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The Enlightenment: The Lamb Studios Stained Glass Newsletter

Vol. 2, No. 1, January 2015
Welcome to 2015! Happy New Year from all of us here at Lamb Studios – we hope that everyone had a safe and enjoyable holiday season.

We start off this month’s newsletter with a guest writer, internationally recognized artist, Ellen Miret. We have collaborated with Ellen many times over the past 30 years, the following is her take on our latest joint effort. 
 

The Tree Of Life
By Ellen Miret
The Tree of Life is completed. The arc doors for Temple Beth Abraham in Tarrytown NY was a project that began with a competition early in 2013. The commissioning process took a year and I was happy to make the call to Jon Erickson to let him know.    

This was a year filled with many changes, with many good things thankfully because it was a sad year as we lost 4 family elders in rapid succession. To bring the tree to life couldn’t have come at a better time after so much personal loss....here now... new life.....rebirth.

The Etz Chaim, which is the Hebrew name for the Tree of Life alludes to the Torah itself.  The arc is a giant jewelry box for the precious jewels...the Torah scrolls. They are placed inside the box with the Tree of Life on the outside.

So much spiritual definition is infused in to a Tree of Life for people in so many faiths and traditions. In the book of Genesis the tree is protected in the Garden of Eden by angels with a flaming sword and in the book of Proverbs it is associated with wisdom.
The master blaster and I were “white knuckling” it again. Jon coined that phrase during the last project we did together. He was carving some Lamberts antique specialty glass which was widely varying in thickness in each pane of glass. There were all different colors to blast through, each having its own temperament.

This time we were working with glass that was made up at S. A. Bendheim Ltd. in Passaic NJ. It was 1/2 laminated safety glass, 1/4 float in the front and a textured glass face in on the back. The first stage of the design had been wheel engraved with a CNC machine on the front of the glass. It stood alone as a design element standing independently from the next set of lines. The first time the carving began the arm malfunctioned and fell in to the glass and the panel had to be remade. Once completed it was crated and shipped to Jon’s studio in Georgia. 

When the crate arrived I went down to his studio and we began by taking a rubbing of the glass engraving. We adjusted the two sided cartoon. The drawing was transferred to the resist which Jon carefully adhered to the glass. It was cut in large sections through the design. Different depths of blasting were established. 

The linear work and engraving was left clear on front and back. The tree was blasted from the back, and petals were blasted on the front. Jon experimented with some glue and a texture was added on the front for the “bark” of the tree. The background was carved down in the front to let the tree stand out.

When Jon finished he sent it to Donald Samick at Lamb studios. They tell me the installation took about 10 minutes.  I came a few minutes after the scheduled time to begin and they were finished, packed up and ready to go. Don really helped me out - his outside crew was busy yet he was ready the day we needed it. Thank you again. For insurance purposes Jon could not drive it up and install it himself.

Thank you Jon and Bendheim for helping me realize the vision. Thank you all at Temple Beth Abraham and especially Ruda, Lee and Judy and Rabbi Holtz. Referring to the piece as “Spectacular” in your bulletin adds to the blessing given to me to create things for people to worship with in their sacred spaces.

In This Issue

Reflections on the Tree of Life by Ellen Miret
Acclaimed artist Ellen Miret writes about her recently completed project for Temple Beth Abraham in Tarrytown, NY.


Completed Project: Christ Episcopal Church, Poughkeepsie, NY
We recently completed a very satisfying project conserving The Four Fathers Windows from Christ Episcopal Church in Poughkeepsie, New York. The windows date back to 1888, and the church and its surrounding complex is part of the Academy Street Historic District which was listed in 1982 on the State and National Register of Historic Places. The windows were conserved as per the specifications written by Stained Glass Consultant, Daniella Peltz, and the results were beautiful. One of the more interesting aspects of the project was the reinstallation of the conserved stained glass. The original single glazed steel ventilators were eliminated and replaced with stunning bronze double glazed ventilators that had clear laminated safety glass on the exterior, and were vented to the interior of the church. The smaller top panels were reinstalled isothermally; the panels were framed in 3/8” x 3/8” brass channel and installed in the interior of the church with open ventilating space all around the top and sides of each panel, giving ample opportunity for air flow. Clear laminated safety glass was installed where the stained glass was originally installed. The end result was a very aesthetically pleasing installation that will help to prolong the life of the stained glass windows. It was a great pleasure to work with both Daniella Peltz and the church representative, Heather Whitefield. We thank them for all their hard work and look forward to hopefully collaborating again in the future.  

In the News

Foxfield, Colorado –Earlier this year, the stained glass windows of the Our Lady of Lereto Catholic Church won the 2014 award for religious art from the Forum on Religion, Art and Architecture, a branch of the American Institute of Architects. Now the windows are being featured in the documentary “Angels Alleluia”, which was written and directed by Colleen Smith, a Denver-based writer, publisher and art director. The documentary was shown on Rocky Mountain PBS on December 21, 2014; future showings are not yet listed.

December 22, 2014 – There was an interesting article written by Timothy W. Martin about the state of the stained glass business (new stained glass in particular) in The Wall Street Journal, entitled “Window Pains: Stained Glass Faces Dark Days”. It is a good, thought-provoking read; here is the link to the article: http://www.wsj.com/articles/window-pains-stained-glass-faces-dark-days-1419295927?KEYWORDS=window+pains

Safford, Arizona – After studying the stained glass windows of Chartres Cathedral, Safford Middle School art students created their own stained glass ornaments. Students learned to cut and grind glass, apply copper foil and then solder the ornaments. Perhaps some stained glass craftsmen in the making?

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