Showing Art through the Glass

Have you seen the art glass in some of our furniture?  Those beautiful creations were made by our skilled Edwin Moncada, who is also a craftsman, sales person, webmaster, and my dad!  He designed and crafted this piece:

"Fall Begins" An Art Glass Screen

“Fall Begins” An Art Glass Screen

Back in 2005, when he first began working for Hardwood Artisans, he started with sanding pieces, making cabinets, and enjoyed working as a craftsman in our shop; later on, people got to know him better and learned that he had other talents, which let him into working in his career which is Systems Engineering.  He turned into our webmaster.  Being the company’s webmaster taught him about the 800 products Hardwood Artisans builds, designs and sells.  Edwin soon became a valuable salesperson.

Javier's Mirror with Edwin's Art Glass Design

Javier’s Mirror with Edwin’s Art Glass Design

His interest in art glass sparked when Greg Gloor, our previous art glass creator, told him that it was time for him to learn something new. He started to show him what he knew about art glass and taught him until he mastered the creation process. The lessons started with stretching lead, cutting and breaking glass, and occasionally getting bloody fingers (tee hee!)  Even with the “suffering,” he likes creating the art glass a lot. “I like the fact that you can create new things with feeling towards what you build, which is also applied in furniture making,” my dad says proudly. He has now been making art glass for three and a half years now and shows progress and new ideas with every design.

Here is a design for Greg Gloor’s home:

Edwin's Art Glass for Greg Gloor's Home

Edwin’s Art Glass for Greg Gloor’s Home

 He makes his art by first sitting with customers and designing a style that would be suitable for their furniture. Then he comes up with the measurements, drawings and the template, and afterwards choosing the glass that best fits the design (“The most difficult part” he said). The fun part starts when he has to put all the pieces together to see if it looks like he planned. Finally, after welding them together with lead, he goes to wash his piece and… It’s ready!

Edwin's Art Glass up close

 Our customers have been happy and proud of their new furniture, because not only has the design come to life; it also shows a light of its own. At the moment, he is working on doors for kitchen cabinets (pictured below), so keep in touch to see the result!

Edwin working on a kitchen cabinet art glass design

Edwin working on a kitchen cabinet art glass design

If you would like to see his creations, or talk to him about a project you can email him: Edwin@hardwoodartisans.com.  You can also come to our Woodbridge showroom/woodshop to see my dad in action, or visit one of our other three showrooms to see more of his designs.

Written by Edwin’s daughter: Adriana Moncada, 14

Stunning Art – Created by Fire in a Trash Can

Yes, you can light your trash can on fire.  That is if you are creating a piece of Raku pottery.What a fun job!  We love local artists and have three new artists displaying their work in our Fairfax showroom.  One is a Raku potter and sculptor, Stephanie Firestone.  Here is one of her Raku fired pieces title “Triangle Tower.”

Stephanie Firestone's Triangle Tower

Stephanie Firestone’s Triangle Tower

Stephanie grew up in Chevy Chase, Maryland and knew art was going to be her destiny from a young age.  She is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Fine Arts.  She uses color and form in a unique way that represents truth and essence.  She has featured her work in many juried shows including Sculpture Now 2006, the annual show of the WSG.  Ocassionally she works with the techniques of Raku pottery and creates stunning pieces.  Including this one:

Stephanie Firestone's Raku Pottery piece, Fossilized

Stephanie Firestone’s Raku Pottery piece, Fossilized

Stephanie will be doing a demonstration on how she makes her own unique pieces at our Local Artists Demonstrations Event on May 15th at 12pm in Fairfax.  She will bring in one of her trash cans and other materials used to fire Raku pottery.  What do you know about Raku Pottery?  Here is a little bit of information that might spark you into starting a new hobby.

Raku is a pottery technique that began in Japan during the 16th century.  Its unique colors mostly come from the techiques used during its firing process.  Here are a few images to help you understand a little bit about the process…

You need a heated piece of pottery:

Pottery being pulled out of the kiln

Pottery being pulled out of the kiln

And a trash can filled with straw or other materials to obtain the effect you want to show on your pottery:

Trash can ready for the pottery to go inside of it

Trash can ready for the pottery to go inside of it

You place the heated pottery into the trash can with straw or other materials and it lights on fire:

Once you place the pottery inside of the trashcan it will light on fire!

Once you place the pottery inside of the trashcan it will light on fire!

Piece of pottery inside of the fire which gives it such unique colors

Piece of pottery inside of the fire which gives it such unique colors

You can learn more about the process of Raku pottery from this video or a further explanation about it from Art Ed.  Perhaps you will love it as much as we do!