Friday, March 1, 2013


 click images to bigify

I thought perhaps a post just devoted over to this one window was in order.
Why?  Well, its the only piece from eastern State that I added considerably--more than a border and thus, it has become an entirely new one in some ways.
I knew from the outset that I was going to do this--why and how I know this I can't say beyond an intuitive feeling, but I waited a year to do it and was excited about it.

Two images that influence this are below.  One is the famous image from the Vietnam War by Huynh Cong and the other a stained glass window by Abraham Van Linge.

Everyone knows that photo from Vietnam--you need only type Vietnam and Napalm for it to come up in a Google search. As a figurative artist, it appeals to me on many levels.  First and foremost the gruesome subject matter.  But beyond that I am blown away by how the formal elements support the subject.  She's the only one unclothed...and she's a running crucifixion. She is directly facing the viewer, which makes it impossible not to imagine that she is running right at you.
 Her face expresses her pain and horror while the  boy in the foreground is more or less a "tragedy mask".

The Van Linge window is at Lydiard House, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK.  Van Linge and his bro, Bernard used enamels to create their images.Enamels became popular after the protestant Reformation whose iconoclastic tendencies put a lot of stained glass makers (and suppliers) out of business.  As it became harder to get colored glass, the more painters relied on enamels to get their imagery across...or at least that's how I understand it.
I hate enamels...they look like gnat's piss to me compared to the colors of flash glass.  In my humble opinion, the only enameler worth a damn is Van Linge.  This particular window is one of my favorites.

A passionate aside:  Often people think my imagery is made with enamels.  It is NOT.  My images are barely painted.  They are engraved into layers of colored glass (and just to be super nit-picky: "engraving" is done by using some type of tool to carve into something and etching uses acid.  Big diff!)
I use black paint and silverstain (yellow) and nothing else. 

So, "Sister" is some sort of weird hybrid between these two images, in addition to how the image arose inspired by Eastern State.


Anonymous said...

Enamels are gnats piss compared to flashed glass. I laughed when I read this. So directly honest from your point of view. Enjoyed visiting the other postings on your blog. David Hopper

Judith Schaechter said...

Thanks, David!

jeremy said...

The detailed elements are so precise.


Judith Schaechter said...

Jeremy--not sure if you mean my work,VanLinge or both but thanks!

Maureen said...

Have you seen the Harry Clarke stained glass at the Wolfsonian Museum in Miami? I think those windows must be done with enamels and they are amazing.

Judith Schaechter said...

Hi Maureen--
I'm no Harry Clarke expert, but I do think many of his windows use acid etching flash glass to achieve most of their effects. He used black paint. But I could be wrong there.