Wednesday, October 16, 2013

AGGnews on MagCloud

This is a link to the print version of hte newsletter that I edit for the American Glass Guild.
AGGnews v4.2-3
28 pages, published 10/15/2013
Highlights of 2013 American Glass Guild Conference in St. Augustine, FL, including an article about his talk, Making Glass for Artists, by Eric Lovell. Plus, an introduction to Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, the location of our 2014 Conference -

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Austin Wall

On the Forbes website (with tons of ads, alas), from a few weeks ago -
Old And New Tech Combine In An Artistic Masterpiece

Interesting article about a new glass art commission in a courthouse in Austin, Texas - though it is a bit of a stretch to say that the stained glass technology they are using here is "old".
The appropriate quote -
Of course, in addition to the new technology of 3D imaging, Ross also relied heavily on an older one – stained glass. Although it was conceived on a computer screen, Ross and his studio worked in conjunction with Franz Mayer of Munich Co. to hand make each piece of stained glass used in the work. The glass was composed in two layers – the front layer was engraved, hand painted and fired. The back layer was digitally printed, fired, hand painted, then fired again. The two layers of glass were then laminated together.
This kind of laminated artwork has only been around for a few decades, so 'older technology' doesn't seem quite right. Still, the article and gallery are lengthy and worth a look/read.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Mormon TIME Magazine Cover Revisited

With a new Ai WeiWei designed cover for TIME magazine gaining some attention as the "Most Beautiful Cover We've Ever Done", it's time to revisit my post on the least beautiful TIME cover of all time, from just 8 months ago -

You Decide  - Ugliest to "Most Beautiful" in eight months?
A side by side comparison of Time magazine covers, October 2012 and June 2013
As for the new Ai WeiWei designed cover, I think it's very nice looking but strangely nonpolitical, especially considering the design is by Ai WeiWei, the most famous artist involved in political activism in China today. WeiWei is currently under some kind of house arrest, though still doing lots of interviews. Curious.

The following is the 'Mormon TIME Cover' post published October 2012, recreated here -

Glass circles have been abuzz over this Time magazine cover for a few weeks, and not in a happy way.


No professional stained artist is flattered or happy about this.

As for me - Why do I hate this so much? 2 reasons.

First, it perpetuates the false idea that "stained glass = religion" by using a stained glass window as a generic symbol for religion. I've written of this before when Florida proposed doing a Christian license plate, using a stained glass window to symbolize religion. I don't like it when I see art directors lazily throw in a stained glass window to bring religion to mind.
The second reason this upsets stained glass professionals has to do with the design itself. Initially, the clunky mosaic style design and the way the texture in the borders is handled had me thinking this was one of the many faux stained glass designs you see throughout the internet, usually done in photoshop. That would have been bad enough, since it's so ungainly, but it turns out to be a real stained glass window. To professionals actually working in stained glass this is a real head shaker.

So, to get this straight -
1) In order to gain some sort of 'authenticity', Time magazine decides to do a cover illustration about "Mitt Romney and Religion" by creating an actual stained glass window with Mitt Romney incorporated in it. Perpetuating the idea of "stained glass = religion", but at least using real stained glass. Okay.
2) But instead of getting an actual stained glass designer or maker to create the window, they go to a prop and set designer to design and fabricate the window. One with no previous experience designing or fabricating stained glass windows.
3) She apparently does not consult or seek advice from any stained glass designer, nor even do any research on real stained glass windows as far as can tell. Finally, she does such an amateurish and hamfisted job at designing and making the window that it ends up looking like a crappy photoshop faux stained glass design after all.
4) But at least they get their point across. It's a stained glass window, and therefore about religion.

Wow. I know the state of magazine illustration (and journalism) has gone down in the past 20 years or so, but this is a new low. I keep having to remind myself that this was done for a nationally published magazine. My annoyance may come from the "stained glass = religion" thing, but the real astonishment comes from just how cheap and shoddy the execution was on this illustration.

In conclusion -
1) If you have the idea (and a fine idea it is) to use a stained glass window as an illustration on a magazine cover, get a real stained glass artist to do it, or at least have the designer do some solid research before they design it. Otherwise, it makes stained glass look bad in general and you look particularly amateurish.
2) Not all stained glass artists will agree with me on this, but stop using stained glass windows as a generic symbol for religion. Stained glass has a great history of design that is not neccessarily religious. For myself, I refuse to be pigeon holed by small minded art editors, ill educated art directors or lazy designers.

end of recreated blog post

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Vitreosity on Tumblr

In looking at different options for expanding Vitreosity, I've created a Vitreosity on Tumblr page. I'm not at all sure how it will develop, but here goes...
Screenshot of Vitreosity on tumblr

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Best of Vitreosity part 1 - Nov2003-Aug2008

Seeing that 'search' is currently disabled in the original 'Vitreosity 1', I thought this might be a good time for me to reflect on what I've done over the past 9 years, and put together a kind of 'best of Vitreosity'. A bit daunting, in that I need to look over all 450+ posts over 9+ years, and indeed so far I've only gotten through the first half. But here goes.

First - I went through the first 225 post and I chose what I see as the best 32 posts.
Whether you use it in your browser or through your pdf viewer, the links are all live.
(click on the picture or the caption - it's a pdf but, only about 140k, so easy to download)

If you wish to search through all 225 posts from this time period here is the pdf link for that.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Temporary blog for Vitreosity

I'm having some technical problems with my blog Vitreosity. You can still see (most) old posts, but I cannot create new content there for now, and the search function is down. I hope to have the situation fully resolved in a few months, if not sooner. I may or may not be changing the blogging software I use. I figure as long as I have this blog as a bridge I can take my time and get the main blog done right. Sorry for the inconvenience.

In the meantime, at this blog, you can leave comments!