Perspectives by Andy O’Brien
Andy in front of a covered bridge in Vermont, USA

Perspectives by Andy O’Brien

A native Texan, in 1967 our family moved from a sheltered, suburban Houstonian life, to the vibrant, counter-culture world of the San Francisco Bay Area, where I vicariously experienced all the frenetic psychedelia that was a part of those times. This was my first understanding of what culture shock meant to one’s experiential perspective on life. I may have been too young to take part in the revolution of the day, but I was old enough to appreciate a whole new perspective on the world about me.

A decade later, after college in Sacramento, another fresh perspective was invited into my life as I moved to Ireland, on a one-way ticket, with citizenship papers and $300 in my pocket. And no plan, but to adventure.

After a year working and living in Dublin, where I not only worked in catering but also had fun as an extra in a couple of movies and tv commercials, I moved on to the eclectic Brixton, London, where I lived for all of the 80’s. Again, travel and a variety of work opened new cultural insights for me, broadening my world perspective as I lived half of those years in a squatter’s community of artists, misfits, and black sheep from all around the world.

From there I enrolled in my first stained glass course, offered as a once-a-week adult-ed class. Myself, then a long-haired hippie (yes, the 60’s finally caught up to me), in a class full of young women sharing stories of motherhood and child antics, I was the misfit. When our stained glass teacher stated that you could not cut right angles in glass, I made my first lamp, replete with right angles. Later, when she assigned a straight line only project, I created a starburst in glass, but with a circle in the center of the design, made out of adjoining straight lines…. Still the ever misfit.

After an exciting 12 years in London, I returned to the states, having connected up with a Native American artist who was part owner of a gallery in Hartford, Ct. I then set up the next incarnation of my glass business in the Colt building, which had been transformed from the historic firearms manufacturing factory into a community of artists and small business entrepreneurs.

It was for one of the business partners of this West Hartford gallery that I designed and created the window shown here, “The Wave”.

The Wave

This window was commissioned as a set for a pass-through between a dining room and kitchen. Based upon Hokusai’s “Tsunami”, I considered it as a “translation” from wood to glass, as the elements of the waves, clouds, and sky were broken down into random pixels of shapes and colors that related to the original design, without precisely following the lines of the woodblock print. To mimic the splashes of the waves, holes were drilled in various pieces and glass nuggets were inserted. Much use was made of various clear textured glass for light, as it is an internal window between two rooms. A combination of 1” and 6” bevels frame the series. The window was done in copper tape, rather than lead, due to the intricacies of the cuts and is approximately 34” x 52”.

Whilst living there in Connecticut, and working at the gallery, I met my partner. We were joined in one of the very early Civil Unions, then I returned to school and earned a BA in Business and an Associates degree in Mortuary Science, then joined him as a fellow funeral director, working across the street from that gallery. However, life in Hartford eventually grew to resemble my tsunami window, and our world became a turbulent sea. So, he and I left Connecticut for calmer waters and greener pastures, landing in southern Vermont. There, we had stalls in a couple of Farmers and Flea Markets, primarily selling 3D stained glass mobiles and colorfully unique glass wind chimes. That was fun!

Sadly, a few years into southern Vermont, my partner of 15 years passed away, the same month I was accepted to Vermont Law School. Had that worked out, I’d probably be shuffling paper instead of cutting glass.

Now I’ve resettled a bit further north in Vermont, in the heart of The Mad River Valley, where I have resurfaced yet again, this time as The Luminous Moose. Here I have windows, mobiles, chimes and my new line, The Friendship Compass Stars, retailing in numerous local businesses. Any day now I will be installing my latest window, “Pi”, which is an homage to Einstein, Hawking and Tesla, and their own insightful influences on our collective perspective of existence, as this one giant family of misfits and black sheep we refer to as humanity in a sea of dark matter.

The glass is what keeps me going, keeps me sane, and has been my one constant companion through a myriad of friends, travels, places, and jobs. Through the glass, I internally process and study my continually evolving perspectives, and grow. Through my glass, I make my own small contribution and build my personal legacy. Through my glass, I say thank you, for this exciting life. Ups and downs, it’s just like the waves!

 

Stained Glass Gallery

 

I invite you to visit, like and share my website… www.LuminousMoose.Glass

Thank you Tripoart readers!

 

 

 

 

Charles DuFont

Creator of Tripoart, the best art promotion site!

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