Thursday, December 23, 2010

Making the Holidays Merry with Fused Glass

I love the holidays and making the house festive. I realize how much I miss this now that I'm in a apartment in the Seattle area and all of my Christmas decoration are in storage. In the spirit of Christmas, I thought I would share a could of decorating ideas for the holidays using fused glass, of course:

Use fused glass coaster bottoms under candles to add color. I typically do this with 3 candles (one larger and two smaller) and use the 4th coaster under the soap dispenser. This is especially nice with holiday coasters and red, green or blue candles and a great way to add color. Another alternative is to spread out the candles and coasters (rather than group them as three) or give a candle and coaster as a holiday gift. And, of course, coasters can be used just as they are too ;)

Make entertaining special and serve desserts on fused glass plates or platters. Last year, I had a holiday open house and used platters for the breads and cookies, a nice touch!

Decorate the tree with fused glass ornaments. I enjoy making ornaments, even though they can be very time consuming. It can make the tree a little more special to have something handmade and original on it. Ornaments can also make very nice hostess gifts.

And, for those of us who are space constrained or decorating minimalists, it's still nice to have a tree of some sorts in the house :)

Happy holidays! Wishing you a wonderful Christmas, filled with the joy of the season.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

So You Want to Be A Fused Glass Artist. Part III: Determine How to Sell Your Art

For most people, if you decide to become a fused glass artist, you will need to decide how to sell your work. Why? First glass can be expensive. And, as you learn, you'll want to invest in more supplies and tools to help you create new pieces of work. Also, as you make more, you'll need to figure out how to get rid of all of your creations. There's only so much you can give away, so selling makes sense.

There are many options for selling your work. The main areas are listed below:
  1. Online - This can be your own website or an online sales site such as Etsy. I notice many fused glass jewelers sell via online sites. However, effectively maintaining a presence on a site can be a full time job as you must constantly list and relist to be shown on the first few pages. There are also people who sell functional fused glass plates and art on online sites. While not as competitive as the jewelry category, relisting is also important. An important thing to consider is the pricing and quality of your work compared to what's listed on the site. Another option is to sell via your own website. However, for most artists starting out, it's difficult to have a large enough base to generate enough traffic and sales.
  2. Shows - There are many levels of shows from local craft shows, to juried art fairs, to the higher-end juried prestige shows. This is what I choose to do. In my opinion, it's much less work than what is required to support an online shop (each show is typically over a weekend) and I enjoy interacting with my customers. My ideal show is one that is juried with a similar quality level of artists (about 150). Since I don't participate in many shows, I can be a little selective. I prefer local shows with overnight security (so you don't have to pack up every night) and where all the artists are grouped together on the main street (so you don't have to worry as much about having a bad booth location). If you decide to sell via shows, I suggest you visit them in advance to get a sense of the traffic and other artists. Applications are typically due 3-6 months before the show date and require a booth photo as well as photos of your work.
  3. Wholesale to shops - this can range from visiting your local artisan shop to see if the owner would be willing to sell your work to participating in national wholesale shows that attract shop buyers. This isn't an option that I've explored mainly because shops tend to take 40-60% of the sales price. This is because the shops provide the marketing and retail space. Wholesale is a good option if you don't like participating in art shows or if you decide to make glass fusing more of a full time job. Wholesale can open up sales opportunities if you participate in national shows as these shows attract buyers from across the country. However, national shows also require a higher degree of professionalism and cost, especially in your booth presentation. You also should be sure that you can make and deliver a large volume of merchandise in a timely manner.
  4. Galleries - similar to wholesale, galleries tend to take a 40-60% of the sales price. However, rather than buying the merchandise upfront, some galleries may offer your work on consignment, which means that you don't get paid until your work sells. Galleries tend to attract a higher end clientele, which is great if you create higher end work. It should be noted that typically what you sell through wholesale will be different than what you sell through a gallery. Gallery work is more one of a kind or limited edition art whereas wholesale work is more mass produced work at a lower price point. Selling through galleries can also help bolster your reputation.
There are many ways to sell your work. You need to find the way that works best for you. A couple questions to ask yourself:
  • How much do you want to make and sell?
  • How much effort you want to put into selling?
  • Do you like interacting with people?
Hope this helps. If you have any additional questions or thoughts, please feel free to contact me.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

