An experimental process where a 3D object is scanned in a special manner and printed on special dimpled paper, allowing for a unique 3D illusion, where the 3D effect reacts to a live light source.
All very scientific and researchy, as it's from a paper presented at SIGGRAPH 2012, but could it have any application to flat glass art? Maybe not, but interesting to think about it. How might this work if the light is at least partially transmitted, rather than just reflected? How might some degree of translucency alter the effect, perhaps even enhance it?
Today is new video day.
A new video about the Kiki Smith East Window at The Eldridge Street Museum.
and another called "A Landmark Restoration", which deals partly with the restoration of the other stained glass at the museum.
I first heard about art cars when I saw the documentary Wild Wheels, which shows an amazing array of art cars and their owners.
I like art cars, though I don't know why. I've never created an art car, and I'm not much of a car person in general. I haven't even seen that many actual art cars, mainly seeing videos and photos of them. I do have fantasies of someday going to the big Houston Art Car Parade. Maybe some day.
Trailer for Wild Wheels (1992)
So, what does that have to do with stained glass?
Not much, but I did come across a Flickr set that shows a stained glass art car. I've not seen the car in person, nor have I seen any video of it, and I know nothing of the backstory. Still, the pictures on Flickr show a VW Bug covered with a genuine stained glass mosaic and it looks very nice indeed, and I think that's pretty cool.
From Flickrite "Look" - Stained Glass VW
2 videos below the fold, both featuring Harrod Blank, the filmmaker who made Wild Wheels. One is a trailer for Blank's more recent film documentary about art cars, Automorphosous, and the other video is a 28 minute interview with Harrod Blank.
Trailer for Automorphosous -
"What's Up Wit' That? - Art Cars" from YouTube channel KMVT
Short segment on the Eldridge Street Museum stained glass window -
Judith Schaechter is fundraising for a project making stained glass for the Eastern State Penitentiary. The site and the project seem ideal for Judith and I've no doubt she will raise the money. [update Tuesday Sept 21, 2010 - it was only announced last week and she is just about to the reach the $5,000 goal for successful minimum amount. Congratulations, Judith!]
If you haven't heard of it before, this is the first example I have seen for stained glass being funded in part by 'crowd fundraising'. The idea is that you set an amount that you wish to raise, then you make a video to explain the project, then set target amounts with what the donor gets if the project is funded. The kicker is that if you do not reach the minimum funding amount the whole thing just fails to happen and no one loses their money. If the fund limit is reached then the funding agency takes a small percentage. The first crowd fundraiser I heard of is Kickstarter.
I have not seen any stained glass projects on Kickstarter.
I was aware of Project Site from another project, a rather curious one where a comic artist raised money to create a giant steel dip pen. It was funded. To do a project on Project Site you have to be affiliated with a group called United States Artists.
This from flickrite "Library Development @ Washington State Library", an image of the Stained glass @ The Evergreen State College Library - Olympia WA, by Cappy Thompson.
Click on the link or image to see a high resolution 'Zoomified' version of the Cappy Thompson Evergreen Library window.
I'd heard of this building a few months ago, but the website at the time was pretty weak and I couldn't find images or info that justified a blog post. Amazing how things change in a few months.
The Erawan Museum, near Bangkok, Thailand, is a truly unique contemporary building, and stained glass does figure in as a prominent feature.
Go look at the full and amazing hiresolution shots by flickrite AmpamukA
A detail showing the figural style of the stained glass. The details throughout the building look incredible.
I must admit that I'm not sure that the loose figural style really fits in with the rest of the building, in my opinion. The windows were designed by the late German artist Jakob Schwarzkopf (1926-2001), who was 73 when he got the commission.
Now, the big question, if you haven't already gone to look - what kind of building is this contained in?
A giant three-headed elephant building, of course. I don't quite know how it's done, but the big bronze elephant is basically standing on the stained glass dome.
via flickrite binder.donedat
The official Erawan Museum website gives a good amount of the back story. There is also an article in ThaiAsiaToday called Heavan's Above! that's gives further detail.
[update April 4, 2011 - new link re: Erawan Museum - PanoramicViews of Erawan Museum]
and a closer look
The overall idea is to play around with the idea of the ancient grisaille windows.
To get some context, here are some image of older grisaille windows -
France, Normandy, Rouen, about 1265
from flickrite peterjr1961
These glass panels may have originally decorated one of the chapels of the Chareau de Bouvreuil, which was built by King Philip Augustus and expanded by his grandson Louis IX.
