January 22, 2011

Betcha Didn't Know That!!!

I used to do Stained Glass.  I thought I'd scan in some photos of some of my pieces.  All were commissioned work, some commercial but mostly for family members.  This first piece was a commercial piece that I did for an interior decorator friend.  It was commissioned for an assisted-living type apartment unit that was being built on the North side of Chicago.  It would be installed as the skylight in the general living area.  Where people would gather together to eat and do activities.

VERY Funny story.  After the window was installed I asked if I could go to the building and see it in its finished state in all its glory giving so much pleasure to the residents.  Beautifying the whole building I am sure.  I don't know what I was expecting?? Everyone to be sitting in their lounge chairs, reclined back just gawking at my LOVELY art work.  Staring in awe, their eyes just transfixed by the beauty.  So I enter the room. The excitement building in my mind.  I walk in and what do I see.  The window was installed smack dab in the middle of the room, right over the main dining area as expected.  Just as I had seen in the renderings.  People were in their seats around the table under the window (mostly they were all in wheel chairs around the table).  Every single person was sleeping.  Yep they were sitting under my window, slumped over in their wheelchairs, SOUND ASLEEP.  I looked around.  I looked up at my window (you know the one giving all the joy).  I walked out laughing at myself.  Ha! As if.  My ego checking itself at the door.

I called this design "Hummingbirds and Vines".  The skylight window(s) consisted of nine 2ft x 2ft sections for a 6ft x 6ft piece or 36 s.f of glass.  It was a pretty large piece.  This design was drawn by me FREEHAND.  I then projected it onto a wall to trace it to scale for my pattern that I would eventually use to cut out the glass.  It had over 1700 hand cut/soldered pieces.  The color scheme was dictated by the project decorators.  It took me six months to build.  I used a mix of soldering techniques I used both the copper foil technique for the intricate birds, vines and flowers and I used lead came on the strictly linear lines.  I used a mix of glasses.  For the peachy center I used a hand rolled glass named English Muffle.  Incidentally, a peach colored glass is a very rare color to find.  I had to special order this to get enough of it.  I also used cathedral glass (all the solid combos with the flowers.  Black for the vines) and opalescent glass (all of the streaky blues, purples on the border background).

This is the window set out on my basement floor, just finished.

This is the window installed with light coming through it.  I did not take very good or very many pictures.

I think this is a close-up shot

These next windows I did for my Aunt and Uncle.  My aunt wanted two panels for a side-board hutch to display her dishes.  She wanted it to be transparent.  Again, this is a hand drawn design of flowers and vines.  I must have been on a floral and vine kick at the time.  The background in this panel I used one of my favorite types of glass.  This glass is called Glue Chip.  I like it because it reminds me of Jack Frost on the windows in the winter.  So feathery and delicate.  Lacey.  LOVE.  Again, this is a peach colored Glue Chip (I must have been on a peach kick toooooo).  This peach was even rarer than the English Waffle that I used in the above windows.  I can tell you though that I would use peach Glue Chip in almost every window if I could.  This is a rare and beautiful glass.  Again, I remember having to special order it and this was limited.  I was lucky to get enough to finish this piece.  My aunt is lucky to have a window made with this rare glass.  I used a mix of opalescent and cathedral glasses for the flowers.

Left panel

Right panel.  A little more light with this picture

Here is a picture of the finished piece.  I wish I had gotten it more from the front.  But I think that the table was in the way

Here is a little better front picture of the right panel

This was done for my Mother-in-Law's kitchen for her corner cabinet.  This panel alone had over 100 hand cut pieces in it.

This was a panel I did for my mom in her living room.  Very Victorian but it fit the houses style.  This glue chip was on the peachy side but it was actually a brown/tan color.  With peach accent on the border.  The center design I used another of my two favorite glasses one is called Antique glass and the other is called Water Glass.

Surprise surprise... I've been an artist from wayyyyyy back.  Ya know I kind of forgot about these myself.  Don't know why I haven't mentioned it before now.

EDITED TO ADD:  Comments welcomed! oh and click on any picture to enlarge.

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