My Books

My Books
These books may be purchased from Schiffer Publishing, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Walmart, Target and in many other fine stores.

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Friday, December 31, 2010

Thanks to the All Fairlington Bulletin for the Nice Article on my Park Sculptures

New Year 2011 Resolutions for Artists

It's time to set your artist goals for 2011! Some things to keep in mind when setting goals:

1.) If something has not been working for you, don't be afraid to say "bye bye."

2.) Keep multiple lines of opportunities open while you always continue to explore what is new on the horizon.

3.) Take a class in your medium or outside of your specialty if you have not taken one for a while.

4.) Know you medium and the level of work that is out there. For example, if you are a photographer, spend at least 2 hours a month looking at other photography work and not just from the iconic photographers. Know what distinguishes a poor photo from an average photo or an average photo from a great photo.

5.) Maintain integrity in yourself and your art work.

6.) If you have provided others art opportunities and/or advice and it has not been reciprocated and/or appreciated, remember that next time.

7.) It is great to be supportive of others work but you are your number one client. I have had several new artists ask me about forming "alliances" for promotion and I assume they mean informal agreements. While informal personal alliances (I promise to tell everyone you are a great artist and promote your work as long as you ALWAYS say the same thing about me for every breath I take) may help beginning artists, they can be risky and difficult to manage.  Often long term they typically tend to profit the more experienced "top dog" (or two) in the group who has the balance of power. Never aim to ride anyone's coattails.

8.) Don't play counselor to wannabe artists who tell you they do not want to work hard or learn things the right way.

9.) I am not a big fan of art sites that recommend you establish fixed numerical goals such as "contact ten art consultants in a month".  If you contact one and get a "no" response, pursue a different opportunity in another direction for a few months (i.e. another juried show) vs. a robotic mentality of "next."

10.) If you are having success, you are bound to receive an occasional catty comment. Ignore the trolls. It just confirms you are doing well.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Recycled Bottle Lamp Kit

I came across this bottle lamp kit on the website  It comes with a battery operated string of LED lights and a shade for £13.95 (around $ 21.50 US currency) but you supply the bottle. Although I commend any product which encourages reuse of a bottle, you might be able to find your own lights and small lampshade of your choice for the same price or less.

Click here for more details on this kit.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Recycled "Granada" Glasses at Crate & Barrel

I love these glasses with the multicolor swirls in the middle. Each glass is one of a kind and the slight imperfections in recycled glass (bubbles, etc.) really make them standouts! I believe recycled glass seems to push its creators to always go the extra design mile even for everyday utilitarian objects.
Click here to view additional details.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Too Much Recycled Glass?

An interesting article showing the successful attempts in collecting glass to recycle yet the economy is causing a slowdown in creating and selling the new recycled glass products.

"Too Much Recycled Glass"  by: Dan Springer

"Americans are doing a better job of recycling all the time. Unfortunately, when it comes to glass there are still major challenges. Recyclers have been going out of business and many of those still hanging on are seeing their piles grow out of control."

"Concrete Recyclers in Tumwater, Washington has a stack of crushed glass that's 8,000 tons and getting bigger. They may have to stop taking recycled glass diverting it instead to landfills. The problem is the slow economy. The company crushes glass into a sandy mixture and then sells it to construction companies who use it as building fill serving the same purpose as sand or pea gravel."

"The slow construction industry, low cost of sand and skepticism about the crushed glass among construction engineers have all hurt glass recyclers."

"When the economy improves there should be a better market for recycled glass. More building and more buying will help. Meantime, despite good intentions, some of the recycled glass you leave at the curbside may end up at the landfill anyway."

Click here for the full story.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Artist Barry Lafler Creates Art Using a Bottle and a Propane Torch

I am looking forward to getting a small propane torch and trying this in my backyard this summer.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas to All!

