INSTALLATIONS, DISPLAYS AND OUTDOOR GLASS ART

Michael C. Kearl Memorial Bench

Melissa at the Michael C. Kearl Memorial Bench at Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas
  
Dr. Michael C. Kearl was a beloved professor at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. He died unexpectedly on campus on March 4, 2015 while walking across campus with his students. 

Mike was a fan of my glass art landscapes, and my commission was to create a fused glass (kiln-fired) representation of an extraordinarily colorful sunset that Mike had photographed in 2005.

Photo by Anh-Viet Dinh
      Photography


The Creation Process 

Dr. Kearl's sunset photo had such an amazing array of colors that it was wonderful inspiration to use to honor his memory. My creative process was that described in my "What is a Glass Painting?" webpage. I began with a substrate glass sheet of translucent deep royal blue with an iridescent coating to give it additional sparkle.

The colors I wanted to use were not immediately available in my glass manufacturer's palette. So I started my design by creating and firing extensive samples of mixed or layered colors onto pieces of the blue iridescent glass.

Photo by Anh-Viet Dinh      
     Photography


More about the Creation Process

I then piled various colors of ground glass or "frit" onto this base sheet of glass, beginning at the bottom with bright sunset color striations often seen at the horizon. The higher clouds in Dr. Kearl's photograph loosened up into softer clouds of brilliant purply-blue and yellow-peachy-orange contrasts. 

This heaping-up of frit is a technique I have developed for my work to give the final result a bit more impressionistic and irregular appearance. It includes a kiln firing schedule that stops before the "full" fuse temperature that melts the glass components into a totally flat sheet of glass.

This angular view of the bench demonstrates the depth of the frit layers.

Photo by Anh-Viet Dinh      
      Photography


The Memorial Plaque and Radiant Horizon Colors   

The Kearl family designed a copper plaque to incorporate ideas, information, and icons from Dr. Kearl's personal history. It was then beautifully crafted by metal artist Jillian Palone, Southwest School of Art.

This photo shows off the brilliant berry red, yellow, orange, and purple sunset colors as they start at the horizon.

Photo by Anh-Viet Dinh      
      Photography





Close-up of the top left panel of the Kearl Bench.

Some clouds still reflect brilliant colors as they retreat into the vivid blue-purple of the upper sky.

Photo by Anh-Viet Dinh      
      Photography


The Sunset glass artwork two right side panels before installation.

Four separate panels  were created. Each panel was kiln-fired 3-4 times, with the addition of more ground glass (frit) with each firing. 
 
Photo by Louie Preciado


The Sunset glass artwork two left side panels before installation.

The frit retracts as it melts with each firing, appearing less dense in color and withdrawing around its edges. Multiple layers of frit and multiple firings will yield the best result so that the colors will deepen and give better coverage of the base glass with each firing.
 
Photo by Louie Preciado