BLOG 26 / Recent work: The Granier by steve joseph

This blog shows some new techniques and many photos of a recent collaboration and commission for a client here in New York. 

NO SURPRISES: 2 glass samples. A portion of the work I showed the clients for approval.

NO SURPRISES: 2 glass samples. A portion of the work I showed the clients for approval.

Past students may remember a demonstration in class where I used oil paints on stained glass. This "The Granier" commission, French for the Baker, was a perfect project to demonstrate this technique. My steps included:
- Meeting the clients to see the location for the art to be hung and observe the colors of the room
- Reviewing possible themes, schedule and price
- Presenting small digital sketches
- Choice and revisions on digital sketch
- Presenting a full-size color paper printout of the design in different sizes to choose which looked best in the room.
- Presenting a glass sample (see image above)
- Drop off and hang final work

Images of the final work:


The work measures about 20 x 20 inches, and is set into a stainless steel frame with LED backlighting.

BLOG no 25 / Boosting Creativity Article by Guest Blogger Larry Mager by steve joseph

It seems like everyone’s getting on the fitness bandwagon these days, but whole-body fitness isn’t just about your body; it’s also about your mind. In fact, activities that promote brain fitness can be a huge boon for creativity. So, if you’re feeling like your creative juices are running dry, it might be time to start practicing some fun fitness fixes for your mind.

Video Games
Video games get a bad rap for being irresistible to adolescents who should be spending more time outside, but video games aren’t all bad. It turns out that video games have some creativity-enhancing benefits hidden behind their façade of mindless entertainment. According to researchers at Penn State University who conducted a study on the creative benefits of video games, defocused attention is the key to creativity, and video games help to promote precisely that.

Card Games
Card games aren’t just for kids and poker enthusiasts. In fact, an enjoyable game of cards can help you beat stress – and it stimulates nerve growth in areas of the brain that are largely responsible for things like emotion and executive functioning. Whether you opt for a game like poker which can help boost your strategic prowess or something like Bridge, which has been shown to help boost short-term memory, most card games carry benefits far beyond merely passing the time.

If you view journaling as a hobby only enjoyable for would-be writers, you’re thinking about it all wrong. Putting pen to paper is a powerful way to unleash your inner creativity, problem-solve, relieve stress, and more. Developing a habit of writing every day – and that doesn’t necessarily mean writing a lot each day – can be helpful in overcoming challenges, navigating emotions, and enhancing your creativity. It doesn’t have to be good, either. The key is simply to produce something, no matter how much or how little or how good or bad.

Move in a Different Way
Physical movement can unleash the creative juices, particularly when you move in a way that you’re not used to. If you’re not a regular yoga practitioner, yoga is sure to get you moving in strange ways that your body is unfamiliar with. If you do yoga on the regular, try something different – perhaps salsa dancing, golfing, or even standing on your head.

Visualization requires the use of your imagination, but it doesn’t necessarily mean trying to visualize the specific solution to whatever creative challenge you’re facing. While there’s certainly something to be said for visualizing successful outcomes, you can also flex your creative muscles by visualizing rich landscapes, unusual objects, and a variety of other visuals that have nothing at all to do with the issues at hand. Whatever visualization method you choose, take the time to explore all your senses: touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound.

These five examples are just a few tactics for enhancing your mental fitness and encouraging creativity. They’re probably not what you’d necessarily think of as creativity-enhancing activities, but that’s the point: sometimes, your mind needs a break from the constant hustle and bustle towards measurable outcomes. Taking a little time to redirect your attention and let your mind flow freely can often be just what you need for greater creativity.

About the author. Larry Mager is passionate about the study of how to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. He believes in regular exercise of the brain as a means to do just that. Give yours a workout with some fun, brain-stimulating games at Image via Pixabay by Pexels

BLOG NO 24 / I Love Columbus by steve joseph

In 2015 I was accepted for a solo show at the Kennedy Gallery at Glass Axis in... you guessed it.. Columbus Ohio. I have done a few previous solo shows outside of New York that have been successful in the past, the top of the list was "VOICES X" in Dubuque, Iowa, which had a 7 hour opening festival with entertainment and an open bar. I met over 200 people that night, and sold 6 works. 

