GGW "e" Vignettes • Vol. XVII, No. 2 • July 2010
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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. Click here to Contact Nancy.

An Update on Recent Works

Wow, it's been a fast sail through Spring. Summer is here! The fragrant lilies are in bloom, the weeds are growing too and the water is warming up! Since the last e-news in March, the studio has been humming with a couple of very detailed projects. If you haven't joined the Nancy Gong, Gong Glass Works Facebook page, I'd love to have you be a part of the family of Fans! Be sure to see the PHOTO section. There you can see work in progress and insight into the the studio's various projects. In this newsletter is a sneak peak at what's been going on and what's coming up. I've got all kinds of ideas brewing, just waiting for the opportunity to bring them to life! Let's talk soon!

In This Issue

• State Park in the Middle of the City | The Inspiration | A Detailed View

• Geva Theatre's Legacy Award and Glass Art Thank Yous

• RIT's AIA Design Award and LEED Certification

• GAS – Glass Art Society 2010, Louisville - A Wealth of Knowledge

• Sharing Thoughts and Wishes - Need Love and Joy?

• Farewell to Fedora, You Knew Her as Freddie

• In the Works

New State Park in the Middle of the City
    Art glass screen adds interest inside and out. The design also brings daylight and elements of nature into the urban setting. Note the intriguing shadows on the floor. Photo taken immediately after installation. Interior space in progress.

Art glass screen adds interest inside and out. The design also brings daylight and elements of nature into the urban setting. Note the intriguing shadows on the floor. Photo taken immediately after installation. Interior space in progress.

 

For over a year, an old recording studio has been brilliantly transformed by Architect Jeff LaDue, LaDue Architects. It all began with a desire to have privacy from the street for John and Cindy LiDestri's new urban home. Glass art work became the solution to privacy without psychologically closing in the space. It was also their desire to share art with the community – to showcase local talent.

"We love our beautiful and romantic reminder of Letchworth Park, and we love being able to share Nancy's spectacular rendition of it with the community. It also was an elegant solution to our issues with privacy and light, as it affords us privacy but at the same time allows us to feel we are part of our surroundings by bringing in the sky and the light and the tree outside our window. We are so fortunate in Rochester to have outstanding artistic talent like Nancy's, and we are very proud of the stunning work she did on this piece." John and Cindy LiDestri

The Inspiration
Adding art and color to the street scene, 'Our Special Place,' an etched and painted glass privacy screen between living space and cultural city life joins the two environments.
Adding art and color to the street scene, "Our Special Place," an etched and painted glass privacy screen between living space and cultural city life joins the two environments.

 

The inspiration for "Our Special Place" came from John and Cindy's frequent visits to a special place in Letchworth State Park. It gave me a great excuse to revisit this beautiful park that I hadn't been to for decades. I was joined on my research trip by Leslie Walch, one of my teachers back in the early 80's. (On that same trip we captured images of a couple of cows for reference on art glass for Canandaigua National Bank's Henrietta Office.) The imagined design evolved into a colorful 18' w x 4'-6" h etched, hand chipped and painted art glass wall that interacts with the environment; inside and out. Shadows morph into abstracted images on the inside and reflections of the current sky conditions on the outside.

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A Detailed View
An exterior view of 'Our Special Place' show dimension in the etching and reflections of the sky. With reflected light, the trees show their bold autumn colors.
An exterior view of "Our Special Place" show dimension in the etching and reflections of the sky. With reflected light, the trees show their bold autumn colors.

 

No curtains or blinds here. Just like nature, the scene draws the viewer into the experience. A detailed view of "Our Special Place," glass art from the outside with reflected blue sky and clouds almost as if you were looking into water and seeing a reflection. The bold colors draw you into the design. Upon closer viewing the textured etching intrigues the viewer with dimension and movement.

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Detailed interior view of transmitted light.
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A fabulous view of Letchworth on a what was a dreary autumn day. Letchworth is often referred to as the Grand Canyon of the East, A beautiful state park with a gorge, falls, a train trestle, hand built rock walls that go on forever and more. A great place to clear the mind. It's a place where you feel like the earth is embracing you with beauty, the sound of running water and birds chirping away.

Geva Theatre's Legacy Award and Other Glass Art Thank Yous

Geva Theatre Center presented its annual Legacy Awards to extraordinary volunteers. The Mini Blessing Scroll was selected and a simple base was designed for the inscriptions. As a thank you in recognition of the volunteer's work, Geva wanted to wish them well. The scroll translates to: Good Fortune. Good Health. You have to have good fortune to have good health. Longevity. You have to have the good fortune of good health to have a long life. Happiness and Auspiciousness. With all of the above, you'll have a happy and auspicious life. Congratulations to Tom and Nan Hildebrandt and Helen Berkeley. Thank you for all that you have done and for being a vital part of Geva!

