Inspiration: Prairie-style stained glass

Tim and I are headed off to Franklin Art Glass Studios tomorrow morning to discuss our options in creating a custom piece of stained glass for our bathroom door. I realize this sounds a skosh ridiculous, but it’s within our budget to make that (custom-built) door exceedingly beautiful and we’re really excited about it. When we were first discussing the possibility and what style we’d want to use, Tim and I kept gravitating towards prairie-style art glass. The modern look and clean lines held some real appeal and we liked how most examples used a largely neutral palette, with touches of color. We plan to go to the studio armed with a sample of the mosaic tile we used and pictures that I gathered up of some of our favorite styles. It will surprise no one who knows enough about my style and background that I scrounged up a TON of beautiful Frank Lloyd Wright art glass to draw the final design from. I thought I’d share some of the fantastic pieces I found.

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The Willits House is one of my favorite examples of FLW art glass. Those windows in sequence in the dining room are so marvelous, it’s the exact right amount of “decorative” for me, without being fussy. The rhythm of the verticals also makes me super-happy, especially the groupings of three at the top corners of the windows.

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This piece from the F. F. Tomek house might be a little too simple, but I love how clean it is, and all of the visual interest up at the top. It lacks the delicate super-thin vertical pieces that are so common to the art glass of the time, but the design appeals to me anyway.

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The above pictures and sketches are all from the Martin House. The first pattern is referred to as “Wisteria,” and the second is one of FLW’s most famous pieces of art glass, a “Tree of Life” window. Personally, I prefer the Wisteria pattern to the Tree of Life, because I love how clean it is, despite being miles more complex than either of the previously pictured projects. The Tree of Life is too busy for my taste, combining both the diagonal pieces and the colored triangles and the tight rhythm of the small clear and colored squares. Beautiful in the Martin House, but way too much going on for me to want it in our bathroom door. I also love both of the sketches there.

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This single chevron motif from the Heath House appeals to me, though I’m not digging the heavy elements on the sides, nor the checkerboarding of the colored glass in the chevron. I love the crossing of the four lines of skinny glass way at the top, it’s so graceful.

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Source: etsy.com via Kate on Pinterest

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Now we come to two prairie-style modern windows. The one above is what Tim picked out as a style to bring to the art glass studio, but with more customized colors. The one below is from an Etsy seller, and I think it makes the chevron really work without being excessively busy.

Source: flickr.com via Kate on Pinterest

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And now for something completely different. I’ve always been fond of the Glasgow Rose and Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s piece for Hill House is gorgeous. It’s totally not right for what we’re doing to this space, but it’s too pretty not to share. I also leafed through some of Gaudi’s stained glass work, but I couldn’t figure out how you could make it more neutral without losing the essence of the piece, and it’s just too colorful to look right for the palette we have happening in the bathroom.

And with that, my architecture nerd needs a rest, so I can get serious with some glass artists tomorrow!

4 comments on “Inspiration: Prairie-style stained glass

  1. […] as I mentioned in the post on prairie-style stained glass, Tim and I worked with the Franklin Art Glass Studio to create a custom piece to go in the door to […]

  2. […] as I mentioned in the post on prairie-style stained glass, Tim and I worked with the Franklin Art Glass Studio to create a custom piece to go in the door to […]

  3. […] and during the temperate months, the transoms are open all the time. The door to this room has stained glass, though it’s not in great shape, and we’ll probably replace it (and likely get another […]

  4. […] most popular post on Little Bronze Lion in 2012 has been the inspiration round-up of Prairie-style stained glass. I can understand that, I would have loved to run across a single source when I was looking for all […]

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