In September, 2005, I completed a pair of panels for the Arlington Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Riverside, CA as a memorial for my mother-in-law.
The church requested sidelights for an interior door using symbols of their denomination such as the dove descending and the chalice. I found them online and got permission to use them. The grape leaves were traced from my photos and the grapes were small glass globs which meant I didn't have to hand cut lots of little circles.. I was able to email my preliminary design, and then did a full sized color printout which we hung in place at the church to verify sizing and to give the congregation an opportunity for design input.
Glass was chosen primarily to look good with reflected light since lighting from behind was doubtful. However, I think the panels are improved with backlighting and the church agreed, adding track lights in the room behind the door to better show off the glass. We did the installation, removing the old sidelights and VERY CAREFULLY eased the glass into its new position -- the long narrow panels wanted to flex and we managed it without cracking any glass.
The photo above was taken on a sunny day with some backlighting from an open exterior door, prior to the track lighting being installed. Value: $4,000 each. Size (each): 15" x 84"
Entry Door and Window
We replaced our old boring front door with one based on a tree of life quilt pattern by Susan Boss. I had spent years playing with design options for the entry, and finally settled on the Tree of Life quilt as my inspiration. I got permission from Ms. Boss to use an adaptation of her design for my entry. We felt we needed to coordinate the door with a huge obscured glass window also in the entry. This floor-to-ceiling window overlooks our neighbor's back door, which we couldn't see due to the obscured glass.
I simplified Ms. Boss' design to make it appropriate for glass and changed the horizontal orientation of her color changes to diagonal to improve vertical strength of the panel, especially since the window is more than 6 feet tall.
I was keen on creating a matching arch within the companion window, like I had for the door, but concluded that it didn't work well. I also soldered on two pieces of rebar that follow the diagonals on the back to add strength.
Door Panel Value: $1800, Size: 26" x 35"
Entry Panel Value: $3000, Size: 28" x 75"
Original Entry Window
Making Waves, Version 2
I donated a panel to the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation (AIISF) for their 2005 fund-raising dinner, which had a theme of "Making Waves".
I liked it a lot, but it took longer to cut than I anticipated, so I re-worked the design. The new version has pieces that are chunkier, to allow the texture of the glass to be more evident and also to improve the ease of fabrication. This piece continues to be one of my personal favorites.
To demonstrate the flexibility my software provides in allowing me to trial different color schemes, the photos below show the actual panel, the design I worked from, and an alternative color scheme. It is really easy and fast to change all the colors while you watch.
Value: $450, Size: 16" x 15"
Bee Eaters -- How a Photo Becomes a Panel
When we were in Botswana, I took photos of a group of bee eaters flitting about in a tree. They are tiny birds and kept positioning themselves on the same branch. It was one of my favorite photos from the trip, so it was natural for it to become a glass piece. I entered the photo into my software and traced over the elements I wanted to capture. It starts with a lot of detail, and then I simplify it so that the drawing becomes something that is actually reasonable to cut and build with glass. Instead of using lots of little leaves, I used an expensive glass that gives the impression of leafy background. I also modified where the branches were so that I could eliminate cuts (sometimes necessary to make the pattern cutable) that weren't an integral part of the design.
Photo and Pattern
Cut and Foiled