Final stages of glasspainting on the two clerestory windows for All Saints Chapel at Carroll College, Helena, Montana.
Glass painting (8 second time-lapse)
setting out ready to fire in the kiln (4 second time-lapse)
In the process of making stained glass there are two stages where the glass is easeled up against the daylight. First, when selecting glass, then later, when glasspainting. Easeling glass is time-consuming and thus expensive, so why do this?
Here’s my current work for All Saints Chapel at Carroll College in Helena Montana. Note how the opalescent glasses change at night/dusk. This is an effect that can only be estimated, whether on light table or easel, because my north-facing easel does not precisely mimic the light in Montana. The easel does, however, take out a lot of the guesswork.
Check a few older posts if you want to find out more about how and why glass is fixed to the easel, and watch the embedded video links. Stage one, selecting glass for colour, transparency/opacity and texture the English way, by fixing it to the clear glass easel plate with Plasticene; about choosing colour for a landscape window with figures; using beeswax and rosin (which fires off later in the kiln) in the process of waxing up (fixing painted, fired glass onto the easel for further layers of glasspaint); and details of a specific wet-matte technique that may be achieved with my https://coombscriddle.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/spreading-the-word-worldwide/proprietory propylene glycol mixture.
Yesterday was a spectacular day in the studio, working with my smart and lovely studio assistant, Katie Bullock. I’m working with Oster’s Ancient Winchester silverstain fired face-up in my Hoaf Speedburn kiln to create a marvelous blue-tinged mirrored image that breathes a golden haze around each individual print.
Both the mirroring and areas of carefully chosen opalescent glass will be visible from inside the chapel after dark, when the rest of the stained glass goes black.
Katie printing multiples of the vesica pisces petal motif using the annotated grid as a guide. The petals are overlaid in a very specific fashion that results in a spiraling sunburst.
Placing painted glass on trays ready to be fired. The silverstain looks opaque at this stage.
Above, a tray of fired glass. Below, various reflections.
Thanks again a hundred-fold to Cliff Oster, who formulated this stain for me back in 2005 when I was working on stained glass for St Mary’s Cathedral in Portland, Oregon. I can control the colour density and value via different methods of application; or by altering the viscosity of the paint; or by shifting the proportions of water to propylene glycol in the paint thinning process. This one silverstain, Ancient Winchester, can create beautiful, transparent colour ranging from a ‘barely there’ pale lemon yellow to deep amber brown. I can also control (to some extent) the different levels of bleed and irridescence or mirroring by changing my kiln temperature and firing conditions. On top of all that, the clay carrier washes off easily and never sticks to the glass. In this particular application for Carroll College chapel the reverse of the glass (some of which may be seen closeup when the windows are installed) looks like mirrored copper. We were made for each other, me and Ancient Winchester, and I never use any other silverstains.
I spent 3 weeks as Artist in Residence at Carroll College in Helena, Montana in February working on the initial design concepts and preliminary drawings for five new stained glass windows. Since then I’ve been back in my studio making shop drawings, scale designs, supporting artwork and full-size drawings with specifications for building the stained glass. Below, work-in-progress on windows based on an analysis of the Medieval geometry of the San Damiano crucifix.
I’m doing an artist residency at the Studios at MASS MoCA right now and we’re having an Open Studio next Weds, Oct 19th, 5-7pm. You are cordially invited. I hope local folks will drop by. I’m one of 10 artists, location is on the MASS MoCA campus. More info and directions here. I’ll be showing math-based drawings, my stained glass tiling, and sculptural models made with computer scientist Duane Bailey this past summer,
Everyone is welcome, so please share if you wish. The Facebook event is at https://www.facebook.com/events/341789096165887/