One of the things that is really notable about Moscow and yet not many people outside Russia know about, is how gorgeous the Moscow metro is.
These photos? That’s what the metro stations look like.
They’re called the “People’s palaces of Moscow” or else “Underground palaces,” and they were built during the Soviet era on the Communist idea that art and beauty should belong to the people rather than only being available in the houses of nobles.
These photos show just some of the metro’s attractions. There are many more mosaics, statues, etc, placed throughout.
And the metro is always this clean.
In addition to being beautiful, it is incredibly functional. It gets you pretty much everywhere in Moscow, and the trains run at intervals of every three minutes or less. At peak times, they run every 90 seconds. You never have to worry about missing a train, because the next one will come almost immediately.
Not always of course. In the late evening or early morning hours, you may have to wait as long as five whole minutes for a train. They’re also super easy to navigate.
We Russians are pretty proud of our metro system.
So my grandma calls me Friday night all the way from Russia to tell me that something weird has happened. A shelf with some ceramic heirlooms had fallen down, but the weird part was that the shelf was not… broken. It just fell. Some of the things broke, some of them didn’t, among which was an old porcelain statuette of the Tzaritza of the Copper Mountain. My grandmother, true to her superstitious Russian nature, took it as a bad omen and called me to find out if I was okay.
And then last night the Bay Area got hit with a 6.0 Earthquake.
My grandma is a witch.
For reference, the Mistress of the Copper Mountain is a main character in some Ural Russian folk tales. She is the guardian of the mountain’s ores and precious metals and only allows them to be found by people who please her. So…. yeah.
SAGA - COMPLETE
Here it is! The finished, patina’ed, cleaned and framed version of fionastaples's amazing cover. I hope it does it justice. It's made of a combination of translucent and opaque glass, which might have been a mistake… It looks nice without light behind it, but then the sky appears to be dark. But maybe Alana is sneaking out on her night shift to read under the light of the moons? I really like the backlit version too, but it loses the skin color detail. But then it has the advantage of looking nice both at night and during the day. There is no paint on this one! All the lines you see a solder lines.
20x30 inches, about 170 individual pieces of glass
SAGA - IN PROGRESS
So I usually never ever post photos of unfinished things, but it’s gonna be a while before I can get the solder to frame it and I’m just so excited about this piece. Saga was, I believe, the first American comic book I’ve ever read. Ever. Even before Sandman. It’s also the comic that introduced me to the wonderful fantasticgirlreadscomics comic book club and plunged me head first into this insanely awesome universe.
It is also so, so, so good.
And fionastaples's art is stunning! - so free yet so expressive. And this particular cover is just Alana in one image, and just bloody cool in general.
I still have to solder on the frame, and patina it black. My phone categorically refuses to render the actual colors of the glass, so that almost navy blue is actually a clear turquoise in real life. The bubble is made from the glass the brimples were made from ;) and I aligned the streaks of the mocha skin glass to the line of her cheekbone. That skin tone was the hardest to figure out! There are no “hazel” or “coffee” or “chocolate” or “amber” colors of glass, just weird orangy-brown and “peach”. Hurmf.
Feet for scale! My biggest piece yet.
I’m late to the party, but here is my stealth cosplay of Captain Marvel for Guardians of the Galaxy! So many good things about that movie, and a couple of confusing ones. I need to see it again.
so i found your blog through the book binding post and i'm crying because all your crafts are so amazing! do you have an etsy store or anything like that? or can i just pay you to bind my comics for me? <3
Hello! Thank you thank you! :D
I am selling a couple of things here. It’s not a lot, I just opened it a couple of days ago! I’ll be making more small stuff to sell for relatively cheap as time goes on.
