SPOTLIGHT

Stiniva Expanded

A client approached me about expanding upon an existing artwork to increase its size, Stiniva 1 (pictured below). This presented some serious challenges as working with transparent glass is immeasurably difficult. I liken it to playing a piece of music written in G flat major, where the musician has to “translate” 6 notes out of a full octave to a lower half-step note as they play.

Transparent pieces are similar in that they require translation at every step. I work with about 12 different shades and tones of transparent blue glass. In areas with a lot of height and density, I have to choose a shade lighter than I think I will need because the tone compounds, resulting in a darker buildup of the shade. In lower areas, I have to choose a darker shade than I think I need, because the opposite is in effect. And depending on the angle the glass is cut at, it will completely change the tone of the blue that is registered. For this reason, working with subtle transitions between tones is exhausting, and something I don’t often do.

To make matters more difficult, I had to create an addition that exactly matched the edges of the existing work. I have about 40 shades of transparent blue in my studio with very very subtle differences in color and tone which had to be sorted to find the exact shade to match a work that is 6 years old.

Because these canvases need to be created like a 3D printer creates an object, from one side of the canvas to the other, the Stiniva addition was the most challenging piece I’ve created to-date.

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The original Stiniva

To view more images of the final project, click here.

The Chandelier & Cabinet piece project

This last year, I was asked to create two pieces for the personal residence of a high profile client. She requested a chandelier for over her dining room table and a piece for her kitchen cabinet. They both posed great design and engineering challenges due to weight, size, transportation and installation difficulties.

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Chandelier:  68″ L x 10″ W x 34″ L

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     Cabinet piece: 66″ L x 11″ H x 10″D

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Shipping

Another challenge was transporting a 400 pound chandelier and a 350 pound cabinet sculpture. The chandelier broke down into parts, to be installed at the residence, but the cabinet sculpture posed a new set of issues. I used an old spring mattress, stripped of the fabric, and rested the cabinet piece in the middle of the mattress for cushioning during transportation.

THE FOUR SEASONS HOTEL
Washington DC

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Photos: Michael Chase

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