the winter and spring of 2015, I made this
unusual stained glass commission for the Delta Delta Delta
Sorority House "on the Hill" in Boulder, Colorado.
The space designated for this artwork was three
openings located on the landing of the main staircase. Because
this old and venerated building had been added to over the years, the
upper stained glass panel looked out a window onto a
second story patio while the lower two stained glass panels looked at a
The clients wanted to use beveled glass and stained glass together, but
the odd configuration of the windows called for some inventive thinking
in order to do that. In the end, we decided that the upper
panel would include
made beveled glass and that same design would be reflected in stained
glass (but not beveled glass) in the lower two panels. The
upper would be lit by daylight and the lower would be lit by LED lights
hidden behind the wood in a white-painted lightbox. This would result
in bright even illumination to the stained glass on the bottom
whenever the LEDs (on a dimmer) were turned on. Also, the opacity of
the stained glasses needed for the lightbox would also make the stained
glass look good when the LEDs were turned off.
I submitted scale drawings of a number of unique ideas for
this sorority stained glass
project and the clients chose the one you see above. It was also
decided to use double thick bevels, that is, bevels that would be custom
made using 3/8" (10mm) plate glass instead of the usual 3/16" (5mm) plate glass. This would greatly enhance the rainbows
created by the beveled glass and projected onto the walls of the staircase.
upper panel is all bevels and blue glass. The lower section is all
colored glass, with a wispy white glass border below that mimics the
beveled border above.
<<< This photo to the left shows the depth of the
double-thick beveled glass. These bevels were made by Action Bevel. The
central part was designed on a CAD (computer aided design) program and
were extremely precise. The bevels in the outer border were cut by
hand, and so they were less precise. They required the extra step I
always take when working with bevels - re-grinding them one at a time
to get them to fit correctly.
Because this sorority is located in Boulder, Colorado
an hour from my
studio in Denver - the clients met me at the wholesale stained glass
in Denver, and we chose most of the actual glasses together. They also
paid a visit to my studio on another day to review our glass choices
just prior to beginning the construction phase.
of the odd
combination of natural and artificial lighting, I knew ahead of time
that this artwork would not photograph well. For that reason, the main
photo above is stitched together from photos I took of the stained
glass panels prior to installation. To the right is a
>>> of the actual installation
with daylight coming
through the upper panel and
the LEDs lighting up the lower panels. See how different the background
blue looks lit by daylight above and by artificial lighting below. To
the human eye, the blue looks the same in both places.
The wood surrounding the stained glass is quite decorative, but there's
no way I can show you that in a photo that also shows the stained glass.
Wonderful clients. Wonderful outcome.
And here are the rainbows cast onto the foyer floor by the beveled
glass in the afternoon sun.
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