Thursday, October 30, 2014

Leaded Stained Glass Custom Sailboat Window Collaboration

This project has been in the works for about 10 months.  I'm pleased to report that it was installed two weeks ago.  We had repaired a large Shamrock-themed stained glass window for a customer back in May of 2012.  See that project here. She was so impressed with our work, that she called me back at the end of last year and asked me to work with her to create a custom stained glass Christmas gift for her husband.  The subject was to be his beautiful racing sailboat. I realized that my studio would not be able to handle it due to the size .. 67" wide by 34" high.

Here at Boehm Stained Glass Studio, we always do what's best for our customers.  Since I knew this project was too large for us, I brought in a trusted colleague, an artist who works mainly with "leaded glass" as opposed to "copper foiled" or "Tiffany style" stained glass, which is my area of expertise.

"Leaded glass" can be found in older homes and is characterized by thick lead lines which are soldered only at the intersections.  It is the preferred technique to use for large pieces and for windows which are exposed to the weather.  My technique, "copper foiled" or "Tiffany style", is well suited to indoor residential windows of approximately 30" or less on all sides.  Both use similar clear or colored glass, but the techniques, expertise, and tools required differ greatly.

My role in this venture was to design the window and to coordinate the installation.  My collaborating artist did the entire fabrication at her studio.  It took several months between the initial design concept and the fabrication and installation, because we were waiting for renovation of the home to be completed.

Below is our working photo of my customer's 46' sailboat called "Testing Life".  It is a 1996 Tartan 4600 docked in South Jersey.  My Dad owned a 32' Albin Sport Fisher, so I'm very familiar with the boating lifestyle.  Even though our boat was a cabin cruiser, I had an immediate affinity for the family's love of boating. Our boat was the centerpiece of our Summers, as is theirs. Here are photos of the boat and the process to create a tribute to it in stained glass:  (Click on any photo to enlarge).

Below is the pentagon shaped window where the stained glass sailboat is to be installed.  Notice the peaceful view of the lagoon.

Here is the sailboat.  The family of five with their two dogs were on board.

Below is my design which includes each family member.  My customer and I had a few discussions specifying her wishes for the finished window.  The design below incorporated her vision of what the window would be.

This past August, my husband Eric and I came down the shore to visit our customers at their new home, take photos, and prepare the paper template, below.  Eric routinely prepares a paper template for any unusually-shaped window, to be sure of a perfect fit at installation time.  We then prepared three full-size copies of the pattern, the original template, all the measurements, other photos of the room, and a full-color rendition of the pattern above, to my collaborating artist.

Below, a photo of the window still on the work table.  Her studio did a beautiful job, using flashed glass to etch in the name of the boat and the numbers on the sails.  

In this closer-up view, (click to enlarge) the family members and their two dogs can be seen.  Colors for the dogs, hair color and baseball cap, was specially chosen to represent each member of the family.  The white deck and windows were painted on.  Some smaller areas were rendered in copper foil. The studio did a fantastic job of interpreting my design.

About two weeks ago, her crew headed down the shore and installed the window.  Here it is!  

Another view of the completed, installed window.  As a first-time collaboration, I'm very pleased with the results.  It was a joy to have my design interpreted so beautifully by a fellow artist.  My customers are equally pleased.  We hope they enjoy this tribute to their sailboat for many years to come!

To see more of my stained glass work, please visit my website (click here). And if you are on FaceBook, become a fan and I'll keep you up to date on all my stained glass projects.  Thanks!

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