So You Want to Be A Glass Artist. Part II: Tips for Developing Designs

Because glass can be expensive, especially when you have to buy a separate sheet of glass for each color you use, it's best to start with a design to minimize waste. The benefits of using a design include:
  • Determining the right proportions before you start cutting the glass
  • Determining the right color combinations before you start cutting the glass
  • Speeding up the time to create the glass piece - a lot of time can be spent figuring out how you want to put a piece together when you don't have design. This becomes more important as you make glass for a business rather than a hobby.
One key lesson that I've learned is that if a piece doesn't look good going into the kiln, it won't look good after it comes out. Although having a design can minimize this, it still can happen - which is due most of the time to the color of the actual cut glass compared to the color in the design. If it does, it's worth re-working the designs and colors to get a piece that'll make you happy. While many believe that the firing transforms the glass, I've never had something that I didn't like "magically" transform in the kiln to something better.

To create my designs, I like to draw them out on graph paper to get a sense of proportion. Some people also create sample tiles of the fired glass to determine the right colors to use. This is especially useful for those glasses that strike or change color when fired. I didn't take the time to do this when I first started and found out the hard way that some colors that look like they work together unfired, do not afterwards :(

Because of the many forms of glass, glass artists can create any design that appeals to them. Cut glass is more prone to blocks of solid colors. Glass powders and frit add the option for blending and the use of shapes would be difficult cut (notice holly leaves below).
A more advanced use of frit is called frit-painting which uses glass powder and frit to create a picture or painting over multiple firings.

Kiln-carving adds depth as well as design. This technique involves cutting a design out of fiber paper and letting the glass slump into it.

For more complex work like with glass powders, may artists develop test tiles or miniature pieces to test the colors (because the color of powders become darker in proportion to amount used) and techniques. In fact, I would recommend creating test tiles for any new form of glass fusing. At the beginning, most glass fusers create test tiles of how the glass fuses together at different temperatures. Fusing temperatures also contribute to the design. Glass fused at lower temperatures will have a raised design while those fused at higher temperatures will have a flat design.

While it can be fun to try a variety of disparate designs, consider developing a set of designs that you can explore. This gives you a body of work that's more cohesive and allows you to delve deeper into the technique. As you continue to explore, you may find this work inspires new designs. Exposure to other glass artists and learning new glass techniques also opens you up to new glass designs. I know I already have a year's worth of designs that I'd like to do. Glass is one of those areas where there's always something new to learn and something to inspire you to create something different.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

So You Want to Be a Glass Artist. How to Get Started - Part I: Setting Up Your Studio

Over the summer, I participate in several art shows. Often, people who visit my booth remark that they are interested in making fused glass. For those of you are serious about beginning to fuse glass as a hobby or more, here's a few tips on getting started and having a studio of your own.

The first step is to determine where you will make the glass - in a home studio or a place where you can rent the equipment. If all you want to do is to make a few items, renting the use of a kiln is the best avenue as you minimize start-up costs. However, for those who are more serious and want to purchase a kiln, the most important decision is size and voltage. The larger kilns run on 240 voltage and most likely need dedicated power. The kilns that run on standard voltage are smaller in size with the largest kiln allowing you to make a 12" square. This could be more than enough if your goal is to make jewelry but can become small if you are interested in making larger bowls, platters or art panels. Most fused glass artists recommend getting the largest size kiln you can afford as most people eventually trade up - making fused glass can be addicting!

Besides the kiln, you'll need to purchase glass cutting tools (glass cutter, breaking pliers) and sheet glass at a minimum. However, to create better quality work, you will most likely want to invest in the some of the following:

  • Cutting system - to make more uniform cuts
  • Grinder - to shape or smooth the glass and remove flares
  • Ring saw - cut more unique shapes or fused glass
  • Circle cutter - to cut circles; typically used in conjunction with a grinder to smooth the edges

Additional tools:
  • Drill/drill press
  • Lap grinder
  • Wet belt sander
  • Tile saw
  • Sand blaster

For the power tools, you'll want to get the tools with the most horsepower. Most glass artists, start with the basics and gradually build up their studio as they can afford the other tools. However, the goal is to buy the best you can afford. For me, because I am budget and space constrained but want quality equipment, I tend to purchase "entry level, professional" tools instead of "hobbyist" tools.