Grisaille sections of fourteenth-century French stained glass windows, now in the Cloisters, New York City.
from flickrite loopweaver
Another instance of finding out about a big contemporary work of stained glass from internet sources like YouTube and Flickr, and not from traditional media like magazines or newspapers.
The filmmaking is pure shaky, blurry touristy stuff. What comes across is that this is a big, big commission, some 3,000 square meters of glass... and I'd never heard of it before.
As usual, the next stop was Flickr and as usual I found lots of images, including this of the Sun Man...
All subsequent photos are courtesy of Lucy Nieto's Cosmovitral Flickrset. Not much commentary (busy times), but another video (in spanish) and lots of 'lucy nieto' photos below the fold...
longer video with Spanish commentary
First observation - lots of abstracted birds
and some birds meld in with figures
and then become more and more figures
and more figures
and close-up of feet
and figures swirling in a vortex
and a closeup of the hands
and long again
and just a little closer
and there are nice shots of the framing metalwork
and this or the sun man area
and finally, photos of the central image the sun man - from longest
and just place long
Check out the newly posted images of the Gerhard Richter Cologne Window - up close!
From the always resourceful Aidan McRae Thomson Flickr Photostream.
This blog entry called When Geeks and Stained Glass Collide has generated some buzz in the blogosphere in the past few days. It's interesting if only to see that there are people out there looking for non-photoshopped unusual stained glass. Also interesting to see the Gerhard Richter Cologne Cathedral window lumped in with a stained glass depiction of Spiderman.
No, not me talking with Judith - but a very interesting talk and tour with Judith Schaechter on Roberta Fallon and Libby Rosof's Artblog.
Also, do check out the photos in the Flickr set of the visit.
I recently came upon some images on the web of an installation called "My Coney Island Baby", completed in 2004. It's located at the Stillwell Avenue Subway Terminal, which is, appropriately enough, the subway stop for Coney Island in New York City.
Another new direction in stained glass? or just a curiousity?
To put the installation in context, the detail above is part of a 300 foot long 17 foot high wall made of some 4,250 3" thick glass blocks. All the images are related to different amusement park attractions at Coney Island.
I've never been to Coney Island so I can't identify the specific images and what they represent. For instance, I believe this depicts part of the roller coaster known as 'The Cyclone', but I only surmise this from what I've read and seen on the web.
(photo by Robbie Rosenfeld)
..and I do not know what this is, other than maybe a sideshow attraction of some kind, though what specific one I've no idea.
I do know that Coney Island is famous for its hot dogs, hence the 12 foot long hot dog.
Designed by Robert Wilson, the theatre designer and director who is most famous for his collaboration with the composer Philip Glass on the Opera Einstein on the Beach. The Coney Island installation is most likely Wilson's only work that can in any way be described as 'stained glass', though he's done much 'installation art'. I was actually a little surprised to see that he designed it. I tend to associate him with a colder and more serious aesthetic. 'My Coney Island Baby' seems a bit on the light and whimsical side for him.
There are some nice big images and more 'in context' shots on this webpage by Christian Wassman, who collaborated on the piece.
Seemingly, there were many hands on this project. The images were screenprinted by Mayer of Munich in Germany, with the image sandwiched between two 1 ½ thick glass blocks to make the 3" glass blocks.
There is a description of the technical process from PittsburghCorning in this Case Study. Granted, the article is mainly plugging Pittsburgh Corning’s VISTABRIK® glass blocks that were used in the wall, but the process is described in enough detail to be an interesting read.
There is a mention of the project on Glass block's website, but it's the exact same text of the case study as was used by the VISTABRIK® people.
Curiously, there is also an "art window" section of Glass Block's website which seems to use the same (or similar) technology tailored for smaller commissions. Unfortunately, the generic designs they use to promote this idea are pretty tame and lame.
Brief but interesting article in the London Times on an alleged Cologne Cathedral Controversy. I must say that I don't see it as much of a controversy seeing that the allegation of the Richter design as feeding into some kind of Islamic influence is just nonsense. The abstraction of late 20th century modernism, at least Richter's variant of it with its emphasis on randomness and chaos, is nothing akin to Islamic art with its emphasis on the precise and orderly use of ornamentation and calligraphy to convey a clear and rational, if non-figural, view of the world. Both may be 'abstract', but their views of the world are... well... worlds apart.
