there is a choice between two glass types for the panes of the lamp itself. I can do it in white, or in clear satin, a textured glass, which allows more natural light through. The all blue and multicolored suncatchers below have the clear satin in the lamp, while the green/blue, and all yellow versions have white glass.

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Stained Glass Birdhouse Nightlight

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.

Small stained glass birds in red, yellow, green, and blue.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.

All cut out - first samples of a birdhouse nightlight with a small bird.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.

Purple birdhouse with blue bird, work in progressWhen 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!

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