Counterpoint, 2005-2006 Page: 22
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By Christie A. Wood, BME '78
Owner/Artist, Art Glass Ensembles
"The World's Greatest Operas Interpreted in Stained Glass"
Project came about, like most good things in life, quite
unexpectedly and in a round-about manner. I am a UNT grad
(BM '78), and for a number of years my husband (a UNT grad
in cello performance) and I lived in the Philly area. While I was
there I took up stained glass as a hobby, and it soon became
apparent that I was meant to do stained glass as a living, so I
quit the computer business and founded Art Glass Ensembles.
We moved back "home" to Denton in 2001, and I set up my
stained glass studio downtown, just off the Square, and did
mostly residential work. One day in 2002 a young man walked
into my studio, asking if I did any hot glass work.That is how
I met Tim King, facilities manager for the UNT Murchison
Performing Arts Center. He needed a replacement glass wall
sconce and although I was unable to help him, I was able
to point him in the right direction. He casually mentioned
he would keep me in mind for any future work. Right. How
often do people who say that to you actually follow through?
Tim King is not like other people.This dynamic young man
had a great idea on how to solve multiple problems with one
innovative solution: the Lyric Theater's mood lighting was
rather boring, and Tim was looking to replace the metal light
disbursers with something more in keeping with the theater's
function, opera! The other, perhaps bigger problem the College
of Music faced: how to raise funds for opera scholarships? Tim
came up with a brilliant solution to both problems-replace
the metal plates with stained glass panels depicting the world's
greatest operas, and have donors sponsor individual panels.
I worked up a cost estimate, a list of 75 operas that might be
used and a sample stained glass panel based on Carmen. We
presented the materials to a committee and the project was
enthusiastically approved! Now we are into full production of
stained glass panels for the Lyric.The second panel was Tosca
and was donated by my own parents, Clarence and Mary Wood,
both UNT music alumni, in memory of my brother, Standley
Wood, also a UNT music student, and a big fan of operas.
ODUCING THE PANELS
h panel must be exactly 17 1/2" wide x 8" high, and must have a
" hole in the middle, allowing the panels to be mounted on the
sting fixtures. This creates a visual division that suggests two key
ign elements on either side. Each panel is made out of opaque or
ar glass which has been acid-etched so that the light bulbs behind
stained glass are not too apparent. Director of Development Elida
nez sends me an email requesting a panel, and gives me the name
he opera selected by the donor. From there I do research on the
era's story and images, using the Internet or old opera posters
umping-off points. I look for iconographic images which tell the
ry, or recall to mind seminal parts of the plot. Since each panel is
all, I can't put too much detail into the design without losing visual
these panels are created using the Tiffany lampshade technique of
>perfoiling. Some panels require just glass, such as Carmen or Tosca,
I some requiretraditional glass painting (just likewe usefor painting
faces of the saints for church windows), to achieve detail. Take a
k at Turandot or Samson and Delilah for examples of the glass paint.
hnically, I start with an image and draw it into a special computer
gram for stained glass. Once I have created the design, a very
hful approximation of the finished panel, I email it to Ms. Tamez.
consults with the patron for approval, and then I start selecting
glass, cutting it, and building the panel. The completed panels
photographed and uploaded onto my website, and then Tim
g picks up the completed panel. Voila-the cycle from inception
.ee all of the current panels, go to:
Du would like to sponsor a panel, contact:
la Tamez at 940-565-2243.
11 22 11
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University of North Texas. College of Music. Counterpoint, 2005-2006, periodical, 2004; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc181722/m1/22/: accessed October 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Music.