Gem Windows

The Clear Lake Art Center presents Gem Windows new glasswork by Tilda Brown Swanson. The exhibition opens Tuesday, November 9, and will be on view in the Hanson Gallery through Saturday, December 13. This exhibition was made possible through a grant from the Hanson Family Foundation and through a generous gift from Circle of Giving members Jane and Eric Fogg.

In this series, Tilda Brown Swanson works within traditional gothic rose window structures to explore a wide variety of images surrounded by greenery wanting to show the beauty coming out of and going beyond the traditional structures and surrounding them with growth.

Tilda said, “During the pandemic, I was drawn to gothic-style rose windows. Placed high and illuminated naturally, their structured and traditional beauty inspired and calmed me. As a person overcoming past trauma, I do not seek to display those experiences in my work. I do not want others to feel aspects of my past life. We all have enough heartache and grief, especially in the past year. Instead, I want to draw myself and others into the beauty of glass and find sanctuary and healing there. “

To create these fine art windows, layers of flat and powdered glass explores lighting, color, and moments of beauty seen in the natural world. For some of the repeated patterns, she designs and cuts her own stencils. She heats the layered glass 8-10 times over many weeks to build the imagery, color, and depth of a piece. Tilda also said, “ I love to work in glass because the color is it’s most vibrant with light shining through it. My designs become separate entities with their own distinctive look with each firing.”

Tilda Brown Swanson has been working in glass for over 30 years. Building on her two-year apprenticeship with Narcissus Quagliata and with Judith Schaechter, Stephen Paul Day, and Klaus Mojé in sessions at Pilchuck Glass School, she began fusing glass in 1994. Her work is in private and corporate collections in the US, UK, and Gibraltar.