Monday, July 6, 2009

Process of commissioned painted glass chandelier

inside view of commissioned glass painting in progress, includes irons, electrical, chain and canopy
Reverse Painted Glass Chandeliers can be purchased from the artist, Jenny Floravita

The process of this commission piece started long before I ever picked up a brush. I had several emails and a couple phone calls with the client and they sent me colors of their room and imagery that included brightly colored flowers, birds and butterflies. I then slumped the glass to the size desired. This chandelier is large and measures almost 36" across. Glass shrinks in the kiln and it's a bit of a science in itself to slump larger pieces.

This is an interesting piece for me to work on because of it's particular challenges. The first challenge is that the client desires a chandelier with a predominate amount of reddish tones with several accent colors that will pop. The piece needs to have well-defined colors and I interpret this to mean that both the background colors need to be clear and the colors of the flowers and birds need to have contrast against the background. And the imagery in the chandelier needs to be dense.

And though this is just the first section of the painting, I've actually been contemplating this piece for quite a while. When it came time to start the painting, I choose to start with a section of the background red color and I also choose two brightly colored parrots that appeared several times in the imagery that the client sent. This would help me to anchor the piece because when I paint "for myself" I paint freely. With a commission, an artist works within a strict set of boundaries. I tend to paint very slowly with commissions. This one was quite tricky to start and already has several hours into it's process. The main problem with having colorful "dense" imagery is that is well defined in color is that your piece is at the risk of just being a very colorful piece. I need to maintain a certain reddish tone that will go well with the color of the room.

I would also like to add that it's iron fixture is also complete. I will just have to add the electrical.

As this piece progresses, it will be a challenge to keep the piece dense with colorful flowers, birds and butterflies and yet convey a feeling of "red". Over the next dozen hours, I will continue to move this piece into a dark-red zone...

Hope that made sense and if not, stay with me. Commissions are challenging on many levels and I promise you that this piece will turn out lovely in the end. You get to see the chandelier glass painting in progress with this post and I would like to add that reverse painted glass chandeliers are stunning when they are actually hung in a room. It is at this point that you get to fully appreciate how the piece was meant to be viewed.

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