The Origins of Glass - CODAworx

The Origins of Glass

Client: Cardinal Glass, Inc.

Location: Spring Green, WI, United States

Completion date: 2022

Project Team


Barbara Westfall

Barbara Westfall Art Glass Design

CEO, Plant Mgr

Rich Valtierra

Cardinal Glass Industries

Interior Designer

Patricia McGuiness

McGuiness Design


TITLE: The Origins of Glass
MEDIA: Dimensionally fused glass
DIMENSIONS: 36″w x 20″h x 2″d
LOCATION: Cardinal Glass Industries, IG Headquarters, Spring Green, WI


The goal was to create commissioned work of art for an interior boardroom wall for one of the largest US manufacturers of industrial window glass, Cardinal Glass Industries. The subject matter for the art was commemorative. The client commissioned BARBARA WESTFALL ART GLASS to create a work of art that tells the story of how industrial window glass is manufactured. The client and artist decided a semi-abstract work of art would best depict the 3 stages of window glass manufacturing. In one area the art illustrates the ingredients used in making glass: crushed silica, lime, soda, and cullet (recycled broken glass). The second and largest area in the art panel depicts the stage where the materials are heated in a furnace to form molten glass. The third and final area of the art demonstrates the stage after the molten glass is fed onto tin water baths to cool, where it solidifies into flat sheets of clear glass stacked into neat bundles.


BARBARA WESTFALL ART GLASS was invited to tour Cardinal's float glass factory as inspiration for the art. After the tour, the artist scheduled a second meeting with the CEO at Cardinal Glass Industries, to deliver concept drawings and sample art glass for approval. The third step involved meeting with the client's interior designer to select the perfect interior wall for the placement of the art. Once decisions were finalized, lead artist, Barbara Westfall MFA, got to work creating a colorful wall relief that tells the story of how industrial sheet glass is manufactured. The result is a colorful, textured piece of art glass, framed with long red rectangles flanking both the right and left sides. Now installed in the client's new showroom, the art has been viewed and enjoyed by hundreds of staff members. The art is the first stop on the company's factory tours to guests visiting the plant's IG manufacturing headquarters located in Spring Green, Wisconsin.