By Barbara Wells
The Meridian Star
Meridian Activity Center is delighted to welcome Linda Munoz from York, Ala., who will demonstrate her fused glass process at the Center on April 12.
Linda has 25 years experience working with stained glass, mosaics and fused glass. Many examples of her work can be found around York on the sides of buildings, stepping stones and benches.
In 2011, Linda directed 15 Collinsville High School students on a project making glass tile collage tops for concrete benches. That same yea, she completed a project in New York with the United Methodist Women’s Conference. The mosaics made in that workshop were dedicated and placed in the United Nations Worship Center in New York, N.Y.
On April 12, Linda will bring pieces of fusible glass beginning students can arrange to form a pendant (or two or three). She then will place the arrangement in her kiln and melt, or fuse, the pieces together. The pieces will be small, as they are to hang on chain or cord as a pendant or on earring wire.
The class will not take long, but the heating and melting time takes several hours, so we will pick up our pieces the following Monday. Linda will attach a hanger to make it easier to thread onto a chain. The cost is only $15 for one piece ($20 for two; $25 for three).
Call to reserve a spot in the class, which starts at 1 p.m.; class size is limited.
Shiny, sparkly things in the sun
Interest in working with glass has been around for a long time. "Slumped" glass bottles make a perfect cheese board. And have you noticed the number of bottle trees appearing everywhere?
Bottle trees go way way back; people started using glass to capture or repel bad spirits. The idea was, roaming night spirits would be lured into and trapped in bottles placed around entryways, and morning light would destroy them.
Eudora Welty took photographs in the 1930s for the Works Progress Administration (WPA). She wrote about one picture she'd taken of a sharecropper’s bare house and yard, but for several bottle trees ... “but Livvie knew that there could be a spell put in trees, and she was familiar from the time she was born with the way bottle trees kept evil spirits from coming into the house – by luring them inside the colored bottles, where they cannot get out again.”
Horticulturist Felder Rushing brought this tradition back to life when he horrified and haunted his neighbors in an upscale Jackson neighborhood with native plants and bottle trees. Another "special" use of bottles in the landscape is one I copied from Jessie Everett, a master gardener from Union: driving the bottle's neck down in a line around your flower bed – side to side, curving gently – allows for a little rise in your bed. Just don’t use your weed eater around it!
A fun project to make glass look old and silvery is to purchase some Krylon Looking Glass Spray. Spray inside glass bottle or vase, then spray piece with half water/half vinegar mix and let it sit for a minute. Last, just pot the little bubbles with a paper towel. Voila!
My sister has covered old bowling balls with those glass pebbles you use inside vases to take up space and hold the flower stems in place. She used tile cement, just spreading it over a portion of the ball and stuck the pebbles in tight next to each other. It is so neat looking, just lying in her garden. She didn't use any grout.
This summer we’ll teach leaf cement casting and mosaic stepping stones (promise!). Start saving broken pottery pieces or other items you might want to glue down. Read The Meridian Star for dates.
Special thanks to friends
• Otha Barham and the DayDreamers. Last Saturday was Otha’s last night to play at The Center after three years of entertainment. We will now have to make-do with his column in the Hunting & Fishing section of the Meridian Star. Thank you Otha!
• Ginger Hand of the Meridian Fire Department. Ginger was kind enough to train several teachers in a CPR class at no cost to the city.
• Mickey Sellers and son Tyler of S&S Glass donated and installed a large mirror in our Zumba class room. Thanks, Mickey.
Meridian Activity Center is looking for new instructors. We would love to have a pottery class, if only we had someone with knowledge to teach it. We have the capability for handbuilt pottery and a source of clay, glazes and two kilns.
Also, a Spanish language class. (We already have a Japanese teacher available for private lessons, but feel Spanish might be more useful in our area)
Also … of great importance as we already have a class of eager dancers, but we need an instructor who can teach line dancing.
The sale scheduled earlier in March has been set for April 20, beginning at 7 a.m. and going until 11 a.m. Put your best and finest to sell in the trunk of your car or pickup and come on down! We'll have plenty of hot coffee and snacks for the sellers ($5 per car).
Phone Barbara at (601) 485-1812 with any questions; leave a message with your name and phone number if you plan to attend. MakeAWish people will be with us.
Meridian Activity Center is located in the heart of Meridian, not far from Meridian High and Northwest Junior High schools. The address is 3300 32nd Ave. and the best approach is from 29th Avenue and 36th Street.
Phone if you have questions or visit our website at meridianms.org. Or, check us out on Facebook! Phone us at (601) 485-1812.
• Barbara Wells is director of Meridian Activity Center. You may e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org