Stained Glass Design
Breakups are always painful, and during a particularly painful breakup many years ago, I gave Leigh back her stained glass lamp which she had loaned me for my dining room table. The table was not quite as empty as I, but still, I thought it looked badly enough that I should buy a new lamp.
When I saw how expensive they were I asked my good friend Charlene, a professional stained glass artist, how hard it might be to learn how to do this. I bought a book, some supplies, and spent a few hours on the phone under her expert coaching care. After I made the new lamp, using a Tiffany pattern, I vowed I would never again use someone else's design.
In art, there are an infinite number of possibilities of design, why bother using an old one? Also, I think there are enough straight lines and 90 degree angles in the world. I'm reminded of the Pete Seeger song from the '60s - Little Boxes as I drive through so many neighborhoods, both new and old - where the design of many of the homes - nothing more than 'little boxes on the hillside' represents the excremental putrification of creativity. So, you'll see a lot of curves, odd angles, five and seven sided shapes in my work - as tribute to the grossly underutilized realm of the unconventional.
You may click on any of the thumbnails below for a larger image. My apologies for lack of photos....I will have more soon.
Pompeii is a candle chimney with seven sides terminated with seven 'claw and ball' feet. These feet were made by copper foiling the claws onto red glass spheres and soldering into the piece. I made this piece as a demonstration during a 'Three Rivers Arts Festival' in Pittsburgh several years ago.
As my friend did for me, I, in turn passed along this wonderful process to my son, Ethan; my cousin, Jason; and my brother, Bill. Here I am with Ethan while he practices his scoring.
Vorve was designed together by Ethan and I. This box is hingeless, the top fitting perfectly to the bottom through edge shape alone. We were focusing on an unearthly design for the top, and avoiding right angles as much as possible, as you might expect.
Sichordia is a stained glass chest with a clear back for illumination. In the full size photo, it is easy to see the effect of what I call 'contiguous cut' patterning. All pieces are cut from the same piece of glass aligned next to the adjacent pieces in the design. Notice how the glass pattern flows smoothly from the top to the sides, and from side to side. This process, sometimes making breaking very difficult, is a hallmark of most of my pieces.
Persistence - Many years ago, I worked for a manager who was a master at disguising his own self-serving agendas as being 'good for the company' (do you know anyone like this!!!) I was in a political battle with him where I had to go through a virtually impossible ordeal for one month. When I was close to completing this 'gauntlet', he nervously told me that he was excited about my work. He was later ousted. At the end of this ordeal, which I completed with flying colors, the weight off my shoulders, I sat down at my desk and drew the lines for 'Persistence'. Composed of four layers of stained glass, and held in a bloodwood and ebony frame, this is my favorite of the few panels I have made. I gave this piece to my brother, Bill and his wife, Paula for their wedding present.
The Sorcerer's Chest - First let me say that I am not into witchcraft or any kind of occult study, but when browsing like a tourist through some of the witch shops in Salem, Massachusetts, I was drawn to five lovely 'eggs' made of Lapis Lazuli which I immediatley bought, without having any plans for them. Slowly, over time I envisioned dragon's claws around the eggs, then connected as feet of a magnificent cobalt blue box fit for a master sorcerer...
Coming soon! Mordechai's Pyramid
Coming soon! Venus Lily
Coming soon! Louis XVI Chest
To the Top of the Loft
Copyright © 1997 by George Clay
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