Just when you think stained glass is only for churches, there's this. On a trip through the Architectural Digest Home Design show, I stopped in the press office and rifled through a bunch of complimentary CDs containing images of who-knows-what. Amongst the random digitized offerings, I found the work of Nancy Nicholson, a New York-based artist who works in stained glass.
The interesting part for me is the fact that she chooses city skylines and buildings as subject matter. You may recognize some of the buildings that inspire her including the Chrysler Building seen above. Below are her words about how she works.
“I look for both beauty and humor in the urban landscape. Beginning with my photographs, I capture the composition and then render the image into a working drawing. I use traditional materials such as blown and machine rolled glass, lead and copper foil, and apply the techniques of sandblasting, vitreous paints and enamels to add details and dimension.”
“Stained glass is often viewed narrowly as a religious or decorative art form, or merely relegated to the realm of craft. I challenge these notions by using glass as a means to create work that communicates on multiple levels, encompassing formal conceptual and narrative elements. I want to create an "ah-hah" moment, to surprise the viewers and pull them closer the materials and subject matter.”
According to her site, she does offer creations that feature subjects besides architecture including depictions of flora and fauna. Her clients include corporate offices, restaurants, schools and private homes. Working with an artist to create custom pieces is a great way to make you house a truly unique space.
She draws inspiration from the Arts and Crafts movement – which is one of my favorites and she's a fan of Edward Hopper, another one of my artistic heroes. If you’re thinking about adding some stained glass to you world, consider hiring an artist like Nancy Nicholson.
Many well known architects also design décor. Mies Van der Rohe designed iconic chairs, Corbusier did couches, Frank Lloyd Wright did flatware, dishes and stained glass. Michel Graves designs tea kettles sold in Target and Frank Gehry does chess sets.
Grossmünster Cathedral (Switzerland )
Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
Resurrection Cemetery Justice, Illinois.
The Chicago Cultural Center - Preston Bradley Hall
Sainte Chapelle Stained Glass (France)