Judson studios, the new studio

The new studio is just half a mile away from the old one, like a good Angeleno, I drove.Here is a fascinating project on one of the tables. I just adore these colors.Right now it looks like grapes, but who knows?OK, a bird is taking shape, look at the eye! This looks a combination of fused and traditional painting.There was a fellow, Sean, who was painting the background for these panels, here the face is being painted. This is the Wyoming commission. The old Studio is where the old style painting usually gets done, but these panels are so large, a lot of the work is done is the bigger brighter modern studio.These are the three completed panels, well images of them. Very traditional German style Stained Glass.Getting an explanation about fused glass panels. Behind her are the enormous kilns, they were lowering the cover while we were there. Probably to fuse more of these panels.This was mid-air, once the top covers everything, they turn on the heat and let the fusing begin, once it all melts together, they let it cool for probably 24 hours, to anneal the glass, so it won’t shatter.I should have asked what they do with a panel that didn’t come out right…. Maybe the new panels were in the kiln.I’m wondering how they use these shapes, so many questions!Three images of projects on the wall. On the right is that wonderful Church in Leawood KS, the amazing structure and an image of the glass window.

Right next to it is a project they are working on right now for San Francisco International airport.

The lower project is a private commission.Here is a view of the SF Airport project from the back, from outside.And here it is from Inside. I know that stained Glass started in Europe, but what can I say, the bright intense Southern California light illuminates this like no other. In order to achieve these colors, different metals are infused into the glass, for more info about that, step next door into Bullseye Glass, where they actually manufacture the glass and the frit. Well the manufacturing doesn’t happen next door, but this is a great place for glass and classes.This is what I’m talking about with the light in Los Angeles, how intense the colors reflected on the concrete floor are. It will be interesting to see what this looks like in the more diffused light of San Francisco.

Every second Thursday of the month, Judson Studios offers these tours.  I highly recommend if you are able to go do so! There is nothing like seeing true craftsmen creating beauty in this world.


Back to Judson studios

I haven’t been able to go on the once monthly studio tour this year. My Thursdays were tied up. So now that it’s summer, I went. About 3 years ago I had visited their studios, then just last summer, I had the opportunity to visit the new location in South Pasadena. Honestly, I could probably take their tour every few years, since they are always working on something new. Over the entrence to the original building is this terra cotta tile, We Can. This was the motto of the USC art school when it inhabited this building.  It is a great motto for the family owned company. They take all kinds of jobs, from very small to very very large. They do traditional stained glass as well as a newer method of fused glass. These glass chips have been in the windows for close to 100 years.  You can see the effect of gravity on lead, the formation is bowing out. That is what happens, which is why a lot of the work is restoration. The glass is fine, it’s the supporting lead that desintigrates. Very traditional stained glass. start with a design, today this is done on a computer. Then map out how it will be constructed and cut out the glass.The paper has been cut, and traced onto the glass. It takes a lot of patience and experience to acurately cut the glass to match the paper templates.

This will be a large installation in a private home. Since in this case it’s all straight lines, they use zinc instead of lead. Here these shapes are being created and soldered.Final product, these chunks of glass will seperate larger octogans of different colors. Just creating those glass chunks took a lot of work. Just like at the glass workshop at Forest Lawn, Horse nails are used to hold the glass in place. Here a restoration is taking place, that’s the old glass on a table. He is taking rubbings of the old lead and then removing it. The glass on the table just needs to be cleaned and releaded. I’m thinking OSHA would have a cow,  looks at this room. It’s a half basement, there is no air conditioning, just fans, and very basic tools.  The photo in the background is from a recent job,  The Resurrection Window for a church in Leawood KS. It is because of this project that the new studio was acquired and a whole new world is opening up. This is a commission for a church in Arizona, very traditional work. Another large project has been ongoing for over a year, with more to come. There are monks in Wyoming who are building a monastery, by hand. They have commisioned these panels for themselves. Three are complete, at least 3 more are in process. Once they are installed, the only ones who will see them will be the monks themselves.The Judson trademark is on every piece of work.Many great saying are painted on the walls, next post, the new studio.





Another visit to Forrest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale.