That is... the Brave New World of Stained Glass.
Two architectural glass projects with an eye to the future.
It's not often you see an article about stained glass in WIRED magazine. Such is the case with the new window designed by Gerhard Richter for Cologne Cathedral.
Why in WIRED? Wired points out that 4096, the name of the painting on which the window is based, is also the number of 'web-smart' colors. So, we have computer types geeking out on numerical coincidence. Nevertheless, there is something distinctly 'computery' about the look of the design.
Why? To my eyes, it's because it looks so much like an image of random pixels on a computer screen; and interesting seeing that the painting was created in 1974, before the invention of personal computers or programs like photoshop.
This is the original Richter painting from 1974 called 4096, featuring a grid of 64 x 64 squares and, presumably, 4,096 distinct colors.
This image was made by taking a random image and putting the 'noise' filter on it in photoshop, then zooming in tight. Aside from the color palette being more skewed toward magenta than red, I think the resemblance is striking.
The Cologne window is constructed of 11,500 pieces of glass in approimately 4 inch squares, chosen from 72 colors. Looking at this page (in German), it would appear to be constructed without leadlines, most likely with some form of lamination. I'll update if I find more info on this.
[update- August 28, 2007 - An article stating that the Cologne Cathedral window was officially unveiled on Saturday, August 25, 2007. There is a photo gallery, though the article does not mention any additional technical details about method of construction.]
[update August 29, 2007 - a page containing a link to a hi res image]
I suppose that it was only a matter of time before the glass curtain wall became the stained glass curtain wall.
and an interior view -
More on the Netherlands Institute here and here, as well as a New York Times review of the Museum of Sound and Vision
The architects worked with the graphic designer Jaap Drupsteen who refers to it only as NIBG, short for Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid.
This is the only detail I could find of the imagery that is shaped into the cast glass panels. The images apparently relate to Netherlandish media over the decades as Hilversum is the center for television production in the Netherlands.
Again, photo by Iwan Baan
On top of this, there is this very interesting interior wall with more photographic imagery. I assume this was done with a light acid etch or sandblast.
Finally, this image from the flickr set 'NIBG' by michelicto makes it clear that the glass was manufactured at St. Gobain.
Curious that there seems to be more and more bottle walls and bottle houses popping up on the web, especially on Flickr. All these are from Flickr and all were posted in the past 3-4 months -
anonymous close up
First of all, a few sites I'd heard of but never found images for -
Part of a set from a couple building their won earthsip house in New Mexico.
outside of the roof of the bottle dome in the waste and recycling zone of the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales -
Another New Zealand Hundertwasser style small bottle wall.
Carlucci Land -
Detail photos of a bottle wall in New Zealand at Carlucci Land, a sculpture park in Wellington.
the New Zealand Composting Toilet
doubly inspired by Hundertwasser...
These are all gathered from one search on one evening on Flickr using the words 'stained glass portrait'. I was a little suprised that there were only 238 results but I guess the search was too specific. I presume more results would come from 'stained glass head' or 'stained glass face'. Most of the images were not so much of stained glass, but portraits of real people in proximity to stained glass. Still, the search, as always on Flickr, yielded some interesting and surprising results regarding actual stained glass.
This is a stained glass panel from a cemetery in Montmartre, Paris. I'm not sure if the technique used was an actual photographic positive put into a stained glass window or a process using decals or some such method to make a more permanent adhesion to the glass. Most of the attempts to include actual photographic plates into stained glass failed because the photographic chemicals could not hold up over time in the constant transmitted light.
These are a few portrait details from Queen's College at Oxford.
Catherine of Braganza
Henry the 4th
Gresham Palace, Budapest, Hungary
and who was Kossuth Lajos?
All Saints, Upper Sheringham, Norfolk
Unusually for Flickr, this page has a great deal of information about the church, location and window. The portrait is of "the daughter of Henry and Caroline Upcher and the grand-daughter of Abbot Upcher. The family were great benefactors to the church."
The Flickr page showing these unusual windows, depicting 23 Victorian gentlemen displaying a dazzling diversity of facial hair styles, suggests that it's located in the National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh, Scotland; but there is no sign of it on the Portrait Gallery website.
This is at the Ishiya Chocolate Factory in Sapporo, Japan.
The panel "depicts some of the famous people connected with chocolate, such as Napoleon, Columbus and Goethe." Who knew?
