Monday, June 18, 2018

Archiving Digital Image Files

I will be giving a talk at the 2018 American Glass Guild Conference in Cleveland OH. I'll be the last speaker of the conference, Sunday, June 24, 2018 at 3:40pm. The  topic will be "Archiving Digital files". Here is the description I gave them for the talk -

With the advent of digital photography, the sheer number of images produced is virtually exploding. Though these digital images are easy to copy and share, they are not easy to archive. Where and how to archive digital images has become of paramount importance to anyone who uses images to market their work, and even more to those who wish to document their work for future generations. I will discuss the dangers ahead as it relates to stained glass images both in new work and restoration. Some advice on how to handle digital images in the short term will be given.

The gist of the talk will be about the possible large loss of images in the name of having many more. Various storage choices and a general strategy of how to handle volumes of images will be presented.

In the meantime, a .jpg of the flyer I had on hand.

A work in progress...

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Temple Sholom Open House Chicago

Temple Sholom - Open House - Chicago, IL, Sunday, October 15, 2017

I first heard of the stained glass at Temple Sholom when I was helping organize the 2016 American Glass Guild Conference. Vic Rothman is a long standing member of the AGG and Vic recommended Temple Sholom as a site to be on a tour of contemporary stained glass in Chicago. Vic had worked on an unusual stained glass commission there and I was intrigued. Sadly, the tour never happened at the conference, but I'd held in back of my mind the idea of visiting the Temple since then.

On the weekend of October 14-15. 2017, there was an event called 'Open House Chicago', put on by the Chicago Architectural Foundation. One site at the event was Temple Sholom. It was the perfect introduction to the stained glass, as they had members of the temple thoughout the buildings with back stories about the building and the windows.

I have 124 images, mostly of the stained glass, on my VitreosityPictures Flickr Album.
Temple Sholom Open House Chicago 2017 

Highlights (click on any image to see larger size) -

Leon Golub and the Joseph Windows
These are the ones Vic worked on and they are pretty astonishing and unusual. Layered flashed glass.

The Rupture Between Joseph and his Brothers 
Golub was an especially political artist, with this being a typical image.
Leon Golub, “Interrogation III” (1981)
(image courtesy Serpentine Galleries, image © READS 2015 )
Quoting Golub himself:
I think of myself as a kind of reporter; I report on the nature of certain events. I think of art as a report on civilization at a certain time. It tells about the confidence of hierarchies, how hierarchy is expressed: who is included and who is not. 
signature - with credits!

- sidenote -
One surprise in seeing these windows is how so similar the technique is to my own multi-layer flashed glass windows, especially the Pink Angel panel, from the mid-90's, though on a much smaller scale. This layered glass is only about 3.5" x 5" big. 
Pink Angel with layers, Tom Krepcio, 1992

Corridors of Contemporary Stained Glass - 
The corridors of the Temple feature an ongoing survey of late 20th century stained glass.

Matriarch Windows
Miriam Shapiro

Matriarch Windows by Miraim Shapiro
Detail, Sarah Window
Karel Appel

Two Prophets and Three Scrolls
Nehemiah Azaz

The Book of Proverbs (with detail showing layering technique)

Jack Goldstein / The Greenland Studio, 1989
Article about Mel Greenland

Beit Chapel
unknown makers circa 1955
There are more conventional looking painted stained glass windows as well. These are two nice details from the Genesis window.

Even the doors have interesting stained glass -

Thanks to all at Temple Sholom for the wonderfully welcoming event.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Alice In Wonderland at 150

2015 is the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, I originally made this blog post in 2007.

I saw a postcard of this Mad Hatter panel a few years ago and always suspected it was part of a larger program of panels. Indeed it is and the full Alice in Wonderland Window can be seen as part of the website for the church where it's located - All Saints Church in Daresbury, England.

SG photography by John Eastwood

It turns out that the Mad Hatter panel is in the center of 5 small 'Alice character' panels below a larger Nativity scene.


The window was created in 1935 to mark the 1932 centenary of the birth of Lewis Carroll and was created at All Saint's because it was the parish where Carroll was born (as Charles Dodgson). Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell are depicted in the leftmost lancet. The stained glass is by Geoffrey Webb, who was a student of Charles Eamer Kempe. Stylistically, especially as regards the nativity scene, that makes sense as Kempe tended toward this kind of color scheme featuring the starkly white figures with shots of color in the clothing and background. (Bio of Geoffrey Webb - scroll down about a quarter of the page)

The design for the all of the 'Alice in Wonderland" characters are, of course, based on the famous illustrations designed by John Tenniel. I thought it would be interesting to get a detailed look at how closely the original illustrations, designed by John Tenniel, were translated into stained glass.

Mostly pictures, with some written commentary - going left to right -

White Rabbit and Dodo Panel

The stained glass panel.

The original illustrations in full.

As expected, the stained glass figures have less cross hatching and feature more thick black lines. All the characters are surrounded by a fairly thick line of black. The translation to color is not jarring seeing that all the characters are on clear glass with accents in yellow silverstain. Keeping the characters all white against a dark color background gives more of the impression that the figures have stepped off the pages of the printed book. The yellow adds color which keeps them from looking too flat, yet the use of stain is subtle and doesn't overwhelm.