Glendale has an historical society. I have gone on a number of their house tours. I always enjoy the variety of houses this region has to offer.

The Jewel in Glendale is Forrest Lawn Park, yes it is a cemetery, but there is so much more there. A few months ago it was just a walk in the park, this time with the Historical society it was a chance to see some of the mosaics as well as the glass workshop.

We met in the Church of the Flowers, the first structure that Dr. Eaton built here. It is based on an old Church in England.Inside is this beautiful stain glass based on one that is in another church in England. It’s called Tree of Life and is about as traditional as one can get.I don’t know what the elephant represents, but I do like him.

Erin and Sandy from Atlas Obscura were there, which was fun to see fellow explorers I hadn’t seen in a while.Fergus came in especially on Saturday to explain to us how stained glass is restored after 100 years.Here is the restored panel in progress. These nails are horse-shoe nails, because they are flat they hold the glass in place without cracking it.Scoring and cutting the glass.Love this sign.Then it was on to the Great Mausoleum. One thing I have to commend Dr. Eaton for, he wanted to bring art to LA back in the early 20th century. His idea of art was often replicas of the great art of Europe, so there are copies of Michaelangelo’s statues such as Moses and the Pieta. Not the same scale, not the same, but at a time when few people could travel and images weren’t prolific like they are today, it was a nice endeavor.I just got a book about Gladding McBean and their decorative pottery. I don’t know if they made these or the local firm Tropico – that was latter acquired by them. I love the little details, which tells me this is ceramic and not carved into stone or concrete.Like all museums, a lot of objects are in storage. This was brought out to share with the group.  This is The Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven.  Made by a German Company, it part of a church in Buffalo NY which no longer stands.The gold robes are beautiful, really look like gold, although I think it was just yellow glass and paint.

There is an actual museum up at the top of the hill. Next month they are hosting an exhibit of FIFA, yes soccer-related items. Go figure, or better yet, just go visit, it’s free.



After my downtown tour, I had lunch here, yes the falafel was good. I’m sharing the image because in the 1980’s all the food stalls in Grand Central Market were made out of neon. Most of the newer stalls are following that tradition, I’m not sure if it is a requirement or not.

After that it was time to visit the Museum of Neon Art in Glendale.  I had gone on the Neon bus tour a few years ago, wonderful thing to do if you are in the LA area in the summer. During the day, the diving beauty shines, but no as much as she would at night.I don’t know if this installation lights up at night. Neon is a technology that became quite popular in the early 20th century in advertising.  All of the signs in the exhibit have come from buildings that are no longer around. I’m glad there are people out there who are saving these artifacts.


This is the sign from the Chinese Theater in Hollywood. There were two of these marquees, put up in 1957, they came down in 2001.  Thank God one was saved and was repaired back to good working condition.The orange-red is the color you get with neon gas. The blue comes from Argon gas. Using phosphates is how you manipulate these two into other colors.I had to take a selfie! I don’t quite understand these pop up museums that are just Instagram opportunities. The Neon Museum has a purpose, to educate and to share an art form that almost died. It wasn’t easy getting this sequence on my camera! This is one of the fun things about neon, the stop action motion. This is a very funny advertisement for a bar.Neon really is art, I do enjoy the creativity of the designers. Bars, peep shows, and motels, don’t forget the motels! Eric (a fellow conservancy docent who leads some of the Neon Bus tours) was there and was telling me that he could tell back in 2017 that the economy was roaring back, because so many old motels are being torn down for modern development. The museum tries to get the signage, but that is not always possible.There is a poster with images of motels around the country. This one caught my eye! The motel is no longer there, but look what I found a block away!The Carlton Motor Lodge, another Art Deco motel. Btw, the word motel is the combination of the word motor and hotel, the first of these was in San Luis Obispo. Clearly, this one is using the words motor Lodge instead. I don’t know if the neon sign still works.The blade sign is newer. I do like the Atomic Age star on the top. I hope this survives a while longer!




Brewery Artwalk revisited

I wasn’t sure I was going to go this spring, but I’m glad I did.I explored parts of the compound I hadn’t seen before. Always a fun thing to do.The ghost sign from Edison, this building was built in 1902 as the first Edison power plant west of the Mississippi.Tucked off in the corner is a workshop of innovators and builders of amazing things. I have to confess that I didn’t go see their installation, next time.This is the backside of the building, so maybe the building was built in 1894, or maybe most of the powerplant was added on later.

