Planet-themed table top
by Lynn Bridge
After my spouse built the sturdy, hollow-topped coffee table, I planned the mosaic finish. In 2 feet by 4 feet, I wanted to give a flavor of vast space, not to mention, exciting color.
Several times, in a darkened room, I set up balls of various sizes and shone a bright light on them, photographing and carefully noting the shape and placement of the shadows. As I was doing this work, I was listening to my NPR station, including a program about working in space. Apparently, if you are working in the sunlight and you stretch your hand into a shadow, the absence of light is so striking that you can no longer see your hand. That extreme is what I wanted to capture in my work.
When I went glass shopping at Blue Moon Glassworks, I kept selecting sets of glass sheets for the various planets, and e-mailing the pictures to Washington, the destination of this table. When all the glass colors were approved, I carried a small fortune in glass back to my home studio.
I cut the glass into strips, then nipped each strip into a gazillion little pieces. When I had a quart jar full of pieces, I filled the jar with water and a drop of dish detergent, and shook the living daylights out of the glass. This removed all the painfully sharp points and edges. I rinsed and dried them and stored them for use.
Some of the glass was rather translucent and, wanting a white underlayment for it, I used white cement mortar to adhere those sections. For the opaque glass, I used Weldbond to adhere each piece firmly to the wood.
Below is the look of the table in a room. Looks at home, doesn’t it?