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visual artist and writer marisol diaz

i am a self-defined Nuyorican creative (that is a Puerto Rican who is from both the isles of Manhattan, NYC and the Caribbean). I share daily in the joy of education and live in a cute port town in New York, in a 'teensy-weensy' apartment with my two dogs and canary named Valentino. Check out my Etsy shop for purchasable pieces. Please do not reproduce imagery off of this site without explicit credit and no derivatives may be made of my original imagery- Thank You.

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This work by marisol diaz is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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Entries in glass powder (2)


Glass Explorations II

While contemplating the word encasement, I explored some new glass powder work this summer.

Unintentionally, my concept was very similar to an assignment that I gave my students last year. The assignment (to paint a distorted self-portrait by basing the composition on a scanned/xeroxed facial print) was a blessing for some students who flourished with the 'chiaroscuro' demands of the project. However, the assignment proved to be challenging for others, who were left feeling disillusioned, which for me as an art educator is never ok.

quick sketch of idea as I saw it in my mind actual xerox of my facexerox of my face 11"x 11" layered glass tile made with glass powders entitled ENCASED by marisol diaz When working with glass powders, your initial drawing is very forgiving since the dry powders can simply be wiped (or blown) away until you fire it. However if you're working to create strong blacks it can be challenging since the material that you're working with is transparent and will also be reflective (it is glass) - thats why we use light tables during the process. Once the glass is fired your options become very limited since you can only add material and re-fire.

For this piece I combined both picture references of my face to create a new composition that included my hand. After the piece was fired I re-fired it with a layer of clear glass on top. The thickness and depth that created is difficult to see in the above shot. That clear glass layer also really helped 'encase' the piece. In addition, it made more sense why this piece was made out of glass as opposed to a drawing or a painting. I love sharing these explorations with you all!


Working with Glass


This is an image of one of the glass pieces I made this summer.

I have been having a deep love affair with glass for some time now...I'd have to say 12 years - wow! I've had an on and off again relationship, sometimes amorously lost in its grip and other times unable to come to terms with the cost of such an attraction. Glass is not a cheap interest. In addition, you need equipment, facilities that are just not as accesible on the east coast as they are on the west coast.

I have been to Pilchuck Glass school twice on scholarship. Pilchuck is in Seattle, WA. I've taken glass classes at Haystack in Deer Isle, Maine, Urban Glass in Brooklyn, NY, Peter's Valley Craft Center in Layton, NJ and Bullseye Glass, in Portland Oregon. I've blown, sand-casted, kiln-casted, lampworked, fused and slumped glass. For the longest, all I could afford to do when I got back home after a class, was strike up a small tank of Mapp gas and make beads. Beads that once upon a time, got annealed only by soaking in a tin of vermiculite. Then there was all my late nights with stained glass a medium that hot glass folks call cold glass connections. Mind you, the majority of the time, I'm a painter and an illustrator. So when I tumbled on the work of artist Catherine Newell, I thought what is this? Is it possible you can draw on glass? No, I don't mean with Pebeo glass paint- but with the glass itself?

I signed up for a class called Painting with Light taught by artist Tom Jacobs at Bullseye Glass. Lets just say, I am forever changed and I found a soul mate. No, not Tom (sorry Tom), but drawing on glass with frit (powdered, crushed and pulverized glass). I found what I could afford to do - and what I was meant to do with glass...finally.