Showing my stained glass in two exhibitions that open tomorrow, Sat May 21

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Ornithologist

WILLIAMSTOWN MASSACHUSETTS

My stained glass panel Ornithologist is hanging in The Shops at the Library Antiques in Williamstown as part of  IS-183, the Art School of the Berkshires  25 year celebration Faculty Art Show. This delightfully unconventional exhibition takes place in various non-traditional gallery spaces up and down Spring Street in Williamstown Massachusetts.

Artwork by more than 75 artists from across our region will be on show until  June 16. Maps will be provided at the opening reception on Saturday, May 21, from 4-6pm, at the Purple Pub. After that, visitors may pop into any participating venue, pick up a map and take a self-guided walking tour.

MANCHESTER VERMONT

And… as a new member of the Vermont Glass Guild I am showing six of my stained glass panels alongside the work of 30 other Vermont and New England glass artists at the Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester, Vermont. All are from my seven-year long, 14-piece series Menfolk that explores the emotional landscape of men over time and in different circumstances. Included in the exhibition is Sir Edmund Hillary (below, detail). This was the subject of a lovely 13min video made by our son, Jack Criddle that documents my process, showing how each separate piece of glass is cut, painted, fired and assembled.

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There will be an opening reception for “Modern Alchemy – The Art of Glass” in the Wilson Museum and Galleries at the Southern Vermont Art Center, in Manchester, VT on Friday, May 21, from 5 – 7pm. I’ll be there to greet visitors and get to know my fellow glass artists. The show will run through July 10, 2016.

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Stained Glass Tiling: the process

Williams College student Elizabeth Jacobsen describes the process of designing and building a stained glass window from a mosaic of transparent colored glass tiles, each handpainted and kiln fired to create a unique work of art.

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Lunch of a Lifetime

I was giddy with the delight of meeting Sir Roger Penrose yesterday at a small luncheon for artists and scientists at Yale University. His extraordinary tiling patterns have obsessed and inspired me since I was a student at the Royal College of Art in the 1980’s. Recently I’ve been experimenting with 3D tilings using Baroque decoration to enforce Penrose’s mathematical rules. I took this model with me yesterday and had a wonderful time talking with others who are obsessed with his work.

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I also took the very last panel in my Menfolk series to show Dr. Penrose. It shows him looking down at a student through one of his aperiodic tilings, a string of Superman images, and a copy of Grunbaum and Shepherds textbook, the definitive taxonomy of tilings.

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Thanks to Laura Clarke and Site Projects Inc (who organized the events), to the Physics Dept. at Yale (for lunch), and my friends Lisa Nilsson and Denise Markonish (who tipped serendipity for me).

Reception, 12-1 on Thursday, for Stained Glass Tiling

My Winter Study students will be showing their stained glass tilings at Williams College on Thursday January 29th, from 12 – 1pm. Everyone is welcome. The exhibition will be held in the 3rd floor corridor (overlooking the atrium cafe) between the Chemistry and Physics buildings. Enter the cafe from the Science Quad and look for signs. The best place to park is at the far end of the public lot across from Tunnel City Coffee.

Ten students have created unique and personal works of art. Here’s a taster: details of stained glass windows designed, cut, hand-painted, kiln-fired and assembled by Julia Damion and Ivy Ciaburri.

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Detail of "Mathematicians" a stained glass portrait of Sir Roger Penrose and student by Debora Coombs

Mathematicians: new window for Open Studio, Oct 4th & 5th, 10-5

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Here’s my latest stained glass piece, a portrait of British mathematician Sir Roger Penrose. A cloud of his famous tiling patterns and a’ film strip’ of Superman images connect a bemused looking Penrose to his student. I made the panel for a recent show in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. It marks the start of some new work (drawings and 3-D glass structures as well) that have mathematical underpinnings.

The site in the gallery for “Mathematicians” provided an interesting technical challenge because there was so little natural light available. More than half of the area behind the stained glass is white painted wood, with 4 small square window panes in the center. So I used a fair bit of opalescent glass (shirts, books and tablecloth) and laid smooth mattes (umber, sepia and bistre brown) over all the flesh areas to hold the light and prevent transparency. The white background areas are cut in old factory glass (like Luxfer prisms) that is transparent, but has deep ridges to scatter the light.

I’d love the chance to talk about my latest enthusiasms, so do come and visit if you can: Sat Oct 4th or Sun 5th. Please spread the word.

I’ll also be assembling the petals of a 5ft rose window (fitting the painted, fired glass into a soldered lead matrix); showing videos; and cutting glass for two new stained glass windows for Trinity Episcopal in Branford CT.

AND -if you’ve ever wanted to learn to cut glass- stop by at 11am or 3pm for a demonstration and free glass cutting lesson. I will have tools and scrap glass available.

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Exhibition opens tomorrow

I’m pretty excited about this exhibition; first solo since London in 2009. Here’s a new panel on the bench, specially made for a little window in the gallery. It includes a portrait of British mathematician Sir Roger Penrose.

Portrait of Sir Roger Penrose and student in stained glass

All are welcome to the opening reception tomorrow, Weds July 25th, 5-6.30pm. We’ll be heading over to the Lion’s Den at the Red Lion Inn afterwards -it’s the nearest thing in Massachusetts to an old English pub!

The address: Lavender Door Gallery, 37 Main Street, Stockbridge, Massachusetts. The show will run until July 30th, open Mon-Fri 9-5.