Other glass art thank yous; special small works of art commissioned are shown below. Top left to right:

• The House that Love Built, an artistic interpretation of Ronald McDonald House Charities' logo with extra puffing hearts. "Everyone loved the glass piece you created for us. It was a uniquely beautiful way to honor someone very special to the House." RMHC

• Geva Legacy Award, Blessing Mini Scroll in a rare red to amber cast glass. About presenting the award, Mark Cuddy, Executive Direcotr of Geva Theatre Center wrote: "The thrill of receiving a Geva Legacy Award was truly heightened by receiving a Nancy Gong piece of art. A double gift!"

• Rochester of Technology's Innovation Hall of Fame Award inspired by the etched glass wall at RIT's University Services Center / Center for Student Innovation. Kelly Redder, Assistant Vice President for Alumni Relations notes "that the pieces are the perfect unique and symbolic expression of the very qualities we were honoring with the Innovation Hall of Fame. We value the creative relationship we have with Ms. Gong."

• Simon Graduate School of Business Administration's Carnegie - Rochester Speaker gifts inspired by global economics. Ron Hansen ". . . was very pleased with the glass art that you made for the Carnegie Rochester conference."

•Allendale Columbia School's Alumni Award, an artistic interpretation of the school's birch tree logo. "The award you designed for our event last Friday was a huge hit! The recipient was elated to receive this honor and many in attendance commented on the awards beauty." Kerri Lehmbeck, Associate Director of Development & Alumni Relations.

Editor's note: It's a privilege to design art work that helps these organizations / institutions thank remarkable recipients in our community and around the world.

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Rochester Institute of Technology's Awards and Certification
'In Art, Science and Life, What is the Question,' etched glass designed and created by Nancy Gong for RIT's University Services Center / Center for Student Innovation. Photo by Don Cochran.
"In Art, Science and Life, What is the Question," etched glass designed and created by Nancy Gong for RIT's University Services Center / Center for Student Innovation. Photo by Don Cochran.

 

2010 AIA Rochester Design Excellence Awards

The 2010 AIA Rochester Design Excellence Awards have been announced. Bergmann associates was presented a Merit Award for the Interior Environment at RIT's University Services Center. "Design goals included an upscale 'boutique hotel lobby' aesthetic, an indoor environment aligned with the building's LEED platinum status, integration of substantially scaled 'public' art, and the creation of a functional space that is comfortable and inspiring.

Artist Nancy Gong worked with the design team to create a signature piece of glass art that is fully integrated into the design. The largely transparent work shapes the natural light which radiates deep into the space, provides a visual focus for the lobby, and captures symbolic themes relating to RIT's science and technology focus."

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RIT Earns LEED Platinum Certification
Photo by Don Cochran
Photo by Don Cochran

 

RIT University Services Center / Center for Student Innovation earns the highest recognition in sustainability from the US Green Building Council. It was awarded LEED Platinum certification. The studio is pleased to have played a role with glass art that draws daylight into the interior space. The raw material was purchased and fabricated within 500 miles. The art work was created in Rochester with finishing processes created on site. Project team: CJS Architects, Bergmann associates (lobby interior), Sustainable Performance Consulting Inc., Welliver & McGuire, Rochester Glass Inc and Gong Glass Works and many others.

Congratulations to RIT and to the design and fabrication team!

Editor's note: RIT was a fabulous client with great vision. Green assistance with art that has soul! I love the process. I love the result. Proud to have been part of the team

• • • • •

Farewell to Sweet Little Fedora
Oliver left and Fedora, Freddie in the studio hanging out together as they always did.
Oliver left and Fedora, Freddie in the studio hanging out together as they always did.

 

Studio lost a great friend. Sadly, we said good-bye to sweet little Fedora the day after Mother's Day – one day after her 11th birthday. If you've been to the studio you'll remember her as part of the dynamic duo. She was Freddie, Oliver's mom. She had a good life. They were always together. They really loved each other. At play, it was always double trouble. You may have heard some of the stories. They always thought people were coming to see them. It's quiet here. Oliver is well, but stays close. We miss her. Oliver would love a visit.

