Joy McDonald

8×8” Tile, entitled “CHILDHOOD DREAMS

Artist: Joy McDonald 2007

Artist statement. 

My tile represents the simplicity and strength of colours which draw me personally to an appealing designed quilt.

Because this tile is a mere part of some other 36 tiles… I wanted the overall design to be simple and command presence by the 3 initial strips seen, prompting attention from the viewer, enticing them to look further at such a simple shape, thus revealing the quaint seascape identifying the elements of water, air and earth.

I wanted transparency so light could pass through the tile; when and if these tiles are assembled and framed for exhibition.

The reaction I hope for is a smile and perhaps a fond memory from childhood recalling the rudimentary colours and forms with symbolic elements of water, air, and earth.

Process and materials.

I began with powdered white Bullseye frit and Masterfuse navy blue lead enamel for the clouds on clear Tekta thin 8×8″ glass, lightly fused in the first firing.

The second firing took place after more cloud, water, and sunset details were added on top of the glass using Bullseye fine powders.

The third firing was to (shelf side) full fuse the background colours trans blue BE1414 , orange BE0125, BE 1114 blue for water to the painted top clear. A thin strip of 0120 canary yellow powder between the sky and orange. For whimsey I fused on a freeze n fused sun and the seagulls were made in the same fashion. The sailboat was cut from BE0126 spring green and fused in the same operation.

After four trips to the kiln, I used Pebeo Vitrea glass paint for the finishing accents and a last firing to cure these low fire paints finished my tile.

What I learned:

I learned that my initial intuition to do this project early was a great idea as I had plenty of time to work through my process without stress thus enabling me to enjoy the process. I love working with powders and molds which I incorporate in most of my bowls and platters. I was very fortunate to find Warmglass.com from which my glass knowledge has come to life. There I’ve found artisans in glass most willing to share their craft with people entering the glassworld as well as seasoned fusers alike. A warm thank you to all Warmglass members for everything I’ve learned and continue to learn as a new member to this passion. 

Joy McDonald


  1. Joy,

    This is another fun piece that I keep going back to look at. It is a happy piece. You also got your fire in there with the sun, so you had all four of the elements. 🙂


  2. Joy,

    To quote “The reaction I hope for is a smile and perhaps a fond memory from childhood recalling the rudimentary colours and forms with symbolic elements of water, air, and earth.”

    I smiled when I first saw your piece. I also see a child tucked into bed, about to start its night time journy in the land of sweet dreams. I smile when I
    think of the wonderful adventures they will have.

    Thank you for the smiles,
    Susan B

  3. That’s my Mom!!!!

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