I have a long-standing fascination with the mythological phoenix and have long-wanted to make one in stained glass. I was just waiting for the motivation when friend and former colleague from NBCC, Jenny Forestell, contacted me. In her house, there is a fireplace with a very unique mantel. It has a built-in florescent light with a plain glass cover, 93cm x 10cm. Jenny wanted something more interesting than plain glass; something pretty that would disguise the bulb when turned on.
Jenny suggested flames as appropriate adornment for a fireplace mantel. I sketched some options for her consideration, one of which was a stylized phoenix.
I was more than delighted when Jenny chose the phoenix. This would be my dream-chance to render the magnificent firebird in glass; a milestone for me, if you will… call it artistic closure.
The work was obsessive. I tweaked the pattern several times seeking balance. Gradually, it became a delightful cross between Art Deco and Abstract. Glass selection was limited to three opalescent shades of red, orange and yellow (the hot end of the spectrum). Although the red and orange glass are less differentiated under light, all have their own unique textural composition which creates interest and carries the eye around the piece.
Taking about 30 hours in the studio, I felt pure enjoyment with the artistic freedom and deep gratitude to Jenny for sparking this phoenix to rise. I hope she finds it a refreshing addition to her home decor.
I am delighted to present the Fireplace Phoenix.