Design of the Month · September 2005

  • Protectors of the Law

    "Protectors of the Law"

    Before we had Glass Eye 2000, our studio designed six leaded glass windows for a Great Neck, Long Island synagogue. Each window comprised twelve individual arched panels. Two of these windows are shown here:


    After completing these windows, our client requested a new commission. The challenge was to incorporate the same arched design details into the new panels.

    As an experienced stained glass businessperson, I had been looking for a way to bring my designing and pattern making into the 21st century. I needed to be more efficient and wanted my proposals and design presentations to appear more professional.

    My search led me to Glass Eye 2000. One week after downloading the trial version the decision was obvious. What I now had, after officially becoming a Glass Eye 2000 junkie, was a great deal more than I anticipated. I do not come from a computer graphics background, so everything about drawing and line work in computers was Greek to me. I found the tutorial to be flawless and a rapid way to learn the program. I didn't need 30 days to convince me that this was truly an exceptional program that I couldn't live without. The few times I needed to speak with tech support they were there helpful, knowledgeable and always pleasant. This was IT!

    We soon put Glass Eye 2000 to work on our new commission. We used the AutoTrace feature on one of our original drawings, then modified it as needed to suit our purposes. The AutoTrace feature saves hours of work compared to freehand drawing.

    The design theme of lions guarding the Ten Commandments was specifically requested by the client and the Reflect feature allowed us to create a perfectly symmetrical design. When subtle enhancements were necessary we manipulated certain areas for artistic effect.

    Glass Eye 2000 allowed us to present layouts in different colors to the client. They subsequently chose a larger version of the lions and the Ten Commandments without the outside border. This allowed the lion design to be more substantial, with larger pattern pieces that permitted the beauty of the glass to come through. Glass Eye 2000 enabled us to copy the internal design easily and resize it as needed.

    The turnaround time to present the revised layout thoroughly impressed our client. The design shown above is our first version. The letters were scanned and then AutoTraced to get the outlines. The lettering can either be omitted or painted on; additional design work would be necessary to actually cut the letters.

    Before finishing the designs for the synagogue, I designed another project using Glass Eye 2000. This one was for a library/game room in a private residence. The client wanted something that was a bit capricious. I was given free reign on the design and had to come up with something "wonderful and unique." I chose to create images of a man and woman as one sees on ancient Roman mosaics. Since it's also a game room, the man and woman are similar to the king and queen in a deck of cards. The birds and the cats are whimsical creatures sort of a "catch me if you can."


    I incorporated unusual raised and faceted jewels in the crowns and details on the birds tail feathers. The color printout from Glass Eye 2000 was so accurate that the sketch looked as good as the completed panels.

    In some subsequent projects, the actual glass I selected was slightly different in true life than in the Glass Eye 2000 library. But not to worry! I look for the glass color I want when designing. If needed, I match that color rendering to glass options available at my local supplier. It doesn't matter (sometimes) if the glass I choose is not from the manufacturer I originally planned. Glass is a magic medium and no two pieces are ever the same you can say it is the thrill of the hunt. Don't we all love to hand-select the exact piece of glass we want for a project?

    In my professional work I need a way to save time and be more productive. Being able to email my clients their sketches for approval helps tremendously in keeping their project on track. Some of the other features that make Glass Eye 2000 so incredible are:

    • The ease with which I am able to design, plan, alter and finalize the stained glass project on the computer leaves me speechless.
    • The ability to work on a final drawing and to resize or recolor it with so little effort is well worth the cost of the program, especially when clients can change their minds about colors after the fact. The extensive glass color library is incredible.
    • Bringing in a background photo or pattern and tracing over it for incorporation into my designs couldn't be easier and allows me to customize the design to my clients wishes. I sometimes use the AutoTrace feature and sometimes trace background photos manually.
    • The accuracy with which the program calculates glass and materials usage is a hands-down winner. It helps with pricing out a project both for my costs and what I want to charge.
    • My clients are thrilled that I can provide them with an accurate color rendering and/or a full-scale printout of their window before they sign off on the final design.
    • Printing a full size pattern and assembling it for cutting makes me squeal with delight, as I've often had to readjust patterns to fit when using other methods such as blueprinting or direct trace. The pattern size comes out absolutely accurate.
    • Most important is that Glass Eye 2000 was extremely easy to learn and brought professional results quickly.

    ~ Doris Cultraro

    About the artist

    Doris Cultraro

    Since 1983, Doris has worked primarily on custom commissions and restorations. She also teaches stained glass in her new studio building located in Germantown NY. She has designed exclusively in Glass Eye 2000 since discovering it in 2005. In addition, she conducts open studio tours and demos, and teaches stained glass in the New York Hudson Valley Area. All her current projects can be seen on her website and she can be reached by email.

    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.