GGW "e" Vignettes • Vol. XVIII, No. 1 • February 2011

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 smalti mosaics, leaded, etched, carved, cast, 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.

In this issue


• New Art Glass Blessing Designs - Lotus in Dichroic Glass

The Blissful Strand Revisited

• An Observation on a Theme

SinkCoPed® Debut

• New Art Glass Blessing Designs - Chinese Coin and Love in Dichroic Glass

• Hillside Journey Smalti Mosaic Nearing Completion

• Looking In on Optical Glass, New Cold Worked Sculptures

For more on my work and the studio, visit or click here for weekly updates on studio activity: Thank you for your business, interest in my work and friendship. My life and other's have been enriched from it!

An Observation

There's something about the dragon. It started when I was enamored by silk on silk embroidered pillow cases my parents had framed as pictures. As a teenager, I recreated the embroidered design on a flattering little jean skirt. It was beautiful. Sadly it doesn't fit any more. For safe keeping, it is stored in a delicately carved camphour wood chest (wood from China that repels insects) that my parents gave us as a wedding gift. Since then, a carved fireplace screen, a leaded glass window with an etched dragon and phoenix have been created. And now, here's the dragon theme again. This time as a "Dragon" SinkCoPed! Years after years, the dragon theme continues to surface. It brings me closer to my cultural roots. That visual connection slows me down in these fast paced days. That's art. It's mysterious, beautiful and I love it!

Photo Above: "Dragon" SinkCoPed®, detail. Nancy Gong's intricately carved, hand chipped and painted UltraGlas and Kohler's Dragon vessel from Fergusons. Base, not shown is by Paul Knoblaugh.



New Art Glass Blessing Designs

Lotus in Living Color


The Lotus is one of the Art Glass Blessings' Special Designs. The lotus blossom is often used in Asian art as a symbol of Knowledge and Enlightenment. It is also symbolic of fertility, be it the mind or reproduction!

The lotus is available in the the standard Blessing colors and sizes as well as the dynamic optical dichroic glass that presents itself in shifting colors. The dichroic glass is available in 2-3/4" diameter x 3/4" thick or 1-1/4" thick. Big is not always better. The beauty of the glass and design more than make up for its little size. The studio is accepting special orders for these precious gems. Ellie F., who received one as a birthday gift wrote: "I love the Blessing . . . a lotus blossom . . . I keep moving it around the house to see the colors shine through. (She wants to place it where she'll enjoy the full range of colors rather than one color) I want to put it where I can see it most of the day. Since we live in a darkened situation, I have to keep working on it. I'll find the perfect spot." The nice thing is that even in rooms with low lighting, the color does shine.

Photo Above: Four different views of one Art Glass Blessing shows the color range of a single lotus blossom carved into optical dichroic glass. Light transmitted from the front reflects the lotus image on the chromed dichroic back.

SinkCoPeds® Debut

'Zen SinkCoPed®' Sink, Faucet from Fergusons, Glass counter top by Nancy Gong and UltraGlas, Base by John Hendry.

"Zen SinkCoPed®" Sink, Faucet from Fergusons, Glass counter top by Nancy Gong and UltraGlas, Base by John Hendry.

At last, long in the making, the first SinkCoPeds® have debuted. You can see them at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery. SinkCoPeds® are fine art collaborations combining decorative sinks from Ferguson®, art glass counter tops by Nancy Gong of Gong Glass Works and metal art pedestals or bases by John Hendry. These one of a kind works of art designed especially for guest powder rooms are available right off the showroom floor. No long lead times. Some are fun. Some are elegant. All are down right beautiful. With Nancy Gong as Design Team Leader, SinkCoPeds® are designed to outlive trends as functional collectibles for today and tomorrow. More autonomous designs are in the works for both Ferguson® Rochester and Syracuse showrooms. The "Tree SinkCoPed®" and the "Urban SinkCoPed® are in the works. John and I are very excited about this collaborative program. It's an exciting challenge for us both as we blend our creative juices. We have so many ideas – we want each and every one to be the special functional work of art people can share with their family and guests. Fergusons has such an array of sinks and faucets to design with. We're having a ball. Completed SinkCoPeds® are available at Fergusons, you can reach them at 585-697-0348 or visit the showroom at 1349 University Avenue, Rochester. The artists also welcome commissions.

Detail of "Zen" SinkCoPed®

Photo: Detail. Sink from Ferguson - Rochester art glass counter top by Nancy Gong, metal base by John Hendry.

Photo: Detail. Sink from Ferguson - Rochester art glass counter top by Nancy Gong, metal base by John Hendry.

Featuring an etched UltraGlas counter top designed by Nancy Gong and a Stone Forest polished black granite sink.

When making selections for the home, so often there are many things we like, but it doesn't always make sense to use them all. Here, restraint yields elegant simplicity in a glass counter top with etching that mimics movements in nature - in keeping with thoughts of the Zen practice.

Polished granite provides a sense of clarity. The metal base eludes to the uniqueness of tree elements reaching this way and that way. A stainless towel bar and shelf to dislay fresh flowers or whatever complete the SinkCoPed®. The inspiration for the Zen SinkCoPed® comes from the clean, simple lines of the Stone Forest pedestal sink from Fergusons. © 2010 Nancy Gong & John Hendry. See Zen SinkCoPed® at Fergusons at 1349 University Avenue.


New Art Glass Blessing Designs

Chinese Coin

Chinese Coin, 5' diameter emerald green color.

Chinese Coin, 5" diameter emerald green color.