Three cast recycled glass trees.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Painting Bottles

I tend to highlight mostly warm and some hot glass issues in this blog but wanted to share an interesting video on a cold application for recycled glass bottles. Peruvian artist Josue Villanueva paints beautiful warm designs on these recycled tequilla bottles.

In this video, artist Carol Z. uses paints with a translucent quality and inserts lights into the bottles.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

More Art Email Scams and Just in Time for the Holidays!!!

Although the writing skills of this scammer have improved AND he actually looked at my website this time, somehow I do not think I will be accepting his Mastercard.

Feel free to send your personal Seasons Greetings to Mr. Peter Williams at

I have visited your website and i am very impressed by the wonderful pieces you have on display. I will like to buy this piece:

Liquid Bullseye

I will like to know how much this costs and the shipping cost to this address 89 King Fahad Estate Riyadh Saudi Arabia Zip Code 11564 and also if you accept mastercard as a method of payment.

Kindly get back to me asap.


Peter Williams

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My "Winter Glass Trellis and Snow" Photo Was Selected by

If you have seen the small LCD screens in many elevators around the Washington, DC area, they are likely part of the Captivate Network. "Captivate Network is a media solutions company. Its digital programming and advertising network informs and entertains business professionals at work." Their mission: "to engage and connect our viewers to the outside world while they are at work."

The photo below will be running on the network on Christmas Eve morning.

Click here to see the photo in Captivate's online gallery.

More Ways on How to Cut Bottles

This question pops up often and there are multiple ways to cut a bottle. I have used masking tape with a dremel cutting tool and hot water and have also used the diamond blade in my wet tile saw.

The website at  goes into great detail with many photos on the six methods one can use to cut bottles.  This site is worth a visit by all recycled glass artists.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Nulife Glass' Unique Solution to CRT Recycling

Nulife Glass in Irlam, England has developed a unique solution to separate the lead (Pb) from the leaded glass structure in cathode ray tubes (CRTs), which are found in televisions and computer monitors.

Why is this important?  According to their website at
"There are three main aspects to consider: the effects of lead, new legislation and increasing volume of waste."

"The dangerous impact of lead poisoning on the human body, especially on the nervous system, and on our environment is well documented. It is presently banned in fuel, paint and pipes and more recently on all new electronics under the new RoHS Directive."

"CRTs contain leaded glass and in landfill the acidic nature of ground water accelerates lead to leach into watercourses. The lead content in the glass of a CRT can be as high as 20%, which means a single 34” television could contain more than 1kg of lead."

"In a bid to fight this problem new European legislation classifies the television and computer screen as Hazardous Waste. Under the new Landfill Directive, CRTs cannot be disposed of in ordinary waste landfill. Added to this, the WEEE Directive makes it obligatory to recycle our electronic waste from 1st July 2007."

"In the UK alone, a conservative estimate suggests there are approximately 60 million TV sets and 40 million computer screens. The sheer volume of waste we are creating, combined with the new legislation, ensures our process is essential in the UK’s fight to safely and easily recycle leaded glass. Globally there are at least 1.9 billion CRTs still in use."

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Recycled Glass Bottle Wall in Arlington Restaurant

A friend and I were having lunch recently at the new restaurant Rustico near the Ballston Commons Mall in Arlington and noticed the use of recycled glass bottles in their decor. The photo below shows bottles that were cut in half lengthwise and epoxied and grouted to the wall near the inside front of the restaurant.  Small pieces of mirror glass surround the bottles. It was great to see this use of recycled glass in their wall sculpture. There is also a chandelier using glass bottles in the back of the restaurant. The food and service is great as well.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Best Social Media for Artists: LinkedIn or Facebook? It Depends!

LinkedIn has numerous art related groups you can join from general all media ones such as the "Art Collecting Network" and the "Professional Fine Artist" group to groups specific to different mediums such as the "Glass Art Society" for glass artists. Some of the recent discussion topics in the professional fine artist group have ranged from "what is the last artwork you sold" to the age old discussion of "craft vs. art." Anyone whom is a member of these groups is permitted to start a topic of discussion or post a response to a topic.

