Stained glass is kale (the vegetable a la 2014) – when its good its surprisingly delicious, but otherwise it’s not really my deal/style. It gets a bad rap because it’s often associated with churches, religious art or by the beach kitschy stuff. But in theory it’s just pretty glass colors that let light through – and ain’t nothing wrong with that.
When I first got my hands on the Fig House project I immediately wanted to do some stained glass. As a designer it’s always such a fun challenge to take an art form that is typically considered not terribly modern and see how it can be used in a way that is totally fresh and conversation worthy. As soon as I had muttered the words ‘stained glass’ Steve, the owner of Fig, told me that one of his best friends was/is a stained glass artist at Judson Studios – a stained glass studio not even a mile from The Fig House. Lucky us, indeed. So I went for a visit that day and was BLOWN away by how awesome the studio was.
It’s a 100-year-old building that has been in the Judson Studio family for generations. It is old, beautiful and totally inspiring. It makes me want to quit my job, go back to school, learn some skills and apply for a job here.
They have antique glass that is pretty much priceless and totally unsourceable now (unless you buy from Austria).
I mean the space itself is just so weird in a good way .. look at those windows up there!!!!
It’s been through five generations of Judson’s and stuff like that really tickles my sentimental bone. The artists make everything in-house and their skills are insane. It’s such a long, laborious, artistic, skilled, beautiful process.
They have rows and rows of sheets of antique glass that they pull from, plus these little swatch cards of glass in front of windows that we designed from. The whole place is just visually inspiring. Above is the artist welding our ‘came’ together (and yeah… you know we used brass came which they thought was crazy, but of course it’s just incredibly beautiful).
They have walls and walls of colors to choose from – its like an instragrammers/bloggers dream space.
That room up there has all the antique glass that is one of a kind and just so incredibly beautiful.
Typically they do a lot of religious stained glass work – they do churches all over the world, and it’s totally impressive but yeah, just not really right for a residential project. But the thing about stained glass is that it’s just pretty colored glass, that can be in any color, any pattern, any shape – so why is it normally relegated to just religious or commercial projects? You see it all the time in more mission style homes, too, but normally not in the colors that I would have chosen.
What is going on here above you ask? Well, here’s the deal – for churches or any more figural work where there are people involved they actually pose in the shapes of the people, then take a photo then draw/paint on glass … the whole process is insane. So yes, you can actually have a stained glass portrait of yourself.
Typically the clients they have ask for stained glass art like s0 …
But naturally we shook it up.
But what was so exciting when I worked with them is the endless options – I worked directly with Tim Carey (who is incredibly talented and fun to work with) and we designed The Fig House windows which is still the most beautiful element of the space.
That handsome man up there, Tim, is our artist and he is AMAZING. He looks very serious there, but he was so easy to work with, had so many creative ideas and was just so passionate about our project.
I know that many of you might have seen The Fig House stained glass and I will be doing a post about the whole process (we took the after photos yesterday) but for now here is a sneak peek:
Here’s my challenge for y’all – rethink stained glass. I tried to make it appropriate for our house and it just didn’t feel right and I wasn’t ready for the investment, but if I build a house or buy an older house you know I’ll be getting Judson to custom make some stained glass for me. I mean, just think about it as a room divider in a loft … ridiculous.
Photo Credit: Tessa Neustadt