Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The BIG Nightlight Project

Remodeling a home can be a challenge ~ especially on an older home. Sometimes there are obstacles to overcome & sometimes the obstacles become opportunities.

This installation was designed for an entry way where a stairway wall & a bearing wall left a space 2 feet wide by almost 9 feet. The contractor wanted to box it in with drywall but how boring is that??? Right, lets make a mistake & then we'll just drywall over the mistake & later you can figure out what or how to make it better (?). During this particular remodel I heard a lot of "well, you can tile over it," or "a little caulk will fix that." These are not words a perfectionist likes to hear!

Here's my fix on a contractor's blunder.

The top is a series of 4 large panels with a "ribbon" of grass meandering down the middle. The cubes & blocks along the edges represent structure in the environment & tie into some of the other glass designs in the home. Sort of a nature meets city theme in an abstract way. I added the bubbles later as I laying out the glass in the kiln. As it came together I realized it had evolved as an underwater theme & carried over to a large mermaid sculptures on an adjacent walk going down the stairs. I especially like the bubbles / floating circles as they add contrast & have an organic feel that ties in well with the wavy underwater sea grass.

The front of the light box is one large panel (about 2 feet wide by 38" in height). It slips into the wooden strip of wood with slot & fastens on the top with brackets. It's easy to turn the brackets & just lift out the front glass. I wanted the front panel removable so there was access to the light strip for ease in changing the bulb. This panel was fired a second time at a tack fuse to add the course, clear, frit . The frit provides more dimension & sparkle ~ it's the first thing you see when you come in the front door.

IMHO I think it turned out pretty well ~ everyone is happy. Glass is a perfect buliding material for Alaskan homes where we experience short days & limited light so I think this nightlight is a perfect fit for this unusual space!

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