I've always loved the design of the old Chinese Coins so I've come up with a Blessing design as a vestige of the past. Like the Mini Blessing Scrolls, it shares favorite life blessings. Read from the upper right to the lower right, moving to the left top to the lower left down: Good Fortune, Good Health, Longevity and finally, Happiness and Auspiciousness. In the Chinese way of thinking, one must attain the prior blessing to have the next. The Blessing Coin, like the mini scroll reminds us of all those little daily blessings that are really significant. It's about an awareness. I am I touched with your stories about how the Art Glass Blessings celebrate the angels, goodness, love and joy in your lives. Please keep those stories coming!


New Art Glass Blessing Design

Love, in Living Color

'Love,' an Art Glass Blessing carved into dichroic glass.

"Love," an Art Glass Blessing carved into dichroic glass.

"Love." Love is patient. Love is kind . . . Love is not stagnant. Love is constantly changing. It's fitting that the Art Glass Blessing of "Love" be carved into optical dichroic glass with its color shifting characteristics. Love is dynamic. The colors - to die for. 2-3/4" diameter x 3/4" or 1-1/4" thick. Bigger is not always better. The beauty of these little gems make them precious. Available exclusively from the studio | 585-288-5520. Gift wrapping and shipping available.

Happy Valentine's Day!



The Blissful Strand Revisited

The Blissful Strand, a modern abstract of sea oats, the International Waterway, beaches and a typical Carolina day.

The Blissful Strand, a modern abstract of sea oats, the International Waterway, beaches and a typical Carolina day.


Mission accomplished. Repair to The Blissful Strand in St. James (Southport), NC a fabulous playground on the Intercoastal Waterway. Designed in 2003, it incurred damage from an excited grandpuppy. Puppy is fine and calmer now. Window is back to its original glory. While we were at it, we pulled the other two panels to clean between the layers. Tom and Marj wrote: "The window looks great, it just sparkles. I think it is glad to be whole." And I know they are happy too. They leave the inside lights on when they leave so they can come home to the art glass all lit up. The neighbors wish their house was more visible so more people in the neighborhood can enjoy the glass art work! Artist is back in twenty degree weather with snow. Enjoyed revisiting The Blissful Strand, their parents and the forty degree weather!

Hillside Journey Smalti Mosaic Nearing Completion

Artist at work. Hillside Journey, smalti mosaic nearing completion.

Artist at work. Hillside Journey, smalti mosaic nearing completion.

It's been a long haul. Still moving along inch by inch, I'm heading for the fair weather sky. The smalti mosaic you read about in October 2010 GGW Vignettes is nearing completion. Installation will be this spring when the weather breaks. This exterior mosaic will surround an etched glass entry to Eastman Hall, a Hillside community building. The campus is secure, so you'll have to watch for installation photos in the Spring. And Spring is coming!

Many of you have asked, will the mosaic hold up outside in this northern climate? The answer is absolutely! Exterior mosaics dating back to the 12th century in Europe of the same material remain as beautiful examples of Byzantine art work.


Hillside Journey - Color Blending


The subtlest of color blending can be difficult to see when working up close on a mosaic with little tiny pieces.

In this photo the artist stands back to evaluate the color transitions and determine what needs to be done next. You do what you need to do, to see what you need to see!



Creative Zones

Working in the studio on a day to day basis doesn't leave time to be creative beyond the commissions I am blessed to have. While in the studio I'm focused on creating specific works of art for specific locations and often specific themes. I am grateful to be bestowed a good deal of freedom by my clients to creating wonderful designs. To my clients, I thank you for those opportunities.

The world is getting smaller. To recharge, there are many recreational activities I enjoy. But often, it requires leaving the studio to enter a different creative zones where exposure to new processes perhaps reinterpreted processes and creative accidents lead to new and exciting art. This past year I've had the privilege of spending one on one time at length with several phenomenal artists; Kenneth Leap & Kathy Jordan at The Wheaton Arts Center with a grant from The James C. Whitney Memorial Scholarship sponsored by the American Glass Guild, Lucio Orsoni & Antonella Gallenda, a Bottega at Orsoni Smalti Veneziani, and Czech glass artist Martin Rosol. You've seen some of that new work in projects highlighted in etched and painted glass and the mosaics in previous e-newsletters. In this issue I'll share new optical glass work– referred to as "cold work" created while with Martin Rosol at a small Master Class of four set up by the Oatka School of Glass. (Oliver was in tow - he liked it there. He rode his first urban elevator and was impressed with the height of the stairs and having mastered them.) The optical glass has a silent beauty that brings you into the glass to experience the surprise reflections. I find cold working requires a great deal of strength and is yet another way of thinking and seeing. Although at times I felt and looked like a wet dog from all the wet grit flying around. The work is very meditative, especially the engraving when glass cuts like butter. The results are satisfying and an aesthetic I love. Enjoy the images, although seeing it in person is the best way of seeing it!

Call me for your next art glass project, and please, pass this newsletter on to others who may have an exciting project.

Thanks! Artfully yours,


GGW "e" Vignettes is published by Nancy Gong, Gong Glass Works. All glass designs, contents and photos ©2011 Nancy Gong unless otherwise noted. To be sure to receive Gong Glass Works' "e newsletter" add to your address book. Do NOT send e-mails direct to the pmail plus address, it is a server address. To contact Nancy at Gong Glass Works, e-mail to or call 585-288-5520. I'd love to hear from you. To see more newsletters, or to join the mailing list, click here. Your email address will not be sold or distributed in any way. With GGW "e" Vignettes vs. the studio post mail program, you'll get to see and hear more about exciting studio projects 4-6 times a year. Join the Facebook family of Nancy Gong, Gong Glass Works for weekly insights and updates.



Alternate views of for now, the untitled "Purple Sculpture" and grinding and polishing photos. 5" x 2-1/2" x 4"h


Gung Hai Fat Choy! Happy Chinese New Year. Year of the Rabbit. Our rabbit's ears are tired; needs props for his ears. Don't let him fool you, he really is very happy.