Tiffany Window Project - Page 2

May, 2003

After a late night perusing, I got a bunch of new and used books on Tiffany and his work, including a wonderful out-of-print publication on his windows. Among the gaggle of little things here and there, I ran across a small set of Tiffany postcards and lo and behold, the piece I was doing was pictured on one!

This is the only known picture I have been able to get of the actual window:

There are a few very interesting things about the window. First, there are 2 "rebars" across it horizontally to strengthen it. Second, the mountains in the background appear, but do not seem to be separate glass from the front side. I speculate that the distant mountains are actually a second layer of glass attached on the back side of the piece! Tiffany was known to do this. Also the Top panel background is much more blue than the center panel... to the point of being unnaturally gradiated. I don't know if Tiffany would have tolerated such a remedial error. This may explain why the piece is not listed in any of the main books on his work - perhaps there is some question over the authenticity of this? There is still no information on the location or date of this piece. In any case, it doesn't matter. This is still an ideal pattern to work from and nonetheless challenging from a glass/color-selection standpoint.

Onward to my progress!

Here we have some of the raw glass I'm working with, along with patterns drawn, which represent areas of the piece.

The cutouts will be in the center of the piece, just above the flowers and around the meandering river. You'll note that the colors are pretty wild. These two pieces of glass exhibit radically different colors depending upon how much light is shone through them or on them. In later stages, you will see that the glass on the left will appear much darker when combined as part of the piece. I'm selecting areas of the glass which have the shading and depth I need for hills.

Here are the pieces above placed into the master pattern. The water runs through them, and I ended up selecting glass that I was going to use for the sky to be the water. I think it works better.. we shall see.

What's interesting about the glass for the stream is that it appears much more blue when line shines on it, than when light shines through it. This should give the panel a completely different appearance during times at night when light sources shine on it, from during the day when it's backlit. I think the quality of this glass will be quite interesting and dynamic. I'm most interested in the effect of motion or turbidity.

One thing I've noticed about stained glass is that it is arguably one of the most difficult things to photograph. You simply cannot see the effects of the glass and its depth and gradiations via a picture. There are parts of the stream which are designed to appear to be reflective that are only visible in person it seems.

Here is a close-up of the pieces mocked-up on my light table. I spent a bit of time checking to make sure the types of glass and colors worked with each other. It's still going to be one of those things that we'll only know for sure when the piece is complete. I'm treading in uncharted territory.

Here the pieces after they've been shaped and copper foil-wrapped. Ready to be "tacked". Tacking is when you solder the pieces together enough to hold them in place, but it's not the final soldering. I'm making the panel in pieces. I will not be soldering everything together until the very end because it's very important to make sure that the panel is strong enough to not break when moved. I'll do the window in pieces and later reinforce the piece when the 8-16 pieces are put together.

Here's a close-up, front lit.

Here is a shot after the pieces have been soldered, on the light table showing the appearance as backlit. The shading and markings in the glass give a lot more depth when illuminated from behind.

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