 I have found the responses to the topics tend to be well thought out, more detailed than the discussions in Facebook and offer a variety of useful information.  The discussions may last for weeks or months and you can receive an email notice for each posted response. If you have a busy schedule, LinkedIn groups may be for you since the topic discussions are open for extended periods. The one negative part, as in any social media, is that on occasion I will see an alleged "art consultant" type try to take advantage of a new artist by saying "send me $10 and I will post your images to my website and you will gains lots of exposure!"  Before you take advice from any "experienced" artist or arts professional, it is wise to check out their websites and credentials first. If someone is giving advice on juried shows and they have no first hand experience in juried shows, obtain your advice elsewhere.

Facebook is geared towards more real time responses and shorter discussions. I am signed up to numerous art groups and magazines and museums and the information they post , while useful and interesting, is often more of an educational or PR outreach vs. a multiple party esoteric arts conversation. However, if you have a book or special event coming up, creating a Facebook group on the topic can be useful for publicity reasons. So both social medias can offer advantages for artists.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Colorful Recycled Glass Tumblers

I came across these colorful tumblers on  The comments on purchased recycled glass products are always interesting to read since many consumers are still surprised that recycled glass is not clear and it will often have a greenish cast to it.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Success For An Artist: A Two Way Street

I recently entered an online call to artists for photos by a well known magazine and was surprised to see a posted comment where an "artist" asked "what is in this for me?"  One of the ways that new artists can ruin their career before it starts is by failing to do their homework and viewing themselves as a "famous" artists when they have no credentials. Any other artist, established or emerging, would have been thrilled with this potential opportunity to have photos in this magazine.  In addition, there were no entry fees and it took about 30 seconds or less to enter the competition. This person came across as looking unprofessional and unprepared. 

 I have stressed that if you wish to be a professional artist, you do not give away your time and art for free, and you should never let anyone make unreasonable demands on your time.  However, when potential opportunities arise that are implicitly high visibility with no costs and a few seconds of work, you need to reevaluate your attitude as to what your role is here as well.

Likewise when opportunities arise to be in an art related book by well known publishers, your role should not end once your photos are accepted and the book is published.  I am in a recently published book on art glass yet I have seen only a handful of artists in the book even bother to list this event on their artist websites.  In my situation, I not only listed this new book on my blog and artist website, I provided multiple links from sources where it could be ordered. I also emailed the information on this book to my contact list and promoted it in a number of social media forums (facebook, linkedin, etc). If you have your art work featured in a book that does well, you benefit as an artist.  Your name does not need to be on the book as a publisher or author in order to take some responsibility for advertising the book. Artists who turn around and complain that being in a book did nothing for them have no one other than themselves to blame if they have not done any work to promote the book.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Paint Color Called Recycled Glass!

Did you know that Sherwin Williams has an interior/exterior paint color called "Recycled Glass?"  It is in the green color family. See more information on this sage green paint color by clicking here.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Colors Red And Green

The Colors Red And Green are associated with the Christmas Holiday but do you know why?

    The best explanation from is the following:
 "The color green is a natural representation of eternal life,   specifically the evergreen tree and how it survives through the winter season. That's why, in Christian belief, green represents the eternal life of Jesus Christ. The color red symbolizes Christ's blood which was shed during his crucifixion."

Sunday, December 5, 2010

How Glass Ornaments Are Made.

Since Christmas is not far off, I thought I would share this interesting video.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Story on Recycled Glass Dragonflies by

The well known green blog at gave a great review of my cast recycled glass installation and referred to it as "Eye Candy: Exquisite dragonfly installation fashioned from recycled glass."

Thank you Green Diary!

