Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

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.”

HOW I GOT STARTED

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.

THE STORY BEHIND MY ART, MY INSPIRATION

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.

WORK I’M MOST PROUD OF

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.

YOU WON’T BELIEVE

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.

MY FAVORITE ARTIST

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.

ADVICE FOR ASPIRING YOUNG ARTISTS

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.

MY WORK CAN BE SEEN/PURCHASED

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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