Client: Marjorie Little Residence
Location: Richmond, CA, United States
Completion date: 2015
Artwork budget: $10,000
Arthur Stern Studios
This 7' wide leaded glass window is in the living room of a small simple cottage in the hills overlooking San Francisco Bay. The window is centered above the living room sofa and coffee table, which face the fireplace and bookshelves. The panel is built from the finest hand blown glass and beveled glass prisms. I understood the need to be sensitive to the scale and function of the environment, to design the window to complement the client's taste, and not to overwhelm the small room.
For many years, the client kept a white shade over the window to protect her privacy. She never raised the shade; however, during our consultation we discovered that the bushes had grown enough over the years to insure her privacy. She liked the way the sun projected shadows of leaves onto the white window shade and asked if I could include that special effect in my design. I knew that to open the window to the view beyond would transform the room and I selected a glass palette that would interact with and distort the vista. I knew from experience that a subtle panel like this would create an ever-changing experience in various light conditions. (A before photo is included among the images.)
The client, a writer and artist, was an active participant and very interested in all aspects of the design process, including making suggestions for design criteria; choosing among the various design options; and giving opinions on the glass palette. We selected all neutrals with small accents of color that responded to the fabrics and other colors in the room. The rest of the glass palette is various textures of hand blown clear glass along with white and grey opaque German flashed glass.
I created a window within the window with the use of an irregular white perimeter of the German flashed glass. It also acted as a projection surface for the shadows from the leaves outside as seen under certain lighting conditions early in the day. The composition offers a balance between order and chaos, and uses an extended lead line technique giving the graphics of the design more of a hand drawn appearance, which is unusual with leaded glass.