Last week I took the week off from my normal social media routine to work on my auction piece for Doctors Without Borders. I spent a few days staring at designs and written ideas and nothing really popped out at me. I kept thinking as I often do that I wish I had an original thought or idea. Something uniquely me.

Early Tuesday morning I woke around 3 AM and knew the focal piece I wanted to use and I knew what I would do with it. Instead of writing things on paper as many do to help them remember what they saw in their sleep, I have to actually find what it was I saw and put it together on the work table. Sometimes it takes hours but I won’t be able to sleep until I’ve found what I saw in my sleep. After digging through a few boxes, I found the one piece I wanted. An old foiled piece of stained glass given to me a few years ago among many failed fused pieces and lots of scrap stained glass. There is also a few other foiled ones in this box too.

This particular piece was signed and dated which was something I hadn’t seen until Wednesday when I set to work on my piece. I tried to keep it visible but it wasn’t possible. I now know these pieces were made in the 80’s. Very cool.

In the photo below, the blue foiled piece in the center was the inspiration for this and what woke me in the wee hours.

"Syncopation" for the DWB/MSF Auction


6×6 inches
Found foiled stained glass (done in 1984), iridescent glass, stained glass, mirror, gems, millefiori

The definition of syncopation can mean, in music: A shift of accent in a passage or composition that occurs when a normally weak beat is stressed or something, such as rhythm, that is syncopated. After losing a lot of hand and arm strength during a recent injury, “Syncopation” is the perfect title for this. Using music as a metaphor for my mosaic work, it was easy to compare what I felt with this definition. Having an artistic beat, albeit weak, using the rhythms from my muse, this piece came to life.

Close up. "Syncopation" for the DWB/MSF Auction

You can find more information about the online auction here: and take the time to look through Lin’s website. She’s an outstanding artist. The auction is happening in September. I will provide the link for it when the time comes.

I also worked on a few things using dish shards. Good grief I am not very good with nipping any longer and with very little strength, cutting shards in just the right way was improbable at best. The results of all three are what I like to call “Folk Art” because the pieces are wonky. I’m not sure any will be up for sale. I am happy I’m still trying to use dish shards in my work but I have a long, long way to go before I feel comfortable using them.

Cottage chic tea pot - WIP

napkin holder/desk accessory in blue willow shards - WIP

vintage shards and pottery with stained glass and gems - WIP

The dishes on the tea pot shape were donated to me and I love these a lot. I think I’ve used almost all of them.

The napkin holder/desk accessory was an old wooden thing I had sitting around for years. Blue willow is everywhere around me because everyone knows how much I love the pattern. Whenever anyone finds a dish in this design, they save it for me! I’m happy to have so much here to use but my goodness I was surprised at the amount! There could still be some in storage too but right next to the work table I have 35 small to medium plates in this pattern. That’s awesome.

The peace sign is my least favorite so far. What I needed to do was put all the pieces aside and study them for a while but that’s not what I did. When I noticed that the wooden brooch for the center was the exact same flower as some of the dish shards I wanted to use (circa 1920) I rushed through it.

I hadn’t actually wanted to do more than one piece but I had mixed up thin set for the tea pot and made too much and these are what resulted!

The talent it takes to use shards isn’t beyond me but I haven’t honed the skill yet. Each time I start to get involved in shards, I want to do the next thing in stained glass and usually I end up doing many pieces in glass before trying shards again. I am happy that I want to use both kinds of tesserae but I would like to get better it.

Now that I have to alter how I work after my injury, I have found I’m starting completely over … again … and retraining myself. I have time to learn once again and I’m thankful for it. But I am a bit disappointed that I lost so much strength and with it, my ability to place pieces of glass and dish shards in a neater fashion.

I’ve done some prep work and I found some small MDF peace signs that I had put beads on last year. I had an idea for each one and after gluing the beads down I noticed they weren’t all staying on. Now I’m spending a lot of time yanking off the beads and have the idea to use glass on them instead. We’ll see how it goes.

Here’s what they look like now:

beads and millefiori glued to mdf

Kinda cool, I think, but as you can see, the beads aren’t staying too well. If I put glass and grout on these, I’ll probably do it on both sides like I did when I painted the other ones seen below:

available at Etsy

I call these “pieces of confetti”. Each side has a different design and when able to swing freely from the hanger, both sides are visible.

The customer picked up the baseball and catchers mask and liked them both very much. I’m glad, because the mask was a lot more challenging than I wanted it to be!

Stay peaceful.

©2012 Cindy White, EarthMotherMosaics