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Stained Glass: A Form of Individualized Artistry

June 18th, 2015
Stained Glass

It’s hard not to stare in awe when you see an intricate piece of stained glass. Generally found in church windows, stained glass refers to the colored glass that is formed into works of breath taking art. Stained glass as we know it was first produced in the 1500s as a means of reproducing Biblical stories or to show a figure or landscape image.

Famous artists such as Louis Comfort Tiffany used stained glass to not only make windows, but as a medium to make lamps and other glass work. Stained Glass artistry carried over into the Renaissance and is still created to this day. It is admired for its beauty in local art shows and on a larger scale in the world’s greatest museums.

Making stained glass has always been a tedious process. It did not require a sole artist who had the vision, but also glassmakers and engineers that could fit the stained glass into the location where it would be held. Glass was made made by combining sand and potash, while the various array of colors that make up the picture come from adding liquid metals to the glass mixture before it cools. For example, chromium was added to the mixture to enhance the color green, while manganese was added to make the color purple. In order to form a picture using the stained glass, artists had to draw their image on a board. The colored glass was then placed on top of the board to produce the image. Lead strips, referred to as cames, held the panels together and this was how a masterpiece was completed.

The process of creating stained glass has changed a bit since the 1500s, but the beauty of the work remains the same. The Markeim Arts Center is hosting an exhibit of works by artist Risa Batterman-Dera, who is showing her collection of contemporary stained glass. She crafts using the copper foil method; the same method that was used by world renowned artist Louis Tiffany in the 1900s.

Also shown in the exhibit are the works of artist Bonnie Shanas, who transforms seemingly real life images into figurative expressions. No mold is necessary since every sculpture is hand made from flat sheets of wired mesh which are sculpted with three-dimensional techniques to form individualized works of art.

Join us at the Markeim Arts Center in Haddonfield, New Jersey on Thursday June 4th through Sunday June 21st to see the works of these two talented artists. For inquiries, give us a call at (856) 429- 8585.