Favrile Favorite

“Art history is littered with work that involves light.” ~ James Turrell

Step inside this historic building and you will see a wonderful example of a favrile glass mural.

So what makes favrile glass different than other glass? It’s iridescent qualities is ingrained in the glass itself not just from the refraction of light. Favrile was developed by Louis Comfort Tiffany. The term favrile glass may be less known unless you are antiques dealer or appraiser or a stained glass enthusiast. 

One of the most beautiful examples of favrile glass is a 1916 installation of a glass-mosaic mural by Maxfield Parrish and Louis Comfort Tiffany called ‘”Dream Garden.” Cyrus Curtis of Curtis Publishing hired Mr. Parrish, a prominent magazine illustrator of the era and Louis Comfort Tiffany to design and make the mural which is 16 ft high and 50 feet wide. It has an astonishing number of hues – 260 to be exact which makes the scene “breathtaking.” It is the only known collaboration between Tiffany and Parrish.

In the year 2001, the mural was at risk for being removed from the lobby of the Curtis Publishing Company. To make a long story short, Pew Charitable Trust stepped in and the art will remain because of it’s historical importance to the building. Want to know more about the controversial reasons for why it was almost removed? Here is a good article from the Association of Public Art.

Looking for an art journey? Head to Philadelphia! The mural is in the Curtis Building at 6th and Walnut Streets and can be viewed by the public. A photograph certainly can’t do glass work justice in fully capturing it’s reflective qualities. It would be worth seeing up up close.

Museum Wanderings

“A museum is a place where one should lose one’s head.” ~ Renzo Piano

“It’s quite an imposing building,” I said to my daughter Shannon, as we walked up to what looked like a huge palace. Neither of us would leave Amsterdam without seeing The Rijks Museum. It was on our list of things to see and do in Amsterdam. The day had arrived to wander and roam  this 1885 structure designed by Pierre Cuypers. We were excited to step inside.

“The Rijks” is the pride of the Netherlands, the equivalent to the Louvre in France because it is the most frequented collection of art in the country. The national museum was closed for ten years to be refurbished. It reopened in 2003, presumably better than ever!  

True to it’s reputation, the museum was filled with masterpieces of the Dutch painter, draftsman and printmaker Rembrandt, Frans Hals and Johannes Vermeer and it reportedly houses 1,000,000 objects of art and history.

Here I am standing in front of some tall, tall stained glass windows installed in the museum. 

I am pondering how many lifetimes would it take for me to make these stain glass windows single-handedly? I think I’ll go cypher on something else like why we hadn’t planned a longer trip. I could easily become a dromomaniac. Don’t know what that is? Look it up.

If you missed out on the beginnings of my art travels, catch up with me through these two posts about The Home of the Blue and White  and Glass Chimes.

Come on back to this creative writing space on MZ Glassworks.com. There will be more fun things to follow.

Home of the Blue and White

When in the Netherlands what do you do? You visit Delft! Any respectable artist would, wouldn’t you? Delft is home to Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer , the iconic blue and white pottery, and the little lady with the pearl earring! (Ah…yes, you say, I remember that great book, The Girl With the Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier!)

We found the blue and white, and a pair of bicycles. Naturally, I was on the look out for rainbow-colored windows too!

Yay! We made it across the big blue

and to

The Nieuwe Kerk in Market Square! All is alive and well in Delft!

 

Glass Chimes

Belated Greetings from Amsterdam, Holland. This spring at the height of Tulip Season, my daughter Shannon and I had the good fortune to visit a place on our bucket lists – Keukenhoff Gardens. Our travels took us on many artistic journeys which included museums, churches and towns I’d only read about. In a series of blogs, I will be sharing a little with you about my experience which has broadened me even further as an artist and stained glass maker.

One windy day which still had a spring chill to it, as we walked the grounds of the Keukenhoff Gardens, I thought I heard some tinkling in the distance. My first thought was it was coming from a fountain. We walked toward the gentle song in the air and came across the most impressive wind chimes I have ever seen. Imagine the delight on the face of yours truly, as I realized the lilting music was coming from something made of glass. I was right in my element!

Immediately I wondered how many pieces of glass were used to make this structure/musical instrument? My friends, since I don’t have the facts on that, it’s still a mystery to me. The answer is blowing in the wind.

If you plan on going to Amsterdam to count the pieces of glass yourself, you will have to wait until 2020. These magnificent gardens are only open the end of March until mid-May every year. Here is a link to Keukenhoff Gardens. Read more about the 32 hectares of flowers in this park where millions of visitors from around the world arrive yearly to stroll 15 kilometers of footpaths and view 800 different species of tulips. There is a different theme in the plantings each year and in 2020 it will be World of Colors.