GGW "e" Vignettes                        Vol. XV, No.2                        June 2008  
Founded in 1979, the glass art studio of Gong Glass Works is directed by artist Nancy Gong. Gong Glass Works specializes in the design and fabrication of glass art work including leaded, etched, carved, chipped and painted glass. GGW is also the distributor for UltraGlas Inc. The primary focus is on site-specific installations, embracing fine art, decorative art, architectural ornamentation, signage and graphics. GGW designs for residential, commercial and institutional applications with emphasis on customer satisfaction; sensitive, responsive and enduring designs and quality craftsmanship. 

Recent Work and What's New at the Studio

Like Each Individual, Every Tree of Life is Different 

'The Pond and The Lake,' leaded and etched glass for the 'Reflections Room.' 12'-0'w x 3'-6'h

"The Pond and The Lake," leaded and etched glass for the "Reflections Room." 12'-0"w x 3'-6"h 


Unity Health's Edna Tina Wilson Living Center has a newly designed space. They call this the "Reflections Room."  Colleen Klix, Sr. Director of Nursing, Mark Bianchi, Facilities Manager and Patricia Rubien, Administrator envisioned a tree of life like the one at Park Ridge (in the hospital's chapel). Many of the residents have spent much of their life in the town of Greece. It is a town on the south shore of Lake Ontario in upstate New York; well known for its many picturesque ponds near the lake. As an artist, I wanted this tree of life to have special meaning to the folks who have lived on and near these waters for so many years. So on a cold wintery day when there was no summer traffic, I loaded the dogs into the van and we drove the drive along the lake, to get a better feeling for the area. The crisp cold air made it easy for me to imagine the warm breezes. "The Pond and the Lake" captures the beauty of both the ponds and the lake with the focus on a big beautiful oak tree in the summer with a brilliant sunset. I love working on warm weather subjects in the winter. Installed this Spring, the artwork diffuses the view of the hallway on the other side and sets the tone for a peaceful atmosphere. Bringing joy to the residents' daily lives, the donor's initials are "carved" in the tree trunk.

To see more architectural art glass installations please visit

Delicately etched dimensional oak leaf detail combined with had chipped glass mimic the beauty of nature.
Simplicity of Form and Texture for an Office
Energetix and NYSEG Solutions' Henrietta office features hand chipped bent glass with silver lettering on a black glass sign.
Energetix and NYSEG Solutions' Henrietta office features hand chipped bent glass with silver lettering on a black glass sign.

It all began with a phone call from Jane Malachowski, Designer with Merkel Donohue: “They said we can’t have the bent glass made. I thought maybe you might have some ideas. It’s a big piece of bent glass that everything else flows around. We'd really like to keep the bent glass in the design." I said "Why can't it be done?" I got on the phone immediately with the glass fabricators and engineers in the know. Jane, Mike Sheedy Sr. of Rochester Glass Inc. and I took it from there. We never looked back. The glass vestibule formalizes the entrance to Energetix and NYSEG Solutions making it their own unique entry and lobby. The glass house is also a great weather and energy efficiency break in a part of the country where extreme weather is not uncommon. Hand chipped texture diffuses the “fishbowl” feeling, while the detail on the two end doors create interest with a connection to the wavy sectional. A brilliant division of space.

The Energetix and NYSEG Solutions sign behind the reception counter is silver lettering on black glass. A clean, frameless installation makes the sign appear as if it were floating on the wall.

Jane had a vision. Sometimes in good design all you need is the simplicity of form and texture. The hand chipped glass plays an important role here. Call me at the studio for your next project. I can help. I’ll handle the decorative glass and put the best team together for your next project. If you already have a team together for the project, I'll work with you!

To see other corporate art glass installations, please visit:

A field of chipped texture follows the wave of the stainless door hand rails at Energetix and NYSEG Solutions office.
Detail of glass vestibule with bent hand chipped glass. The glass was hand chipped on site.
Detail of glass vestibule with bent hand chipped glass. The glass was hand chipped on site.


