Like a bolt out of the green a new art form arrives.

In a previous blog I explained how I found a rather attractive glass bowl in the garden looking rather sorry for itself. I rescued it, cleaned it and painted lavender on it as the garden it was found in has lavender round every corner.

This exercise was initially inspired by a need for something new for the October exhibition, as my lack of a studio space had meant that painting had come to a very slow point. The fact that painting on glass uses acrylic paint that dries very quickly compared to oil meant I could have something ready in time to be a centre piece for something new.

As work progressed on it I realised it was very attractive and put a call out for some glass to work on, and received two pieces of glass, both twice the size of the original. I decided to use the green bowl as the piece for live painting during the exhibition. On the opening evening there were two people who wanted to buy the lavender bowl, so one took the bowl and one reserved first refusal of the large clear bowl that I had not as yet started.

Over the course of the exhibition I received a phone call from a lady who also wanted to buy the lavender bowl but was happy to accept something else in glass as a ninetieth birthday present for a friend. What was lovely about this request was that it was the scripture that I had wound round the bowl that she was drawn to. She said she was a Christian and her friend was a Christian and she loved the beauty of the artwork and the words on the bowl. And so I had to dig out an old vase from my cupboard, as it was all I had and start working on the birthday present.

Subsequently, I received an intriguing message through my web site; 'I noticed on your leaflet a photo of you painting a rather handsome bowl, is this something you would sell?' Now I have to admit, at this point I was puzzled. If she had the leaflet, she must have been to the gallery, and therefor seen the glass was not only for sale but sold. I answered saying yes and that I was working on more pieces one of which had a first refusal on it the next which was the one I was working on in the gallery. I would let her see them as soon as they were finished. She was very happy with this. As you might imagine this all encouraged me greatly.

Finally on the very last day of the exhibition, a couple walked in while I was showing a friend around. The Lady stepped forward and asked 'are you Tonya?' I said yes, she proceeded to introduce herself as the lady from the email. I made my apologies to my friend and moved to talk to her and her husband, who looked rather perplexed. He looked between us and asked 'was this arranged' I said no not at all. His wife proceeded to look at the glass and loved the green bottle. He continued to look a little confused, then I recognised him from an earlier day in the gallery, he had taken a leaflet away with him and it was from that leaflet, unbeknown to him, that his wife had inquired about glass. As we sat discussing the green jar he again looked at us both and said 'so we are doing this then?'. Indeed it seemed we were, they put their name on the glass before it was finished.

Now it is finished, I think it is stunning (which is something for me to say, I don't often like my work there is usually something I find just a bit out, but this is different. The vintage glass does not need to look like anything, it just has to be what it is. I have allowed myself the luxury of using text along with design and the finished product is very different to anything else I do, and is quiet different to much of the painted glass I see online or in craft fairs.

This piece is finished but the there are two more to get done the vase for the eightieth birthday and the large bowl for the lady who has a first refusal on it. I have no intention of painting small vases on an almost conveyer belt system, but as long as people like the idea of completely original pieces that I can not even take prints from, then I will continue to create decorative vintage glass, that will provide feature pieces that are totally one off original art work hand painted on vintage glass.

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