And now what is really cool, what is inside this large structure today. The Stronghold Climbing Gym, it is enormous, I am just sharing two images, it is probably the biggest indoor climbing facility around.You know me, I will take any chance I can get of taking pictures of the downtown skyline. From this angle the new Broad tower is invisible.

And then it was on to visiting friends and seeing their work.Teresa and Hawke in front of their Ascension quilt. Me too! I got into the fun. As did many of the visitors to this studio.  They are planning a series of quilts with the theme of wings.  I’ve watched this one being created on Instagram, was so much fun to see it in person.

And finally, the neighborhood, The southern tip of Lincoln Heights.Among the industrial and the freeway, old homes survive. Some like this one are well cared for.Or how about dressing up a small cottage with some Victorian flair?Then there is the old rundown Victorian, broken up into apartments. So this is how one uses the vestibule to create two private entrances. It is a large building, so it could be there more entrances were created on the sides or the back.

All in all, a good time, and yes, come fall, I’ll probably go back again.9


With the grandkids at LACMA

Everybody was at LACMA last week, there was no parking anywhere.  So the visit included a nice long walk just to get there from blocks away.This is a sight to see. For years we were forbidden to call it The May Company – it became LACMA west and the language police were very strict with anyone connected to the museum, especially the docents. Then a deal was made and it will become a Hollywood museum and now one can call this the May Company again. I wonder if this museum will deal with the abuse of women and children that goes on in the industry or if it will be another puff piece that shows us the unreal veneer of the industry.

At least they are repairing the lovely gold tower, that is worth a lot.It is amazing to see what becomes an icon. These lampposts have certainly become iconic. Not so sure about the floating rock, we never even went to check it out. The Chagall exhibit was bright, colorful and fun. Shira said that she loves this costume and wants to wear it. That in my book in a big success.Aytan wanted to go visit the Japanese pavilion. He really likes these pots, go figure, one would think that he’d be interested in big bombastic things. But no, it’s the pots. Then I got smart and I gave him my phone.  He ran around and took pictures of everything, here are just a few.It is wonderful seeing something from a different angle. From my point of view I see the god more than the dwarf. I didn’t check out the label, but to me this looks like the Japanese version of Siva stamping out the dwarf of ignorance.I cropped this a little, what I didn’t crop out is the person, because it was part of the picture that Aytan took.He took this picture again, without the person,  he was going for the ceramic vase.  I love how he captured this man as well.Another image I love, just because I’d never take this, but he did.There was a special exhibit on Japanese cloisonne, what interested Aytan was taking pictures of the catalog, these are just two, but he did take quite a few.As well as many pictures of the painted panels. I think the theme is the atmosphere.  Even in this image, that waterfall is incredible, IRL it is all the more so.I think these are rocks, I may be wrong, they may be made of fabric. For me, this visit was all about letting Atyan lead the way. It wasn’t about reading labels.

Sometimes it’s not about learning something new, it’s about letting a child run around and capture what interests him.



Brewery Artwalk

I really love LA, there is so much going on here and I only take advantage of a smidgen of it. Last year I missed this event, I’m very happy to have gone this year. Most of the artists do not want people taking pictures of their art, so I got my impressions of the Brewery complex. This sign is seen best from the freeway, I took this picture from the bridge that connects two buildings, so the angle isn’t great. visited here a year and a half ago and wrote up a post, I saw different things this time. I love the Art Deco facade of some of these buildings.Look at the view this artist has! The whole complex was full of people enjoying a lovely Southern CA fall day. Funny story, as I was leaving a gentleman asked me what is going on here, I told him it’s a free art show. He asked where the beer was. I had to laugh and explain that the complex was originally a powerplant, then the Pabst Beer company used it as a brewery and 30 years ago it became an artist colony. But, Barbara’s Brewery would be more than happy to sell him some beer if that was all he wanted.I should have taken the time to go up those stairs, each building is unique. Well, all this means is that I need to go back in spring for the spring artwalk.Quite a few of the artists have their homes/studios in lower industrial buildings, which gives them small patios as well. The interior courtyard of the Art Deco building, I love what they have done here, literally planted trees inside.Those who have access to the outdoors use it well. How could you not with the lovely weather we have here.Cats are popular here.

