I purchase my tools from Stained Glass Supplies in Eagle Rock. I highly recommend going to his store if you live in the Los Angeles area as the owner Ron is a wealth of information. His store is deceptively small as he stocks hundreds of different types of glass and has practically every supply you will ever need. [SL: and I also highly recommend Allen Kenoyer Glass in Lawndale]
Your hands are going to get dirty and this soap is a lifesaver: The Masters Artist’s Hand Soap
I like this glass cutter because of the oil reservoir, so you can keep cutting for hours.
Lead is super malleable so these fids are great. You can use them to clean putty off your glass, open lead channels or use a burnishing tool.
Traditionally, people use wood strips to create a straight edge for their stained glass. Personally, I love using these metal layout blocks instead because you get a perfect straight edge. They work by using push pins and a homasote board which is great for people who don’t have a workbench. I also use them because I can turn my pieces around and view them from different angles before soldering them up.
On finding inspiration . . .
When I’m in the studio, I listen to Swans on repeat. I find Michael Gira to be a great motivating factor. He’s someone that has worked consistently and steadily for 30 years as a musician outside of the commercial world while influencing the music scene that most people listen to. I find his dedication inspiring and when I’m feeling tired, I just turn the volume up louder and press on. Whenever I want to stop, it’s a good reminder of what I can accomplish if I just keep at it.
In terms of a direct inspiration on my designs, I have to say that my biggest influence is usually the piece I am working on. It shapes the direction of my next piece and while I’m working on one piece, I am usually thinking about what to do next. It’s this interconnected process in which what I’m doing now is influencing what I’m going to do next and what I worked on before, is affecting what I want to do now.
When I’m not in the studio, I find myself most inspired when I’m at yoga, even if I only have time to get there 3 times a week; 4 if I’m lucky. By the time I am in shavasana, it’s like my mind has been cleared and I find myself in this altered state of dreaming in colors and shapes. My meditation practice is what lead me back into the studio and it’s directly attributable to my teacher, Tony Giuliano. He infuses all his classes with energy, love and intensity and I find that infectious. I leave his classes feeling reenergized and excited to get back to creating.
Through the years there have been a handful of artists that have never stopped inspiring me. I love Albrecht Durer, Richard Diebenkorn, Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison, Richard Avedon and always, always the Bauhaus movement. Architecture plays a big part in my process and I feel so fortunate to live in Los Angeles; you just need to walk into people’s homes to feel inspired!
Which peers do you recommend we check out?
Arrows and Eskers : I love their bowls and I am obsessed with their lip balm. It’s the first lip balm I have ever owned that I use daily because I can’t get enough of it. The cardamom one is so good, I want to eat it. [SL – They’ll also be at Mercado Sagrado!]
Erin Kay Spangler Pottery : Erin’s the real deal. She lives in rural Fairmount, Georgia working in her barn studio that her husband made for her. She free hand carves all of her pottery without the use of a template or stamp. I love drinking tea out of my mug while I’m in my studio.
Beatrice Valenzuela : I’m sure most of your readers are familiar with Bea’s shoes, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention her. You would be hard pressed to find a more renaissance type woman. Behind her fierce creativity and beauty is such a kind soul. I not only admire her bold, colorful style, but her genuine sweetness that I find every time I interact with her.
Deedee Cheriel : Deedee’s one of the people that I talked to when I was having a hard time getting back in the studio a while ago. She was so kind and down to earth about the realities of being an artist and what it takes to keep doing it no matter what. I’m always excited when she has a new show and try to never miss one of her openings.