In this blog I would like to offer pointers on the best way to organize an out-of-town exhibition. Click here to see images of all of my work, in my Columbus, Ohio exhibition, even better stop by in person. Below are couple photos of the installation.

PACKING & DELIVERY: I needed to install 13 of my glass works for this show at Glass Axis. Paying for an art moving company to ship my work would increase the price of my art, not just the cost of shipping but the time it takes to pack the work. Instead, I wrapped my art in moving blankets, rented a car through (if you rent cars you can save big on this website), and drove my art to Ohio myself. This decision cut my delivery expenses significantly. I needed to physically be at the gallery to install the art, so bringing the work myself fit with the schedule.

In the past I have also placed a listing on to find someone local moving or driving to the same location of my exhibition. One occasion I connected with a driver who had extra space in their moving van that was soon filled with my art. They made a few bucks for gas, and I got my work delivered directly to the gallery. There is no insurance using a non professional mover, so you have to pack the art well and be extremely clear on how to handle the work. They brought the art directly from my doorstep to the gallery doorstep.

TIMING: Picking up the car was scheduled the morning after the election. So like half of America I was sleep deprived! I did manage to get to Glass Axis on schedule, listening to NPR all the way. Needles to say timing is important so you don't hit traffic. I packed a bunch of healthy snacks and made the trip to Columbus in 8 hours, with one stop at the 5 hour point.

A YEAR IN ADVANCE: Once you know the exhibition is set, look for other ways to meet artists during your visit. I discussed other items I could offer with the Glass Axis staff which included teaching a weekend class at Glass Axis (below), and a free "Marketing for Artists" workshop. The staff at Glass Axis organized and filled the class quickly with 10 talented students, and the lecture filled immediately, thanks to a posting by the Ohio Arts Council, who also generously sponsored the event. 

CAR CULTURE: I think it is good for the brain changing your routine, plus a variety of new connections are made when you go outside of your city.
- I experienced what is like to own a car for 5 days straight.
- One of my student traveled from Seattle to take my class, and is planning on taking my class again at Pratt Fine Arts.
- Two previous clients bought one of my larger panels, and treated me to a production at their theater.
- Two students purchased my work, one actually works at Franklin Art Glass Studios.
- Glass Axis has invited me back to teach a longer class in 2017.

MEDIA COVERAGE: By chance I met the organizer of the Franklinton Art Walk, who was looking for an artist to feature in a live "Good Day Columbus" TV segment. The next morning I was talking about my art in a fun interview with the lively reporter Cameron Fontana (below).

EXPAND YOUR REPUTATION: Get out of your comfort zone and go after shows in new locations. Not just for exposure to a new market, but to form friendships with other artists. I am really looking forward to returning to Columbus to meet these people again and take a tour of Franklin Glass Studios.

BLOG NO 23 / Making San Gennaro by steve joseph

People often ask how long each of my works take to make. Walter Hahn, my high school teacher, would answer this by saying 'my whole life.' Which is true, especially when you include the thought process behind the original design.

Here is a short outline of design steps made while producing the work titled San Gennaro. (If you are interested in learning my techniques consider one of my upcoming classes here, or to see this work in person see my current solo show at the Italian American Museum, in the Little Italy neighborhood of Manhattan.)

1. (above) The initial sketch was designed for a "Photo Bomb" class I took at UrbanGlass in Brooklyn. The idea of doing a piece based on San Gennaro, was initially suggested by Dr. Joseph V. Scelsa, founder and president of the Italian American Museum. New Yorkers know “San Gennaro” as a popular feast in Little Italy, but Saint Januarius I of Benevento (the original Italian version) has a assorted and mysterious background. He is know as a martyr and saint. Legends claim that he died during the Great Persecution in 305. I don't claim to be an expert on religion but I see San Gennaro being similar to Russell Crowe in Gladiator. Januarius is currently the patron saint of Naples, Italy. The faithful gather to witness the liquefaction of a sample of his blood kept in a sealed glass ampoule. I really enjoy basing my art on historic stories, and this background was exceptionally strong, especially the liquefaction elements! I expanded the story by adding an audience of muscle men holding the glass ampoule on their heads. Below shows how the designs progressed. They were created using Photoshop and InDesign programs. 

