Thursday, June 6, 2019

Opening Up My Art to Portland, OR!

On June 15 and 16 I will be showing and selling my artwork at the 2019 Portland Pride Waterfront Festival.

Show times are Sat 12-8pm and Sun 11:30am to 6 pm
I will be in booth M-02

Saturday, May 25, 2019

"Flowing Blue" Completed

Previous post I showed images of colored pieces being beveled.  One of them was for this small panel I was working on.  Beveling the edges of the color really adds dimension and changes the look, as well as changing the way the light flows through.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Effects of Beveling Colored Glass

I am currently working on a glass panel where I am beveling clear glass and then beveling a color piece the shape of the center of the clear bevel and bonding them together.  Beveling color pieces produces some fun results that I want to share with you. 
When beveling colored glass, certain layers of the color is removed which changes the look of the color, lightening it and it also plays with the light more and adds more depth to the piece.  Depending on the type of glass there may be different colors dispersed through the glass or a different color on one layer of the glass sheet.  When beveling this type of glass I find the different colors are revealed or removed on certain layers which gives a very interesting look.  Some color depending on where in the layers it is at will appear in different parts of the bevel.
I am using a blown glass that is a shade of blue with a layer of white opal. When I beveled it the white layer is removed in the bevel revealing the blue underneath the white.

I have enjoyed this process throughout the many years of doing this and it always is a joy to see different results from different types of glass.  In all of the following examples, observe how color in the beveled edged changes, in some cases it becomes lighter, in others different colors that are in different layers of the glass are revealed.
This produces much more interest, light play and depth do the glass.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Response from Client

I received an email from the client whose entryway I had created glasswork for and posted  
previously.  I am very grateful that they are pleased with the outcome  and for the opportunity
to have created it. 
Here is what was said:

"Isaac's work was impeccable. He crafted some glass work for our front door and side
lights that complimented our home beautifully. He completed the work on time and on
budget. Isaac is a true craftsman and professional."

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Restoring Historic Home Entryway

I posted a couple of times showing restoration work in progress on a home built in the early 1900s.  Previous owners had removed the original designed glass panels and put in plain glass in the front door and thermopane windows in the sidelights with the exterior pane of glass being a clear textured glass.  Here is what the entryway looked like before installing the new panels.

In different areas of the home the original glass windows still remain and I wanted to keep the feeling of the original work into the entryway and also adding my own touch to the piece.

Here is the entryway after removing the existing glass and adding in the new panels:

So much better than what was there! It now looks the way the it was intended to be.  I added hand beveled glass and created them in a way that adds more depth, dimension and light play by changing the width of the bevel around the shape.

In looking at the bottom bevels the lower section is narrow and gets wider at the top.  The bevels in the center of the panels are the same width as the widest part on the bottom bevels and the top row of bevels are the reverse from the bottom bevels.  I am very pleased with how these turned out and the clients are ecstatic!

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Enhancing a Family Room Window with Art Glass!

I installed a large stained/architectural glass panel for a residential family room which provides privacy, interest and dynamic light play.  The window faces the street where people walk by, and neighbors can see in when the interior lights are on. They now have the option to leaving the curtains open which they wanted instead of darkening the area by having them closed. The panel flows just beneath the locking  mechanism on the double slider thermopane window so they can unlock and open the slider. I love how the texture plays with the background and the light.

Here is before installing the window:

Here is what is looks like afterward:

Detail shots and of me cleaning the backside of the panel:

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Restoration Project Continued

I have been working on the restoration project that I had posted about previously.  The design compliments the original panels that are throughout the house as well as adding my own touch by adding hand beveled glass with the bevels having different widths to add depth and dimension. I am finishing up the panel for the front door and will begin the sidelight windows soon.

The bottom bevels have the narrow part on the bottom with the widest part leading to the center.  The center bevels have the widest bevels and the top is opposite of the bottom so that all the widest part of the bevels lead to the center. I am using zinc came for stability just as the rest of the windows were fabricated in the 1920s.  

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Commissioned Painting, A Learning Experience

I was approached by someone who really liked my painting style and had an idea for Japanese Maple leaves flowing within a certain dimension.  I was apprehensive at first because I don't do commissions for painting because of what the person has in mind and what I as an artist has in mind are always going to be different.  
I started out with the flowing leaves as follows.

Next was to work on the background.  The client's thought was to have the concept of Autumn sky, clouds all flowing along with the leaves.  I was imagining a lighter and airier blue flowing with implied cloud feel. I felt that since I did all the detail in the leaves with the technique I use the background should not be too heavy. To achieve this I used watercolor instead of oil paint as follows:
I took a good picture and added black to represent a frame.  I liked the flow of the blue and how some color was scattered around to give a light, airy feel to it along with leaving white for cloud feel.  The client was not happy, he wanted more color such as green.  I was definitely confused at this point since the original concept was Autumn sky and cloud feel.  I obliged and used green watercolor scattered around and flowing nicely with the blue.  Client was still not happy.  Apparently, they like my other paintings where I use a lot of bright color and more color.  
I then proceeded to use oil for the background still sticking to the concept.  I split the background design into 5 sections and added green.  I also designed it like I do my glasswork to tie that in. Here is the painting in process, if you look closely in the area yet to paint over, the green that I added earlier can be seen.

