Design of the Month · June 2011

  • Orcas


    As with almost all of my work, the idea for this piece began as a small, abstract pencil doodle. Once the doodle was completed it struck me that the figures were reminiscent of orcas (killer whales). While I do not generally create "northwest" themed artwork, there was something about this doodle that seemed appropriate to that region of our country.

    I began to think of this as a composition that might be perfect for a stained glass panel. Glass Eye 2000 was ideal for exploring this notion. It permitted me to experiment and explore various glass colors while keeping in mind the black-and-white coloring of the orca. And being an abstract composition, I felt free to employ a bit of artistic license with the color composition.

    The final construction is a panel measuring approximately 26" x 21". I also added a 1" oak frame to finish the composition. The sharp points of the design were a bit problematic, but also resulted in the final breakup of the glass background into smaller size glass. Most of the glass was from Spectrum; however, I happened upon a greenish glass manufactured by Fremont Antique Glass in Seattle, and it became the perfect background for the design.

    This is a copper foil panel, and I used reinforcing along several of the joints because I was concerned about fragility of the pointed and thin long glass pieces in the work. You'll notice in the photograph a blue tint in the upper figure. The glass itself has almost no blue; the color comes from the sky and from light refractions. The changing colors that result from differing light conditions are one of the reasons we love the art of stained glass.

    ~ Don Quackenbush

    About the artist

    Don spent most of his 30+ year career as a pragmatic, technically-oriented architect (as distinct from a design-oriented architect) who took the concepts of others and made them constructible and enjoyable to inhabit. Although he has always loved stained glass, he has been exploring this interest for only two years.

    Don has always loved to doodle. His abstract generated doodles (as he refers to them) range from simple to complex. These doodles serve as the springboard for his stained glass patterns as well as his explorations into digital artwork.

    Now retired, Don is enjoying seemingly endless possibilities. He recently launched his own website, and you may reach him by email.

    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.