I had the pleasure of meeting Teresa Coates. Small world story, I listened to Abby Glasenburgs Podcast: While She Naps, this episode is an interview with Arvin Pairavi, owner of Shannon Fabrics. He mentions Teresa as education coordinater, we spoke for close to an hour. Having worked in that industry and her being a quilter – we had a lot to talk about. I’m sure our paths will cross again.  She will be at Quiltmarket next week and I am looking forward to seeing what she posts on Instagram.The interior hallways are fun as well, these are artists, after all, they are going to decorate their environments. Love the bright colors and the sign is cute.More hallway decoration.Here is an artist who encouraged photography. Patrick Guerre Arts, he is painting 10,000 of these hearts to raise awareness and to raise funds for his wife’s’ autoimmune disease. This project is called hearts for Gina. I love that he is using his art in a happy way to help his wife. Then I had the pleasure of meeting Andre Miripolsky. Mural by Miripolsky Elevator, Allied Crafts building Lobby Allied Crafts buildingI first saw his work 3 years ago in a lobby in DTLA. I reminded him of this building, took him a moment. He has been very busy painting much larger installations. What is really exciting is that he will be creating and LA Historama for the convention center. This will be fabricated by Judson Studios. I am so excited about this and I hope this comes to fruition. Here’s an article about his work and the plans for this mural.

This all happened on Saturday, Sunday will be a whole new post. Have I mentioned that I love LA?




…And it’s done!   Very happy with the result. Although white on white quilting – you really can’t see what kind of design I was trying to achieve, but hey, it looks great.

Another issue I had was the orange fabric on the left-hand flamingo. It really stood out like a sore thumb. Solution? Make sure to have plenty of that fabric in the border as well as use it for the binding. Doesn’t feel so out of place anymore.I washed and machine dried this one as well. Good thing, since somehow, the white background got a little dirty – and that was before any baby got hold of it. The washing machine did it’s job, and I will tell the new parents that it is their best friend. Better to use the quilt and wash often then hide it away.Quilting on busy fabric means you can’t really see the quilting, it’s there, it’s holding everything together. I could have used colored thread on the background and my design would have been apparent, but I wanted the whiteness.My clouds look more like flowers, oh well.If you look closely you can see my favorite pattern of all, the feather.Flamingos are a thing right now. I’m seeing them all over. As is JoAnn’s, which is where I got this great backing fabric.Knowing me, I can’t sit still, so I immediately jumped into a new project. Pineapple blocks with Deb Tucker’s ruler. I LOVE the accuracy I got with this ruler. Not crazy about the scrappiness. I think I’ll find a tighter, more cohesive color story. Here is an idea for a color story.Here is another way to go.Here is a variation on the first. I did have fun finally sipping and painting. No, I wasn’t sipping out of the painted glass at the time. I had to admit to the instructor that yes, I do know how to paint, but it’s still a fun activity.




The Mosaic Tile House

A known fixture in Venice California, the Mosaic Tile House. I went with Atlas Obscura, but anyone can get in touch and visit the house. Here we have Cheri and Gonzalo inviting us in.Here is Gonzalo behind the gate.