A Special Table Top for ASID at Home Show
Available. An elegant 40' x 40' x 3/4' etched and hand chipped glass table top that you can use and enjoy every day! See contact information above. This could be a stunning patio table!

Available. An elegant 40" x 40" x 3/4" etched and hand chipped glass table top that you can use and enjoy every day! See contact information above. This could be a stunning patio table!



This Spring, professional members of the American Society of Interior Designers’ Upstate New York / Canada East Chapter designed “Rooms to Dream” for the Rochester Home Show. For the Chapter booth, Merrilee Olmstead of Space @ Work was looking to etch a glass table top to go with a base from The Furniture Doctor. We started talking about some pretty classic design themes from grapevines to a chessboard. Then we decided on a neutral design that would have more flexibility down the road. The etching adds interest to the table top while also minimizing the visibility of fingerprints and smudges that usually stand out on glass table tops. Simplicity of the etching makes the table top appropriate for formal or casual settings. No more cleaning everytime you walk by it. If you have an existing glass top, an artistic texture can easily be created on either side of it. Double the life of your glass table top with a beautiful texture on the scratched side and let’s put the back side up! It’s a very green move! Contact

For information on the 40" x 40" x 3/4" art glass table top shown above contact on this The Furniture Doctor or

Something Different, a Mica Screen Above the Fireplace
Above: Leaded glass let lots of daylight into the front entry with a bold geometrics.
Above: Leaded glass let lots of daylight into the front entry with a bold geometrics.

Nearly a decade ago, I designed leaded glass art work for Tom & Nan Hildebrandt's front door. With roots from out west, Nan has an affinity for geometric design work. Tom likes clean and simple. Yes, I do occassionally reign in the loose freeflowing curves for geometric designs!

When legendary interior designer Bev Hafner came out of retirement for this project, she took her cue from the art glass in the front door.
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It is not uncommon for me to be asked to do something different. I like different. It keeps me on my toes and keeps things fresh. I have always dreamed of being a dancer. Together, Tom, Nan and Bev chose mica to give a West Colorado Rockies feeling to a screen over the fireplace. Mysterious as mica is, it has a warm naturally weathered feeling to it. The mica and steel screen draw attention to this inviting gathering place while framing the collectibles displayed on the wall. 

New Life for "The Way of Life"
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When Lifetime Care opened its new Elizabeth G. and Jennifer J. Hildebrandt Hospice Center in Greece, (see Nancy Gong's November 2007 studio Newsletter) its Hospice unit at St. Mary's was closed. "The Way of Life," art glass that had been designed in 1989 to welcome and comfort visitors and families was moved. Several donor tablets which were designed as companions to the art work were also moved. To honor the previous center, the compassionate care delivered and those families and individuals whose names are etched on the tablets, the artwork is now proudly displayed in the entry of Lifetime Care's main facility.


Accounting Alumni Award
A design which depicts a strong education at St. John Fisher College and joys of golf and southern living.
A design which depicts a strong education at St. John Fisher College and joys of golf and southern living.

St. John Fisher College likes to celebrate the successes of their alumni with an Accounting Alumnus Award. Each year, a unique design is created especially for the recipient based on their personal interests. The art work is a stunning 9" polished block of crystal, etched, carved and painted. The sculpture instills a sense of pride in having had the foundation of a St. John Fisher College education which has played an important role in the winner's accomplishments. The art work often depicts some facet of the fruits of the alumni's success. This year's recipient is Raymond J. D’Agostino, Managing Partner Deloitte & Touche LLP, Rochester. Congratulations Ray!