2. The above image had a few more adjustments then was made into a silk-screen and printed on glass using enamel based inks. See this blog for details on silk-screening on glass. Additional colors were added after the original black and white image was fired onto the glass. The finished work is set into a wall hung light box with internal LED lighting. 

The Italian American Museum is right in the middle of the (crowded, sloppy, crazy) San Gennaro Feast that runs from September 15-25, 2016. Stop by if you are in the area. My show runs from now to October 10th, 2016.

The final work. 


BLOG NO 22 / MAKING A SEURAT by steve joseph

 My exhibition at the OUT Hotel (Manhattan 2016) resulted in one of the largest commissions I have done to date. It was based on a very tiny conte crayon on cream paper titled "Study For Bathers at Asnières" (above) by Georges Seurat (French, 1859 - 1891). The client has the art in his collection and asked me to super-size it in glass, to measure over 70 inches (1.7 meters) tall.

I suggested using black frit which was kiln fused onto clear glass. This kept the integrity of the rough texture, matching of Seurat's chosen 'Ingres' brand of paper. The clear glass was placed over a sheet of off white Uroboros glass, creating shadows within the glass. The final installed work has a texture you can see and feel with your fingertips. 

The image was divided into 20 equal size panels, that were copper foiled and soldered together. The challenge was not creating the art but installing the work. 

I placed the glass panels onto a wooden support, finished the soldering, lifted the support and placed it near the existing framed opening between the kitchen and the dining area. We then lifted it into place and secured the work from the back. Truthfully we asked two buff doormen to do the lifting... the work weighs about 200 lbs. (90 Kilograms).

Here is the final work in position. It measures 60 inches wide by 70 inches tall (152 x 178 cm) and can be seen from both sides. The view from the behind is a frosted effect. Below is me in front of the art to show the scale of the work. 

For comments, questions, or to get on my mailing list, please email me [at CAVAglass (at)] .

If you are interested in taking a class for all or some of these process, please visit "Classes". I offer private classes on all these techniques, marketing advice for artists, and career counseling in my Manhattan Studio or online with Skype. Just email me. - Thanks!

BLOG NO 21 / Tips on being "Mocho" by steve joseph

There was a bully in my 6th grade art class in Pleasantville Middle School (above). He would verbally abuse me in every class. Art was my favorite subject. I wondered why couldn't he have annoyed me in gym class, so I would have an excuse not to attend? Whenever the young art teacher, Sally Aldrich, turned her back, he would verbally tease me, so much that I would get nervous before each class started.

One assignment was to use blades to cut linoleum blocks for ink printing. That day this kid started teasing me, and I threatened him with my blade, saying something very mocho like "you touch me again I'll cut off your finger!" I have no idea where this came from, but it stopped him completely, and he never bothered me again, actually he was very friendly after. An early experience proving there was nothing getting between me and my art.

40 years later, that bully's name is long forgotten, and, through the magic of facebook, I have reconnected with my art teacher Sally Aldrich. In 2010 we met face to face during my Open Studio Residency Program at the Museum of Arts and Design here in New York City, and since then we have become friends. Here is a photo of a trip to MoMA in 2015.

Sally introduced me to the Hammond Museum and Japanese Stroll Garden (below), in North Salem, New York. She is on the museum’s exhibition committee, and has exhibited her ceramic work in the museum as well as a variety of galleries in the area. In 2015 Sally was asked if she knew a glass artist to show at the Hammond, and she immediately suggested little old me! 

