Design of the Month · August 2013

  • Pops


    Earlier this year a Request for Proposal (RFP) came to my attention. I have done a few public art projects, and always find them interesting. Public art projects allow me to experiment with new techniques, and they allow me an opportunity to stretch my abilities to interpret a particular committee's intent in providing community identity. I was interested in responding to this particular RFP, because it was from my hometown, and because they specifically wanted something in mosaics. I have experience in glass mosaics, having installed a large stained glass mosaic piece for First United Methodist Church of Denton, Texas back in 2004. I thought this RFP was the perfect opportunity to expand my skills into glass lamination using a new product which I had seen demonstrated at the recent Stained Glass Association of America (SGAA) convention. And I had known about the subject of the portrait, the late "Pops" Carter.

    The City of Denton, Texas is renowned for its intense and varied music life, and for the people in the community who contribute to the city's unique history. "Pops" Carter's life exemplified this union of music and community spirit. Consequently, it is fitting that the City of Denton would honor his unique contributions with an equally unique piece of public art.

    This design is my proposal for an outdoor sculpture in glass and steel. It consists of a slightly larger-than-life-sized outdoor portrait of "Pops" Carter in mosaic'ed laminated glass and stainless steel. The finished glass and steel mosaic structure will stand 6 feet tall, and approximately 3 feet wide, with 3D extrusions of no more than 4" out from either back or front surface. My proposed design is based upon Marcus Law's photograph of "Pops" taken at his public 91st birthday celebration on June 6, 2011.

    My proposed glass sculpture is an interpretation of the flamboyance and charisma personified by "Pops" and by the many artists, bands and musical groups who call Denton home. The sculpture takes colors and tones and pushes them into a more hyper reality, while staying true to the man's likeness. Known as a great blues vocalist, my sculpture shows "Pops" seated, microphone in one hand and the towel he used to wipe the sweat from his brow held in the other hand, ready to sing. Music staffs in various colors float above and around "Pops," connecting his music to whatever music happens to be coming from Quakertown Park at the moment.

    My proposal is to install the mosaic'ed glass and steel sculpture somewhere within the immediate vicinity of the Community Band Shell stage, possibly under the oak and pecan trees behind the stage. This location will tie "Pops" forever with a performance stage.

    I have a great affinity for creating artwork featuring musicians. I am also a local musician; playing flute and piccolo with the Denton Community Band; playing baritone saxophone with First United Methodist Church's Foo McBubba big band; and singing with Denton-based Noted Vocals quartet. Consequently, I guarantee that any music-themed artwork will accurately represent the musician.

    I designed both the glass portrait and the brushed steel frame using Glass Eye 2000. This time, since the design features pieces of glass laminated on top of each other, I turned off the "Include in Suggestions" option under the Line Properties, so that knots unattached to nearby lines would not be viewed as an error. If I win this RFP, I will blow apart the design, creating each piece of glass as it will need to be cut and ground, and then stacked/plated back together using the laminate. It is an elaborate piece with elaborate colors, all to be done in cathedral glass so that the multiple layers of glass stacked on top each other will yield new colors as the viewer looks through the sculpture.

    Artwork is to be constructed out of a main plate of laminated ½" thick safety glass. On top of this primary layer of glass, other layers of transparent colored glass will be laminated to form a three-dimensional portrait. As different colors of glass are layered one on top of another, complex colors and textures will be built up. Each layer of glass will have all edges rounded off so that there are no sharp edges anywhere on the sculpture, ensuring a smooth, safe surface for the public.

    The lamination glue will be Verifix© 2K Silicone (or other recommended products) by Bohle America. This lamination process is a 20-year proven method of combining the functionality of modern architectural glazing substrates, such as insulated glass and safety glass, with the tradition of stained glass artistry. The end result is a safe, strong, outdoor-ready 3D mosaic of colorful transparent glass.

    The glass artwork will be housed inside a custom-built brushed stainless steel frame fabricated at a local North Texas foundry. The artwork is locked into the frame with stainless steel bolts. All metal corners will be rounded, and all metal surfaces brushed to a smooth finish, to provide a safe surface to the public.

    The stainless steel frame will have two stainless steel shafts on the bottom, which will be sunk into poured concrete feet in the ground.

    ~ Christie A. Wood

    About the artist

    Christie Wood

    Christie Wood is the owner of Art Glass Ensembles, a full-service stained glass studio located in Denton, Texas. Christie serves on the board of directors of the Stained Glass Association of America and has several CD-ROMs of designs available in Glass Eye 2000 format. In June 2011, Christie launched a new business called Green Planet Glass which specializes in giftwares manufactured entirely using glass recycled from larger Art Glass Ensembles projects.

    This pattern may be used to make one or more artworks for sale or personal enjoyment. This pattern may be printed for personal use only and may not be sold or given away in printed or electronic form.

Each month we feature a project designed using Glass Eye 2000. Do you have a project to share with the world? Contact Dragonfly Software and your creation might be our next Design of the Month.