Click here for the story.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

More Colors: Orange and Black

Orange (tangerine, not burnt orange) has always been my absolutely favorite color. According to Wikipedia, "the color is named after the orange fruit, after the appearance of the ripe fruit.[3] Before this word was introduced to the English-speaking world, the colour was referred to as ġeolurēad (yellow-red). The first recorded use of orange as a colour name in English was in 1512,[4] in the court of King Henry VIII."

If you favorite color is orange, (see,
"this color of luxury and pleasure appeals to the flamboyant and fun-loving person who likes a lively social round. Orange people may be inclined to dramatize a bit, and people notice them, but they are generally good-natured and popular. They can be a little fickle and vacillating, but on the whole they try hard to be agreeable. Orange is the color of youth, strength, fearlessness, curiosity and restlessness."

Wikipedia states that "Black is the color of objects that do not emit or reflect light in any part of the visible spectrum; they absorb all such frequencies of light. Although black is sometimes described as an "achromatic", or hueless, color, in practice it can be considered a color, as in expressions like "black cat" or "black paint"."

If black is your favorite color, it can mean you are "dignified and impressive without being showy and you want to give the appearance of mystery. But this color preference may also indicate a suppression of desires and worldly aims, suggesting hidden depths and inner longings."

And of course, we cannot forgot the symbolism of black and orange on Halloween.  Black cats, the night, vampires and witches are all associated with the color black while orange is connected with pumpkins.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

"Art Glass Today" by Jeffrey Snyder/Schiffer Books

I just received my copies that I ordered and it is an amazingly beautiful book.  It is available on

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Color Associations: Pink and Blue

As artists we are often interested in adding just the right bit of color to our works whether they be paintings or sculpture. I was always interested in how different colors came to be associated with certain things such as "blue for boys", "pink for girls." I assumed this association went back a hundred years or more.

But, according to Wikipedia, "In Western culture, the practice of assigning pink to an individual gender began in the 1920s[13] or earlier[14]. From then until the 1940s, pink was considered appropriate for boys because being related to red it was the more masculine and decided color, while blue was considered appropriate for girls because it was the more delicate and dainty color, or related to the Virgin Mary.[15][16][17] Since the 1940s, the societal norm was inverted; pink became considered appropriate for girls and blue appropriate for boys, a practice that has continued into the 21st century.[18]"

Pink is a mixture of red and white and the use of the word for the color we know today as pink was first recorded in the late 17th century.[2] Blue is one of the primary colors and the word itself is derived from the Old French word "bleu."

Next time, my favorite color "orange."

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Symbolism of the Dragonfly Installation Project: "Destination"

Cindy Ann Coldiron

Destination, 2010

Kiln cast recycled glass

Residing in a circle that is intersected by three paths, in Destination by Cindy Ann Coldiron (b. 19xx) the dragonflies are all flying towards their goal of the center concrete and glass "pond." Dragonflies symbolize renewal, change and activity and each of the three paths lead to different destinations in the park. Since the dragonfly lives a short life, it knows it must live its life to the fullest. in the shortest time. This destination for them is a pond but for each of us, it is something different. The number 40 signifies maturity and completion of a test or trial.

Coldiron created each dragonfly for this "green" project using 40 hand sculpted clay models that were cast in plaster and silica. After removal of the clay, the mold was filled with discarded bottle, window or plate glass. Colorants were added using frits and enamels along with a special glow powder for some of the molds. The molds were kiln fired at over 1550 degrees Fahrenheit. After cooling, the glass was cold worked with a wet tile saw and sandblasted.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Finishing Up The Dragonfly Project Tomorrow 10-10-10

Here are some updated photos below.  I spent three hours on Friday evening cutting off the excess adhesive (with a serated knife) where it had dripped down and set. This marine adhesive, unlike normal caulk, cannot be smoothed until it sets a bit and I did not want to accidently push it up against the glass since it is impossible to remove. Today, I applied additional adhesive around the edges of the glass where it joined the plate and filled in any gaps. I also applied the cast blue bottle pieces to the concrete "pond."