I hope you enjoyed my short story! Click here to learn more about the Hammond Museum exhibition and artist talk opening this April 2016.

BLOG NO. 20 / The Making of Cinderella by steve joseph

In my 20th blog I'l like to show and tell how "Cinderella", my latest commission, was created.

1. The image on the far left (above) was supplied by the client. They asked me to use the figures of Cinderella and her Godmother in a new setting. I presented the three designs on the right. These were created using PhotoShop and InDesign programs. From there we had a few minor changes.

2. Once a design was approved I produced this sketch to repaint on glass.

3. I cut glass to fit into sections of the sketch, then paint by hand, or spray with an air-brush.

4. Some pieces (left) are painted and fired a few times. Once all the pieces are painted, they are copper foiled.

5. The work is layered and soldered together, then placed into a wall hung light box.
See the final work here.

BLOG NO. 19 / GLASS BLOOPERS by steve joseph

In my 19th blog I'l like to speak of 6 tragic exhibition experiences, while showing my work inside and outside of the gallery setting. I am sure other artists can fully relate to many of these...

1. Drunk Openings
In 1997, while still working at GQ magazine, I had work accepted in an exhibition named "After Hours", which exhibited art made by professionals creating art after their 9 to 5 shifts. I was excited, it was my very first group show in Chelsea, New York. The opening was packed and my three-foot tall stained glass panel hung smack-dab in the center of the gallery. As the wine was flowing, a drunk guest walked head on into my panel. The work swung and she fell to to floor. Miraculously, neither the art or the woman was damaged, and only one was escorted out of the gallery.

1. Flipping "Flipping the Bird"

cavalieriFlipping EXT .jpg

At the "e-merge 2008,” opening at Bullseye Glass, in Portland, Oregon, my Flipping the Bird Chandelier (above) was hanging at the top of the stairs, at the very entrance to the gallery. I attended the opening and was excited to have the work in such a great spot. As I ascended the stairs, I found a guest tapping the glass eggs together to produce a chime like sound. She said "Just listen to the lovely sounds this makes!!". I guess she misinterpreted the title of the work and thought that SHE should flip the bird herself. 

3. Clauses in Your Contract

It is important to try to predict possible clauses in a gallery contract. Often overlooked is the "Blow Up Football Player" clause (see above). I think I will change the name of my work (peaking out from the back) from "Jackie O in White" to "Jackie 00". 

4. Badly Hung

I was glad to have my work chosen for a show in the Wayne Art Center in 2014, but when I arrived to the opening I found the work unplugged, and placed high behind a tall wooden cabinet. I had to plug the work in myself and request for it to be moved so it could be viewed eye level. A week later a friend visited and found the work in a new position, but again, it was unplugged. 

5. Going MAD

I am very happy the work my work (above) is in the permanent collection at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City. Here is some advice before you arrange for work to be in a permanent collection. Ask if the you can have a lifetime pass for the museum, and ask if the work will be on the museums website. If I were asked again I would have requested to have a lifetime pass, which large museums like MoMA offers, and even a theatre named Dixon Place here in Manhattan did for a commission I made for them. I have been waiting for over two years for the work to be posted on the MAD web site. I understand they have a small staff at MAD.

6. Doing it Right

VOICES opening crop.jpg

Being the optimistic guy that I am, I must end this blog with the best show I have been invited to show my work, which is the "VOICES X" exhibition in Dubuque, Iowa (2014). Nothing went wrong. It had a very organized staff, most of which were volunteers. They helped with my delivery and return of my work, and even better, hung all of my art in a space which they painted black (see above). They put on a classy, 7 hour opening with entertainment, food, and I had plenty of sales. The best part of this was meeting the super friendly locals, and they still have my work posted on their website. I highly recommend artists to enter this show.

With all of the planning artists and curators put into exhibitions, you never know what to expect. My advice is to ask questions on all aspects of the show, before the exhibition, and to visit the gallery as much as possible during the exhibition.

