Anything that involves a piece of glass, Mary Noyes will try to make something from it.
Starting just two years ago, Noyes has created glass pieces under the name "After the Rain," which can be found at Italy Ava and Noble Woman in downtown Marshall.
Noyes, a teacher at Minneota High School, started working with glass about two years ago one August afternoon.
Photos by Cindy Votruba
Pictured is an item Mary Noyes has made from glass — a rose garden bowl.
"I thought I needed something to brighten my kitchen," Noyes said. So she "fell into this idea" that she would do something with glass. "I found pictures from my photograph album of outdoor flowers and leaves and birds that I had and made copies of them on paper."
Then Noyes said she concocted some glue that she "thought would last forever," ripped the paper and aged it with a homemade solution. She adhered the papers to the back of the glass.
Noyes said she was happy with her first attempt and in the last two years, she has made many different pieces, which include trays, bowls and other dishes.
"Anything that's glass, I'll try," Noyes said.
Noyes has used different kinds of items to tint the materials she uses in her pieces - teas, coffees, Kool-Aid.
"I used everything from taking petals off my geraniums and soaking them until I got the color that I really liked," Noyes said about creating tints. She said she took the idea from her grandmother, who had a love for flowers and worked with her hands.
But, Noyes said, there are some flowers that don't work in tinting.
After Noyes had made about 20 various pieces, she said that someone had looked at them and commented that it reminded her of dew, but it's preserved. And that's where the name that Noyes gives her artwork - After the Rain - came from.
Noyes said she's always looking everywhere she goes for unusual glass to see what she can do with it.
"I just scrounge around for glass," Noyes said. When Lilibet's closed, Noyes bought quite a bit of glass to do more projects.
"The finer quality of glass you get, the prettier (the creations) turn out," Noyes added.
One of Noyes' glass pieces caught the eye of Julie Henriksen of 509 Design, Noyes said.
"She asked where I bought it," Noyes said. That got her to continue making her glass pieces, Noyes said.
While she's working on a piece, Noyes said she'll sometimes "tear the glass down," basically start over, before sealing it. That could happen five to six times before she's satisfied, she said.
Noyes said she can create multiple glass pieces in a day.
"Sometimes I make four a day," Noyes said about her glass creations. It just depends on the day and what she's tried, she said.
Noyes said she uses about 20 different categories of photos for her artwork, and for some she had to get copyrights in order to use them. Her themes include Italy, old doors and the holidays. She even used her own photos from New York City to create a piece.
She also is trying to change up the materials she uses. For example, a piece that covers her table at home has photos of peacock feathers and paper she processed that looks like leather.
One of the more challenging projects Noyes took on was a lantern that lit up.
Every time she would turn the light on at night, she'd find something that wasn't quite right.
In the end, it was one of her favorite pieces, she said.