Stained Glass Project w/ Rick Beck...

Living in an area where there are a whole lot of extremely talented artists who work in so many mediums is really a great thing - especially when you have an opportunity to work and collaborate with them. 

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Rick Beck is a glass artists who's focus is primarily on using glass as a material for casting and sculpting.   His large-scale cast glass sculpture are mainly about depicting industrial, everyday objects and the human figure. "My work in glass is a synthesis of human and mechanical form, with an emphasis on formal aspects."  When he called a while back to ask about creating two, four foot tall stained glass windows from his wife Valerie's blown glass images at my studio, I was thrilled.  What an awesome chance to help design, create, and assemble something that incorporates so many different glass processes.  

The glass pieces he brought over were blown by Valerie Beck with illustrative imagery of sock puppets, chickens, ferns, dancing cows, and flowers.  These pieces were then slumped and fused flat.  We took all these separate pieces and began laying them out on a foam backer board that was to scale of the finished panels.  Once laid out, we needed to arrange and decide if the pieces should overlap or be cut so that the narrative made sense as well as how much it should project from the panel.  We also needed to add elements of contrast in both size and tone to the busy and multi-colored images.  Glass banana leaves on the bottom of the panels, creating a foreground was what was decided.  We laid it all out and began cutting panels.

 

Rick and I were able to lay out most of the panel with what we had.  He'd even brought real banana leaves as stand-ins for the glass at the bottom.

Rick and I were able to lay out most of the panel with what we had.  He'd even brought real banana leaves as stand-ins for the glass at the bottom.

Glass is cut and ground to shape.  All the pieces are then copper foiled (which is what the solder sticks to) and tacked together.  Window is then tinned on both sides to fill in the gaps and attach the pieces together.  And finally the window is beaded which gives a smooth, rounded over appearance to the solder lines.

Glass is cut and ground to shape.  All the pieces are then copper foiled (which is what the solder sticks to) and tacked together.  Window is then tinned on both sides to fill in the gaps and attach the pieces together.  And finally the window is beaded which gives a smooth, rounded over appearance to the solder lines.

Andy Palmer