In my 2017 trip to the USA, I made a stop to admire the The Neustadt Collection of Tiffany lamps, at the Queens Museum, in New York. The collection, assembled by Dr. Egon Neustadt (1898-1984) and his wife Hildegard (1911-1961), features a number of delightful copper foil lamps created by Tiffany Studios right in Queens (in Corona to be exact).
Thanks to the generous support from the Storylines Art Bursary by Mark Furner MP for Ferny Grove and the James Whitney Workshop/Seminar Scholarship by the Stained Glass School/Stained Glass Association of America, I recently had the opportunity to spend few weeks in the US to further my expertise in glass conservation, in particular for heritage stained glass.
During this trip I spent some time at the Corning Museum of Glass (NY), visiting and working with Stephen Koob, Fellow of the International Institute of Conservation and the American Institute for Conservation, who is responsible for the care and preservation of all of the Museum’s collections.
Under Stephen’ mentorship, I have practiced conserving some damaged glass objects, including a vessel created by Frederick Carder in his carrear at Corning. I also had a chance to visit the museum and assist to the end of residency demonstration by visiting artist Dane Jack (blown glass).
After my time in Corning, I travelled for few days to Boston, MA, visiting some churches with heritage stained glass on the way. In Boston, I had the privilege to see a number of stained glass panels by Tiffany and La Farge, among others, including some installed in Harvard University’s Memorial Hall, generally not open to the public.
Once left Boston, I travelled to New York where I visited the Bullseye Glass Resource Center New York, the Queens and Brooklyn Museums, and the Claire Oliver Gallery (a commercial gallery that is the sole representative of Judith Schaechter’s stained glass work).
After New York, I travelled to Bryn Athyn, PA; not before having stopped in Princeton, NJ to admire some great stained glass from Tiffany Studios, depecting St George, and in Millville, visiting WheatonArts – the Museum of American Glass.
Once in Bryn Athyn, I had the opportunity to participate in a heritage stained glass conservation workshop, lead by Steve Hartley, with the help of Kenneth Leap. In the workshop, we had the opportunity to work on and examine a number of medieval and heritage stained glass panels. I also had the chance to return to Philadelphia to admire Tiffany’s Dream Garden mosaic and some stained glass in a church and in the local museum.
Next, I continued my trip and I drove to Washington, where I returned to visit the Washington National Cathedral, including the Stained Glass Association of America’s annual exhibition. Details of glass panel by Kathy Barnard below.
Finally, I concluded my journey in Los Angeles. There I visited the St. Timothy’s Catholic Church, which has several Harry Clark’s windows, and the Forest Lawn – Glendale – Great Mausoleum. There, I had the chance to see ‘The last supper’, the famous painting of Leonardo da Vinci, but in the form of a stained glass window. The museum also had on exposition a few wonderful panels by Franz Mayer & Co. of Munich — but the greatest collection of Mayer’s windows in Los Angeles was in the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. A true art supper for the stained glass lovers.
I will post on this blog some stories and images from my trip, including images of Tiffany’s stained glass and lamps, La Farge stained glass masterpieces, fantastic glass artworks from the Corning Museum of Glass, and much more. So, keep looking!
Few months ago, I had the great pleasure of designing and realising a very special wedding gift: a Peacock Bowl. I started by creating about 11 different designs (see some examples below); after few hard decisions, the customer set on one design.
Before taking this commission I was wondering about what the peacock represents in the symbolistic tradition, iconography, and across cultures; so I searched for more information about positive meanings associated with the peacock.
In my searches, I discovered that this beautiful bird is a symbol of dignity and grace. In the Chinese and Buddhist cultures, the peacock represents freedom and wisdom; in other cultures it is also thought as a symbol of eternal life.
Beyond these, the peacock is also the symbol of beauty, good luck, compassion and kindness. The peacock is also often used to represent wholeness, patience and nurturing.
In some cultures this elegant bird is seen as bringing the message that there are no limits to our dreams and anything is possible if we believe and trust the universe.
I think the peacock resembles a very powerful mix of symbolism and beauty and it offers a powerful message to the newly wedded couple.
