As I mentioned on the home page, I've started experimenting with stained glass. I am using both the foil method for detailed, small work and traditional lead came for larger pieces or pieces that may end up exposed to the great outdoors. The most important thing that I've learned is that it's really, really hard to photograph stained glass. The lighting is always wrong, reflections are brutal and if you try to use a standard white backdrop, the glass ends up looking like paint instead of the vibrant colors and textures you worked so hard to incorporate into the project. So bearing in mind that I'm still figuring out how to photograph these pieces, here's a look at some of what I've finished so far...
I call this piece “Irises In The Wind.” The overall piece is 20" high by 14" wide and it is actually mounted in a Walnut frame (which did not photograph well).
This piece was my somewhat over-aggressive re-entry to the world of stained glass.
I made this piece using the "copper foil" method because the piece was far too detailed for lead came work.
It has a total of 230 pieces of glass.
It's hard to see in the picture, but the clear glass has a random wave texture that reminds me of wind...
My friend Susan Fenwick is an artist who has recently branched out from her beautiful ceramics to the world of acrylic painting.I helped her develop her first website, and in the process, I had full access to all of her digital photos.
The first time I saw Susan's acrylic 'Abstract 2' I thought of stained glass, so I took that picture and created “Abstract Interpreted”
It is 16" wide by 13" tall and I made it with traditional lead came and glazed it so that it is weatherproof. I chose glass that was close to the colors she used in the painting and also selected glass that appears to have "brush strokes."
I mounted it in a Purpleheart frame so she could hang it outside in her yard.
She had no idea that I made this for her, but I did ask her permission to 'play with it' when she gave me the digital files for her website...
I have another friend who has a very nice, very large yard.She and her husband built a nice large office for her in their big back yard which has since been converted to a lovely guest room.
While it is a very nice guest room, it lacks any bathroom facilities so they decided to build another building in the back yard which would serve as the bathroom - 10'x10' with a claw-foot bathtub, classy sink and toilet with tile floors, soft rugs, a big mirror and comfortable lighting...
She dubbed it her "outhouse" - but the steel door did not lend itself to including a cutout "half moon"...
So - she asked me if I could make her a stained glass window they could install in the wall next to the door which could represent the half moon cutout they were missing...
I did some research. It seems that outhouse doors come in two flavors - the crescent moon and the star. This goes back to when plumbing was outdoors, and most people could not read, so they came up with the moon for the ladies' room and the star for the men's room. Since this is a unisex "outhouse," I needed to incorporate both signs.
In addition, the traditional crescent is waxing in about half of the pictures I found online and a waning crescent on the other half. I chose the waxing crescent for the outside, but from the inside it appears to be a waning crescent.
I also realized that while the crescent should be the center of the window, the moon actually appears "round" with a dark side and a bright side.
I sat down and designed a 14"x14" window frame which holds a 12 1/2" square stained glass panel protected on both sides by tempered plate glass.Then I went in search of my glass.
I found a nice bright yellow with enough variation in the swirl to look somewhat like "craters" and the piece I used for the "dark side" of the moon was pure luck. I picked through six sheets of that particular glass before I found one with enough swirl to make me happy. The dark blue I used for the "space" has a very interesting "stretched bubble" feature in it that lends itself to being distant stars when viewed up close - but it does not photograph well. The two "stars" in the picture are actually faceted squares re-cut to resemble stars. The whole window is a 14" square, weather-tight on the outside face, and effectively triple-paned for energy conservation. You can see the finished window (and make a reservation) at www.BedAndBreakfast4One.com
This project is where I began to merge my wood and my glass ideas.
The concept is simple.I took a somewhat simplified version of the irises I had already made and laid it out as a flat drawing.
I overlaid that drawing with the outline of what would be the top and four sides of a box that had been slit at the corners and laid flat.
From that concept, allowing for the thickness of the wood frames, I defined five separate glass panels. The box itself, is essentially a series of Purpleheart frames that hold glass panels instead of wood raised panels tied to a solid Purpleheart bottom.The hardware is antiqued solid brass. A mirror is custom cut to place in the bottom of the box to reflect the ambient light back through the panels which takes them from boring to enticing.
Essentially, this is a stained glass panel I am able to fold into a box shape.
This piece is round two of the "folded box" idea.The concept is the same as above, but instead of a picture, the pattern is a dynamic abstract.
I call this piece “Balance & Flow” because the Yin-Yang in the center represents balance while the two intersecting ribbons of dark purple and green can actually be traced with your finger as they flow around the sides and top of the box.
As before, the frame is purpleheart and the hardware is antiqued solid brass.
This piece is my interpretation of a "Dreamcatcher" realized in glass and wood that I created for a friend with an affinity for Native American art.
The “web” is the same glass I used with the irises above and the four pieces which make up the cross in the web are beveled pieces with a dichroic top surface.
Dichroic glass changes color depending on the light passing through it and the viewing angle.
When I photographed this piece, they appeared as orange to red in the picture, but as I looked at them without the camera they were blue to green.
The “feathers” are all made of individual glass pieces and the “jewels” are glass castings.
The frame is cut from a single board of Redheart and it is 12" in diameter. The overall piece is 21" tall and designed to hang in a bedroom window.
The hardware is antiqued brass chain and eye hooks with natural copper chain on the feathers.
After using the "brass frame and plate glass" end table I've had for the last 25+ years, I realized that it was now the only piece in the living room that I had not made myself.
I replaced it with a new end table made of Padauk (to match the coffee table) and while I kept the three shelf design, I eliminated the silly magazine rack on one end and added that length to the new table.I also incorporated a stained glass panel by sandwiching it between two sheets of 1/4 inch glass in the top layer.
It's hard to see the actual colors of the glass I used, but the picture I took outside is as close as I could get.The true colors are a beautiful deep magenta with different textures on either side of the glass and a very deep purple with a smooth wave on each side.Sorry about the distortion, but I had to try to get some sunlight coming through the panel... Now, if I could just figure out how to make a couch and a chair in wood and glass...
So, after 16 years, I got tired of my very boring front door .
I needed a project, so I decided to make my own door in the shop.
The frame is 1 3/4" African Mahogany.
Tthe lower panels and inside trim are 1" Figured Bubinga. (also from Africa)
The stained glass panel is sandwiched between two sheets of tempered glass. The outside pane is sealed with silicone to the door frame to make it watertight and the panel is suspended between the two panes with weather-stripping that is compressed by the inside trim pieces.
I created a hidden "vent" system to avoid condensation issues with the three panels.
There are 11 different "textures" of clear glass - each provides enough distortion so that the window is not transparent.
Oddly, there are three distinct "colors" of clear glass as well. Some have a gray tint, some a green tint, and the rest have a slight blue tint.
The circles are a deep midnight blue. The long slash is clear with a black swirl throughout. The arc is a deep fuchsia/red.