GGW "e" Vignettes • Vol. XVI, No. 3 • July 2009

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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 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.
The Completion of RIT's In Art Science & Life, What is the Question?

Detail of etched glass. In Art Science & Life, What is the Question? Photo by Don Cochran.

Detail of etched glass. In Art Science & Life, What is the Question? Photo by Don Cochran.


The previous April '09 GGW Vignettes e-newsletter featured progress on an exciting 54' x 10' etched art glass wall project for Rochester Institute of Technology's Administrative Services Building and Innovation Center. Now I'd like to share with you the completion of In Art Science & Life, What is the Question?

Click here to see a video news report of the completed art work by Janet Lomax, WHEC-TV.

Project Credits of a fabulous team who helped to make the glass art work possible:
  • Rochester Institute of Technology, Client
  • CJS Architects, Project Design Architects
  • Bergmann Associates, Lobby Interior Design
  • General Contractor, Welliver & McGuire
  • Rochester Glass Inc., Glazing Contractor
  • Bay Tile and Marble, Stone Contractor

If you missed the videos of the work in progress videos, you can see them here:

To see the April '09 e-newsletter, click here:


39th Glass Art Society Conference in Corning

Attending the 39th Annual Glass Art Society Conference in Corning was a summertime reunion and a great opportunity to meet other professionals. Local Inspiration, Global Innovation was the theme. I had great exchanges with artists from U.S., Italy, Germany, China, learned about some exciting advances in glass engineering and sat in on and participated in some inspiring and profound discussions. It was a great jolt of energy, the horizon is expanding.

Artists and educators, the GAS forefathers, Marvin Lipofsky, Henry Halem, Irwin Eisch were all there reminiscing about the early days when they were setting up hot shops. They were the first glass programs at the Universities in the U.S.. They talked about the early GAS conferences. Folks from Japan, Mexico, Germany and other countries followed. GAS is now a humming international art organization. Lipofsky professed that Asilomar, CA's gathering was the best, the energy was incredible. Contrary to admitting anything having to do with age, I was actually thrilled to admit that I was there 30+ years ago and whole heartedly agree. From that conference, my first GAS conference, my passion for glass art burst wide open!

Curators Tina Oldknow, Corning Museum of Glass, Jutta-Annette Page, Curator Toledo Museum of Art, Paul Smith, Director Emeritus America Craft Museum now Museum of Arts & Design, Tom Buechner, Founding Director of the Corning Museum of Glass talked about how their collections were built. All have a commitment to educate and record the progression of glass as an art form.

There was discussion that the institutions might be remiss in that Architectural Art Glass was not being collected by the museums. Five years ago, the answer was that nothing new was being created. The studio glass movement began in the late 60's gaining momentum in the 70's with a focus on technique. In hot glass, there were plenty of new developments in artistic processes.

Today, there are many significant changes in the artistic processes utilized in architectural art glass. There are many modals in which a myriad of technology is being utilized to create significant works of art in large scaled architectural art glass that were not possible before. Some of the work today including cast glass, screened and fired paints, cold painting, surface work, optical glass and modes of presentation are very different from Tiffany, LaFarge, Frank Lloyd Wright, U.S. and German work of the 70's and mid 80's. In contrast, established museums still collect paintings, many of which are painted the same way they were painted hundreds of years ago. The imagery, content and soul of the art is different as are the people of today.

Today, the response from the curators is that they would love to collect architectural glass. The problem is space! And they need lots of light!

Architectural art glass has an incredibly long life span. If the glass is not violated, it is one of the most enduring materials on earth. Decorative or fine art, if it breaks or is destroyed, there will be no record of its presence in our day and time. It is up to the owners of this extraordinary art form to keep it alive where it is, in a new location or in a museum collection. Otherwise all that may be left are a few images on a page. It's hard to collect architecture too.


I'd like to close by sharing the photo of a summertime scene with you.

Located on the south shore of Lake Ontario in upstate New York, we saw this while sailing from Sodus Bay to Fairhaven. It is the ever changing Chimney Bluffs, carved by glaciers, wind, rain, snow and pounding waves. It was a beautiful day. Clouds circle the perimeter of the lake. But it was all sunshine on the lake. We sailed with the spinnaker (the colorful sail up front) with little 2 foot waves, 10 knot winds in 80 degrees. This entertainment was a wonderful diversion from technology.

Enjoy your summer! And let me know if I can help you with that special wedding or anniversay gift!

Artfully yours,


GGW "e" Vignettes is published by Nancy Gong, Gong Glass Works. All glass designs,contents and photos ©2009 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. To see more of Nancy's work, visit: Please pass this on!

Ever changing Chimney Bluffs, carved by glaciers, wind, rain, snow and pounding waves on the south shore of Lake Ontario.