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The Sunrise

This was one of those pieces that happened accidentally. Sipping coffee on my studio couch before dawn, cuddling with my bulldog under a cozy blanket with Stan Getz on Pandora, I let the morning unfold slowly. Like most mornings, I'm up before the sun and cannot wait to start my day. No really - that happens.

On this February day, the sky glowed that planetarium blue dawn color, the kind of blue that looks incredibly fake in the planetarium but then when you see it in real life, you realize that those planetarium people really know their stuff.

I have an eye for a good sunrise. When that blue begins and there are just the right amount of clouds at just the right level, expect a fiery sky. Often I'll bundle up and pack my bulldog, Rocco, in the car so quickly like the house is on fire and race the five blocks to the beach just to see the pink, orange, red, salmon, yellow, purple, and blue splatter the sky and reflect on the waves. Just like this one that I captured with my iPhone in Spring Lake, New Jersey.

They're all lovely in their own way, but in February, when it's 10 degrees Fahrenheit, I need more than just planetarium blue to dash out of my house and drag poor, sleepy Rocco with me. So, I chose to make my own sunrise from the warm cozy of my studio.

No plan - just a pencil, a Sharpie marker, a big sheet of paper, and whole bunch of glass. I imagined what I wanted my sunrise to be and I began to craft it.

Before long, the colors fell right into place. The rest of the day involved grinding each piece and wrapping them in copper foil, which is one of my favorite and most relaxing steps of the process. I'm an avid reader and making glass takes up much of that time so plays my books for me! I enjoyed a little cabernet and Haruki Murakami's The Windup Bird Chronicle while grinding, foiling, and preparing the sunrise for solder.

I love, love, love holding the piece in natural light for the first time after solder. The moment light touched it, I realized that was a terrible color choice for the sun.

After collaborating via iPhone photos with everyone I knew from New Jersey to Texas to California to New York City, collectively, we chose this streaky yellow. Good choice pals!

When I began designing the piece, there was a stack of salvaged window sashes at my feet just begging to filled with glass and because I was in a good mood, I obliged. I love the juxtaposition of old and new, sparkly and worn, colorful and dull, smooth and rough.

I'm pretty sure Rocco approves.

- Laura Koss

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