The county is supposed to start the landscaping this coming week.  Additional soil will be added so that the concrete and glass "pond" is flush with the ground. This will give it a natural look.  The planting of dwarf ornamental grasses will help obscure the metal posts in time.

A Story About Dragonflies, Author Unknown

Once, in a little pond, in the muddy water under the lily pads, there lived a little water beetle in a community of water beetles. They lived a simple and comfortable life in the pond with few disturbances and interruptions. Once in a while, sadness would come to the community when one of their fellow beetles would climb the stem of a lily pad and would never be seen again. They knew when this happened; their friend was dead, gone forever.

Then, one day, one little water beetle felt an irresistible urge to climb up that stem. However, he was determined that he would not leave forever. He would come back and tell his friends what he had found at the top. When he reached the top and climbed out of the water onto the surface of the lily pad, he was so tired, and the sun felt so warm, that he decided he must take a nap. As he slept, his body changed and when he woke up, he had turned into a beautiful blue-tailed dragonfly with broad wings and a slender body designed for flying.

So, fly he did! And, as he soared he saw the beauty of a whole new world and a far superior way of life to what he had never known existed. Then he remembered his beetle friends and how they were thinking by now he was dead. He wanted to go back to tell them, and explain to them that he was now more alive than he had ever been before. His life had been fulfilled rather than ended. But, his new body would not go down into the water. He could not get back to tell his friends the good news. Then he understood that their time would come, when they, too, would know what he now knew. So, he raised his wings and flew off into his joyous new life!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Updated View of the Dragonfly Project

Even the Romans Recycled Glass

This is one of the most interesting articles on recycled glass I have come across in the past year. I found it on the Planet Earth Online site and the full version of the article can be found in the Journal of Archaeological Science, published 22 July 2010, doi:10.1016/j.jas.2010.07.007.

Even the Romans Recycled Glass

30 September 2010, by Tamera Jones

The Romans weren't just dab hands at making beautiful vessels, ornaments and plates from glass; they were also good at recycling the stuff. A new study has found that towards the end of their rule in Britain, the Romans were recycling vast amounts of glass.

Roman Glass.

But the researchers behind the study think this probably had less to do with their concern for the environment, and more to do with the fact that glass became scarcer in the northern fringes of the Roman Empire during the last century of their rule.
Glassmaking was a highly sophisticated and successful industry during Roman times. Not only did the Romans spend over 600 years making things out of glass; they also knew exactly how to colour or decolourise it.
When you make glass out of sand, it takes on the colour of the various chemical elements from the sand. Given the right furnace conditions, sand containing a minute amount of iron makes glass blue-green, whereas iron and sulphur make it brown. So, sand from different parts of the world gives glass its own distinctive colour. That is, if you don't add anything to it.
'We think this means the Romans were increasingly relying on recycling to produce the vessels they wanted, possibly because less glass was coming into that part of the Empire by that time.'