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Sharing Thoughts and Wishes – Need Love and Joy?
The Art Glass Blessing of 'Love' in bronze.
The Art Glass Blessing of "Love" in bronze.

 

For me, the Art Glass Blessing of Double Joy; Double Happiness is the best wish I can share with newlyweds. For others, the same traditional sentiment might make for a meaningful anniversary gift. For college or university, choosing an appropriate Blessing such as Knowledge and Enlightenment could be a personal gift for visitors and hosts. And if there's a friend whose always been there for you, their favorite color with the calligraphy Friend; Friendship can make for a nice remembrance. Blessings can also be a nice way to thank staff or volunteers for their Tenacity, Diligence and Tireless Work or for their Energy and Spirit. For something as simple as a birthday gift or congratulations, a blessing wish of Good Fortune; Fortunate Blessings goes a long way. My mother gave me a necklace with Good Fortune. It reminds me of her. It was her wish for me. Don't let yourself get in a bind without Love, Friendship, Joy or Good Fortune. Stock up on Blessings to have on hand for gifts. Maybe you can even quietly enjoy the Blessings until you give them away!

You'll find most all of the Art Glass Blessing designs at: http://www.nancygong.com/ChineseBlessings.html

Choose from any design and a selection of colors. Occasionally there will be some experimental colors. New designs not shown in the above link: Grace, Beautiful, Yin / Yang, Om and Om Mani Pad Me Hum (a Buddhism prayer of compassion)

In Rochester, You'll find the Blessings at Craft Company No. 6, The Gallery Store of the Memorial Art Gallery and at Parkleigh. http://www.nancygong.com/Links.html All stores can box and ship for you. If carrying on a plane, make it accessible to security can see it. The Blessings scan as an unidentifiable object. Security will want to see it. Gift wrap it after you arrive at your destination.

Happy gifting whether it's for you or someone else!

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GAS 2010 Louisville and More
GAS 2010 Louisville top left to right: Vaz Zastera, Direct Bond lecture / demo. Carmen Vetter, Gary Thompson, Nancy Gong during Gallery Hop. Ken vonRoenn lecture / tour at Glassworks. Lu Chi, Carole York, Urban Glass, Jerry Conn at lecture.
GAS 2010 Louisville top left to right: Vaz Zastera, Direct Bond lecture / demo. Carmen Vetter, Gary Thompson, Nancy Gong during Gallery Hop. Ken vonRoenn lecture / tour at Glassworks. Lu Chi, Carole York, Urban Glass, Jerry Conn at lecture.

 

I've just returned from The Glass Art Society 2010 conference in Louisville, KY. Great to reconnect and to meet new connections, great new possibilities in glass; casting, transparent frit or color, laminating of colored glass, epoxy free bonding - really! And more! A wealth of knowledge! The GAS conference has always been a great way to keep on top of things. With much inspiration to keep things fresh, I've got lots of ideas running around in my head. Call me for your next art glass project. http://www.nancygong.com/Contact.html

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In the works

• Finishing up a simple, earthy, but formal donor wall with a marine blue cast glass etched with lots of donors for the Wilmot Cancer Center. Watch for installation photos by the end of July.

• For the Hillside Children's Center, smalti, glass for mosaic making has arrived from Italy! With the teens' input, the full sized cartoons are ready and cutting begins next week! Anxious to get back to cutting. Can you imagine, working on a design of Cobbs Hill Park will take me back to Venice?!

See photos of the design below.

A thought to share: "If no one ever took risks, Michelangelo would have painted the Sistine floor." – Neil Simon

Enjoy the summer! I look forward to hearing from you.

Artfully yours,

Nancy

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GGW "e" Vignettes is published by Nancy Gong, Gong Glass Works. All glass designs, contents and photos ©2010 Nancy Gong unless otherwise noted. To be sure to receive Gong Glass Works' "e newsletter" add gong@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. To see more of Nancy's work, visit: http://www.NancyGong.com. I'd like to invite you to join the Nancy Gong, Gong Glass Works family on Facebook here. I'll be posting insights about my work and the studio that will not be included in the e-news or web site. It's a great behind the scenes look into the studio and my art! For those of you who may be Facebook shy, you can visit the page without signing up for Facebook. Please pass this on!

Catching up at the Glass Art Society (GAS) conference in Louisville; Mary White, Marvin Lipofsky, Nancy Gong. "It's all about designing lasting glass art work that is meaningful and beautiful. Art that people will enjoy for a very long time. I love what I do!"
Design for smalti mosaic to be installed over the glass transom a community building. Watch for this, the columns and etched glass entry in September.