BLOG NO. 18 Creating THE DIVE by steve joseph

I am currently creating works for an exhibition here in New York City in September 2015. I am taking a break from production to write about one stained glass piece that will be featured in the show titled "The Dive".

During a trip to Mexico in 1992, my friend Daniel Boike held his breath and dove 30 feet (9 meters) underwater to explore coral at the bottom of the ocean.  He didn't come up for a good 3 minutes!  This hidden talent impressed me so much, that 23 years later I sketched my memory of the event (above).

From my pencil sketches, I first drew a more detailed design for the border (above) using InDesign and Photoshop programs. 

Next, I placed images of a half diver in the center of the design for position, then I scouted for a tall, thin model with a swimmer's build. Dustin, who I met at my local gym, fit the bill and agreed to a photo shoot. Using Photoshop I later rotated and silhouetted his figure, changed the pattern of his shorts and added him to the design.

Title: The Dive
Medium: Hand painted and silk-screened (kiln fired) enamels on stained glass, set into a non-rusting stainless steel frame with LED lights
Size: 30 1/4 x 40 1/2 inches (76 x 102 cm)
Date: 2015

Current exhibition at the OUT Hotel  (see article on exhibition here).

BLOG NO. 17 / Shortcuts for Silk-Screen Printing on Glass by steve joseph

After the success of Blog Number 8, "9 Easy Steps to Silk-screen Printing on Glass", I've decided to post a more detailed step-by-step posting titled "Shortcuts for Silk-screen Printing on Glass." I will specifically talking about how I cut and print on glass, using visuals from a work in progress.

With all my work I first design the work and print it full size to use as a "cartoon" to cut the glass to fit. Cartoon is basically the paper printout pattern of the design. Like a large jigsaw puzzle, all the glass should fit together as close as possible on top of the cartoon. 

The bottom section of a work in progress showing cut glass and the color printout "cartoon" pattern underneath.

The bottom section of a work in progress showing cut glass
and the color printout "cartoon" pattern underneath.

To cut glass precisely, I use a glass cutter and flat nose pliers to grind the edge of the glass. I also use a ring saw to cut intricate concave shapes only when needed. I skip using any wet glass grinders, they waste time and slow the process down.

Cutting Bullseye glass in the Taurus Ring Saw. Remember push very slowly with this machine, to prevent jamming.

Cutting Bullseye glass in the Taurus Ring Saw. Remember push very slowly with this machine, to prevent jamming.

When making a silk-screen save the original acetate image. I tape this acetate onto the silk-screen board, and tape the cut glass down on top. Place your glass in the exact positioning you need. I add tape to the back of other pieces of glass and tape them down as well.

I order all of my silk-screens through Standard Silk-Screen in New York. 

I order all of my silk-screens through Standard Silk-Screen in New York. 

Once I have the glass pieces under the screen, I use the best water based enamel on earth, produced by ColorLine (you guessed it, I love this stuff). I only add the enamel above the glass pieces, and not in areas where their is no glass underneath, so when I "pull the enamel" with the squeegee, I also save on materials. To see the steps for silk-screening please visit Blog 8

joseph cavalieri
Notice the bottom right didn't print perfectly. Since the glass is taped down and I was using clamps to hold the silk-screen in place, I was easily able do another print in this area.

Notice the bottom right didn't print perfectly. Since the glass is taped down and I was using clamps to hold the silk-screen in place, I was easily able do another print in this area.

(right) My favorite "clamshell" Paragon kiln.

(right) My favorite "clamshell" Paragon kiln.

Place as many pieces of glass on the kiln shelf as you can, then bake. ColorLine enamels bake at 1300 degrees in a "polish firing" where only the surface layer of enamel is permanently baked onto the glass. This kiln fired enamel method dates to Medieval times. 

For comments, questions, or to get on my mailing list, please email me [at CAVAglass (at)] .

If you are interested in taking a class for all or some of these process, please visit "Classes". I offer private classes on all these techniques, marketing advice for artists, and career counseling in my Manhattan Studio or online with Skype. Just email me.