Harriet Foster, Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service

But the Romans already knew how to make colourless glass. If you add tiny amounts of a so-called decolouriser like antimony or manganese to the sand, it'll come out of the furnace nearly clear. 'Although if you look closely, this glass isn't always truly colourless,' explains Harriet Foster from the Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service and co-author of the study.
'The Romans clearly had an understanding of how to colour or decolourise glass to their liking,' she adds.
But very little is known about exactly where the glass was made. Glass produced throughout the Roman world has a relatively uniform composition, suggesting it might have been made in a few small centres, and was shipped across the whole Empire before being reworked into different shapes in regional centres where necessary.
'We know a lot more about Roman glass now than we did 15 or 20 years ago but there's still a real vacuum in our understanding of the development of glass in the civilised world,' says Foster.
In an attempt to understand how colourless glass was made and distributed during the mid-third to fourth centuries, Foster and co-author Dr Caroline Jackson from the University of Sheffield decided to analyse the chemical composition of 128 samples of glass from 19 sites across Britain. They sourced samples from intact vessels, bowls, jugs or plates held in museums around the country.
'We used a technique that meant having to destroy the glass in question, so we had to make sure the information we were getting about each piece outweighed the fact that we'd be destroying a tiny piece of valuable archaeology,' says Foster.
The researchers used a sophisticated spectroscopic technique called ICP-AES, which can detect the the major and minor element present in the glass, including metals the Romans used to decolour it.
Of the 128 samples, 46 had been decoloured using antimony, 13 with manganese and the remaining 69 contained both. Dating evidence suggests the Romans may have increasingly relied on manganese over antimony by the mid-fourth century.
But the 69 samples that contain both metals point to recycling well into the fourth century.
'We think this means the Romans were increasingly relying on recycling to produce the vessels they wanted, possibly because less glass was coming into that part of the Empire by that time,' Foster explains. The Roman Empire may have started to fragment by the end of the fourth century. There's less evidence for investment in public buildings, statues and amenities. And trade seems to have slowed down.
But the researchers can say that their findings point to the Romans using three distinct sources of raw materials to make their glass. However, they're still no clearer about where this glass was produced.
'To get to the bottom of this, we need to analyse better dated colourless glass over a larger geographical range,' says Foster.

The research was published in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

Click Here.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Major Progress!

I now have all 40 dragonflies adhered to the posts and it looks great. I still need to do finishing caulking around the edges to give it a nice clean finish.  I am also working on fusing the recycled blue glass bottle pieces for the bottom of the concrete vessel. So I hope I can finish this up by this coming weekend.  The county will then add 12 inches of soil so that the pond is flush with the ground and the posts will have more soil added around them as well.  Dwarf grasses will be added as a landscape feature to help camouflage the posts.

Here is a picture of the marine adhesive that I used.  It is great and allows for the expansion and contraction of the glass but it is impossible to remove it from your hands.  Even a small pin point of it acts like a tar and is seems to spread onto anything near it like a magnet.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Adhering the Dragonflies to the Metal Plates

I was able to get about 24 dragonflies adhered to the plates today but still need to go back and caulk in any gaps between the glass and the plate.  I heard many great comments and a lot of enthusiasm for this sculpture from visitors in the park. Children are always very enthusiastic for anything to do with recycled glass and ask the best questions.  I was explaining some of the symbolism behind the name of the sculpture ("Destination") and one little girl asked if the different colors and sizes of the dragonflies symbolize that people came in all shapes and sizes and colors.  I told her she was exactly right.

The black adhesive worked great and already was secure and barely movable after 4-5 hours.

Here are some pics from today.


Thursday, September 30, 2010

Top 25 Cities for Artists as Ranked by Art Bistro

Washington, DC comes in at #9 and the only surprise is that Newark, New Jersey is #2????

See all the rankings below.

Click here.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Study on Glass Offers Carbon Footprint Picture

By Rory Harrington, 15-Sep-2010

A leading glass packaging trade body said its complete life cycle analysis (LCA) of the material represents a pioneering step forward for the packing sector as it called on other industries to follow its lead.

The study provides for the first time a full cradle-to-cradle examination of the carbon footprint of glass in North America, said the US-based Glass Packaging Institute (GPI).

The body said its peer-reviewed research, conducted by independent consulting firm PE Americas, demonstrates that the increasing use of recycled glass (called cullet) in the manufacturing process is having an effect in reducing the carbon footprint of the material.

A ‘cradle-to-cradle’ LCA includes the entire cradle-to-grave life cycle of a product while factoring in the recycling of the used product back to its original purpose. This is first time any packaging sector has used this method – which it claims provides the most accurate picture - to evaluate the carbon footprint of its material, said the body.

