Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni?

20 Jun

“Nothin says lovin’ like somethin’ from the oven, especially if its hand-painted glassware.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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Being an artist has its upsides and its challenges. I have trouble going out and buying gifts for friends because I always want to make them something special. Oh, don’t get me started on Christmas gift exchanges with my artist friends. Those are the best because you know all the time and love and thought that has gone into each personalized gift.

With that in mind, I was trying to think of something special to make for Mr. Jerry’s big 75th birthday bash yesterday. I’ve painted a couple of martini glasses in the past because he has a martini glass collection. Then, one year I painted a couple of wine glasses to match, with those vibrant African colors and silhouetted trees and a giraffe thrown in for good measure. I wanted to make a bold statement for his collection, so I painted a large glass vase in the same motif. He buys fresh flowers for his table every Friday, and I know he really appreciates my homemade and unique gifts. A one-of-a-kind vase would be perfect.

I started out with a large clear glass vase and Folk Art Enamel glass paints. I turned it upside down and started dabbing wine red with a makeup sponge to get a soft application. Then, while still wet, dab in orange, blending ever so gently to avoid lines. The last color was yellow. I flipped it right side up for the last color, blending and softening lines and edges. Usually, when I take on a new project, I paint several smaller prototypes first to get all the kinks out before I risk messing up the larger project. Also, I like to keep a few references for the future because once I paint something and give it away, “I’ll never have that recipe again.”

After the background is painted and dry, I use black for the trees and giraffe. I have to laugh because no two giraffes I paint ever look the same. Some have short necks, some way too long legs, or a big butt that goes around the corner, Ha!

I was happy with my smaller prototypes, so I proceeded with the large vase.

I bake the glassware in a regular oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes and leave unopened to cool. This helps to heat set the glass paint. (Nothin’ says lovin’ like somethin’ from the oven.”

Voila! Mr. Jerry’s special birthday present. I think it will look cool with flowers or even one of those battery operated candles that flicker inside.

Here are the other prototypes. The small one was a gift for Brandi, Jerry’s lovely daughter who hosted the party. The other two will remain in my personal collection for a while. I hope you liked the step by step painting process of …Toni takes old glass and turns it into a new treasure.

I hope you liked your gift Mr. Jerry. Happy birthday.

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