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Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sugar Skulls and a BIG WOO HOO!

Let me start with my big WOO HOO first...
I won first place in the bead section of the FlameTree Glass Halloween Contest. It sure means a lot to me and I appreciate it very much. My prize is one of the many generous donations from GTT- Willy and Wally Horn - a Lynx Torch. This will make it easier for me to try larger stuff and perhaps a little in boro too. I'm thrilled. To see the contestants and other photos, visit FlameTree Glass.

Now back to my daily topic. Sugar skulls. Today is Dia de Muertos, which takes its roots back to the Aztec civilization and Mexico. It honors family and friends who have passed on.

I think sugar skulls look like potentially awesome beads for practicing dots, stringer control, sculpture, surface decoration and possibly murrini application. Wow, that's a lot of potential in one item. I know some glass artists already make them, but it seems like this is an item that would be easy for people to add their own style to.

The photo on the left, I found on, which is a wonderful site for reference photos. This one was by ArtofSkulls You can also learn how to make real sugar skulls through this other website. Or use it for more fabulous reference photos.

This little Frida Kahlo shrine, I found on This is not quite as "upbeat celebratory" or traditional as some of the holiday shrines go, but I thought that the artist must have felt a connection with Kahlo and that this one is hauntingly poignant. The same artist has an "Anima Sola" shrine with a lovely brunette woman in flames. I really like that one too.

So hopefully you've seen some different inspiration ideas through another culture and you'll look to other cultures too. I just ask that before you make something that might be sacred to a group, that you research it carefully to be sure that your interpretation would be appropriate.

What are some other ideas or websites that show multi cultural inspiration to you?