Happy Holidays from Theodore Ellison Designs

As our 16th year comes to a close, tadalafil viagra sale we’d like to thank everyone for their enthusiastic support over the years. All of us wish you the best in the New Year!

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Pine Bough stained glass window by Theodore Ellison Designs

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This gnarled pine tree window surrounds the corner of a dining room in Mill Valley, California.

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Pine tree stained glass window by Theodore Ellison Designs

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The Glass of Bruce Porter’s Dove Window

Last spring I was contacted by Ariana Makau of Nzilani Glass Conservation to see if we could assist with finding a glass for the restoration of a window by Bruce Porter for the Swedenborgian Church in San Francisco, viagra there a National Historic Landmark. At that point I was deep into researching and documenting the stained glass he made between 1892 and 1912 and was excited to see the window up close.

The glass at issue was crumbling due to improper annealing when the glass was made 120 years ago. I had a single sheet from the now defunct Chicago Art Glass that had just the right irregular ripple texture of the original glass. Ripples are made by rolling molten glass through a patterned roller and the character of a texture – the spacing of the peaks and the depth of the valleys – is unique to each manufacturer. What made Chicago’s ripple so special was more in their technique than the equipment. They would alter the speed of the roller by swapping out the drive gears and once it had gone through they’d pull the still soft glass to break up the consistency of the texture.

I enjoyed working with Ariana and was honored to play a small part in the restoration of this important and beautiful window. Ian Carr, nurse a film maker and a member of the congregation captured the process and put together this engaging documentary, patient Conserving the Dove Window: A Spiritual Journey Through Time.

Bruce Porter, Dove Window for the Swedenborgian Church of San Francisco, 1893

Bruce Porter, Dove Window for the Swedenborgian Church of San Francisco, 1893
Image by Douglas Stinson

New Dunsmuir Door

I’m pleased to introduce The Dunsmuir Door, discount buy viagra a new collaboration between my workshop and Shawn Kammerer of The Craftsman Door Company. We’ve worked on many projects over the years and I can say without hesitation; his work is the best there is. He’s got that combination of aesthetic sensitivity and outstanding craftsmanship that is too rare these days. It’s difficult to capture in a photo, but the awareness he puts into the creation of these doors makes it evident that he enjoys his work.

The wood framework of this door allows for an all-over glass design and provides ample support to ensure the stability of the glass. And the scale of this door makes it perfect for almost any size home. We’ve made two of these so far; a fall leaf design and a flowering branch design, and custom designs are always available.

Dunsmuir Door with Fall Leaf Art Glass

Dunsmuir Door with Fall Leaf Art Glass



wood and glass detail of Dunsmuir Door by Theodore Ellison Designs and the Craftsman Door Company

wood and glass detail of Dunsmuir Door by Theodore Ellison Designs and the Craftsman Door Company



Dunsmuir Door in Quarter-Sawn White Oak by The Craftsman Door Company.

Dunsmuir Door in Quarter-Sawn White Oak.



Mahogany door with natural oil finish and flowering branch art glass.

Mahogany door with natural oil finish and flowering branch art glass.

The Glasgow School of Art

This week I learned that a portion of the Glasgow School of Art had been damaged by fire. My first thought was if the library had been damaged. As it turns out, cialis healing it’s completely gone.

More than the obvious losses; the original hand-carved woodwork, purchase the dinged and dented rush seating, the books, the inventive overhead lighting; what can’t be replaced is the feeling you get from being in a room that was still used for it’s original purpose. Over a century of wear gives a place a patina that you don’t find in other buildings of this importance. Usually roped off from us, we’re distanced from history, but here, one was able to see first-hand why things were designed the way they were.

image used with permission from Robert Procter

In 2003 I spent a week in Glasgow photographing leaded glass and I stayed directly across from the School of Art. The director at the time allowed me use of the library and the resources I gathered are something I refer to frequently.

Photography wasn’t allowed in the library, but I did get images of some of the leaded glass in the rest of the building. I’m not certain if any of this is damaged.

This window wasn’t designed by Mackintosh, but it’s an excellent example of inventive glass lettering and the Glasgow aesthetic.

Leaded glass storefront signage

Anyone can walk into a 24 Hour Sign Shop and have a vinyl sign ready the next day. However, patient cialis if your message is ‘I am in business and will be here for a long time’, ampoule cialis nothing says that quite like leaded glass signage. On a recent trip to Memphis I saw this unbelievable terracotta building facade and had to pull over. Probably among the finest examples of this kind of work left in the country, it got me thinking about the history of this kind of advertising.

With these storefronts, the leaded glass sign serves multiple purposes; in addition to advertising, the glass that surrounds the lettering is made of prism glass that diffuses light and projects it further into the building than standard glass would. Additionally, it screens the interior so the eye stops on the surface of the sign. Here’s information on Luxfer Pressed Prism Tiles and Frank Lloyd Wright’s involvement with them.