Not something I ever expected to see in stained glass portraiture -
Fidel Castro - located at the John Hardman Studio, but could find no info...
This also was unexpected -
Portrait Bra by Mimi Lipson
Stained-glass portrait of Martin Luther - Hauptkirche St. Michaelis
This one was also tagged 'creepy'.
Samuel Johnson - the caption being "In a piece of stained glass at the good doctor's house in Gough Square, just off Fleet Street, London"
A rather mystical portrait of Aaron, the brother of Moses. Not strictly a 'portrait', of course, but a striking image nonetheless -
The Moor's Head Inn, or something like that... from a pub, anyway.
I like the simplicity of this one. I do wonder if it's based on a real person.
I received so many positive responses to the Bottle Wall piece that I thought I would do a brief follow up.
Starting with this amazing photo of the artist Charles Stagg in his home in Vidor, Texas.
Photo credit to 'Scott Eslinger/The Enterprise July 31, 2005'
Charlie Stagg is an East Coast educated but Texas born and bred artist who created this house starting in the 1960's. From his home in Texas he has created his artwork and built onto this house for some 40 years.
Another take on Charles Stagg can be seen here at narrowlarry's site
A picture of his studio and his artwork. The studio apparently burned down in 2006, though most of the house remains intact.
and a part interior, part exterior shot. I like the use of the upright bottles in this one.
i.e. - these are all Fresca bottles.
and these are all 7-up bottles.
It does make me wonder why the Coca-Cola bottle, with it's distinct shape, has never been used for a bottle wall.
I had intended to put the Rockome bottle houses in the original bottle wall post but thought better of it since, sadly, these structures no longer exist. Acquired by new ownership and not deemed to be a part of their vision for the property (some kind of Amish-themed Park), the new owners demolished the bottle houses in 2006.
Note the variety of bottles in the closeup -
I found the closeup via the amazing and wonderful agilitynut flickr pages. If you like Roadside Attractions (including Bottle Houses), this is the place to go.
Like many entries on Wikipedia, the Wikipedia entry on Bottle Wall is as interesting in its omissions as it is in its inclusions, but it's certainly worth a look... and it does mention the Heineken World Bottle, also known as the 'WOBO' or the 'brick bottle'. A quick backstory via Wikipedia -
As the story goes, Alfred Heineken had an epiphany while on a world tour of Heineken factories. When Heineken was on the Caribbean island of Curacao in 1960 he saw many bottles littering the beach due to the fact that the island had no economic means of returning the bottles to the bottling plants from which they had come. He was also concerned with the lack of affordable building materials and the inadequate living conditions plaguing Curacao's lower-class. Envisioning a solution for these problems, he found an architect to design what he called "a brick that holds beer."
Notice how the bottom of the bottle is recessed so that the neck of the bottle would fit snugly into the bottom.
There were apparently 2 sizes, roughly equating to the idea of the brick and the half brick.
The bottle was designed by Architect John Habraken. They did manufacture the bottle but never released it commercially. Nothing much came of it and there are apparently only one or two existing structures, on the Heineken estate, known to have been made from the bottles. Rumor has it that there are some 60,000 of these bottles in storage somewhere in the Netherlands.
[update feb 2008 - found this Inhabit.com article on the WOBO that includes this image of what is presumably a building with a wall made of WOBO bottles. No further attribution is given.]
Looking at it I'm not surprised the idea failed. It seems almost an impossible balance - the basic utility of holding beer, balanced with the idea of 'brand identity' as well as the idea of 'sound building material'. Still, it's interesting to see that it went as far as it did and it definitely strikes me as an idea ahead of its time.
I've been asked - are there any resources to let me know how to build a bottle wall? I've searched on the web and so far, no luck. Though I did find this case of a team of people trying to build a bottle wall. Though on close reading it comes off more as how not to build a bottle wall.
Introducing the Bottle Wall, a peculiar form of stained glass. You won't see any mention of bottle walls or bottle houses in the stately and academic tomes of stained glass history. But stained glass it is, and it deserves recognition.
anonymous bottle wall - posted on Flickr
be prepared for lots of pictures...
I became interested in the bottle wall phenomenon most recently through a TV show. Rare Visions & Roadside Revelations is a program exploring outsider art and roadside attractions. It's produced out of Kansas City and so far over 60 shows have been produced in about 10 years. The tone of the show can be fairly described as goofy, but the art that is shown is often amazing and always interesting, and they have visited many sites with bottle walls and bottle houses. So I started researching.
