Design of the Month · March 2007
I have been working with precious stones, wrought silver and lost wax casting silver and gold jewelry for the last 40 years — starting off with rocks, cutting into slabs, transcribing designs onto the slabs and going through the grinding and polishing steps to create cabochons. Then designing the ring or necklace (etc.) and sawing, soldering, sanding, polishing and finally installing the cabs.
This broach would be as close to a stained glass artwork as I've come, made when I was about fifteen years old.
My dad had all the equipment and was my teacher; God rest his soul. One of his creations resides at the Smithsonian institute — the thinnest polished obsidian heart known to exist.
I have always been attracted to stained glass art but had never made an effort to pursue this avenue of creativity. A few weeks ago, I was searching the web for Gibson guitar and came upon a guitar that had been made out stained glass. The artist had used Glass Eye 2000 to design the Gibson. I followed a few links and found myself downloading the 30-day trial version.
I started off with a couple of simple designs that were just horrible. Then I read the instructions and things started getting better very quickly. I created 36 designs in that 30-day trial period, which shows how enthusiastic I am about this product.
As I sifted through my designs, I noticed that some of them were what I would think of as interpreted designs and some of the newer ones I had done were more realistic looking. Then I realized that as I look at a cat, or tree, or face, that my mind's eye would tend to draw lines that represented the parts of the object I was drawing, and that in fact a lot of these lines really didn't exist in nature.
I got the idea then that I would draw a tiger with as little personal interpretation as possible — just purely following the lines of color and shape that existed in the imported background from a friend's trip to the zoo. I did a lot of very close zooms, and painstaking tracing and color selection for each of the 460 pieces that make up this design. It was a lot of work and at first I put it aside for a couple of days thinking that I might never finish it.
As a business computer programmer, I find periods of time where I just can't program anymore and have to find something to do for a few minutes just for a break from the monotony. (I work out of my home in the San Fernando Valley in Southern California.) I started working away at the tiger during those short breaks until it finally came together.
I was just stunned the first time I stood back about five feet away from the CRT and had my first look at my design from a distance. I had been looking at this from about 18" for so long that I had not realized how dramatic the difference would be when I stepped back. The tiger is so realistic that as I moved from side to side my mind's eye would redraw the image so that it almost looked as if the tiger was moving its head to follow me!
I am totally thrilled with Glass Eye 2000 and now I know that I have stained glass in my future. My 30-day trial period has expired so now I have to wait until my 51st birthday in March for my Professional Edition which my wife Kimberly has promised to get for me.
And we're also going to be taking stained glass classes together and purchasing the equipment just as soon as we finish painting the house and making some room in the workshop for said equipment. I also plan on making cabochons for some of my glass works as a way of blending two of my hobbies. And since I also do woodwork, I'll be able to make my own frames as well.
~ Allen E. Elwood
About the artist
Allen is an independent computer programmer/consultant living in the San Fernando Valley in Southern California with his wife Kimberly, a couple of cats, and a French Poodle named Fifi. His hobbies include collecting and playing guitars, playing piano and harmonica, working with wood, jewelry making, home improvement (especially using ceramic tile), and gourmet cooking. Allen plans to learn the art of making stained glass this year — having just spent the last 30 days learning how to design stained glass projects.
Future plans also include moving to Oceanside to get closer to the beach and to escape the wrath of the Santa Ana winds.
This pattern may be used to make one or more artworks for sale or personal enjoyment. This pattern may be printed for personal use only and may not be sold or given away in printed or electronic form.
Each month we feature a project designed using Glass Eye 2000. Do you have a project to share with the world? Contact Dragonfly Software and your creation might be our next Design of the Month.