From the selected design I create a kiln fused glass bowl, which was further engraved to emphasise the texture of the feathers, along with the wishes from the client that commissioned the gift.
The stained glass window “The Visitation” at the Metropolitan Museum/Cloisters (New York City) captures a scene from the life of the Virgin Mary described in the Gospel of Luke. I saw this window in my recent travel to the US last September and it particularly fascinated me. This is the first of a number of blog posts I will dedicate to my 2016 US trip.
If you are not familiar with the story of the visitation, here is a brief version, before we get to look at the window. After the Annunciation, Mary leaves Nazareth and goes to the city of Judah to visit her cousin Elizabeth. In the Christian symbolism, Mary’s visit represents her intention to bring the divine grace to Elizabeth and her unborn son. At that time, in fact, both women were pregnant; Mary carried Jesus and Elizabeth was pregnant with John the Baptist.
I just love the climate of this stained glass window: there is something warm in it. The window transpires compassion, calm and joy. The women are holding their hands and touching the arms, witnessing the strong friendship between Mary and Elizabeth, along with their familiarity and fondness.
The faces of Mary and Elizabeth are very delicately painted. Their traits are brushed up with only simple lines but they still are very beautifully executed. The chance in pressure of the brush when the paint was applied to the glass produced lines of different width, creating a sense of movement and dimension. This may give you the feeling that this window is rather “modern”, but instead it dates back to the late medieval time (1444).
The stained glass originally was installed at the Carmelite Church in Boppard-am-Rhein (Germany); now the window is conserved at The Met Cloisters in New York City. The window is also important in the stained glass history because with the use of an angular style in the drapery folds and the juxtaposition of colours, the author initiated a new glass painting style in the Middle Rhine region.
You still have time to purchase the Christmas decorations featured above – Glass Artistry’s studio is open by appointment until December 24, or you can purchase from our Etsy shop (however you will have more choices if you visit the studio).
Inspired by a recent visit to Fraser Island and by some magnificent sunsets and sunrises I had the luck to see, I created a new glass and metal sculpture. The sculpture is a cube and each edge represents one of those wonderful sunrises and sunsets in Fraser. Inside the cube there is a LED light I designed. In addition to the main large cube, I have also created some smaller cubes, all in glass.
The glass sculpture is currently on display and available for purchase at Sydney’s Glass Artists’ Gallery.
This leadlight really needed urgent attention. As you see from the two pictures below, the lead had cracked and bowed, and some of the glass pieces have gone out of the lead came. The leadlight was installed on a door in a cute worker cottage in Paddington; being on a door, the leadlight was subject to frequent movement.
After removing the leadlight, I completely rebuilt the panel, using new lead and replacing the broken glass. The panel was then reinstalled in place with the help of John from JayBee Woodworks, who restored the timber trims. You can see the great result in the photo below.
Ready for shipping!
Zena, the beloved pharaoh hound of my dearest friend Maureen Cahill, owner of the Glass Artists’ Gallery in Glebe (Australia’s foremost contemporary glass gallery), has turned twelve. To celebrate Maureen commissioned me to design and create some celebratory glass coasters for Zena to give to her personal friends.
I created two designs – one with Zena’s profile and the other picturing Zena in her famous sphinx pose (see Zena’s picture below, taken few years ago). The glass coasters have been created with coloured glass powders and fused in the kiln. Afterwards, the coasters have been engraved to highlight Zena’s profile and Zena’s name has been sandblasted on the glass.
And below, my studio assistant Darra gives his seal of approval on the consignment.
I was pleased to be contacted by the Queensland Resources Council to created a series of gifts for their Resources Awards for Women awards, ahead of the QRC/WIMARQ International Women’s Day Breakfast event. The commission of 6 bowls was based on my kiln-formed open plates series (plates from this series were also commissioned by the Queensland Government in 2014 for gifting some G20 representatives, see my previous blog post). The new plates for this award had to capture the colours of Queensland’s soil and geological resources, as well as violet, the colours symbols of the suffragettes movement.
The breakfast was held on May 8, 2016 when the trophies were presented to all the winners (congratulations from Glass Artistry). In the photo gallery below you can see few more images of some of the plates and the winners.