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GGW "e" Vignettes • Vol. XVIII, No. 2 • August 2011
If you do not see images with this newsletter, click above on Load Images. 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: solutions for site-specific installations, embracing fine art, decorative art, signage and graphics as well as architectural ornamentation. The studio offers a full range of artistic glass processes with emphasis on customer satisfaction; sensitive, responsive and enduring designs and quality craftsmanship for a multitude of applications. Click here to Contact Nancy.
 
 

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Wow, making art takes a lot of time. I can't believe the last e-news was in February. The first half of the year has been plentiful with glass conferences; Society of American Mosaic Artists in Austin, TX, Stained Glass Association of America's summer conference in Syracuse and most recently the American Glass Guild's annual conference in Asheville, NC. The presentation of a paper (of my work) at the American Glass Guild conference was supported in part with funds from the Strategic Oportunities Stipends Program through New York Foundation for the Arts and New York State Council on the Arts, administered in Region by the Arts and Cultural Council for Greater Rochester. While it's great to see old friends, and make new friends, these conferences are a place to share information and experiences in a language that only our peers can truly relate to. It's a way to keep informed of both old and new materials and processes and a place to renew the creative energy that pours out of us every day. It's August now and this is to share lots of exciting things that have been happening since. Stay with me!

In this issue you'll find stories on:
Hillside Journey Mosaic is Completed and Installed!
• Architectural Glass Rendered Through Technology
and lots of
• Doings, Credits and Kudos

Photo Above: With the mosaic installation completed by Springett Tile, the focus moves to the etched glass installation by Rochester Glass, Inc. Mosaic surrounds etched glass that features the fountains at Lake Riley. With columns painted, renovation will be complete. Photos by Chris Maggio. Millwork and site preparations by MCE Solutions and John Lehmann. With special thanks to my good friend Jon Flowerday for additional site preparation. See news story with Janet Lomax, WHEC TV, here: http://www.whec.com/news/stories/s2145194.shtml

 
 
Hillside Journey Mosaic is Installed!
Detail of andamento, flow of the cut tesserae. Photo by Nancy Gong. For more on the Hillside Journey click on the link below and scroll down.
Detail of andamento, flow of the cut tesserae. Photo by Nancy Gong.
For more on the Hillside Journey click on the link below and scroll down.
 
  It took nearly a year, but at last, after the torrential Spring rains, the Hillside Journey mosaic was completed and installed in June. It is the first architectural smalti mosaic in Rochester. NY. The smalti, hand made at the Orsoni Foundry in Venice, Italy (see GGW Vignettes February 2011 and March 2010) is an opaque vitreous enamel poured into a pizza shape, then cut into little bricks to form the mosaic image. These tiny one and one half inch bricks are then split with a hammer and hardie (pin) to make tiny tesserae (cut pieces) that are fitted closely together. Smalti has a quiet glistening quality to it.
As part of a complete and long overdue renovation of its campus on Monroe Avenue, Hillside Children's Center wanted Eastman Hall to have a formal entrance to set it apart from the other buildings on campus. For this building, the project was not just about buildings and bricks; it was about the children and their lives. With input from the children on color and feeling, the design depicts the hill that the Center is perched on, Pinnacle Hill, and look across the way to Cobbs Hill. It is symbolic of the childrens' journey – looking in and looking out to the future. Reminding us of the constantly changing seasons of life are colorful summer and autumn trees. The beautiful rolling hills mimic the highs and lows in life and how there can still be beauty as you look for wildflowers and to the sun. A dark and stormy sky gradually changes over to fair weather skies, a sign of hope and happiness.
At the suggestion of the children an element of water was included. They had no idea that I love to include water in my designs. Specifically, they asked for the fountains at Lake Riley, part of Cobbs Hill Park. Look closely and you'll see the fountains etched into the glass door. With high traffic, the amount of etching allows for visibility through the door so you can see if someone might be coming through. It also brings daylight inside the entry. According to Tom Hildebrandt, President at Hillside Children's Foundation, it is "simply gorgeous." And as one of the children said "It's awesome!"
Editor's note: "What a thrill to be a part of adding a touch of beauty and inspiration on campus for the children, staff and visitors. Touching lives for generations to come. Whether it is sunny, cloudy and gray, raining or snowing, this design will add a happy spirit to this part of campus for a
very long time.
"
To see more, click here and scroll down: http://www.nancygong.com/Mosaics.html
 
Architectural Art Glass Rendered Through Technology
In a design for Branch Acupuncture, an example of new technology. For a lighter aesthetic, cut mouthblown sheet glass, laminated retains the inherent beauty of glass without the use of lead. Photo by Nancy Gong.
In a design for Branch Acupuncture, an example of new technology. For a lighter aesthetic, cut mouthblown sheet glass, laminated retains the inherent beauty of glass without the use of lead. Photo by Nancy Gong.
 
