September 13, 2008

Open Studio - Judith Schaechter

August 2, 2008 pt.2 - In between going to the Glencairn Museum in the early morning and the AGG conference in the afternoon we (Dan Maher, Nancy Nicholson, and myself) picked up Judith Schaechter (gallery) at her home in Philadelphia and got a quick tour of her house and studio.

This is Nancy Nicholson, me and Judith in Judith's home studio looking at sections of her then in-progress and now installed MAD commission.
photo by Dan Maher

It was a very quick tour, no more than about 15 minutes, since we were running late. Still, lots of interesting stuff to see. And many pictures...

The House

a.k.a. - Stuffed Animals, Stained Glass and General Stuff for a Militant Ornamentalist

Judith lives in a Victorian era house in Philadelphia, with old stained glass windows of varying quality thoughout the house.
The front door panels are some of the nicer ones.


The jewels in the front doors are especially nice.

There are various stuffed and otherwise represented animals throughout the house. I missed getting a picture of the coyote in the front window and the pictures of the raccoon and the rats came out too fuzzy. I did get these shots.



This fireplace came out a bit fuzzy as well, but it's such amazing tilework I had to show it anyway.

Even the staircase is elaborately ornate. Appropriate for someone who states her occupation as Militant Ornamentalist.

Another old window, in her bedroom, not as nice as the front door ones. It's a bold stained glass artist who puts yellow and purple together in a such a wide prominent border.

Judith's Studio

The puppets greet you on the way into the studio, though I never got the backstory.

She keeps a remarkably clean and orderly studio.

Another view showing the light table and glass racks

Judith showing off her bigtime hexacon soldering iron.

She has (I think) 5 cats.

The biggest work bench in the studio. The print on the wall seems to be an early sketch for the MAD commission and the floral artwork is also related to the MAD commission - more on that below. The photo in the upper right is of a distant relative of hers whom she mentions on her website, John Fletcher Hamlin.

More stuff -

Studio Panels

This is called 'The Knot'. I told how nice it is to see her panels in natural light. She said she gets that a lot and that she is in no way opposed to having her work in natural light, but the market dictates.


Detail with some reflected light

Detail showing some of the layering. It's also nice to see the details of the blue background, to see how wonderfully loose and scratchy the painting is.

One more little panel with a favorite theme - car crashes.

The MAD Commission

That is, the commission for the Museum of Art & Design, formerly the American Craft Museum. They've revamped their building in NYC, and Judith was commissioned to do a permanent installation.

Again, the window is now installed - see the pictures of the installation.

The full panel.

Again, the earlier sketch -

And this shows what that transparency hanging in the studio was used for - for tracing the diaper pattern in the background.

From a purely stained glass insider technical point of view, I always try to get a few shots in reflected light. To see how it was constructed, to see what is plated and what is not plated, to see what the solder line looks like.

I'm not sure if these are pieces for another section, spare pieces, or rejects or what. But it is interesting to see them.

Pieces in place, and in process.


close-up of the finished panel - wonderful wonderful stuff.

Thanks Judith for the tour and the preview of the MAD commission!
Can't wait to see the final work in place.

Posted by Tom at September 13, 2008 07:29 AM