Maybe someone should tell James Bond about this

Reported in the London Telegraph recently: An interesting use for stained glass. (For the record, we officially frown upon this.)

Prankster hangs fake stained glass window at Tony Blair's residence

Prankster hangs fake stained glass window at Tony Blair’s residence


BBC prankster beats security at Tony Blairs London home

Do we need a reason?

Why do we do stained glass? Barbra Davis of Stained Glass One studio came up with six good reasons, such as, “It’s a stress reliever”, “Using your creativity is the best way to hang onto it”, and so forth .

As I ponder the myriad reasons why I continue in this craft, all the while suffering cuts and burns and sore back and neck, I am reminded of the first stanza of the poem Father William, by Lewis Carroll:

“You are old, Father William,” the young man said,
“And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head–
Do you think, at your age, it is right?”

“In my youth,” Father William replied to his son,
“I feared it might injure the brain;
But now that I’m perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again.”


Stained glass in the windy city

Tiffany window at the Museum of Stained Glass

Angel Pair, 1910
Tiffany Studios

While “stained glass” and “windy” don’t usually go well together, they do in Chicago.

Claiming to be the only museum in the U.S. dedicated solely to stained glass, the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows at Chicago’s historic Navy Pier is a permanent display of 150 stained glass windows housed in an 800-ft.-long series of galleries along the lower level terraces of Festival Hall.

Religious and secular windows from 1870 to the present are displayed, from the great well known stained glass artists — Tiffany, La Farge — as well as from local Chicago artists. Of special interest is the Dreihaus Gallery containing 13 windows from Tiffany’s New York studio.

The museum is free, and open Sundays through Thursdays 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Geeky stained glass project idea #2

Wonder Woman and her Lasso of Truth

Wonder Woman and her Lasso of Truth

More geeky glass!

At the appropriately named, you can see Mario again, plus some characters from Futurama; logos from the Avengers and Wonder Woman; and the TARDIS, among other things, from artist Judy Mascolo.

To each her own, we say. Still, we must admit, we’d like a TARDIS of our very own.

Thanks to the cool blog The Mary Sue (“A guide to Girl Geek Culture”) for this tip.

Who made the first glass?

In a previous post, we offered a tidbit from The Learning Channel, an item that they humbly named “The Ultimate Stained Glass Quiz“.

The very first question was, “The art of stained glass making was originated by which early culture?” The given answer (spoiler alert), The Egyptians, is apparently up for debate. According to National Geographic, “Glass fragments unearthed in modern-day Iraq suggest that glassmaking began around 1500 B.C. in Mesopotamia…. the ancient Egyptians mastered the art of glassmaking very soon after…”

Nonetheless, according to NatGeo (as they like to be called these days), “… the earliest known glassmaking site anywhere in the world and the only one dating from the Bronze Age” is indeed in Egypt.

So now you know.

Drowning in a pool of glass

As you may know, is a website where people post photographs — for themselves, for their friends and family, or for the world. These photos can then be “tagged” with various keywords, and can be collected into “pools” of related photos.

Sample stained glass photoIf you want to swim in a virtual “pool” of stained glass, click on either of the following links:

Stained glass Flickr pool

Stained glass windows Flickr pool

Then click  on the “Light box” link over to the right. You can now use your left and right arrow keys to browse through the photos one by one.

These pools each have 67,000 and 72,000 photos, respectively. Enjoy. See you in a few months when you come up for air.

– E.A.C.

Whispering sweet nothings to a stranger

We recently told you about a wonderful Tiffany exhibit at the Springfield Museums in western Massachusetts. We have another treat to tell you about.

The Mapparium at the Mary Baker Eddy Library

The Mapparium at the Mary Baker Eddy Library

This one is a permanent exhibit called the Mapparium at the Mary Baker Eddy Library, which is part of the Christian Science Plaza in Boston’s historic Back Bay.

The Mapparium is a stained glass globe three stories high, which is experienced by ambulating across a suspended walkway through the center of the earth (as it were). Created in 1935 by the famed Rambusch Company art glass studios, it depicts in brilliantly colored stained glass a map of the world as it was at that time in history, which in itself is quite fascinating. Where else can one still see Siam, Italian East Africa, and the Soviet Union? More importantly, the globe, when viewed from within, depicts a map whose countries are in perfect proportion and relative location (albeit in reverse), thus giving the viewer a more accurate and complete view of our world than can be seen from a typical globe or a flat map.

Perhaps the most distinctive thing about the Mapparium, to which our headline refers, is the acoustical magic that it provides. Because it is made of glass, the Mapparium does not absorb sound. For this reason, visitors are naturally encouraged to keep their voices down. But they are also given a warning: anything you utter, no matter how quietly, may very well be heard by whomever is standing in the spot geometrically opposite of you. If this person is not an acquaintance, you might find that those quiet, unflattering mutterings to yourself have reached the unsuspecting ears of that nice little old lady waaaay over there. Likewise, eavesdropping on other people’s conversation is unavoidable. And if you stand in the very center, your own soft voice will sound as if it is coming from right behind you, a sensation that can be downright hair-raising.

If you visit with a friend, no doubt you will want to experiment. If you go alone and still want to experiment, take note: Before you decide to whisper sweet nothings to some lovely stranger, be aware that the stranger need only look to the opposite spot in the globe to single you out. And if your sense of geometry is not quite accurate, you just might get yourself into a pickle.

– E.A.C.