In addition, you'll want to have access to water (for cleaning and as a coolant when you run your tools) as well as a flat, well lit area to cut and assemble the glass. Storage is also important as you'll find you quickly accumulate many glass supplies. It's easy to start out with a little space, but if you're like most fusers, you'll soon find yourself wanting more room for all the tools you hope to get as well as the different forms of glass (e.g. powders, sheet glass, shards) and accessories.

If you're still serious about wanting your own studio, I suggest you get a copy of Contemporary Fused Glass by Brad Walker. Here you'll find a whole laundry list of supplies as well as a more detailed discussion of the basics of making fused glass.

Next post: So You Want to Be a Glass Artist. Part II: Tips for Developing Glass Designs

Friday, August 20, 2010

How to Make a Raku Bowl

As I'm new to the Seattle area as an exhibiting artist, I am taking advantage of this summer to check out various art festivals in the area. So far, I've visited the Bellevue Art Fair (my favorite as a consumer, probably not such a great fair for me as an artist due to the long hours over 3 days), the Bellingham Arts Festival, the Anacortes Arts Festival, and Fresh Paint in Everett. I love seeing the different artists and their works. One artist of interest was Brian Somers who paints, sculpts and makes wonderful raku works of art. Raku is a type of Japanese pottery that is primarily used as part of the Japanese tea ceremony, often in the form of bowls. Raku means "ease" or "enjoyment" and got its name in the 1500's when a Japanese warrior presented a seal with the Chinese symbol for Raku to the potter who created handmade tea bowls that he favored. Raku then became the name for the family that produced the wares. Both the name and the ceramic style have been passed down through the generations (sometimes through adoption)!

I first met Brian at the Bellingham Arts Festival where he offered a hands on demonstration of how to paint the bowl and how to fire it. Lead or other metals are used as part of the glaze because of the shimmer they add and their ability to crackle or "craze", taking on the darker color from the carbon that happens later in the process.
Wide brush strokes are typically used in a more asymmetrical pattern, with colors layered on top. Splattering paint can add a nice effect on top. Any part of the vessel which is left unpainted will eventually turn black from the carbon once it comes out of the kiln.

This is the kiln with an unfired bowl on top
Once the bowl is painted, it goes into the kiln to be fired, reaching a top temperature of 1800. Time in the kiln is short, say 20 minutes, as the glazes fire at relatively low temperatures. This is a lot shorter than when I use my kiln for glass, which can take 12-15 hours! Once fired, the bowls go straight into a lidded aluminum container (for the demo, this was a garbage can) to create a reduction atmosphere which creates a luster and iridescence from the metals in the glaze when the oxygen is pulled from the glazes and clay and when there is combustion inside (i.e. flames from contact between newspaper and the bowl that comes straight from the kiln). This part of the demo was interactive for all people who made a bowl. I had the job of opening and closing the garbage can, while my friend, Heidi, had the job of covering the bowls with newspaper (and staying clear of the flames)! Next the bowls are transferred to a bucket of water to stop the process and to help clean off some of the debris before the bowls are individually washed.
This was a great way to experience another form of art and also very addictive ("I know the next one could be better..."). My friend, Heidi, who lives in the city went back the next day to make some additional bowls with her kids. The Seattle area is a great place not only for viewing art but for hands on experience! Let me know what you think and if you've seen other ways to participate like this at a venue.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Cultural Arts in Seattle: Obon Festival

The first weekend I moved back to Seattle, even before my belongings arrived, I went to the Seattle Obon with my friend, Lani. The Obon originated over 500 years ago as a Japanese Buddhist custom of honoring the departed spirits of one's ancestors similar to the Mexican observance of El Dia de los Muertos. Today, the Obon is more of an occasion to get together, have some good Japanese food and participate in the dancing as you'll see later.

The festivities kicked off with taiko drumming, which was excellent and well choreographed.

What I enjoyed is how they invited the former teachers and students to join in for the final performance. Clearly, there's a set drumming pattern to each piece as the older drummers were in sync with the students since I doubt that they all practiced together.

But what impressed me the most was the dancing -- not because of the talent but because of the breadth of participation! I was amazed at how many people joined in. Dancers form a circle, going up and down the block. In the middle are the teachers who act as guides. For the popular dances, the street was lined four rows deep. But the great part was diversity of the dancers! There were children, teens, young adults, parents, and grandparents. I saw a group of college-aged guys dancing in row! And, there were people of every nationality - Asian, African American, Caucasian, and Hispanic. I loved seeing everyone dancing in unison and that all these people had spent time learning the dances, which are typically taught in the weeks prior to the festival.