When it comes to binding comics, I would definitely, absolutely bind them for you. Because of copyright stuff, I will only bind things that you send me - I will not sell you issues that I have bought but I can sell you my work/skill/binding materials. So if you send issues my way, I will send them back to you bound! It’s a base 20$ fee plus the cost of materials used for the cover stuff (whatever you choose to bind the issues in - leather, cloth, a special kind of paper, a printout of your art, the skin of your enemies…) and whatever else you want to put on there (I can add gold leaf, embossing, calligraphy, embroidery…), and, well, shipping. Let me know if you are interested, and we can talk specifics!
As a baseline, here are some examples of approximate prices for various cover materials:
Regular bookcloth (library quality, somewhat water-resistant) - 12$
Leather - 60$
Printout of your art (you would send me the picture electronically) - 17$
Fabric (depending on what kind) - 6$-20$
If you have an idea of what you want on the cover I would gladly realize it for you, or you can give me creative license and I can cook something up myself. It’s all up to you! I am merely the craftsman. Thank you for your interest in my work!
Hello everyone! I am so happy that my stained glass pieces seem to generate mostly positive responses. For those of you who have taken a look at the etsy shop, you may have been surprised by the prices. I have done quite a lot of research when it comes to pricing stained glass pieces and have even spoken with a few artists that sell their craft for a living. Stained glass is a rather expensive hobby; each of the pieces that I have made so far had several hundreds of dollars worth of raw glass alone; then there is solder, copper foil, flux, patina, frame etc. as well as all the tools required to treat those materials (cutter, snapper, grinder, pliers, foiler, soldering iron, brushes…).
But mostly the pieces take a very, very long time to make. Each panel takes about a week full-time, and it requires physical and skilled work. The size of the piece is not the only thing that matters, either - the number of pieces is a very important factor, as each piece of glass has to be cut, ground, foiled and soldered individually. The frame has to be sawed, the chemicals involved in the soldering and patina are really not good for you, the lead itself is really not a healthy thing to be playing with and that’s without counting all the cuts and glass splinters you get from cutting the glass. All in all stained glass is not a trivial craft that requires a substantial time commitment and a fairly large initial investment.
This is also my first foray into etsy - I don’t yet have a good feel for where the “reasonable” gray area stops. I don’t even know if people are interested in that kind of stuff! (hopefully they are, because I really need to pay rent). But if you are looking for a custom-made stained glass panel of comparable size, you would probably end up paying a couple grand no matter what is on it, especially if it’s handmade.
Man, I hope this did not come out preachy. I just feel that because stained glass is a rather obscure and not often seen craft, most people are not aware of what goes into making it. As previously mentioned I am a newbie, so I can only get better from here. I just hope you enjoy it. :)
Bucky, finally in stained glass edition! With silverfoil (mirror glass) for his arm and beautiful snow glass for the background, because RUSSIA. Complete with sadness eyeliner of doom.
It is also now FOR SALE on etsy! Along with my other pieces. It would take a while to ship because of the logistics, but it’ll get there.
The photos are terrible, my apologies. I was just really excited to post it. Almost done with my newest piece, ran out of solder before I could make the frame (sadness times infinity).
The image is inspired by the art of very, very talented tumblr user axeeeee.
Bonus progress pictures.
I was supporting Carol Corps with a stealth cosplay of Captain Marvel at the Guardians of the Galaxy showing this Saturday! Also picked up the Carol from Fantastic Comics, unfortunately they cannot put it up for safety reasons. Huzzah for Captain Marvel!
The Hawkguy wooden box
Pyrography along with embroidery were my very first crafts… Russia is very big on the whole “decorating things by burning them” thing and I remember doing it very young (at this point I just think my grandparents were a bit insane because I would not trust a 7-year-old with a soldering iron; but hey - I wasn’t raised in the Soviet Union, just born in it).
As always, the Hawkguy (Matt Fraction and David Aja) holds a special place in my heart. It’s a rather small box (4.5 inches wide), pyrographed, colored with ink, with gold leaf for Kate’s aviators (because she is classy) and aluminum leaf for the rims and bumpers of the car.