Project: Quick & Easy “Stained Glass Window”

Have you ever found yourself completely mesmerized by a color? I don’t just mean loving something that happens to be exactly the right shade of your favorite color, but finding yourself looking at something so perfectly imbued with color that you have a hard time looking away.

It can be hard to find any color outside right now in Chicago. The only thing I can think of is the brilliant electric blue shadows on snow you see on particularly clear cold days.  But my favorite shade of blue – somewhere between royal and cobalt blue – is so intense it hardly seems likely to appear in nature.

My favorite way to experience this color is in stained glass – I remember being mesmerized from an early age by Marc Chagall‘s American Windows at the Art Institute of Chicago or drinking in, on our all-too-brief tour, the Miracle Windows at Canterbury Cathedral. In both cases, I found it hard to focus on the images when there was all that beautiful blue surrounding the narrative elements:

My brother recently finished an actual stained glass window for my mother. It is a carefully custom designed piece made to match pieces she’d seen elsewhere, with graceful ribbons of colored glass, textured clear glass to let in more light, embedded with “gems” and beveled sections to add rainbows as the light passes through. It took him over a year to make:

Adam's Stained Glass Window-1

I, on the other hand, am lazy. I love blue glass, but I am not likely to try to recreate the wonder of a thousand year old cathedral window or the work of one of the best known artists of the 20th century.

Here is what I do have: a front window in my basement apartment filled with glass block. It is very boring. Also I have a lot of blue glass bottles I’ve been collecting for years. So today I combined the two by filling in a shelf for my bottles in front of the window and, ta-da! A lazy woman’s stained glass window:

Front Window Project
well, a detail of the window anyway – My bottles aren’t big enough to fill the whole space.

Since this is a project post, here are all the before and after pictures:

So now I have something I can hypnotize myself with while I lay in bed. Though I’d rather be in Canterbury Cathedral.


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