Latest Project with Metal Artist Tom Herrera
August 22, 2013
I love working with metal artist Tom Herrera of Prairie Star Designs because his projects are always interesting and creative. You can read about Tom’s process in creating this trellis and gate on his blog at Prairie Star Designs. You’ll want to scroll down to May 6th, “Sanoe’s Trellis and Gate” to read about Tom’s process in this project, but you’ll enjoy his other posts too.
My process began with meeting Linda, Tom’s client and sorting out her ideas and color schemes. She came to my studio sale and chose colors for sunsets and bodies of water as well as several reds for hearts. She brought a photo of a sunset and we chose watery colors from my color bars and samples in my studio.
I always start with samples, for a client to choose from, so tried several combinations of yellow for my sunset background…and several shades of watery blues for the panels depicting water.
Three layers of sheet glass, topped with heavy doses of Bullseye’s powder colors in striations matching the sunset photo and my water sample that Linda had seen in my studio. I drew lines through the watery panels to show movement.
The glass is dammed in my Paragon kiln with fiber paper between the samples to keep them separated.
In addition to sunset and water, Linda wanted to incorporate hearts into her fence. After she chose which red she liked best from my samples, I stacked and fired my three layer combination. It was simpler for us to frame squares of glass with heart shaped cut outs in metal, rather than me cutting perfect hearts and tediously damming them in my kiln; then Tom having to bend metal around them to frame.
After seeing my samples, Linda chose to eliminate sunsets from her trellis gate so the red hearts would have serene watery blues on each side of each heart.
Linda liked the deepest aquamarine and turquoise combinations especially those with lines showing watery motion. With Linda’s decisions made, I blew up my samples to Tom’s size specifications keeping my designs as accurate as possible.
Because I STILL have not repaired my larger Skutt kiln, I had to fire each set of panels separately which added time on my end of the project. I was already behind schedule due to custom work prior to this project and too many spring shows.
We were all happy with the watery aqua panels, especially how they glow under sunlight.
The red absolutely shimmers! I was annoyed that I had a couple specks of kiln brick dust but it landed where metal would cover it and was so small that when held up to the sun we couldn’t see it, so decided to not shoot for perfection.
The darker turquoise panels also turned out gorgeous, especially when held up to the sun.
The final arrangement of panels and hearts.
And once again, the finished project. I love it!! I want one! Thanks Tom Herrera for your faith in my work. It is a pleasure to work with you!