Chris Sullivan, Director of Alumni Relations wrote: "Perfect – this is beautiful!!! Thanks so much to you Nancy - People are amazed by your work and I certainly appreciate you making me look like a genius when it comes to these honors and awards we give out to Fisher alumni. I look forward to seeing you soon and of course working with you in the future."  Chris, "The feeling is mutual, I am honored to be able to help recognize a top notch college and such talented people in a meaningful way." Editor



Rochester Xianyang Sister Cities
'Rochester Xianyang' a free standing painting on glass etchings. 7'h x 13' w, Xianyang, China.

"Rochester Xianyang" a free standing painting on glass etchings. 7"h x 13" w, Xianyang, China.




The City of Rochester, NY wanted to present the City of Xianyang, Shaanxi Province, with a gift that would be representative of our culture here in Rochester, NY, to mark the occasion of establishing Rochester's newest sister cities relationship with the ancient capital of China. The gift had to be light and travel well as it would be hand carried to China. A work of art created by a Rochester artist would make the gift special. Michael Leach working on behalf of Mayor, Robert Duffy's office, and Michael Coniff, Co-chair for the Xianyang-Rochester Sister Cities Commmittee were instrumental in helping me understand the International Sister Cities mission. Because the mission is one of cultrual exchange, I chose not to depict buildings and industry which can change over the course of time. Instead, it made sense to be inspired by the geographical attributes of this unique region. We quickly turned the focus to the abundance of leisurely and cultural activities that the climate and geography of the Rochester region nurture. Fruits of the region: apples, lilacs (yes I know lilacs are not a fruit) and grapes for vineyards. Activities that are climate related: Skiing, boating, fishing and golfing. And of course the arts and culture: dance, family activities - the merry go round, music and sports. There was so much more that could have been included! I'll save it for the next big canvas! To avoid any culturally offensive design details, the glass painting was designed with sensitivity towards the Chinese culture. As the composition was being developed, Feng Shui design principles, a Chinese way of thinking and looking at things were applied in form, color and numbers. Rochester Xianyang is a design about the culture of Rochester, what we live for. It is a design which I expect will pique the interest of Xianyang's people in the City of Rochester and its people. I am honored to have my art represent Rochester in this exciting cultural exchange.


In the next issue, watch for: UltraGlas, dimensional embossed glass just installed in a new Studio and Spa, an art glass window that gives you privacy with a view and more.

New from Gong Glass Works: Thick cast colored glass up to 2" thick in all kinds of colors, all sorts of new dichroic glass including large sheets for architectural designs (it looks mysterious when it is etched) and dichroic block. With knowledge, experience and keen eye for well made art glass products, I'll know what to do with it! Let Gong Glass Works be your source for decorative glass and fine art glass designs.

Call the studio at 585-288-5520 or contact me at for a consultation or for more information on the above exciting new glass. 

What's New. . . in the next issue:

Etched crystal hearts - great for weddings, anniversaries

Glass trails - Check out my "Glass Trails" at the studio, by appointment. Available exclusively from the studio.

Mini Blessing Scrolls -  3-1/2" x 7-1/2" x 1-1/2" thick freestanding glass tablets in lots of colors!

Landscapers and gardeners! Colored cast glass for your sidewalk or steps up to 2" thick!

Interesting for art lovers link:

Thoughts I'd like to share:

"I can live for three months on a good compliment." ~  Mark Twain

"If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him . . . We must never forget that Art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth."       

~ John F. Kennedy


In October the studio celebrates 30 years of designing and making art glass for special places and special people. It's been a great ride thank you all. Please pass newsletter on. Let's keep it going!

Halleluhjah, Summer is here!

Artfully yours,


All glass designs and contents © 2008 Nancy Gong. All photos by Nancy Gong unless otherwise noted. To be sure to receive Gong Glass Works' "e studio newsletter" add to your address book. Do not send e-mails to the address, it is a server address. With GGW "e" Vignettes vs the studio post mail program, you'll get to see and hear more about exciting studio projects. To contact Nancy at Gong Glass Works e-mail or call 585-288-5520

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Life with Peter when I'm not making art!
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