Colorful glassware is easyBy Stephanie Kendrick
to make, great for gifts or to keep
for yourself to toast in the holidays
Assistant Features Editor
AS excitement about the year-end threatens to overwhelm this year's holiday season, why not kill two birds with one stone and present your loved ones with hand-painted champagne flutes for toasting the millennium?
Glass painting is a versatile holiday craft project that is inexpensive and easy to execute.
Plain glass ornaments, ready for your special touch, are available all over town. Inexpensive glassware can be found everywhere from thrift stores to discount giants. And paints, tools and instructions for glass painting can be found at local craft stores.
Alexia Carvalho sells hand-painted glass and ceramic pieces at Native Books and Beautiful Things. She started more than five years ago when she was looking for an inexpensive way to give Christmas gifts to her family.
Carvalho has turned the craft into an art and her family is still involved. All of her designs incorporate Hawaiian flora and each of them came at the request of a family member.
While a beginning glass painter shouldn't expect to duplicate Carvalho's tiny, intricate designs, she believes the beauty of the end product depends on the spirit of the painter more than the talent.
"Paint from the heart. Take a deep breath and just put down what you feel," she said. "If at first it doesn't look so well to you, keep working at it.
"If you're feeling crummy, don't bother painting," she added. "How you feel comes through."
But there is technical help available for those getting started. "The people in the craft stores are very knowledgeable and helpful," said Carvalho.
Clean items you are going to paint with mild soap and water. Wipe with rubbing alcohol, using a paper towel, and allow to dry thoroughly.
Follow the application and drying directions on your paints. Each brand of paint varies. Decorative items such as Christmas balls need only be painted and dried.
Items such as dishes that you will want to wash require paints that can be baked on after drying, such as Liquitex Glassies, available at Flora-Dec for about $4 per 2-ounce tube, a hefty supply. Liquitex baked at 325 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes yields an item that may be hand-washed in mild soap and water. Hand-painted items are not dishwasher safe and should not be scoured or otherwise treated in an abrasive manner.
Warning: While glass paints are non-toxic, they are not food safe. Do not paint within 2 centimeters of the tops of glasses or inside glasses.
Glassware and/or ornaments
Acrylic paint designed for non-porous surfaces
Stencils and stencil brushes
Tracing paper and pencil
Sponges cut into shapes
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