Frozen Music – Art glass Doors and Windows


Client: Nichols Residence

Location: San Anselmo, United States

Completion date: 1990

Artwork budget: $50,000

Project Team


Arthur Stern

Melanie Nichols Interior Design


This wonderful project was completed in two phases. First a 10'h x 6'w stair landing window looking out to a beautiful Japanese Garden was built, then a few years later an addition to this contemporary Prairie School influenced home added a second 10'h x 6'w stair landing window above the entrance and a pair of entrance doors designed as an ensemble in a related vocabulary.


The client had specific design criteria for the project. As an Interior Designer her concept was for all neutrals everywhere, with her art collection as the sparks of color. A creative glass palette was selected: clear textures, gray tints, black and white, with numerous hand-beveled glass jewels for a prismatic look. Also, each location had different criteria as to the amount of vista or privacy. required.


The client expressed basic design concepts and wanted the very best materials including hand blown glass and beveled jewels. She was familiar with my work and asked that I show her options that matched the building. A few sketches and refinements based on her critique and I was ready for production. It is interesting to note the contrasts, as one window required privacy because of the neighbors, and the other offered a beautiful view into a Japanese garden.

Additional Information

It is always nice when a client comes back because they loved the first commission. That was the case here. This project has aged well, it still looks as fresh as the day it was installed and I consider it among my best work, and one of my best client relationships. Geometry can have a timeless quality. This home's art glass has been widely published in both books and magazines.