Glass is such a common material that it's easy to take it for granted as just another everyday item - nothing to get excited about.
However, if you have ever watched the awesome skill of a glassblower and the painstaking detail of cutting and painting glass, the resulting vessels or figures take on a far more exciting and magical aspect. The beauty of the colored glass pattern is augmented by the way light passes through the painted panes, setting each shade on fire. Stained-glass windows have a long and revered history. It’s a decorative style that has been utilized extensively for churches and synagogues, important government buildings and grand homes. And on a lesser scale, we can all enjoy this art form in our own homes, too.
For many people, autumn is a favorite time of year. For a few weeks the weather is my idea of perfect, not too hot or too cold, an invigorating mix of sun and cool breezes that freshen the air and clear your head. The landscape vibrates with deep shades of the harvest – golden yellow, pumpkin, apple green and russet. We connect these glorious colors with the season’s abundance of food and, by extension, these are shades that make us feel happy and full of life. They are also a few of the colors that resonate in architectural glass and other stained-glass work such as lampshades.
When I came across the amber-red pendant lights in the dining room shown here, I had to share the story with you. They are made by the acclaimed glass artisans at AM Studio, www.amstudio.ca, a glass studio that produces the most awesome custom lighting, door inlays, wall art, stained-glass windows, tiles and glass objects. Each piece is handmade to suit the size and style that fits your vision. These pendants have been colored with amber at the top, where the light bulb sits, and blend into a fiery rich red at the bottom. Small metal balls coated with gold leaf peak out, adding a subtle stroke of glitter. Ten pendants serve this large room well, with its high ceiling and neutral blend of colors on the walls.
An easy way to introduce fall colors into your interior design is through glass, from large bowls filled with fruit and gourds to serving platters tinted with color. Decorating is at its most basic when we choose the patterns, motifs and colors found in nature to enliven our homes. Here are a few ideas I hope you’ll enjoy.
Visit your local arts and crafts shop or check on the Internet for glass-painting and glass-etching kits. It takes a bit of practice to work the paint so that the coating is even, but start with some inexpensive stemware or glass plates for your autumn table. Try your hand at a bit of stained glass; colors are heat set in the oven. Or make your own lantern or pendant light for the porch or deck. Keep in mind that light brings the colors alive, so either hang your stained glass at a window, or set up a light bulb or candle behind it. Whether you purchase or create your own autumn glass display, I guarantee it will enhance the cozy mood that we all look for at this time of year.
Debbie Travis’ House to Home column is produced by Debbie Travis and Barbara Dingle. You can follow Debbie on Twitter at www.twitter.com/debbie_travis. Please e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.