  Times have been changing. Building designs have more glass. Fenestration (window openings) are getting larger. As a glass artist, both a designer and fabricator, it makes sense to collaborate with industry in responding to the need for larger glass designs for large spaces. Old technology is adapting to the larger sizes. Industry has large format equipment. Artists have the vision and creativity. Collaboration of the two is nothing new to the European world, most especially in Germany. Today. it is becoming more and more common in North America. Here at Gong Glass Works, I work in the studio as an artist – designer and fabricator (craftsman) as well as collaborating as designer with the use of new technology, always with direct involvement in the artistry and creation of the work, and always demanding high standards of craftsmanship. This approach introduces new aesthetics – see photo below. The challenge of course is to use the technology in such a way that:
• Signs of technology are not obvious and do not deter from the design.
• It retains the appearance that the human connection was there and the art does not look machine made.
• The artist as designer, retains involvement in all aesthetic decisions and defining artistic processes.
• The art looks handmade and not commercial unless that is the intent.
The choices for hand made – old or new technology is often driven by aesthetic preferences, cost or environmental factors. If you have a project and would like to see examples of glass frit fired glass, laminated dichroic or laminated cut colored glass, vitreous paint, thick architectural cast glass, silkscreened glass, photovoltaic art glass or other artistic processes contact Nancy@NancyGong.com.
 
 
Doings, Credits, Kudos
 
 

Etched dichroic glass columns. Left: Detail Thoroughbreds. Center: Thoroughbreds. Right: In Time. Size: 3'w x 12'hx 3'd. Photo by Nancy Gong.
Etched dichroic glass columns. Left: Detail Thoroughbreds. Center: Thoroughbreds. Right: In Time. Size: 3"w x 12"hx 3"d. Photo by Nancy Gong.

 
 

Captivating columns of dichroic glass have been designed for two different occasions. One to thank a wedding venue host with a meaningful personal gift. The family connection is thoroughbred horse racing. Christie Raymo wrote: "The glass work was very well done, and the colors that are emitted are just extraordinary. Also, the custom tag that you were able to create to capture the purpose and sentiment behind the piece was perfect. The best part perhaps was her reaction. She absolutely loved it! "
The other totally unique etched dichroic glass column, Executive of the Year Award was designed for the University of Rochester's Simon School of Business. It was presented in NYC to Peter G. Peterson who founded the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. The foundation identifies and creates an awareness of the nature and urgency of key fiscal challenges in the US, thus the design of graphs, charts and the title "In Time." Ron Hansen, Sr. Assoc. Dean for Program Development wrote: In particular President Seligman, Ed Hajim (Chair of the UR Board of Trustees) and Trustee Gwen Greene were extremely pleased. Since Ed and Pete are friends (they worked together at Lehman Brothers), Ed was extraordinarily appreciative that something this special was created for his friend.

 
 
Detail of Tibetan Prayer Flags; andamento - flow of the tesserae. Photo by Nancy Gong.
Detail of Tibetan Prayer Flags; andamento - flow of the tesserae. Photo by Nancy Gong.
 
