May 27, 2015


(noun) - Texture is used to describe either the way a three-dimensional work actually feels when touched, or the visual "feel" of a two-dimensional work. (

A local group that I'm involved in, Cape Ann Artisans, is celebrating our 32 annual Spring Open Studio Tour later in June. Recently the topic of "texture" came up during one of our round table planning discussions; it was fascinating to see how everyone deals differently with texture ...what a great discussion came out of that! It was inspiring to see how artisans in different media use (or try to avoid!) texture and some of us decided to spend a bit more time musing on the topic. (From The Studio 2015)

Mermaid's Necklace
 "Texture"...what would our artwork be without it? Texture is the physical feel and look of something — smooth, rough, fuzzy, bumpy, slimy, and lots of somethings in between; sometimes very obvious, sometimes so subtle it requires a touch to get the full sense ...and I can't imagine making my work without considering what I want the final texture to be. It is one of those qualities that may or may not be clearly visible- it's different in every medium- but becomes a major component of the work we as artisans and artists all do, deliberate or not. A bead's smooth unblemished surface reflects a lively sparkle but that same light bouncing off a fluted surface creates an almost glittery effect, giving life and movement to the piece. I can completely change the look of the surface by etching the glass to a soft matte finish, by using tools to ruffle the edge of a disk or by embedding tiny gold spheres in the surface of the molten glass. The visual and tactile textures of the piece become part of what makes it unique to the hand of the maker - and desirable to the owner.

  I "collect" textures to use as inspiration in my work, often through photographs. Here are examples of inspiration and the resulting artwork: it's an interesting challenge to figure out ways to mimic Nature's colors, textures and finishes in my own.
Himalayan Blue Poppy (above) and Anemone Pendants Inspired by below...

I'm always on the lookout for new textures - and all the tools with which to create those textures!
More to come....and as always, thanks for reading!