Glass Gallery

This blog posting goes back to one of the earliest visual inspirations I remember.  In my childhood home we had a stained glass window that  caught my eyes.  That window now hangs in my home.   Early tabletop video experience taught me to look, light & shoot glass with many different perspectives and angles. I had my bare eyes, 3 lenses, & my “over 60 reading glasses”. So with 5 sets of eyes I began to examine the fascinating work of world-class artists.Lifeforms 04 072

In advance, I confirmed it was OK to photograph the artwork at the Pittsburgh Glass Center. My first impression was the consistent color temp of the light. The gallery had almost no exposure to outside windows; traditional white walls & the lights were mounted high enough for flexibility in focusing. The 55 pieces on display made the room seem small but not crowded. I was double cautious making physical moves.

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This piece “Cupped Up” by Sam McMillen is a bird I am fortunate enough to see frequently. The perfect shape & coloring of the head of the solid sculpted glass caught my attention.

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A roommate majoring in architecture introduced me to the beauty & function of this structure. (Thanks Pete for opening my eyes to space in form & function). I tweaked “Half & Half” a Pâte de verre work by Rachel Mary Elliott to emphasize the perfection of the Sacred Geometry of a mollusk still inspiring artists after 500 million years. Speaking of opening up your eyes, I found this website about Monet very interesting especially since his paintings are some of my favorites.


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All glass models in Lifeforms compettion are mandated to be of specific species made in the spirit of the Blaschka’s. This is a flame-worked glass replica of an almost microscopic mineral skeleton called “Radiolari” by Lisa Demagall. Of all of the spectacular pieces I saw this one I would love to spend a day with in a controlled studio.

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The background was the motivator of this shot. “India Blue Peacock” by Karen Willenbrink-Johnsen was one of the few sculptures far enough away from a wall allowing me to separate the intensity of lights. Her blown, sculpted glass with powder drawings was magnificent but this photo does not show the peacocks signature train of colors. Sometimes life is like that.Lifeforms 05 073_HDR

This is my first attempt at incorporating HDR filters.   I don’t believe this flame-worked glass entitled “Lovely” has been overly enhanced so the artist Bronwen Heilman would object. When I compare it to the original, the subtle effects emphasize positive aspects of the original without creating surreal changes.

If UV photography is different perspective you would like to explore this website a variety of simulations of the spectrum of light unseen by the human eye.