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“With enough butter, anything is good.”

A Cooking Secret from Julia Child You Should Probably Apply in Your Studio

Photo of Julia Child in her kitchen tasting a recipe with a large spoon to her mouth.
By Lynn Gilbert – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

The famed TV chef educator Julia Child told cooks that adding butter to many dishes would improve them and even rescue a less-than-appetizing meal. This got me thinking about what makes ordinary work extraordinary. What is the extra, the butter, the ingredient that makes my work better?

With paint, stained glass is better. 

One painted element in a stained glass piece can save it from being cliche or looking, God forbid, like it came from a coloring book. For example, painting the feather details on the wings of a bird adds a level of craftsmanship to an otherwise common (and boring) thing. 

Cut it up and put it back together.

I recently took fabric swatches of some of my not-very-successful designs, cut them up, and made a quilt block. Voila! All better. Unsuccessful became successful by cutting it up into pieces and putting it back together.  

Add a photo to your newsletter.

Most folks like pictures. A photo is a very important ingredient in blog posts and newsletters. That might be better than butter. 

“Don’t copy; make a copy of your memory.” 

My late father was a painter. As artists, we often see something that inspires us. To make that piece of inspiration original, don’t copy directly. Copy your memory of it. Then it’s yours, and it’s better. 

Does your craft have butter?  If so, what is it? Bon Appetit!

My newsletter, Patterned Visions, addresses cross-craft theories in action and how-to guides for stained glass artists. This article is #4 in SGOL, Stained Glass as an Other Language. You can get Patterned Visions delivered to your inbox by filling in the fields below.

2 thoughts on ““With enough butter, anything is good.””

  1. I beleive it was quilter by the name of Jinny Beyer who once said about ugly fabric … “if you still don’t like it .. you haven’t cut it small enough yet! ”

    I am really enjoying these Patterned Visions.

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