Study methodology and findings:

The research collected data from 105 furnaces, representing 75 per cent of North American glass container output for 2007. The cradle-to-cradle approach addressed all inputs and outputs for the production and end-of-life management for 1 kg of glass. Elements taken into account included the extraction and processing of raw materials, transportation, the production and combustion of fuels and energy for the formation and melting of glass and impacts of post-consumer cullet treatment. Different end life uses, such as recycling back into new packaging or non-packing applications, as well as landfill and incineration amounts, were also gauged.

The key findings looked at two main areas for 1 kg of glass; primary energy demand (PED) – the total fossil energy consumption - and global warming potential (GWP).

The study found that in North America the PED was 16.6 MJ/kg glass and the GWP was 1.25 kg CO2/kg glass.

The increasing use of cullet glass has resulted in a decrease of both PED and GWP, said the glass packing association.

"The LCA confirms the industry is on the right track with the goal to use 50 per cent recycled glass in the manufacture of new glass bottles and jars by the end of 2013," said Joseph Cattaneo, GPI president. "In creating more recycling awareness and working to improve recycled glass collection, the industry is helping boost the cullet content in manufacturing. The study shows increased cullet helps reducing energy emissions, conserve raw materials, extend the life of glass manufacturing furnaces, and save energy."

Another primary finding is that the transportation of glass has a relatively small impact of between 5 and 10 per cent of the total energy used. Transport emissions are offset by the energy savings gained from using cullet in the manufacturing process, said the study.

“The CO2 savings from glass recycling are as large, or larger, than the transportation emissions,” declared the report.

“We knew that for an LCA to be useful and to serve as an appropriate benchmark, it had to be cradle-to-cradle,” said Cattaneo. “For consumers and retailers to be able to compare the environmental impact of one packaging material to another, all industries should consider conducting complete life cycle analyses. Only then will we have clarity."

For more details on the study “Complete Life Cycle Assessment of North American Container Glass” contact the GPI at

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Thoughts on What is a "Renowned" Artist?


I have seen a growing trend recently in regard to the use of the word "renowned" to describe artists. My understanding of the word "renowned" is that it refers to being famous, widely celebrated and recognized and virtually a household name. Picasso, Matisse, and Chihuly are certainly renowned artists.

I came across a photographers website recently (not local) who referred to himself as renowned but in looking at his resume, he had been in zero juried shows, was not in any museum or other collections, had not won any awards on any level, had zero grants or publications and had done nothing to merit such a title. While I think as artists we all have to self promote our work, using such an extreme term which cannot be backed up with any support does not further a career.  It could also cause the real art experts not to view you in a serious manner. If you look at the resumes of true renowned artists, they let their resume speak for them.  If you have to advertise yourself as being famous, chances are, you are not.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Testing Adhesives for the Installation

I had saved a number of broken dragonfly pieces to do some testing of the adhesive.  I had read some good reviews on a fastsetting 3M marine adhesive/sealant 5200 and decided to try adhering a few pieces to a sheet of the aluminum that was used for the templates to support the dragonflies on the metal t-bars.

The adhesive was so thick it would not come out of the tube/cartridge in the caulk gun (and two other people tried it as well) so I had to cut open the cartridge to use it.  The adhesive is more like a paste and I applied it thickly to all the pieces of glass but one.  Within about 15 hours, the glass was not movable. Even though it was a fast setting adhesive, it did not become warm to the touch.  After 36 hours, I attempted to pound the glass pieces with a hammer on the top and sides (about a dozen times) and none of the glass broke into sections and it only chipped slightly when I hit it on top. So the adhesive provided a good cushion for the glass.  The smaller piece of glass that I applied the adhesive to (photo above) more lightly did not adhere well but I used a very light coat.

