Design of the Month · December 2008
"Blue Irises Arch"
This design is one of 64 from the collection Say It with Flowers.
A large part of my business centers around providing stained glass inserts for private homes. The primary areas for stained or leaded glass panels are the bathroom, entranceway and kitchen. I always work with my client to come up with a pleasing design, technically possible in glass and within their budget.
The design featured here is one of a set of three panels done for a client's home. She wanted blue irises in her kitchen pantry door, and later decided to add two additional blue iris arches in a couple of interior arched transoms between her kitchen and den areas. I took the design I did for the pantry door insert and converted it into this arched design.
There were some restrictions on the glass used in this pattern. The pantry door required opaque glass to conceal the pantry contents. My client's kitchen was designed along modern lines and materials, so we chose glass that would enhance a clean, contemporary look.
After selecting a Spectrum white/amber glass for the background, I steered my client into selecting other Spectrum opaque glasses for the flowers, leaves and stems. I often mix glass from various manufacturers, but here I really wanted to give a unified look to the glass. Hence, we used Spectrum glass throughout.
The cobalt blue she wanted was available only in a cathedral, so we chose a textured glass to provide as much distortion as possible. Since the blue iris pieces were not large, and cobalt blue is such a deep, dark color, I was confident that the blue glass would obscure the pantry contents. After choosing this glass, we were "locked in" to replicate the same glass in the two arched windows.
These twin panels were constructed using the copper foil method. In Glass Eye 2000 I printed out two full-sized copies of the design, as well as two full-sized copies with the "Reverse Print" option, so that the two panels were actually mirrors of each other. My client provided me with a template for the arched window. I modified both to fit exactly to the template, and used one copy as a reference layout. The other was cut apart and glued onto the glass. I like this method of using patterns because all the glass was either opaque or dark. It was critical that the pieces were cut and ground to exact outlines.
I first cut out all pieces, ground them, and foiled everything. The pieces were laid out on top of the pattern and soldered. My client's kitchen hardware is all brass, so after soldering I added a frame of 7/32" H-channel brass. After soldering, I cleaned the brass thoroughly and added a custom homemade antique brass patina. After washing that, I waxed and polished it.
I can modify any Glass Eye 2000 design to fit into just about any shape and dimension. Take a look at the two photos of this same "Blue Irises" pattern, and you will see how I took one basic design and adapted it for a second purpose.
~ Christie A. Wood
About the artist
Christie Wood has been working in glass since 1993, when she took her first copper foil class at a local stained glass retail store. What started out as a hobby soon became an obsession, and then a profession. After working out a business plan, Art Glass Ensembles was launched in 1995 as a part-time studio. In 1996 it became a full-time studio, servicing the needs of the retail giftware market. In 1998 Art Glass Ensembles purchased the "Something Special" line of stained glass cabinet inserts, and became a full-service stained glass manufacturing studio. Christie and her husband relocated from Pennsylvania back to their home state of Texas in 2001, where Art Glass Ensembles continues to grow and flourish. She now has five CDs of patterns in Glass Eye 2000 format: Opus One, The Glass Menagerie, In Nature's Realm, Light of the World and Say It with Flowers. Please visit the Art Glass Ensembles website for more examples of her artwork.
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.
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