A Perfect Fit

Glass Makers and Writers put the Pieces Together to Complete Storybook on Glass

– LeAnne Bagnall – January 20, 2007

Local custom leaded art glass designers, Rafael and Janet Calvo of Tico Tech, combined their skills with the talents of YouthInkwell Publishing’s young writers to produce a true work of art.

YouthInkwell Publishing’s upcoming release, The Painted Tea Set, written by students Ashley Bae and Victor Hsieh, is an extraordinary tale that will enthuse readers of all levels. Bob, a struggling painter, departs from his family after feeling failure and disappointment and seeks shelter in an abandoned warehouse. His solitary journey, however, will nonetheless bring him to an astonishing discovery of himself as a path of broken glass leads him to a travel through time. Tea Set states:
“Bob turned toward a door thinking, this will be the last room for today, but as the hinges of the door opened wide, a flood of sunlight blinded him. He once again saw something shimmering behind the factory, looming in the distance. More spectacular though was the gleaming, mesmerizing path of broken glass, which seemed to lead straight to the mysterious object as the yellow brick road led to Oz. He desperately wanted to follow the glass path, but he could not will his weary feet to move. He would follow it tomorrow. Tomorrow.”

The striking metaphor of the broken glass throughout the story caught the attention of glass artisans Rafael and Janet Calvo. The Calvos offered their services to YouthInkwell by designing and creating YouthInkwell’s own stained glass window depicting the tale of the glass path.

However, Ashley and Victor were able to participate in the making of their literary creation by helping Rafael and Janet cut and shape the very glass that went into their window. On Sunday, January 14th, Tico Tech paid a special visit to YouthInkwell Publishing, spending more than three hours teaching a classroom of young writers the art behind the glass. YouthInkwell students were able to get into every facet of the book as they traced, cut, carved and shattered the pieces of the story into one complete picture.

The window was eventually finished, adorned with the small tea set containing the hero’s signature paint design, a bowl of fruit with a striking bunch of red bananas.

The Calvos spent months working on this special gift for YouthInkwell, contributing their unique skills to make this piece of art a one in a million. The Calvos read and reread the young writers’ story and discussed their use of symbolic elements, ensuring that their creation would be accurate in detail. They searched through various colored, textured and patterned glass in order to select the perfect pieces for the book’s window. Rafael and Janet delicately arranged the tiny frit and meticulously sculpted every section with lead, with a little help from the kids. The end result was nonetheless a breathtaking masterpiece as the path of broken glass lit up like gems when the window was held up to the light.

Bae and Hsieh’s writing will leave a lasting impression for anyone who reads their work not only by its unique imagery, but also by its humor, innocence and astounding quality of language. The Painted Tea Set is expected to be released this summer by YouthInkwell Publishing.

Tico Tech is run by husband and wife Rafael and Janet Calvo who personally design hand crafted glass art. Their work ranges from lawn ornaments all the way to beautifully crafted glass doors and windows. Their innovative inventions extend beyond the modern approaches to stained glass and plastics and simply stand out as exceptional artwork. You can see their work online at www.ticotech.com.