This is one of those, sensory overload kind of places. So much to see, too much to absorb. Cheri makes many of the clay and glass tiles herself, Gonzalo makes the mosaics, paints and creates some very interesting sculptures. To say that color is the most important aspect of their surroundings is an understatement. Every surface outside the house is either covered in mosaic or painted. The  outside of the large studio in the back is painted. The wood wall wouldn’t be able to hold the mosaics. The second story is ‘just’ painted, they are now beginning to add mosaics inside. I’m wondering how the structure holds up with all this concrete and tile. When they don’t like something, they don’t tear anything out, just add a new layer.In no particular order, I am going to recreate a little bit of the experience. These are a small portion of the pictures I took, I realize, editing is necessary, I hope for your sake, I have edited enough.A small portion of Cheri’s massive studio. Making glass tiles.That are then affixed to the exterior of the bathroom window. If one falls off and breaks – no big deal – she has plenty on hand to replace them.This is half of the sliding glass doors that connect the house to the studio.A view into the kitchen. I LOVE mosaic, no way could I live here. I am thankful that they can and that they share their surroundings with other. It all started with a bathroom, twenty some years ago and hasn’t stopped.These clay objects are all destined for a mosaic surface.You can see some here in the wall, along with the cups from a Seder plate. I think I have a similar plate. Cheri collects ceramics from all over the world. Here you also see shapes she herself made, the ice-cream cones, the lizzard. What? Plain wooden floor? And a carpet? What I love is the chair, not one that they painted, but one that gives me ideas.  Not sure I’d ever paint a chair, but who knows?Exterior stairs get different treatment.If you have a kiln, and they have many, slumping glass bottles is easy.  Gonzalo is the welder, if you are missing a piece of silverware – check out this house, you may find it. You won’t be able to remove it.They sell as much of their artwork as they can, what doesn’t sell ends up being used.These reminded me of the Dali painting The Persistance of Memory. I am sure he would approve. Gonzalo said that Simon Rodia, the creator of Watts Towers is a great inspiration to him. I’m sure Rodia would be jealous of all the color and materials here. Here I am, in the artwork. Gonzalo has figured out the perfect location to have you stand and he captures the image in one of the mirror fragments.

My visit started on a cloudy day – which is good for photography, it ended with the sun coming out. Every thing is  shiny and sparkly, but a little harder to photograph.  As fun as it is to take these pictures, just being there, experiencing the space is really what it is all about.


A visit to a local museum

The Autry Museum of the American West was started by Gene Autry, the singing cowboy. When he started it in the 1980’s it was about celebrating the cowboys and the opening of the West. Today that isn’t politically correct, so the museum goes out of it’s way to celebrate ‘the natives’. Don’t get me started, if you haven’t figured out by now, the last thing I am is politically correct.  At least when it comes to art and artifacts – they do a good job, despite the message.I’m sure each of these paintings have some ‘deep’ meaning, I don’t care, I enjoy the bright colors, the hand of the artist. I am so tired of ‘art’ having to have a strong political message, I want art to be uplifting – please stop dragging me down.Which is why I prefer things like this. This vest is beaded, that isn’t thread embroidery. And cultural appropriate – this is a great example. Beads and images of flowers are European. Many Indians learned the craft and have made it there own. As it should be, cultures enriching each other, becoming better through the process.Basket weaving was a strong tradition among the tribes native to California. With the abundance of resources here, they pretty much remained hunter gatherers – so baskets are a necessity.  It’s nice when they can become art. No basket that was used in everyday life would have these feather, or be this small.  It is wonderful when people can turn from substance to art.Another way of incorporating feathers. The Artist is Mabel McKay of the Pomo Tribe. A true basket artist, a pleasure to see her body of work. Even she included beads in her work.

Not all new work acquired by the museum in made by ‘natives’. I love everything about this iron horse. When car becomes horse.There seems to be a whole genre of artists who make horses out of interesting materials. One of the things I love is the bright colors of the cars and how well they have survived. Automotive paints is a world unto itself.Even newer cars that are still operational. I parked next to this Thunderbird.  I have friends who would come up with very creative names for this car.The yellow continues inside, from the leather to gear shift. FUN!The cowboy isn’t completely lost, thank God. The museum owns some Remington cowboys and has acquired many newer artists who are working in the same vein.There are many old artifacts, like spurs.highly decorated guns.A wall of badges. Sorry, my images aren’t very clear, I’m taking pictures through glass.Many are the six-pointed star.Then there is the combination 8 point with a five point in the middle, must be from Texas.

I sat for a while watching and listening to Gene Autry sing his wonderful songs, yes Back in the Saddle again was one of them.

There was also a great photography exhibit, no photos allowed. Which is fine, because taking a photo of a photo really doesn’t work. Great Western photographers like Ansel Adams and Edward Weston among others. I think the exhibit is closing soon. They had a photobooth, because who doesn’t have one of those these days!  Nice image, but certainly not art!