Each dance tells a story through the movement. One of the most popular and easiest dances is known as the coal miner. The photo above shows people imitating coal miners digging. This is an old and traditional dance. However, there are also newer dances as such as the Ichiro, inspired by the Mariner baseball player. Now that I'm in Seattle, I look forward to learning these dances and participating next year.

I hope you enjoyed reading this. Although I make fused glass, I would like to share other arts that inspire me, whether they be cultural arts, other art endeavors or art made by others. Does this approach appeal to you? Please feel free to share your thoughts.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Looking Back at the Past, Before Moving On

This week, I'll be moving back to the Seattle area. Part of the moving process includes going through all of your belongings and deciding whether to keep all of them or not. One thing that I've been carrying around with me for 25+ years is the artwork that I did when I was in college. Slowly over time (and with moves), I've shed past art projects but this portfolio has stuck with me - not because I wanted to keep it, but more so because my mom (when it was stored at her house) and my husband have not let me get rid of it. Well, with this move, it's gone. I've given the portfolio, board and papers to some of the artists I met through the Pro Arts Open Studios. However, the real contents have been captured on film and now preserved via this post. As part of a finals project in college, I had to pick an inanimate object (for me, a pair of Levi's jeans) and create 20 versions of it. Here are some of my favorites:

It's good to look back, to see where you've been and how you've changed over time. It's also nice to live in a digital age where memories can be better preserved (instead of mounted in an old photo album as the rest of my older artwork has been).

Sunday, June 20, 2010

What I Learned from East Bay Open Studios

For the past two weekends, I participated in East Bay Open Studios (EBOS) with over 460 other artists across the Bay Area. The event is put on by Pro Arts Gallery in downtown Oakland. Each artist gets a 20" x 20" space in the gallery to display their art as well as a photo in their printed directory (distributed via the newspaper and through the artists) and a web page that can house 8 photos, with a link to each artist's website.

As I'm fairly new to selling via shows, I am still trying to find the right venue and thought I would try this as it reaches a different audience, one that is more interested in buying art and supporting local artists. Since I live in the Oakland hills, my location is not ideal for someone wanting to visit my studio. Fortunately, I teamed up with 36 other artists to show at Jack London Square, a highly trafficked retail location in downtown Oakland, where there's a farmers' market and restaurants. Here's what I learned:
  1. Showing in a large group (in fact, we were the largest of any group) helped as the size of the group provided a bigger draw. The group itself was very well coordinated and did a great job of promoting the event (e.g. group postcard, website, signage...etc.).
  2. Mailing a postcard to and/or e-mailing those on my interest list paid off as I had people seek me out.
  3. Having a range of items helped even in a venue where the majority of the artists were painters. This is because the group received a lot of foot traffic from people who were at Jack London Square rather than people who came from the Pro Arts Gallery or its directory.
  4. Location is critical - Being at Jack London Square brought additional traffic; however, being in front of a dark maroon wall did not help in displaying the glass. Actually, the organizers tried to give me a good location - in front of a window and under a skylight. However, because the window also functioned as a display area, it had a fairly high maroon wall in front of it.
  5. Having great neighbors makes the difference in the show experience. I was fortunate to be next to Gabrielle, who makes great metal jewelry (mangosteenjewelry) and thoroughly enjoyed the time spent with her and John :)
  6. Most people who came from Pro Arts came to look for traditional wall art rather than jewelry or glass. In retrospect, this makes sense. When the majority of artists are painters and the event is put on by a gallery, most visitors are looking for wall art.
Overall, I am glad I tried out the show. While I met my sales goal, EBOS is not something I would do again. EBOS is for the traditional artist or painter and that's really what its audience is seeking. Unlike the other artists, I didn't have anyone mention that they saw my work in the gallery or directory and then came to see me. Fortunately, I was in a location with built in traffic and benefited from my own marketing as well as the efforts of the group.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

How Fused Glass Art Panels are Made

I've been making fused glass art panels for a while. Part of the process has been trial and error but I am finally happy with the design and firing schedule. Each panel contains as its center a unique piece of glass that is created from an aperture pour or "pot melt" with both transparent and opaque glass surrounding it as the frame.

