In 2000 I was approached by a
client searching for a unique stained glass
design. This meeting was exploratory only -- not an order. I
never got a
chance to do an actual consultation. He didn't have a clear idea
he wanted, much less the size of the project or where it would
installed. About the only thing I learned about this gentleman
was that he
was a collector of rock 'n' roll memorabilia.
This clue lead to the design of three stained glass free-form
wanted to present a variety of designs, hoping he would select
one or more
and order a commission. Alas -- he had moved onto other projects
designs were abandoned. I was left with three exciting guitar
a burning desire to construct at least one of them. I went ahead
constructed the Gibson Guitar anyway, simply for my own
By this time Dragonfly Software had approached me with releasing
a CD-ROM of my favorite designs. The three guitar designs ended
up being released on
Opus One. It was after the designs were released that I
constructed the Guitar.
After completing the Gibson Guitar, I photographed it and
entered it in
2004 Online Art Glass Festival. It won first prize in
category. I took it, and its brother, the Rickenbacker Guitar,
to a fine
art show in Austin, Texas in July 2004, and both were featured on
My main goal was to make as realistic a depiction on a classic
early rock 'n' roll acoustic guitar as possible. I asked
several guitar enthusiasts to name their all-time favorite
guitar manufacturers and models. The Gibson Classic from the
1950's was always mentioned as an icon. So I went to their
website and browsed through their collection on on-line catalogs
dating back into the 1930's. I selected the 1956 catalog and
downloaded a page with several guitars pictured.
I used Adobe Photoshop to crop the image and sharpen it. I then
loaded it into Glass Eye 2000 as a background image. I
traced over the image, adding break lines where necessary, and
trying to match glass samples provided with the color and
textures apparent in the photo. I used the Dimension feature to
size it up to the true size of an actual guitar. I did this so
that I could display it in an actual guitar stand, and store and
transport it safely by putting it into an actual guitar case.
The result was a 3-D looking design which calls upon a number of
advanced skills in order to be successfully executed. I
consider it to be a successful design as it has literally
stopped people in their tracks when they see it in a window or
on display at my booth at a show. It is truly an
I printed out two full-sized copies of the design, then printed
out extra pages which have the overlay pieces on them. The
detailed inlay white "buttons" on the neck, the tuning screws
down below the bridge, and the sound bar are all separate
non-foiled pieces which are glued onto underlying glass later.
I first cut out all pieces, ground them, and foiled everything
except the overlay pieces. The guitar body was laid out on top
of the pattern, and brass Restrip placed in-between major
sections, strengthening and tying together the vulnerable neck
piece to the body. Two pieces of Morton brass-clad steel
StrongLine were cut and pinned from the top of the neck along
the outside of the neck piece, leading down to join at the black
circle in the body. This was crucial to integrating the neck
structurally into the body so that it would be supported from
the inside of the guitar and then up.
I soldered the front side first, then CAREFULLY turned it over
and soldered the back, adding two additional lines of StrongLine
along the back of the neck and again going deep into the body.
This makes four strips of steel connecting the neck to the body.
It is so strong that I have no problems handling the guitar the
same way you can handle a real guitar -- such as lifting it by
After soldering, I cleaned it thoroughly and added black patina.
After washing that, I waxed and polished it, then glued the
detail pieces onto the front.
Revising the Pattern
This pattern may be modified so that it becomes a wall hanging,
rather than being displayed in a guitar stand. Cut
copper wire and make three hanging loops. Solder them to the
back of the design: Two on either side of where the neck joins
the body, making sure to run a good length of the copper wire
along a strong solder line down inside the body. These support
the weight of the guitar. The final hanging loop should be
soldered where the neck joins the tuning pegs at the top.
This loop is more of a stabilizer, and is not intended to
support the weight of the stained glass guitar.
About the Artist
I have been working glass since 1993, when I
took my first beginning copper foil class at a local stained
glass retail store. What started out as a hobby soon became an
obsession, and then a profession. After working out a business
plan, Art Glass Ensembles was launched in 1995 as a part-time
studio. In 1996 it became a full-time studio, servicing the
needs of the retail giftware market. In 1998 Art Glass Ensembles
purchased the "Something Special" line of stained glass cabinet
inserts, and became a full-service stained glass manufacturing
studio. My husband and I relocated from Pennsylvania
back to our home state of Texas in 2000, where Art Glass
Ensembles continues to grow and flourish.
visit our website
to learn more about our studio and view samples of our work, or
write to me at
~ Christie A. Wood
in Glass Eye 2000 format
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.
see the previous month's design