Gorgeous Glass with Neile Cooper
Neile made the trek out to Washington to join a group of 10 students on the farm to teach them everything she knows about making stained glass art. It’s been a blast so far! We spent the weekend learning how to cut/break, grind, foil, and solder glass, with the final step being polishing. The results were creations of feathers, crystals, whales (as homage to our giant Washington residents), and 3-dimensional boxes using found objects sourced from our local beaches.
The process is magic. Hot and cold and sharp and wet, and feels alchemic and slightly dangerous to a beginner. Neile guided us gently through the process… and it’s easy to see how one might get hooked.
We also hosted a pop-up shop featuring Neile’s work… beautiful stained glass sun-catchers, and boxes, plus her lovely butterfly jewelry (some pictured below). The butterflies are farmed, living our their winged stage in a protected enclosure, and then collected when they die. Neile turns the fragile beauties into wearable art, by pressing them in hand-cut glass and encasing them with silver alloy. Butterfly farming protects the natural habitat of the butterflies through conservation of the natural vegetation and leaves the wild butterfly population intact.
I turn these fragile beauties into heirloom pieces, by pressing them in hand-cut glass and encasing them with a silver alloy. This work began over ten years ago when I found a monarch butterfly dead in my yard. It was just so beautiful and so delicate so I wanted a way to preserve and keep it.
The Intro to Stained Glass will be followed by another weekend of sourcing inspiration from the land and designing a piece of larger scale. Can’t wait to dig into the process again and see all of our students’ results!