Archive for stained glass

The Unconscious At Work

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on July 20, 2013 by Laura Paull



It was only a few months into my move to San Francisco that I met the family whose members and impact would continue to reverberate in my being for the next several years (and into the foreseeable future.) The “children” of this amazing family — now all in their fifties — included a set of triplets, two males and a female. I knew the minute I saw her that she would become my new best friend.

Fast forward to 2013, and I am working on the third of my series of studies in paisley, this one inspired only by a beautiful piece of rare pink glass that I found at The Stained Glass Garden, in Berkeley. Note that the intent of this series has only been to explore form and color in mosaic, using the paisley motif and a combination of glass and ceramic tile. The first two, which can be seen in this blog, had order and shape in the paisley elements contrasted by a crazy quilt arrangement in the gray tile background. I thought that was the way to go, having seen its efficacy in many of the works of the masterful Sonia King. But this time I decided to try – just try! – to lay the tiles around the paisley in a purposeful andamento, to create more unity and movement. And voila! an ENTIRELY different look — so much so, that I cannot longer consider this piece the third in a series, and my goal of making a quartet of paisley pieces to be exhibited together is now completely blown.

But here is the real story, as my opening sentence promises. It was not until I was grouting the piece that I suddenly thought: these three paisley forms, as arranged in this piece, look like —triplets! Starting with the paisley shape itself, so ancient and instinctual, in some cultures a symbol of life, for obvious reasons. And then the way that the three forms lay in relation to one another, as if they had somehow accommodated themselves in a womb — two of them practically in a yin/yang relation, and a third off to the side but still part of the whole. And the way each form, though entirely unique (I am still struggling with my inability to replicate anything) has elements of the other, the way each twin or triplet will share ¬†much of the DNA of the others.

That was when I knew that in some unconscious way. I had made an abstract representation of this family I love, and named the piece, “Triplets.”