Aperture pours are a great way not only to use up excess glass but create a truly stunning one-of-kind glass pattern. The final pattern is a result of how the glass is stacked (horizontal or vertical), colors used, the height from which the glass drops onto the shelf, and the size, shape and number of holes in the pot. Each glass artist has his or her preference. For me, I've tried a variety of combinations and prefer to have the glass flat, the pot about 2" above the shelf and many holes in the pot. I tend to layer in the following order: colored opaques, white, colored transparent, clear. It's helpful to do a number of these and take good notes, so you know what works for you.

I buy predrilled pots that are wide and shallow (because my kiln isn't very deep) but any store bought clay pot can be used. I line the shelf with 1/8" fiber paper and use a stainless steel ring as a containment dam for the glass (this is also lined with fiber paper). Note: it's best to have one pot for each color as some glass will remain in the pot after it's done as pots are not kilnwashed.

Note: for a detailed firing schedule, see Steve Immerman's site

My firing schedule heats the glass to 1625 degrees, enough to melt the glass so it drips through the holes. An hour hold at 1500 allows any bubbles to surface as well as evens out the glass.

Next, I measure and cut the glass with my tile saw and then build a glass frame around it. The panel is fired design side down to create a tight design. Then, the edges are coldworked or ground to make even and the panel is flipped over so the design is facing up and fired again. The final result is below:

8 Ways to Recycle Glass into Works of Art

With fused glass, it's easy to accumulate a lot of excess glass scraps, those pieces that remain after sheet glass is cut for a desired design. As glass is expensive and I don't feel right tossing the excess, I've tried to figure out a ways to use up the pieces. Here are 8 ways that I recycle (or plan to recycle) excess glass:

1. Nip glass into bits that can be used in molded jewelry.
2. Crush with hammer to make into frit that can be used as a glass accent or entire piece. I plan to make bowls from frit later.
3. Cut into small squares and fire hot to make pebbles or rounds that can be used as design accents. I've used these as dots on business card holders and ornaments on Christmas trees candle holders.
4. Cut into small squares to be used as detailed designs. I cut excess glass into 1" squares and use these to make plates and coasters.
5. Make snowflake ornaments for the holidays. This is an excellent way to use up clear glass - takes a lot of cutting but the end product is quite nice.
6. Melt glass together as a shelf melt. Glass pieces are put on fiber paper and dammed. From this, I cut up the pieces to use in plate designs or other pieces.
7. Heat glass pieces together in an aperture or pot until molten and let the glass drip through to create a unique design that can be cut up and used in other pieces. As an alternative, glass can be stacked on wire mesh and melted.
8. Use in pattern bars. Pattern bars are made by either stacking layers of glass on top of one another or on its sides to create a bar once fused together. The bar is sliced to reveal a pattern through all the pieces. While I've made these in a class, I've yet to do this on my own but plan to do so.

Shortly, I'll be putting all my glass into storage as I'll be moving to the Seattle area. With glass being heavy, I certainly wish that I had acted on using up more of my excess glass earlier in the year. In the future, look for more plates, platters, panels, and bowls made from cut up melted glass as well as bowls made from crushed glass. These techniques require more time and work but certainly create a very nice and unique finished product.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Testing: Why It's Important for Good Dichroic Jewelry Design

Dichroic glass is often used to make fused glass jewelry because it adds dimensions of depth and sparkle that can change in different lights and when viewed at different angles. This is because each sheet is coated with 30-50 ultra thin layers of different metals (gold, silver), metal oxides (titanium, chromium, aluminum, zirconium, magnesium) and silica. In fact, the coating created is very similar to that of a gemstone.

Dichroic on Clear and Black Glass (Smooth and Textured Bases)

To complicate things a bit, dichroic glass has a transmitted color and a completely different reflected color as certain wavelengths of light either pass through or are reflected. Thus, here's a case where what you see is not always what you get. As dichroic glass is the most expensive type of glass, testing is important since the glass will change after it's fired. The color of the base glass (if clear dichroic is used) and the use of a clear glass cap will also effect the end result. So, typically, test swatches are useful as they allow you to see the final result without wasting much glass. Test swatches also create a library of colors as unfortunately, colors vary by manufacturer and sometimes by batch.

Notice how the unfired glass on the right looks lime green.

