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Stained Glass Minute (Volume III)

Frank Lloyd Wright and Autopilot


Frank Lloyd Wright has always been my favorite stained glass artist. It's a wonder I'm not in jail. And now you're asking yourself what these two things have in common...

The waterfall at Falling Water by Frank Lloyd Wright
Falling Water - Frank Lloyd Wright

Just over a hundred years ago, there was this architect from Wisconsin doing incredible things all over the world. He was using his immaculate skills of design to incorporate nature with his manmade structures. You may be familiar with "Falling Water", a house built, quite literally, over a waterfall. His constructions not only contained interior zen gardens and natural light but also wide-span casement stained glass windows that showed off those landscaping marvels. These added a little gentle pizazz to the room.

Gibbons House Design - Frank Lloyd Wright
Gibbons House Design - Frank Lloyd Wright

His use of straight lines and crazy angles just speaks to my soul. I was 19 and had been making leaded windows (the other method of stained glass) for just a few months. I loved his work. So, when I found myself in Atlanta with a free afternoon just one Marta stop away from an art museum that had, you guessed it, an FLW stained glass window on display, I had to go.


The window was a rather small one from the Avery Coonley house. I stood before for it no less than 10 minutes; analyzing the cuts, the perfection of the leading, the little pops of color in an otherwise clear window, oh.... and what's this... well we can't just leave this little blob of excess solder there can we.


– Pick –


Freeze.


Oh my.


Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, I was so “in the zone” at that moment that I, barely two years into my apprenticeships, had just taken my godforsaken pinky nail and picked a little solder blob off a historical stained glass window. Not just any historical stained glass window either. No, I'd picked it off of a Frank Lloyd Wright stained glass window.


Because I was on autopilot.

Clerestory windows from Avery Coonley Playhouse - Frank Lloyd Wright
Clerestory windows from Avery Coonley Playhouse - Frank Lloyd Wright

I stood there... hand still poised in the air... waiting for some alarm to go off. And when it didn't... while relieved, I was also a bit pissed. What, this window didn't deserve that protection? As I beat feet out of there, I endeavored to not be quite so stupid again. And I haven't... mostly.


If you want to know more about my fave, FLW, check out this website.

https://flwright.org/explore/frank-lloyd-wrights-leaded-glass


Stay Glassy,

Leia Powell

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