Diana and Lourdes, friends since middle school, have been making custom stained glass panels and windows since 1978. Diana took up stained glass as a hobby to relieve the stress of practicing law and Lourdes took up the craft in order to improve the uninspiring view out from her apartment window. Their approach to glass and visual design reflects their differing temperaments. Diana, attracted by jewel tones, the clean lines of Frank Lloyd Wright and the optical illusions of M.C.Escher creates custom pieces are that are graphic and intricate. Lourdes' preferences show her love of all things antique and beautiful. Her personal pieces are reminiscent of those of Louis C. Tiffany with a bow to the Old Masters in their lovely multi-layered scenes and sophisticated color palettes. When these two friends took up quilting, it seemed a natural artistic extension to apply the color theories and visual designs of quilts patches to glass.
How the Panels Are Made
First we research and refine a design making a number of preliminary mock-ups. Then we prepare a detailed cutting pattern for the finished piece. We try out color combinations on a light table to see how the panel will look in both transmitted and reflected light. After cutting the glass to size, smoothing the edges with a grinder and after a trial fitting, we fold copper tape over the edges of each piece. We lay each foiled piece on top of the pattern and then solder them together.
We fit, cut and solder a zinc frame to each finished panel and attach the hanging loops. Each 8" panel takes between 2 and 7 hours to complete.
The 2006 Pieces
For the last 3 years, we've been exploring the visual impact of patchwork quilts. It's been quite a journey through history, culture and design.
Patchwork quilting is a uniquely American art form. Other cultures quilt fabric, but the art of stitching together triangles, squares or hexagonal shapes into patterned patches, such as Log Cabin, and further combining these to make secondary designs is indigenous to America.
Each American quilting community introduced a new aesthetic. The Amish brought a subdued color palette and a strong graphic sensibility to the field. The Midwestern farm communities contributed many variations of star and cross-shaped motifs.
We began by making our favorite patches such as: Interlocked Squares, Lemoyne Star, Starry Path, Barn Door, Card Trick, Tumbling Blocks, and Seven Sisters.
As quilters we couldn't help tinkering and so were born our original designs: Goose Wave and Twisted Sisters.
For 2007 we are exploring traditional larger medallion motifs and our favorite, Mariners' Compass and some novel variations on the little red schoolhouse. We hope you will enjoy the product of our hands.