Here is the completed painting. 
I do like how it came together.  The colors work well together, the leaves pop out.  I like both the original concept as well as the final.  I don't think I would do this again just because of the difficulty of trying to paint something the way the client imagines it.  I find that as the years pass and the different things I experience or are going through really changes the way I see things and the way I may paint.  The only way I think I would do this is with the total understanding that the way I am painting at that moment may be different than what has been and have a signed contract stating as much.   Otherwise, I will stick to the glasswork being commissioned as it is much easier to give the client a good idea as to what it will look like. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

My Mission as an artist

I have been reading how important it is to have a mission statement so have written and revised a statement which I think sums up what I am doing.

My mission:
To nourish your soul through the enrichment of your surroundings with the use of customized and intentioned light, color and movement.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Restoration Project

This month I am working on a couple of projects, one is a restoration project for an entryway.  The house is a historic home and the client wants to have leaded glass windows put back into the front door and sidelights.  The original ones were taken out years ago. There are other windows throughout the house that still have the leaded glass windows and I will be creating a design for the entryway that will be similar to the other windows.
Here are a couple of pictures of the front door and of a window with the leaded glass design.

I will post the progress once I am fabricating the panels.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Stained Glass Replace Thermopane?

A question that comes up quite frequently is "Does the stained glass replace my window?" so I thought I would discuss it here.  

Historically, stained glass was the existing window and I guess this is still in people's minds. Stained glass is either installed up against the existing thermopane (double pane) window, sandwiched between tempered glass and made into a window unit, or it is suspended in front of the window.  Depending on the window frame will determine how it is installed.  There are different clips to hold it in, wood trim can be used, using silicone, or suspending it in place are all different ways to install the panel.  

The big reason for not having the stained glass be the existing window any more is that it is not energy efficient.  Lots of heat loss in the winter and allows too much heat in the summer.  Another reason is safety. There have been building codes for several decades about stained glass and in some cases such as doors they have to be sandwiched between tempered glass.  The codes vary depending on where you live in the country but for the most part they are pretty standard.  

I hope this helps in understanding the basic idea of installing stained glass.  Feel free to ask any questions regarding this.


Thursday, November 8, 2018

Artist Studio Tour

Just finished up the Clark County Artist Studio Tour this last weekend.  I enjoyed meeting and talking with a lot of visitors about my work and what I am doing differently.  It was fun seeing new and familiar faces. The first image is gathering the artwork and setting up for the tour.

Friday, October 26, 2018

"Circular Movement" completed!

The glass panel "Circular Movement" is now completed.  I am very pleased with the results, it is dynamic, lots of light play, fluid.  

This is entirely made up of hand beveled clear glass with colored beveled glass bonded on top of the clear bevels. The top picture has trees in the background and shows the colors a little darker than they actually are. The bevels really pick up the background textures and colors nicely.  Lots of movement!
This panel is 12 3/8" tall by 9 1/4" wide. Contact me for pricing and if it is still available at

Monday, October 22, 2018

Bonding Colored Glass onto Clear Bevels of "Circular Movement"

The following is some of the progress on bonding beveled colored glass onto the clear bevels of the glass panel "Circular Movement". 

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Continuing progress of "Circular Movement"

I have completed fabricating the panel and beveling the color pieces that will be bonded on top of the clear bevels.

I find it difficult to get a good photo image of the colored glass, the colors are not accurate.  Once they are bonded on top of the clear bevels I can get a picture with natural light and the colors will be closer to what they actually are.  

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Transom Stained Glass Window Enlivens Entry Way!

A few months ago I had installed a transom window into a client's home.  They loved the window, how the bevels really captured the light, how it flowed nicely in the space. This is the panel which I had shared in an earlier post.

A couple of weeks ago I received this email from them:

"Regarding our transom window that you created for us:

We love our transom window (as do our neighbors!). We continue to see 
more and more 'movement' in the glass depending on the time of day as 
the light is changing from summer to fall. We are so pleased with the 
beauty it has brought to our home.  It has enlivened a former neutral 
space. We enjoy looking at it everyday!

Hope you are doing well,
Val Hambley and Kenn Wong"

I am so pleased that they are seeing something new in it as the seasons change. That is 
one things that I plan on when designing for a space and types of glass to use.
I hope this inspires you as to what you can do for your home and office.  

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

"Circular Movement" work in progress

I have been working on a smaller glass panel titled "Circular Movement". Here is some of the progress with the bevels and piecing together.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Standard Glass Bevel compared to an Isaac Smith Bevel

I would like to explain a bit more about standard bevels and the bevels that I have been producing in my artwork.  
The following is a pic of a design that I am working on.  In the image on the left I drew out the bevels using  3/8 inch width . As the image shows the width is the same all around the shape on all bevels.  The design on the right shows the width of the bevels changing.  The left design looks nice but is flat as a whole.  I found that by changing the width there is much more depth and movement throughout the piece.  

The following 2 images shows a standard bevel where the width is the same all around the shape and a bevel that I am working on for this design which shows the width widens or narrows in different areas around the shape.

This is one thing that distinguishes my work from other glass artist's work.  I have created more depth, movement and light play throughout my designs which in turn adds so much more to a piece of art for your home. 

Monday, August 27, 2018

Other Inspiration for my Designs- The Human form

I use the human form to express different emotions or expressions.  The form is very expressive in the way it moves, is posed.  Either the whole figure of just parts are very inspiring for me in painting and glass design.