Bits&Pieces – Returned and Rearranged

These days I’m trying to put a lot of things back together, not least of all this blog. My rebuilt website and the direction of my current work have been the impetuous to get this going again.

My life changed dramatically in 2018 with the death of my son Jordan. It was devastating and broke me in many ways. For awhile I believed I would never be able to put the pieces back together. 

In time I began to see my work as a metaphor for the healing of my broken heart. I started transforming broken glass objects into tesserae to be used in mosaics. I tumbled or kiln fired bottles and glasses so that I could break them further, then put the pieces together, and although scarred and changed, turned into something whole and beautiful.

This is where it starts, or something like it. Sometimes it’s the whole bottle, other times I layer broken pieces to get a thicker slab.

Using a hammer and hardie or glass nippers depending on the thickness of the glass, I cut the glass into squarish bits.

I created the undulating substrate with layers of fibreglass mesh and thinset. The mosaic design was created organically by trying various tesserae (tess) until I could visualize the finished piece. Sometimes it resembles that visualization, sometimes not so much, but I tend stay flexible.

As glass doesn’t bend, working over curves presents additional challenges. I used the largest pieces of tesserae possible to contrast with the cut bottle tess. As this was to be ungrouted, I used the yellow tiles as a visual substitute and aligned the rest of the tesserae as closely together as possible.

“Currents” Bottle and art glass on hand-built substrate. 15.5″ x 13″- 2020

I used a similar process with this piece, but carved a channel in the substrate to use as a bed for tumbled bits of bottles and glasses. This image also shows my hammer and table hardie as well as some of the glass slabs I would cut into tess.

Again I had the finished work in my head and worked organically to place tesserae.

“Piecing it Together” Kiln fired and tumbled bottles & glasses. 28″ x 15″ -2020

Here is the piece in it’s temporary home. I love the ragged shadow it casts.

Thank you for visiting. I welcome your comments and questions. -Cate



  • Donna Everitt

    June 9, 2020 8:53 pm

    I loved hearing about the process and seeing the beautiful result. Thank you for sharing your journey, Cate.

  • Liliane Keeler

    June 11, 2020 3:54 pm

    Thank you for sharing. Continue your great art work which us good for the soul and mind đŸ’–

  • Laura Bowles

    June 11, 2020 8:19 pm

    Fascinating Cate, I never knew the different processes you use to create your beautiful pieces! I love this new one! But of course all your works are stunning!đŸ’•

  • Claire Boyd

    June 13, 2020 11:03 am

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful work and your process. There are many who find the therapeutic value of making art and being creative, and many of us who find our flow through putting pieces together to find a wholeness through a series of creations. Go well.

  • Linnea Wall

    July 20, 2020 11:31 am

    Cate, so sorry for the loss of your son. I love your story and how your creativity with glass helps your healing and turns into such positive energy, your pieces are amazing! I have always loved coloured glass, it always changes, I see something new, depending on lighting and locations. Keep it up!

Post a Comment