Advertisement in the March 1904 issue of Worlds Work Magazine.

Lettering has been a part of stained glass from the beginning as seen in these windows from the 12th century. For centuries it was painted and fired to the glass surface. Creating the lettering out of glass and lead was rare. During the commercial architecture boom in the decades following the civil war, glass craftsmen were commissioned to create colorful windows that doubled as advertisements.


Image from Jeremiah’sVanishing New York.

When Luxfer Prism was founded in 1896, they modernized this form of signage by offing a modular product both durable and attractive, and these windows proliferated onto storefronts all over the country. Soon after, companies such as Pittsburg Plate Glass offered storefront systems that incorporated modern glass window walls integrated with transom signage.

Now that the background glass was set, designers could focus there attention on inventive fonts. These examples illustrate the skill set basic to all sign painters – lettering by hand. This requires an understanding of graphic art and glass design that isn’t practiced much anymore.

Between 1912 – 1914, the architecture firm of Purcell and Elmslie worked designed Edison Shops that used this form of signage. Here is there facade for the Minnesota Phonograph Company, 1914 (demolished).


Image from organica.org

In my 1923 Pitsburg Plate Glass catalog, there are a number of illustrations that show various fonts and styles.

Although this isn’t a storefront, I had to include this exit sign made by the Povey Brothers of Portland, Oregon for the Historic Elsinore Theatre in Salem, Oregon, 1926.


Image by Glen Bledsoe.

While we’ve never had an opportunity to revive this style of glass work, I have made one glass sign for the Hotsy Totsy Club in Albany, California. More here.

Wavy Window Glass

I got a call from someone asking for help replacing damaged glass with old-looking wavy window glass. Normally this isn’t the sort of thing we do, troche seek but since he lived in Oakland and wanted to do the right thing for his historic home, doctor I agreed to take the job. Most glazing contractors can’t be bothered with wavy window glass, but when you see a hundred year-old home and all the glass is original, except for two panes, the flat sheen of modern glass looks out of place.

There are a few options for sourcing this. Bendheim sells two varieties of true wavy glass; full restoration and light restoration. This glass is still made the way it used to be; a large cylinder is blown on the end of a pipe, cut and flattened in a kiln. For homes built around the turn-of-th-century, the light restoration is a perfect match. Cost can be an issue since it’s made in Germany and has to be shipped from New York. Sheet size is 40” x 42” so this works for most small homes.

For larger windows, Schott makes a high quality alternative called Restover that’s lower in cost and very similar to light restoration. They offer 3 products in larger sheet sizes and a variety of thicknesses that can be tempered, laminated and made into insulated units for those interested in energy savings and sound attenuation.

The least expensive option is to use salvaged glass. My local yard sells old sash for $5 each and always has dozens to choose from. By carefully sawing out one of the corners, the sash can be peeled away from the glass (quite easily if the window is in bad shape).

The white border in the upper panel is the glazing compound waiting for the painter.

Oakland Heritage Alliance – Open Studio

In coordination with Oakland Heritage Alliance, viagra sales for sale I’m hosting my first-ever open studio!

Theodore Ellison Designs has been making historically-inspired art glass, treatment lighting and mosaics for homes all over the country from his East Oakland studio for the past 15 years. This studio visit will include a presentation of his work and approach to design, a discussion about the techniques and materials common in historical windows and a slide show of notable glass installations around Oakland and the Bay Area.

More information here.

Leaded Glass Wisteria and Oak Door Windows

We just installed a pair of windows for a home designed by Walter Steilberg in the 1920’s. The original plans show leaded glass in the two main entry doors that were highly geometric abstractions. The homeowner hired me to design and build windows that retained the framework and introduced a more organic design.

Trade with a Coppersmith

The current issue of American Bungalow features some windows I made for Lynne and Audel Davis of Berkeley, ampoule viagra California. Audel is a copperworker whose work I’ve admired for years. Like me, buy viagra he’s interested in creating his own designs rather than reproducing work from the past. A while back we started talking about a trade; they wanted a pair of my windows around their fireplace and I needed a set of Audel’s Libery-inspired candlesticks.

Audel made these ceiling lanterns with glass from the now defunct Chicago Art Glass, medicine who made the translucent amber glass I used in the windows. You can see a close up of the window here in the bottom right corner.

He’s converted his garage into a workshop where he creates his lighting from flat sheets of copper.

These are a few of the hammered copper lights he’s created over the years. For more on Audel’s approach to craft and design, click here to read his conversation with Roger Moss.

Starlight Window

I made this window for the kid’s room of a long time client. They had an issue with too much light coming into the room after bedtime so we came up with the idea to make this window out a custom glass I had left over from another project. For added interest I added 3 constallations within the array of stars; Orion, treat sovaldi Leo and the Big Dipper.