Nasrene MacDonald was born in India and spent her early years being educated (and disciplined!) by Irish nuns at a boarding school in the mountains of northern Pakistan. Later, her diplomat father took her and the family with him to his various postings in such places as Russia and Switzerland. Her education was continued at a boarding school in Bristol, England, and as a young woman she moved to London, where on recommendation she was admitted to the Chelsea School of Art. Nasrene became accomplished in oil painting, doing portraits and still-lifes in the style of the Old Masters, and she also produced many lovely works in pastels. Now, the vast palette of art glass is hers, and she delights particularly in impressionist floral artworks in stained glass appliqué. For many years now, Nasrene has been a naturalized Canadian, with an island studio on Lake Opinicon, Ontario, and her stained glass art often takes inspiration from the beautiful flowers grown and shown by her good friend and neighbor Turid Forsyth, internationally noted photographer and superlative gardener. When Nasrene is not at work in her peaceful studio, she's on a nature hike in the beautiful Canadian woods.
Nasrene delights in creating original and unusual artworks in glass, and still more in the intrigued smiles and generous words her art evokes from friends and strangers alike. Her work has been placed across the U.S. and Canada, and as far away as Bermuda, Mexico, Australia, England, Spain, and Germany.
Q. What is stained glass?
A. Like clear window glass, stained glass is made from silica sand, with additions of lime, soda, and various metal oxides to produce the rainbow of colors -- some is actually made with GOLD! Nowadays, much recycled glass is used in the manufacture of stained glass. Modern stained glass is produced by a small number of manufacturers in an incredible variety of color combinations, internal fabrics, and surface textures. Stained glass ranges from transparent to translucent to opaque; choices for a given stained glass artwork depend on anticipated natural or artificial lighting, and privacy considerations. Stained glass manufacturing is a true art, and the sheets of stained glass, or art glass, are incredibly beautiful in themselves! Click on the manufacturers' links below to see images of their gorgeous art glasses.
Q. Why should I want stained glass art?
A. It is universally acknowledged, and we all know from our own experience, that beautiful things -- sunsets, flowers, works of art -- brighten our lives, raise our spirits, inspire us, and even help to make us physically healthier! Stained glass art brings unfading beauty into your home and office, transforms the atmosphere, and simply MAKES LIFE BETTER -- EVERY DAY! Unlike other art forms, stained glass art radiates the vitality and energy of transmitted light. And stained glass art endures, increasing in value as an appreciating heirloom. At Light Romance, you can commission custom artworks to perfectly suit your tastes in design, colors, and textures -- exclusively for YOU! Express yourself! Our stained glass artworks are absolutely, unconditionally guaranteed to please!
Q. How are stained glass window panels made?
A. We create stained glass panels by the copperfoil method, invented by Louis Comfort Tiffany. A design is conceived in consultation with the client, who normally provides a verbal description of the artwork concept, and often also provides a scanned or downloaded image sent to us by e-mail. We first render the design concept as a computer-generated image, incorporating actual art glass colors and textures; this design prototype is sent by e-mail to the client for further comments and suggestions; the design is sequentially refined in this way until the perfect result is obtained; finally, the design is drawn on paper at production scale, at which time the lines are refined. A rich palette of art glasses is hand-selected, sheet by sheet, to optimize the chosen color scheme represented in the prototype image. Individual pieces are rough-cut from these sheets, in correspondence with discrete sectors of the line drawing, and the edges are ground for a precise fit. A ribbon of overlapping copper foil is applied to the edges of each shaped glass piece. The foiled pieces are laid out on the design pattern, flux is applied to the seams, and the seams are soldered. Zinc framing is soldered to the borders of the piece, and if the panel is to be hung, wire eyes are soldered into the upper corners of the frame. After the residual flux is neutralized and washed off, the soldered seams and framing are patinated (a reagent is applied that turns the metal dark, giving the design definition and bringing out the glass colors and textures). We also create stained glass appliqué artworks, in which the shaped art glass pieces are bonded to a clear glass backing, the seams then filled with grout to provide definition of the design; appliqué pieces, which will weigh as much as 3 lb. per sq. ft., must be framed in sturdy wood for hanging, unless they are designed to fill the insert space inside an existing clear pane. The bonding agent is white when applied, but very slowly cures to clarity over a period of months to years; the whiteness is visible only on the reverse side, and it does not compromise the aesthetics of the artwork viewed from the front. The appliqué technique, which we have pioneered, lends itself to painterly Impressionist effects. Impressionist appliqué is the perfect artwork for light-box display on interior walls, or in your wine cellar! We also create copperfoil artworks incorporating hand-painted glass by the peinture à verre technique, which we have also pioneered.
Q. How can I put stained glass in my windows?
A. Many people choose to hang a stained glass panel in front of a window, just as you would put up a large hanging plant. We supply an unobtrusive black "jack chain" with links that can be opened to produce the desired lengths; sturdy eye screws or hook screws can be obtained at any hardware store, according to the requirements of the woodwork, wall, or ceiling above your window. A typical copperfoil stained glass panel will weigh as much as 2 lbs. per sq. ft. You also can fill the entire window space by inserting a precisely sized stained glass panel inside the existing ordinary window pane; this requires a depth of molding inside the window pane of 1/4" or more to serve as a sill; the panel can be secured with a few ordinary screw-in tabs or similar standard hardware items, depending on the configuration of the moldings; or, the panel can be secured with full stops (e.g., quarter-round). In either case, it is quite easy to put the stained glass up and later remove it.