The bond was very secure but I do wish the adhesive came in a clear color.  It is also very messy and gets on everything so if we decide to go with this adhesive, it will need to be applied directly to the metal plate supports since they are a bit smaller than the glass. The adhesive also allows for expansion when the glass heats up in the sun.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Art Bistro: Top 22 Museums in the USA

Art Bistro is an informative newsletter and I always learn something from it. Their article on the top 22 museums in America includes our own National Gallery of Art and the Phillips Collection.  I am disappointed not to see the Denver Museum of Art on this list.  I visited this museum years ago and think it is one of the best kept secrets of top museums.  Their collections of very early Native American works (and textiles), pre Columbian pottery and furniture were amazing and a friend and I almost cried when a guard told us it was time to leave since the museum was closing.

Read about the top 22 list at the link below.
top 22 museums

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Recycle Glass Week September 12-18, 2010

The Glass Packaging Institute (GPI) is teaming up with Keep America Beautiful Inc. (KAB), the nation's largest volunteer-based community action and education organization, to promote GPI’s Recycle Glass Week and KAB’s America Recycles Day, a nationally-recognized day for community-driven initiatives dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States.

Read about it here.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Visit to the Antiques Roadshow in Washington, DC

As most everyone is aware of by now, the Antiques Roadshow is at the DC Convention Center today. I was fortunate to get two tickets online but a lot of people were not able to get tickets. I changed my mind about 50 times as to what to bring. I finally decided on some interesting old costume jewelry pins I bought as child.

My ticket time was 10 AM so my neighbor and I were there by 9:30 AM.  There were Road Show volunteers literally every few feet so someone was always there to tell you where to go.  The show itself was held inside a huge open convention type room and there were three lines set up when I arrived.  The morning tickets were either for 8, 9 or 10 AM so my neighbor and I got in the 10 AM line. There were already quite a few people ahead of us but the line moved quickly.  In about an hour and a half, we were up to a general table where you showed your items and you received another ticket based on your item category (jewelry, silver, glass, etc).  Another volunteer then escorted you to the proper line.  The jewelry line was one of the longer lines as was the painting line. Some of the lines had few people, such as for glass and folk art.

I was in the jewelry line for two hours and the line moved very slowly.  However, I  heard a number of interesting stories from people in nearby lines as to what they had brought to be appraised. One woman was waiting for someone nearby and told us how her old fold out family desk had been appraised by one of the Keno brothers. The desk dated to 1850. While the desk only appraised for $1500, she mentioned how generous the Keno brother had been with his time for her.  He had explained the features of the desk and told her that an indentation on the inside of the desk (which she had thought was damage from children) was actually from where a bottle of ink had set at one time.

Another gentleman was disappointed that his large 1750's gold painted English mirror was not deemed "show worthy."  Everyone was running over to look at the mirror because it was very unusual and had pointed tips/spirals all around it.  It would have been interesting to see it on TV and learn more about its history.

After two hours, I began to reach the inner sanctum where the appraiser tables were located and where some filming was occurring in the center. I observed a gold pocket watch being filmed and two wooden wall type plaques with flat ivory figures on them. It was also rumoured that a valuable letter signed by Martin Luther King had been brought in and it created a great deal of excitement from the appraiser.  A Buddha head was also being filmed and it seemed to create a stir. And one of the Keno brothers passed right by me!

I then had another 15 minutes to wait for my turn in the line at the jewelry appraiser table which had 4 appraisers at it.   While my costume jewelry was not worth too much since it was unsigned, it was still an amazing experience overall.  My neighbor 's French posters which she had bought for $10 were worth from $400-600. I realized after I left the show that since it was being filmed in DC, pieces with history and political focus would probably play a prominent role in what was filmed. I think I should have bought a collection of old campaign buttons dating back to the 1800's. The only small disappointment was that no one was selling mugs or t-shirts for purchase.

The three Washington, D.C. episodes are supposed to air sometime between January and May of next year, with the schedule to be announced next month.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Dragonfly Project in Barcroft Park is Moving Forward!

The circle where the dragonflies are going has been graded by the county and the loose rocks have been removed.  The boulders below will be part of the design.  The photos below show the space from several angles. The countdown has begun.