  A Remarkable Tour of Rochester's Architectural Art Glass by Nancy Gong and Valerie O'Hara was published in Stained Glass Quarterly Magazine. As a prelude to a nearby conference an hour and a half away, the article was written as stop along the way to Syracuse, NY. It's a walking tour highlighting what some call the Miracle Mile of extraordinary architecture and stained glass on historic East Ave. Examples include period stained glass and contemporary art glass by renowned glass designers and studios throughout the US. For a complimentary copy of this article | tour, contact nancy@nancygong.com, or send a SASE to Gong Glass Works, 42 Parkview Drive, Rochester, NY 14625.
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Tibetan Prayer Flags, a smalti mosaic has been selected for the 2011 National Mosaic Exhibition on Cape Cod. In a statement from Linda Dadak and Jim Bowen, curators, "The exhibit presents the best in contemporary mosaics from the US and Canada." Mosiacs at Highfield Hall in Falmouth, MA will be on exhibit through Labor Day weekend. For more information, you may visit http://www.nationalmosaicexhibition.com/
and http://www.nancygong.com/Mosaics.html
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An etched glass wall that draws daylight into the interior of the building, 'In Art, Science and Life, What is the Question.' Photo by Don Cochran.
An etched glass wall that draws daylight into the interior of the building, "In Art, Science and Life, What is the Question." Photo by Don Cochran.
An AIA Rochester Design Excellence Award - Merit Award was presented to Chaintreuil Jensen Stark LLP (CJS Architects) for the design of RIT's Administrative Services Building. This is the second AIA Design Award presented for this building. Proud to be a part of the team and always a thrill to go back to visit the work. See photo above and visit this link for more information:
http://www.nancygong.com/Institutional01.html
 
 
The new Art Glass blessing catalog is here! Photos by Chris Maggio.
The new Art Glass blessing catalog is here! Photos by Chris Maggio.
Art Glass Blessings and small works are now available at Shop One 2 at RIT's Global Village and if you are out of town Amazon.com – for your convenience. For personal service, here are other places to find the Art Glass Blessings and small works. Click on the link below for the catalog of designs.
 
 
'Thursday Night Racing,' etched flashed glass. Photo by Nancy Gong
"Thursday Night Racing," etched flashed glass. Photo by Nancy Gong
From the lure of sailing, new small works. Above: Thursday Night Races. Frame size 7"w x 5"h. See photo below.
 
 
Pencil sketch of a Birch tree design, 12'w x 4'h curved glass etched and hand chipped.
Pencil sketch of a Birch tree design, 12'w x 4'h curved glass etched and hand chipped.
Sometimes art work comes in waves. This time, it's birch trees. In the works are lots of birch trees! I think people love birch trees because they remind us of being by the water – relaxing times. Oliver and I have gone out for drives and walks in search of birch trees to photograph. Turns out the most inspiring birches are just up the street! In the works is a curved glass screen for the reception area of a medical office and a window for a wet bathing room.
Both projects are for etched and hand chipped glass. Each is of a totally different birch tree design. One of birches by Lake Ontario.
The other birches by the beautifully wooded Allens Creek.
 
  On the personal front my poor garden looked like a field with overgrown paths and new young trees growing in it until finally I managed to get in a few marathon gardening sessions in. I can see the stone paths now and most of the weed trees are gone. I'm hoping that by mid autumn, it may once again look like an artist's garden. Either way it's still beautiful.
I've challenged myself to move out of my comfort zone as sailing crew and am working on developing skills as a skipper - helm time (driving and docking) requires a whole new set of skills! I am doing this with the help of my lady friends and we're having a ball. Peter has been most supportive on land. After docking, he is quick to answer any questions for possible improvement. I haven't done any damage yet with much thanks to the abundance of crew to keep me off the dock! Confidence is building, but I'm still not skippering in small craft advisories! I am at the same time taking great sailing pictures for design reference and have experienced some of the most gorgeous sunsets on Lake Ontario. I love summer.
Lured by my love of sailing, I've come up with a model for new small works. If you are in Rochester, come to the Hospice Regatta where you'll see and with good fortune, maybe win an art glass trophy and see the new work this weekend. For all of you who are fond of Oliver, he too has been sailing. We keep him cool in the shade. As top dog now, he has developed an automatic timer for weekends. Hope you can make the time to enjoy the rest of the summer and if you've enjoyed this newsletter, please pass it on to let people know about my art. Thanks!
Artfully yours,
Nancy
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 nancygong@gong.pmailus.com 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 Nancy@nancygong.com 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.
 
 
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Oliver sailing and enjoying the breeze. At work, Oliver gathers atmospheric information while I gather visual information.
It's all processed with an emotional response!
 
 
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Sunset on Lake Ontario. Photo by Nancy Gong.
 
 
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Nancy Gong, Glass Artist