Q. How can I get a design that I like?
A. Our website shows a wide variety of artworks we have produced for people all across the U.S. and Canada, as well as some purely spontaneous pieces, some of which are available for sale. These are not "stock" designs. We are exceptionally versatile, and we work in all styles. We produce prototype design sketches with our computer software, in color, and send them to you by e-mail for your approval; we'll refine the design until it suits you perfectly. We can also send you by e-mail manufacturers' thumbnail images, and/or our own digital images, of various art glasses we propose to use, for your approval. We invite your active participation in the design phase, and you are welcome to send e-mail sketches, scanned magazine pages, or other graphic material as our starting point. A nonrefundable charge is required for design development after initial consultations, that amount to be deducted from final production charges. Here are examples of our computer-generated prototype designs:
NOTE: The computer-generated prototype design illustrates the artwork CONCEPT, and can't compare with the actual vivacity of the finished stained glass panel. Although we use art glass colors and textures in the prototype, the actual artwork will be different in detail of color and color patterns; every sheet of art glass is unique. WE REFINE BOTH LINE AND COLOR AS WE BUILD THE PIECE, to optimally apply the qualities of the premium art glasses we use, and to achieve the best result. So, don't become fixated on the concept image: there is a metamorphosis between it and the finished artwork, and we don't follow the concept image slavishly.
Q. How much will my stained glass panel cost?
A. We don't have a catalog with prices, because we are not manufacturers and we do not mass-produce anything. Each and every stained glass panel we make is a unique artwork, created to the tastes and specifications of the client. In common with other stained glass studios and artists, time is our largest investment. Our costs increase in proportion with the intricacy of the design (number of glass pieces to be fashioned and joined, and relative difficulty of producing the requisite shapes), with the relative costliness of the selected art glasses (some art glasses are very expensive, and none are cheap), with overall size of the panel or window, and according to the various techniques applied. Typical prices for hanging panels or inserts of 3 to 6 sq. ft. are $600 to $1,200 -- and up. At Light Romance we go the extra mile to create the finest possible artwork commensurate with the client's budget. There is an additional charge for packing and insured shipping.
Q. How and when do I pay, and is it safe?
When you have approved the design and the selection of art glasses, payment is most easily made by check, money order, or PayPal.
Q. How will you get the stained glass panel to me?
A. Normally we send our stained
glass artworks by Priority Mail, securely packed and fully insured, with
delivery confirmation. We may alternatively send them by UPS, insured,
with online tracking number. Larger artworks may be personally delivered, or crated for freight delivery.
Q. What if I don't like the
stained glass artwork after I see it in person?
A. A stained glass artwork ALWAYS
looks much more beautiful in your presence than it does in any computer
image. If you like the image, you will LOVE the actual artwork!
And that's our guarantee! If you are not totally satisfied, you may return the artwork for full refund, including return shipping. To date, exactly 1 artwork -- among hundreds -- has been returned to Light Romance Studios because of customer dissatisfaction, and that piece was later sold to another customer, who was quite pleased with it.
Q. Do you have references?
A. Light Romance is accredited
by the Royal Bank of Canada, American Express, Visa, and MasterCard. Our Internet business is highly rated, and customer comments about us are quoted on our website pages.
But I still have more questions
Ask away! We invite your
e-mail and telephone inquiries. We'll answer all your questions.
Making people happy is what we do!
Q. What if I don't like the stained glass artwork after I see it in person?
A. A stained glass artwork ALWAYS looks much more beautiful in your presence than it does in any computer image. If you like the image, you will LOVE the actual artwork! And that's our guarantee! If you are not totally satisfied, you may return the artwork for full refund, including return shipping. To date, exactly 1 artwork -- among hundreds -- has been returned to Light Romance Studios because of customer dissatisfaction, and that piece was later sold to another customer, who was quite pleased with it.
Q. Do you have references?
A. Light Romance is accredited by the Royal Bank of Canada, American Express, Visa, and MasterCard. Our Internet business is highly rated, and customer comments about us are quoted on our website pages.
But I still have more questions !
Ask away! We invite your e-mail and telephone inquiries. We'll answer all your questions. Making people happy is what we do!
E-mail now for friendly information without obligation:
Two images of an appliqué window panel installed in our own bathroom casement window. The design was inspired by the beautiful stained glass art of Ichiro Tashiro. Left: before grouting. Right: after grouting. The grout defines all the elements and plugs distracting light "leaks". The apparent colors change as the natural backlighting changes through the day, with the weather, and with the seasons. Can you find all three birds? Try [ctrl +] to zoom in for a closer look. For more on the appliqué technique, click on the "Impressionism" link at the bottom of this page. An image link to Ichiro's website can be found near the bottom of our "Oriental" page (click on link below).
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designs copyright Light Romance 1998-2012. Insured shipping additional.
Doing Our Part
Light Romance has donated original stained glass artworks
to fund-raising auctions for these charities and other good causes:
Reach Charity Auction -- Ottawa, Ontario
Free Arts for Abused Children -- Phoenix, Arizona
Arthritis Foundation -- Phoenix, Arizona
National Audubon Society -- Ozark Rivers Chapter
. . . and these PBS television stations:
WNED -- Buffalo, New York
WPBS -- Watertown, New York
WXEL -- West Palm Beach, Florida
Rocky Mountain PBS -- Denver, Colorado
KLVX -- Las Vegas, Nevada
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