February 27, 2009

Zoomifying Stained Glass

A few weeks back there was some buzz on the Yahoo Groups Stained Glass Forum about an interactive website called "A Bastion of Light", showing high resolution images of the stained glass of Christ Church Cathedral, New Zealand. It is impressive indeed.

Something rang a bell with this and I did a little research and found out the technology is due to a thing called Zoomify. There are links to examples of how Zoomify is being used on the Zoomify Customers webpage. Some are very nice, like the Morgan Library Medieval Illuminated Manuscript site, and the The Complete Works of Caravaggio, and the Getty Museum Online Exhibition of Flemish manuscript painting called Illuminating the Renaissance. I love this stuff, though I do have to be careful as this could be a serious timesucker.

As for making your own interactive pages using Zoomify, I downloaded the free version and tried it on one of my panels. It's surprisingly easy to use, at least if you've done some basic website creation yourself. You do need to know a little HTML, but not much.

It works especially well for my quarry/text panels, since I've never been able to show the full panel and still make the quotes readable without having a series of awkward links to other detail pages. So, here is the original ZoomifyExpress version of my 'Asheville Authors' Panel.

I'm impressed enough that I may get a paid version (seems like a good deal at $30) called Zoomify Design, as it would be nice to at least make it a black background, and add some text, like the 'Bastions of Light' site did.

All in all, I can see enormous potential for this type of stained glass display on the web.

[update February 28, 2009 - I did buy the ZoomifyDesign and turned the white background to a black background version of my 'Asheville Authors' Panel, which is more in line with the rest of my website. I also added some links to help navigation within my site. Unfortunately the process was not as easy as I thought it would be. So, the 'Express' version is easy to use, but you are left with a simple (and stark white) interface. The 'Design' version requires a bit more HTML knowledge to do even a simple design change like add a black background. You may also notice that the 'white' version runs a bit faster than the 'black' version. That's because the design is best done not in HTML but in Flash, which requires a more expensive version of Zoomify and you have to know Flash. I've been resistant to Flash for years, a consequence of my being an old-school animator.]

[update March 3, 2009 - I did two more pages using the same template I made for the Asheville Authors page. Here is the interactive version of my early Psychedelic Gothic panel and, for my friend Alice Johnson because I love her work and especially this panel, the Interactive Tibetan Wheel of Life panel.]

Posted by Tom at 07:09 AM

February 21, 2009

American Glass Guild Conference 2009

I will be speaking at the American Glass Guild 2009 Conference. It will be held in Buffalo, New York, from July 16-20, 2008.

I'll be talking about "Stained Glass in the Internet Age" -

How might emerging internet technologies affect the prospects for stained glass artists and studios in the future? How can the field of stained glass benefit in terms of training, education, information sharing, scholarship, marketing and, maybe even, perhaps, direct sales? In what is referred to as “web 2.0” there are such a dizzying array of new options available for selling, promoting and marketing both your work and stained glass in general - what to make of it?

Here are a few links related to the other presenters -

• William Derix of Derix Glasstudios will speak on Art Glass In Architecture. I did a blog post about a Derix window in St. Louis. I'm looking forward to hearing what he has to say.
Robert Jekyll will be talking about his long career as a Canadian stained glass artist.
• Jacquelann Killian will talk about the stained glass of Alice Cordelia Morse
Daniel Maher is speaking about his work. Dan is an old friend and colleague and we will also be doing a presentation together on technique.
Ellen Miret will talk about her work, and about glass selection.
• Rachel Phillips - on Evie Hone (Evie Hone on Flickr)
• Dr Bronwynn Hughes - Article about Dr. Hughes, Seminar info
• Dalle De Verre Workshop by Helmut Schardt
From the 'Artists in Stained Glass' website, a description of another
Delle De Verre workshop with Helmut Schardt.
• Stained Glass Conservation Workshop, by Jonathan Thornton, who is a Professor of Objects Conservation at Buffalo State University. It's not related to the conference, but he also makes historic tools.

More information will be added as it is announced...

Posted by Tom at 07:56 AM

February 20, 2009

Buddhist Bottle Temple on Flickr

New images of the Thai Buddhist Bottle Temple
with a flickr search for "bottle temple".

from flickrite plumandjello -

and this wonderful Beer Bottle Buddhist Temple flickrset of 32 photos by aimforawesome

Posted by Tom at 08:42 AM

February 18, 2009

Glass Art Society - 2009 Conference, Corning NY

Another conference - this is the big one for glass art, though not much related to stained glass. The 2009 Glass Art Society Conference in Corning, NY, taking place June 11-13, 2009. I'm told that the GAS conferences which take place in Corning tend to be the biggest and best.

Alas, there are no stained glass or even flat glass related events among the presentations and demonstrations, as far as I can tell. But they do have a pre-conference bus tour (on Wednesday, June 10) called Exploring Tiffany Windows in Western New York. Looks interesting.

Here's a nicely made promo video for the conference - with tantalizing film clips, both old and new, of glassmaking techniques.

