On Lila’s Pond

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Client: Lucile Packard Children's Hospital

Location: Stanford, CA, United States

Completion date: 2019

Artwork budget: $10,000

Project Team

Artist

Mark Ditzler

Mark Ditzler Glass Studio, LLC

Art Consultant

Pam Nickell

Aesthetics, Inc.

Client

Antonia Dapena-Tretter

Lucile Packard Childrens Hospital

Overview

This fused glass sculpture is a mural of dark blue cobalt glass, realistic lily pads in green glass (molded from real leaves), and colorful dragonflies. There are 3 modular panels, 16″ x 24″ in size which add up to a mural size 6 feet wide. There are 5 “hovering” glass dragonflies mounted above the mural, above the reach of passersby. The dragonflies are mounted on tamper-proof aluminum standoffs, and cast colorful shadows on the wall below.

Goals

The commissioning hospital has an extensive art collection that is used for landmarks. Visitors are told to find certain sculptures as a way of navigating the hallways. In addition to being a wayfinding device, my project was created to be whimsical and pleasing to children. Details include textured flowers, frog and a koi that are sand-blast carved into the glass to invite touching by the patients. The goal is to attract, distract and entertain the children as much as possible. Also I hope the image of a summer pond would be a calming presence to any viewer.

Process

The process involved several sketch proposals and revisions between my studio, the art broker and the hospital committee before starting. When the artwork was underway, the architect working on behalf of the hospital needed detailed information on mounting substrates and hardware, including documentation. One concern was cleaning of the sculpture surface, but glass is perhaps the best material for a hospital because it is very easy to clean and sterilize.

Additional Information

I was told the staff also likes the sculpture, especially the translucent dragonfly wings. The standoffs are ideal for attaching dragonflies or butterflies to the wall because they can be posed in natural ways. The colorful shadows that fall below each piece effectively doubles the impact of the glass. This design is modular and can be adjusted to fit any size wall.