Bottle houses began as a practical necessity. In remote mining towns where building materials were scarce, someone got the idea of using bottles as a material for building the walls of a house. Such was the case with one of the most famous early Bottle Houses, the Kelly Bottle House in the gold mining town of Rhyolite, Nevada. Because it was located in the desert there were almost no trees, hence no wood. But being a mining town there were 50 bars in close proximity, hence lots of empty bottles.
The Tom Kelly House - Rhyolite, Nevada - circa 1906
The look of these early bottle houses tended to be more mundane, owing to their utilitarian origins.
By the middle of the 20th century there was a little more 'art' put into the structures and the motivations were more eccentric and personal, such as in this house built as a playhouse.
The Doc Hope House - Hillsville, Virginia, 1941
Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village in Simi Valley, California was created from 1956 to 1980 and features a series of 13 sheds and other small structures on a small lot of land in Simi Valley, California. Though she originally made these structures to house her collection of pencils (17,000 of them!), Grandma Prisbrey really went wild with Bottle Village, well beyond utility.
interior of the round house
She also had a collection of dolls. Note the beverage tab decoration of the dress.
Sadly, much of Bottle Village was destroyed in an earthquake in 1994 and its future remains uncertain.
Grandma Prisbrey directly inspired other people to create their own bottle houses. Ross Ward was one who saw Bottle Village in the 60's and then went on to create Tinkertown near Albuquerque, New Mexico. The buildings house a museum of his handcarved figures and animated scenes.
Exterior of Tinkertown
In amidst the walls of Tinkertown -
Closeup of a Tinkertown wall highlighting Ross Ward's motto...
A sampling of mostly American and mostly anonymous bottle walls.
Locations cited only when known,
all gathered from a search for 'bottle wall' at Flickr
Thunder Mountain - Imlay, NV
UCM Museum - Lousiana
typical undulating form
This only said "at a food coop".
Some have taken to the bottle wall more as an ecological statement on recycling, like this Earthship house near Taos, New Mexico
Another Earthship house.
As a small feature in a house, anonymous, in the southwest I would guess.
Most bottle walls, especially the garden walls, tend to be rough and messy looking with a kind of improvised mad patchwork quality to them, with no sense of pre-design.
Anonymous American Bottle Wall
This is another wild one, a wall by an arts center in Deep Ellum in the Dallas area of Texas. I couldn't find the backstory.
and a close up shot
Yet some walls are quite neat and precise. These are often seen in the more commercial or officially public settings, like this from a Napa Valley Winery. The 'neat' walls also tend to forego the use of cement as a matrix for holding the bottles together.
Bottle walls and bottle houses seem to be mostly, but not entirely, an American phenomenon. One striking case outside the USA is in Lightning Ridge, in the outback of Australia. It's an opal mining town that has two bottle house attractions to its credit.
One is the old Bottle House in Lightning Ridge. The standard 'postcard' view -
And a closer exterior shot, showing the bottles, which appear to make a specific pattern. The interior seems to be closed, which is pretty common in older bottle houses. Note that there does seem to be some kind of rough pattern going one here.
The other site in Lightning Ridge was started in the 70's when John and Joan Andrews created three sandstone cottages incorporating bottle walls. It's now a tourist attraction called Black Queen. The name 'Black Queen' refers to the name of the type of black opal mined in Lightning Ridge.
The most striking feature of the Black Queen Bottle Walls (and the sites say that there are some 34 of them) are the intricately designed patterns.
Aptly described as the most photographed toilet in New Zealand, the Kawakawa, New Zealand Public Toilet , built by the Austrian artist and architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928-2000), is a rare instance of a professional architect making a bottle wall. Hundertwasser, at the end of his life, lived in New Zealand and this was among his final projects.
More Hundertwasser architecture images can be seen on the Fickr group called 100wasser.
The street view -
A bit closer -
this is the view from the women's room
You can believe from these images that Hundertwasser was the man who said "criminal is the use of ruler and T-square in architecture" and "This jungle of straight lines, which is entangling us more and more like inmates in a prison, must be cleared."
this is the view from the men's room
There is also, finally, this building called the Market Hall in Altenrhein, Switzerland that was done 'in the concept of Hundertwasser' not long after his death in 2000.