Posted by Tom at 08:15 AM

February 17, 2009

Conference on Scottish Stained Glass

via the AGG bulletin board -

A Day Conference for Scotland
and for HOMECOMING 2009.
May 9, 2009
New Kilpatrick Parish Church, Bearsden, Glasgow

Download pdf file of the schedule here -

links to a few of the participants -
Linda Cannon and Rab MacInnes of Cannon-MacInnes Stained Glass
Michael Donnelly, best known for his books on Scottish Stained Glass.
Susan Bradbury, stained glass artist (Burns Window by Susan Bradbury)
Eilidh Keith, stained glass artist.
Marie Stumpff, Senior Conservator (objects) at the Burrell Collection, which has an amazing collection of stained glass

Posted by Tom at 08:18 AM

February 15, 2009

Bottle Houses on Box Vox

Box Vox, a blog whose motto is packaging as content, has done some interesting posts on bottle walls/houses. Most of the post called 8 Glass Bottle Houses covers familiar territory, but with additional and updated links. Worth a good look through.

Then more recently, Box Vox highlighted this "Fractal Bottle House", which is a Bottle House photographed by flickrite Matt (mistergoleta).

No interior shot, unfortunately, but nice to see anyway.

Posted by Tom at 07:56 PM

February 09, 2009

Siegfried Reinhardt at Second Baptist

On some of SG forums recently, Barbara Krueger posted some links related to the Sanctuary of the Beatitudes windows at Second Baptist Church, in St. Louis, MO. She also posted a link to my flickrset - Siegfried Reinhardt Stained Glass - Second Baptist. It reminded me that I've been sitting on these images without doing a real blog post about it, for something like 4 years. So, I'll just post it briefly, and now.

What is it that I like about these? The scale of the figures is what strikes me first. The Christ figure is a good forty feet high (okay, at least 30, I'll check on that one). Many of the feet in the figures are a good three feet wide. In general, there is a much greater sense of caricature than is usual in stained glass and I like that.


The glass is all clear seedy antique, no muted tints, all clear and much of it is extra seedy. One of the aspects I like most, which you have to look carefully to see in the photos, is how Reinhardt used cool grey areas of paint in the background and contrasted it in the figures with a red/brown warm paint, so it's not entirely monochromatic.

feet from the Fourth Beatitude - 'Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled'.

Siegfried Reinhardt passed away in 1984, but is still a well known artist in St. Louis. He's best known for the St. Louis Lambert Airport Murals depicting the history of aviation (scroll a little more than halfway down the page). In my opinion, it's in a more conservative style, compared to the Second Baptist windows. I like the Second Baptist style better, personally.

I hope to be adding onto this post in the next few days some of the close-up photos I took of the aviation mural, if they haven't gotten lost in the shuffle when I moved into my new studio 2½ years ago.

In the meantime, check out this LIFE magazine photo shoot of Reinhardt, from 1952 when Reinhardt was 26. It's the whole photo shoot, a full 75 images by photographer Howard Sochurek. I am curious to know what kind of article, if any, went with the pictures.

Posted by Tom at 02:10 PM

February 04, 2009

One BIG Rondel

Video showing the making of a 3 foot diameter rondel, by Skeels Glass.
via keithorr YouTube Channel

part 1 - gathering and forming a bubble (3:18)

part 2 - the rondel takes shape and is lifted off (5:26)

text from the YouTube page -

Total working time was 3 hours per rondel.

Rondels were either 36 inch (70 pounds) or 48 inch (105 pounds) with a thickness from 4 inches at the center nub to 3/4 inch at the edge. Rondels were made over-sized and trimmed to diameter using standard glass cutter and large breaking pliers.

Rondels made one layer of a dual glazed unit. Finished units are installed in the Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple of the Church of Latter Day Saints.

Posted by Tom at 12:25 PM

February 03, 2009

Bullseye Glass Catalog

Bullseye Glass Co. has come out with an impressive new catalog - #6. You can request a printed copy here or download the pdf.


The catalog is well designed, clearly laid out, with a good use of symbols and graphics to explain some of the technical issues. It's not just marketing fluff, but real information. A big help in deciding what you need, and what you can afford, since it includes prices.

Bullseye is one of the few sheet glass manufacturers driving the concept of innovation in architectural glass. This is a good thing, though it might leave us traditional 'glass & metal' stained glass artists in the background. Not that I'm counting, but of the 8 works of art represented in the 72 page catalog, none could really be described as stained glass. Hey, if that's the trend and it helps keeps them in business, I'm okay with it.

They have a blog, called To BE or not to BE, written by Lani McGregor, one of the partners in the firm. The most recent entry, called, Getting Dunked in the New Year, is a pretty open assessment of how Bullseye plans to deal with the current economic troubles. Good luck to them.

Now if they could only take the time to update their currently dormant Bullseye YouTube channel. Perhaps a factory tour? A video showing the handrolling process? They hint at some very interesting processes for making their confetti glass (catalog 6, page 69), but to actually see it in video would be very cool.

Posted by Tom at 12:28 PM