A unique work consisting of ten fused glass panels for installation in a door, a room divider, or as a “stained glass window” in an outside wall.
We fell in love with this work while we were designing a new home, and intended to install it as an exterior window. For various reasons, that home was never built and although we still love this piece we do not have a place for it in our current home so we are reluctantly offering it for sale.
We will be happy to answer any questions and would love to see this piece installed in your home where it can be fully appreciated.
Painting with Light
Moonlight Series No. 1
Drawing upon the tradition of classical Japanese wood block prints (Ukiyo-e), Michael Leeds creates spectacular decorative glass panels. Painting with light, he pays homage to this art form with his own spontaneous, lyrical edge.
Moonlight Series No 1
A single branch of wisteria blooms in front of a rising moon that casts its light over a shimmering sea. Unframed. Signed. 84" x 28".
This fabulous example of Painting with Light is intended to be used as an installation piece, in a door, wall or room divider.
The piece consists of ten individually crafted panels of sculpted glass which respond magically to the ambient light.
In the 80s, West Coast glass artist Michael Leeds, was working at what was then Bonny Doon Studios and receiving commissions to develop large scale leaded glass "environments." A popular restaurant was conceived as a showcase for the most evolutionary glass of the time, and Leeds work stood out. His designs were inspired by the organic lines of Art Nouveau, with artists such as Gallé and Tiffany, as well as the early 1930s; a time Leeds feels was the pinnacle of the Industrial Revolution's integration with art, as evinced by films like Fritz Lang's, Metropolis and architecture, such as the Chrysler Building in New York.
Leeds continues to imagine new ways to integrate his glass designs into different environments. In the 90s, when serious illness encroached on his day-to-day creativity, he found the resources to continue his work in glass, and in fact, launched himself in yet another direction of captivating imagery.
"Inspired by traditional Japanese wood block prints (Ukiyo-e), I have taken the accumulation of 30-plus years of working in the American art glass tradition into a new mode of expression for myself." Leeds says, "Having been diagnosed with heavy metal poisoning from a lifetime of working as an artist, using lead is no longer an option. I find it interesting that it takes a crisis in our lives to initiate change."
"The recent availability of a full palate of compatible glass allows me to assemble art glass panels free from the tyranny of the lead line. This also accelerates the process tremendously."
"This body of work was produced at Claritas Studios, a world-class facility, where old world technique fuses with cutting edge technology."
Like an intricate jigsaw puzzle of small glass shapes, designs are formed of many separate pieces fused together. No paints or pigments are used. The inlaid pattern shapes must fit within a micro-measure to successfully fuse, an extraordinary feat. Until now, this has never been achieved. But by wedding new technology to the ancient art of glass fusing, at Claritas, Leeds is able to create an historical evolution in art glass.
"My dialogue is basically with the glass, using technique and technology to ‘push the envelope' of what is possible. These glass pieces collect, transmit, and reflect light in unending possibilities depending on the ambient environment."
The fused glass panels of Leeds' are a revelation for any one who has enjoyed the craft of stained-glass, but felt it was perhaps stifled by its lead-lines and church-decor associations.
The luminous colors and motifs of Leeds are as invigorating as an unfurled roll of Japanese silks. The pieces are lush, with winking and shimmering opalescents, and they evoke a sense of meditation befitting the Ukiyo-e works which inspired this recent body of work. And, as inspiring, they celebrate a healthier body back to work.
The work is beautiful during the day, lit by ambient light and infused with sunlight, and at night, lit from behind.