Over the past week, I started a new stained glass piece, and I thought I'd share some of the work in progress.
I typically start a new piece by referencing a monotype print. The idea behind the monotypes is that they are developed in the moment, taking whatever is going on at that time and putting it on paper. The images are unpredictable as it depends on the level of emotion and inner thinking that may be going on that day.
When I start a stained glass piece, it's a deconstruction of that image. Stained glass, by nature, is much more pre-determined. The images are stripped down to lines and shapes, then the glass is cut, looking like shattered pieces of the original image, then reconstructed. My forms focus more on the solder lines than on the glass, giving a look of flowing lines, either jagged or smooth in appearance.
The thing I like about stained glass mainly starts with a connection to the past, bringing up images of cathedral windows. I hope to give a new look at glass and metal as a deconstruction of the religious thinking. I almost think of these pieces as if the original image were thrown to the ground, then, methodically put back together into the resulting form.
For this particular piece, I'm stretching the thought of a cathedral window further. I use a steel structure behind each piece for support. This is typically done on a window by adding steel bars to keep the window from bending. For this piece, I'm using transparent glass, and the structure will be made visible, allowing for the viewer to see the image and its support at the same time.