This project started with a request by the client to create a landscape window based on a lake near his home in Northern Michigan. Of the images he provided, this one was the starting point for the window.
Having grown up in Michigan with a birch in our front yard, I've always associated birch trees with Michigan, so I created sketches with one in the foreground.
Through several iterations, I came up with a distilled version that I presented to the client. I wanted to have the tree off-center to allow space for the glass that would depict the lake and sky in the background.
Having specific colors in mind, I scanned the drawing and pasted in images of the glass to see how it might come together.
The full size drawing was made, duplicated and cut out to make templates for accurate cutting of each piece of glass. These are then adhered to the easel and viewed under lighting conditions similar to the site which allows us to make subtle alterations and additions to the glass selections.
With the ripple glass I selected for the water having a dark streak on the left half, I decided that there needed to be more density in the upper left portion to complete the appearance of a reflection. This is done by plating a second layer of glass as needed.
Once the color and density is balanced, the hundreds of pieces of glass are assembled into strips of custom shaped lead came, which is then soldered together at the joints. We then cement the window and patina the metal to give it an aged appearance.
A detail of the finished piece. Once the window has been photographed it is packed, crated and shipped to the site.