"The Circle of Life"
A brief background
|click any photo for
a larger image
This window is truly a case of divine
intervention. My wife and I were seated in church at early service
last November listening to a sermon from our good friend and Pastor,
Abe Cox, when he suddenly fell critically ill. At that moment, I
felt compelled to create a window for the church and donate it in
Circle of Life relates to the notion of heaven and hell as being
something we all live with every day, either in the spiritual sense,
or a metaphorical sense. I wanted to create an image that showed
a sense of hope.
The thorns and fire shown at the base of the window represent
the daily struggles (hell) we deal with. These thorns change into
Easter lilies as they spread out to the left and right, eventually
changing into the dove. When people ask if the dove is ascending
or descending, I simply say, "Yes."
The design phase
tools in Glass Eye 2000 are very easy to learn, and the tutorial
is simple to follow. One trick I used to greatly increase my speed
in designing was copying and pasting. I was able to draw one set
of lilies, then copy and paste them back into the layout. Having
the ability to "flip" a selection in the layout was also a great
help. In fact, once I had the left side of the panel designed, I
simply used the Reflect All command to make a mirror image of it
on the right side. Then all I had to do was finish out the area
at the bottom of the panel.
Glass Eye 2000 offers the ability to pick glass samples (photo
images) from all the various manufacturers, which takes a lot of
the guesswork out of what the window will look like. In fact, when
I had to show the design to the administrative board at my church,
I was able to tile it out (some 40 plus 8 1/2" x 14" printouts)
to almost actual size so they could see a lot of the detail in the
software also creates a bill of materials, telling you the name/number
of each glass, amount in square inches used, as well as how much
lead you'll need.
As you will see when you compare the Glass Eye 2000 file to the
finished product, we made some minor tweaks to the design in the
actual production. During the glass selection phase, we decided
to create the halo around the dove using yellow glass "globs" instead
of the heavy lead lines originally proposed. This change necessitated
a redesign at the top center of the piece where the lilies connected.
Other small changes had to do with picking different colors and
textures for the double border.
ability to do many variations on a theme in a short period of time
is a great feature of Glass Eye 2000. One of my target audiences
I find myself working with is architects, and having the flexibility
to change colors/designs on the fly as they watch is a great way
to collaborate on projects. Also, since everything is created digitally,
being able to save files as photos and e-mail them to their clients
for input is fantastic.
am Vice President, Chief Creative Officer at Elberson Partners,
an advertising agency in Charlotte, North Carolina. I have worked
as an art director for over 23 years, the last 14 years on computers.
I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in drawing from the University
of South Carolina.
I have been working in stained glass for a little over a year and
a half, and have started a small business called
While my experience with stained glass is limited, my love of stained
glass has been lifelong.
If you have any questions about this project, please contact me
~ Russell Shuler, President, Light-Crafts