White Rabbit illustration and stained glass designs side by side

Dodo designs side by side

Lizard designs side by side

Caterpiller and Fish Footman Panel



This example shows how the SG designer will sometimes take an element in the illustrations and transform it to something more conventionally stained glass like. I refer to the hookah pipe in the stained glass which, compared to the illustration, curves in a much more symmetrical fashion, much more like a decorative knot pattern one might find in a stained glass window.

Fish Footman designs side by side

Throughout, the hands are proportionally larger in the stained glass figures and more clearly delineated. They are also, to my eye, more noticably 'human' hands. The hands are human in the prints as well, but the hands in the prints are smaller and sketchier, not calling attention to themselves as much. The Frog Footman is a good example.


The caterpillar is unique in that the SG designer sees fit to delineate a face where there was only a shadow in the original illustration.

Mad Hatter, Dormouse and March Hare Panel


The Mad Hatter is the one character whose design does not derive directly from any of the Tenniel illustrations. It's curious since the Mad Hatter is depicted five times in 'Alice in Wonderland', more than any other character save Alice herself.

The head of the March Hare is derived from the main tea party scene though the Hare's body is original to the stained glass. The dormouse is roughly taken from the main tea party scene, though again the SG designer makes the hands larger and curiously more realistic human-looking hands.


Duchess, Griffin and Mock Turtle Panel



Note that only the head of the Griffin is derived from the above illustration(reversed) while the design of the body and wings of the griffin is new to the stained glass and again are more 'stained glass like, note the symmetry. The wings, especially, look more like Kempe than Tenniel.

Duchess designs side by side

Mock Turtle designs side by side

Note the linework. Both are beautiful in their own way but they are different interpretations. Both are, in fact, translations of an original design by Tenniel.

Many assume the original illustrations are pen and ink drawings by Tenniel, but they aren't. In the printed version, the linework was interpreted by the wood engraver, in this case by the Dalziel Brothers. Tenniel drew in pencil on a whitewashed block of wood and the lines were created by carving out the areas of white and leaving the areas representing black lines raised on the wood block.

In the case of the stained glass, the linework was interpreted by painting black lines on glass with a brush. With a brush, there is a more curving line and a greater emphasis on thin to thick lines.

Knave and Queen of Hearts Panel


This is the only panel that features two full figures coming from the same illustration.

Queen of Hearts designs side by side

One thing that pops out to me is how the ornamentation on the clothing has changed from illustration to stained glass. The stained glass features heart designs on the clothing while the printed illustration does not.

Knave of Hearts designs side by side

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

New on YouTube - Sunday at the Met: Radiant Light: Stained Glass from Canterbury Cathedral

A long YouTube video related to the exhibition at the Cloisters, Radiant Light. I am not including the embedded video, because it plays terribly in blogger.
link to video -
Sunday at the Met: Radiant Light: Stained Glass from Canterbury Cathedral
The speakers and subjects include -
Intros by Timothy B. Husband, Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Canterbury Pilgrims, talk by The Very Reverend Dr. Robert Willis, Dean of Canterbury Cathedral
Age Old Splendor—Splendor's Old Age: Preserving Canterbury Cathedral's Medieval Stained Glass, talk by LĂ©onie Seliger, Director of Stained Glass Canterbury Cathedral. If you are only interested in the stained glass part, it goes from 0:45:30 - 1:17:00.
A Reading from The Canterbury Tale, Tom Lee, Storyteller

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Robert Harmon Windows in Danger of Demolition [Updated - demolished]

About 18 months ago I heard about a set of stained glass windows in St. Louis that were set for possible demolition, but there seemed to be hope that a way would be found to save the building, either through building somewhere else, or adding on to the existing building. Destroying a perfectly sound building seemed beyond comprehension.

It turns out that this building is now marked for demolition soon, perhaps as early as May 2014, just 2 months away. Article from yesterday - Library lovers make plea to save two St. Louis County branches,, March 18, 2014, by Leah Thorsen

Andrew Raimist gives the best case for preservation of the building on his blog architectural ruminations - Demolishing Lewis & Clark Library Would be Cultural Vandalism

My general sense of the situation is that there is not much hope, though there is a petition up for saving the building -

One truly unique feature of the windows at the Lewis & Clark Library - the artwork is readable from both the exterior and interior. Mural and stained glass in one. Most people outside of the stained glass profession would not recognize this as highly unusual, but it is, and it is very much worth preserving.

Typical stained glass window where the exterior is effectively a black wall.
Faith Salem United Church of Christ
7348 W. Florrisant Avenue, Jennings - North County -
Architect: Frederick Dunn - Date: 1954

Whereas, in the Lewis and Clark Library windows there is a concerted attempt to make the windows both interior viewed stained glass and exterior viewed mural.

Flickr Set - my images of Lewis & Clark Library from 2012

below the fold - links galore about the Lewis & Clark Library

Saturday, January 18, 2014

AGGnews v4.4 on MagCloud

AGGnews v4.4
16 pages, published 1/5/2014
A look forward to the 2014 American Glass Guild Conference in Bryn Athyn, PA.
As a for last issue, v4_2-3,  it's now available to download as a pdf.