Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

Home · Articles · News · Art · The Glass Master
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The Glass Master

Glass mosaic artist Brian Strickland bucks all kinds of trends. He doesn’t own a computer … or a car.

Al Parker - April 21st, 2014  

And in nearly 50 years of creating glass mosaics, he has never sliced a finger open.

“I just love working with glass,” he said.

“And I love sharing that passion with people who come to visit the Glass Mosaic Gallery at my home.”

Strickland’s works include colorful, intricate framed pieces. The topics include bicycles (his favorite mode of transportation), landscapes, portraits, animals, religious symbols and more.

Strickland’s current project is an imposing five-foot-high portable wall whose panels feature the four seasons. He’s finished two seasons and is now focused on getting winter done.

His most popular works are vivid candleholders, which come in two styles: round and triangular.

“You’d think that making candleholders would get old, but it never does,” said the Tra verse City native, who takes about 10 hours to make a round candleholder. “I do five at a time, kind of like an arty assembly line, but I love it.”


My first glass mosaic was done while I was a junior in high school. I owe it all to Mrs. Potts, my art teacher. It was in 1965 and I dedicated the piece to my parents, Ray and Caremen Strickland.

After college came a stint in the Army, and traveling around Europe for a year. Then I returned home to T.C. and worked passionately on my art. It is always a work in progress.


My art form of glass mosaics originates from a desire and commitment to transform a ‘concept’ into a ‘tangible reality.’ Frequently my inspiration stems from a particular subject or theme, and on other occasions my imagination is fueled by the scale of a project or dominant color scheme. All of these components influence the direction each piece takes, and all of them make a mosaic.


That would have to be a piece I did for a local church, Faith Reformed Church. It was a picture of a very large cross. Everybody in the congregation helped with the picture by bringing in a piece of glass and gluing it on the piece. When the cross was filled in, I finished the background and completed/framed the mosaic so they could hang it up in the window.


That after all of these years creating glass mosaics, I still love what I do. Some of my favorite bicycle pieces were done for the late John F. Kennedy Jr., who sent me a nice letter thanking me for the gift. I’m curious whatever happened to that piece and where it is now. I’ve also done bicycle works for Lance Armstrong and Greg Lemond, for his restaurant in Wisconsin.


I have no particular favorite but I enjoy and am inspired by all glass artists. Whether it is hand-blown, fused, beadwork, sculpture, or other mosaics, they all inspire me.


Be passionate about your art no matter what medium you choose. Work on it every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes at a time. It will keep you thinking about your art. That way you will stay excited about the artwork…the colors to use, the design, and the completion.

I have found that it helps to have all the materials you are going to use out and ready at all times, whether it’s in an extra room or on a table. That way you won’t lose interest. When you are inspired you just want to keep going.


I have participated in many shows and have done several commissioned pieces as well, which can be seen at the Old Town Playhouse, Faith Reformed Church, and several restaurants. Locally my work can be seen at The Candle Factory, Cogs Creek Gallery, at my Glass Mosaic Gallery or visit www.glassmosaicgallery.com.

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