As I start being more intentional about making fused glass jewelry from dichroic glass, these swatches will be handy for design. Here's an example of a finished pendant:

Sunday, May 2, 2010

What I Learned from Experimenting with Silver Wire Inclusions

I'm working on developing more fused glass jewelry in the form of pendants, pins and earrings. Typically, to make or attach a bail, you would grind a channel on the side for the wire or use glue. However, my idea of tack fusing earrings doesn't allow for a channel because the depth is too narrow (2-3mm). I also want to add a few Swarovski crystals at the bottom and need to attach them to a loop. So, I've decided to putting a silver wire in between the layers. Once fused, I will wire wrap two loops, one on each side to attach the ear wire on the top and crystals on the bottom.

Here's what I learned from using wire:
  • 99.9% silver works well as it fires a bright silver and doesn't tarnish from the heat
  • The wire will need to be hardened after it's fired regardless of whether you've hardened it before
  • Silver wire will fuse to another piece of wire but can be easily unattached
  • The wire will discolor the kiln shelf, so it's best to place Thinfire under it. And, while the shelf may "look" fine afterwards, the silver may still discolor the back of any glass later fired on the shelf.
  • If you buy thin wire (I purchased 22 gauge), there's no need to flatten it with a hammer as it doesn't create any bumps when fired. However, it does help if you glue the wire in place and top layer to the bottom.
  • With a small item, there's no need for a bubble squeeze even with the wire between two layers of glass
Here's how they turned out. I'm happy with them, what do you think?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Do's and Don'ts For a Mini Gallery Installation

I'm still trying to figure out the right venues to show my fused glass art and jewelry. This year, I'm participating in the Pro Arts Gallery's East Bay Open Studios, where over 400 artists in the Bay Area open their studios or rent out space to show off their art. The majority of participants are painters and then there are a few of us others who make ceramics, mosiacs, glass, and jewelry. All the participants receive a 20" x 20" wall space in the gallery to show off a sample of their work. Even though Pro Arts publishes a printed and online directory, about half of the art enthusiasts visit the gallery to see the work displayed to determine which artists they will visit. Thus, what is displayed on the wall is important to encourage studio traffic.

So, how do you display fused glass pieces in a 20" x 20" wall space? Here's what I learned.

  • Go to the installation workshop. I learned a lot about what I could do and couldn't do which effected the final installation. As we need to repair the space afterwards, I couldn't actually install my glass panel as planned. I also learned that any jewelry needs to secure in a shadow box, again something else I hadn't anticipated.
  • Consider enlarging photos if you can't display the actual work. Ritz Cameras was a great resource. I blew up a picture of my panel to 11" x 14" and it was done in an hour! They have large selection of sizes so that you could have photos that are close to actual. Mine was a little smaller because I wanted to have a more than one photo.
  • Measure and sketch out the display design in advance.
  • Take the time to mount your work. It's amazing how a black background really frames everything.
  • Coordinate colors of your display. Backgrounds and frames should be the same color. Art pieces should also be in the same color family.
  • Take advantage of all the easy ways to display your work - staple velcro to the wall and attach the other side to your mounted work (if it's light), use wire to hang jewelry and spray mount works as a great, even adhesive.
  • Wait until the last minute to figure out the display design. Fortunately, there are places like Ritz that can enlarge photos in an hour.
  • Buy items for your display online. Even with a layout in mind, how it finally turns out will most likely evolve as you are exposed to new options. Being able to see something in person gives you ideas of new possibilities. It's also easier to return unused items when the layout changes.

And, here's how the display turned out. What do you think? I'll keep you posted on the response, although the open studios aren't until June. However, there's an artist networking event next week, so I'm sure people will be commenting on the different items displayed.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Spring Trend: Florals and How to Wear The Look

One of this year's trends is florals. When you look around, spring is in the air, flowers are beginning to bloom, so why not join in?

If you're a person who prefers to wear solids, like me, you can still incorporate the floral trend in a variety of ways:

1. Go with larger, looser floral prints - this is not the dainty floral print but something a little bolder and more contemporized. I find that a mix of solids and florals help to tone it down and provide balance - shirts with a mix of solids and prints or a floral top and a solid cardigan.

2. Try the cardigans and tees with floral appliques. These have been around for a while and are still in style this year with increased availability.

3. Use floral accessories to add to your basic wardrobe. This can be in the form of earrings, bracelets and necklaces. My personal favorite are pins because they actually embellish the article of clothing. I have a large collection of floral pins that I purchased from various art shows which I typically wear in the winter as most of them are knit. Given my preference for floral pins, I decided to try to create some out of glass. Here's a few just out of kiln.
These or something similar can easily add color and incorporate the floral look to any jacket, cardigan, top or tee.