Published 6:51 pm Tuesday, November 26, 2013

PHOTO BY JAINE TREADWELL | Ornaments by Tara Sartorius are now available at The Johnson Center.

PHOTO BY JAINE TREADWELL | Ornaments by Tara Sartorius are now available at The Johnson Center.

2013 ornaments now available

The Johnson Center for the Arts is offering 100 crosses by artist Tara Sartorius as the 2013 ornament in its Christmas Ornament Collection, which is a fund-raiser for the Johnson Center.

“These ornaments are unusual because they are made of fused antique stained glass,” said Morgan Drinkard, Johnson Center executive director. “Tara Sartorius inherited this glass from her mother Joan Cady Sartorius, a stained glass artist, who worked primarily with antique English, French and German glass she acquired from Bendheim Glass in New York City between 1950 and 1965.”

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Drinkard said that large sheets of this glass survived moves from Connecticut to California and finally to Alabama.

Some of Tara Sartorius’ courage and inspiration came from her association with Troy glass master, the late Ed Walter.

“Tara said that ‘Mr. Walter’ as he was affectionately known, was a ‘leprechaun-like wizard,’” Drinkard said. “He generously shared his glass fusing techniques and encouraged her to work and play with her mother’s glass.”

In making these crosses, Sartorius used a single color as the base, and then designed differences with colored enamels, decals, mica, stringers, wire, and small amounts of other crushed glass.

“The stunning variations are all fired and fused on each cross,” Drinkard said. “No glue or other adhesives were used.”

Sartorius said that, besides the triumphs over technical challenges, she considers these crosses a form of reflection on the meaning of sacrifice and good will.

“The fact that they are intended as an ornament for the Christmas holiday season adds to the special appreciation for mothers, teachers and friends who give selflessly of their time, love and spirit of creativity,” Sartorius said.

Drinkard said the crosses may be purchased at the Johnson Center during regular Center hours, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and until 3 p.m. on Saturday.