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About Jim

Hi, I'm Jim, the artisan behind Bee Tree Glass: Growing up, I was always enamored with theatre and by drawing and painting and was encouraged by teachers in elementary, high school and then, college. In the late ‘80s, I passed a store front of a local stained glass artist. I knew two kinds of stained glass: church windows and Tiffany lamp shades, both of which were way too ritzy and expensive to be the kind of stuff this little shop, on an out-of-the-way Baltimore street, could be dealing in.... more

Eclectic Mix: Commissions and Pieces from the "Hobby" days

Selections of commissions and some of my favorite pieces from those olden days.

  • Pointsettias, 2012

    As a fun and colorful way to decorate for the holidays, I designed this window hanging piece. Size: 7.5W x 7H inches.
  • Her First Pony, 2011

    This recent commission was for a woman whose charge had just competed in her first riding competition at the girl's riding school. She had won a big red ribbon for her riding skill and was absolutely in love with the pony she had been assigned by the school. My client sent me two cell phone photos she had taken and requested a panel like the one on my business card (The stream Wader), as a Christmas gift for the girl. Size: 10W x 12H inches.
  • The Mt Airy Window, 2012

    A recent commission for a woman who had always wanted a colorful stained glass piece to hang in the four foot square window on her stair landing. To keep one's footing there still had to be light coming in. But she was tired of her stair carpeting fading every couple of years with all the direct morning sunlight. Size: 4 foot square.
  • Understory Terrarium, 1993

    Made as a gift to a grower of under story plants, ferns and mosses from the South American rain forests. Size: 14L x 6W x 13H inches.
  • Serengeti Rhino Box, 1992 appox.

    One of my first commissions, this box was ordered by a co-worker of mine who wanted something special for her best friend from high school. Her friend was graduating from college having spent two semesters in the Serengeti studying the peoples, the flora and the fauna. Of which, the Rhino was her new passion. The gift had to be something the played to her friend's new found interests. Size: 12L x 8W x 4H inches.
  • The reader in the Woods, 1998

    This city kid sitting under a tree reading? Yup. We had recently moved out to the country, up near the Bee Tree stream in northern Baltimore County. I had to make a small token to celebrate my first episode of "enjoying nature". Size: 8 dia. inches.
  • Window Shutters, 1992

    These were built to let the Baltimore setting sun in to light up the dining room table. Even if the neighbor's bedroom windows were ten foot or so right outside the the dining room windows. Appox,size: 40H x 28.5W inches, (each window).
  • Ivy Skylight, 1989

    We needed a replacement for the plant lights' plastic grates, when the crew that was fixing up our Butchershill townhouse said they had to move the doorway from over here, to over there where your plants are to make the kitchen layout work. So I made us a skylight. Size: 5L X 3.5W tapered to 1.25W feet.
  • Burst, 1978

    Before I knew about making stained glass, this is how I amused myself up in my unfinished New York loft. All I had to play with were scraps of wood. This was my dinner table, until my neighbor, a student at Parson's Art, said "Man that should be hanging on a wall not collecting spilt spaghetti sauce!" Size: 4 foot dia.

Buckskin Horse Panels

Designed for hanging in a window to allow outside light to fire the stained glass with its translucent colors. But, in the evenings, when the panel is lit by room light, and seen only with its surface coloring, it must still tell the same story as when its back lit.
Constructed using the Tiffany foil and solder method.
Each make uses the same basic design but using different glass colorings, making very unique versions of the panel.
Panels 10.5" x 15".

  • Buckskin Horse #1,

    Stained glass panel for window hanging. Idea for glass selection was early spring. Size: 10.5W x 15H inches.
  • Buckskin Horse #2

    Stained glass panel for window hanging. Glass selected for a feeling of early fall. Size: 10.5W x 15H inches.
  • Buckskin Horse #3

    Stained glass panel for window hanging. Glass selected for the neck wanted this to be a little 'uppity' horse. Size: 10.5W x 15H inches.
  • Buckskin Horse #4

    Stained glass panel for window hanging. An impending storm was the glass chosen for this make. Size: 10.5W x 15H inches.

The Stream Waders

A lone horse, away from the rest of the herd, wanders through the woods.
By wading down the center of the stream, no scent trail is left for predators to follow.
The background noises in the forest, are rich sources of information: the easy chatter of routine activity, the gusting winds of an impending storm, the ordinary water babble over rocks and stones, or a quiet, little hiss at the eddy just ahead suggesting a slippery falloff to be avoided.
And then, there are the smells...
This is the normal day-to-day existence of a wild horse. This is what I tried to capture in my stained glass mosaic panel, "The Stream Wader".

The mosaic is mounted on double strength clear glass to enable full back lighting when hanging in a window. I built the piece on a lighttable so that I could select each glass piece by checking its colorings and patterns lit from the front with the room's light or, with a flick of a switch, with the backlight coming up through the lighttable's safety glass worksurface.

Although the basic design pattern is used for each make, there is no copying or cloning. Instead, each will be a unique version of the pattern. For each make, once I've chosen and cut the first couple of pieces of glass, it has become a "version" and has begun to develope its individuality, which I usually chose to follow. If not, I will recut those starting pieces and begin the make over again.
Piece is 13" x 15"

Boxes with Decorated lids of Mosaic Stained Glass

Making boxes originated as work for a Garden Club show with the Octagonal wildflower pieces. The process of decorating the lid with painted mosaics traveled down to square boxes with hinged lids. Some designs traveled down also, very nicely. All designs detailed using 'cold glass' paints.

Granny Steamer Trunk Chests

When I was puzzling a design for a new set of boxes, I suddenly remembered a little business card box I had made for a commission back in the 1990's. That was based on a trunk I had seen, and still remembered, at the foot of my grandparents' bed in their Astoria, New York apartment when I was five years old. It was one of the two chests my grandmother's family were allowed, when as a child, her family sailed from Ireland for New York. She said that her mother had given it to her as a wedding present and as a remembrance of her ties to her family here and back in Ireland. Her steamer trunk became the design of my latest line of boxes. I have put up a sampling of this project.

  • Work in progress....

    So far, the glass has been cut for this version of the Granny Jewelry Chest and the front pieces of that glass have been painted and kiln fired. I have 'photoshopped' them into the metalwork outline of the other Granny Chest to show what it will look like. FYI: after the successful painting work on the Predator mosaic, I told my wife I was ready to move from 'cold glass' paints to 'warm glass' paints--but that would mean I needed to get a kiln. And I reminded her, "after all, it is my 65th birthday coming up...". I got a kiln.
  • Granny Jewelry Chest

    It uses the streaky colors fired into the stained glass during manufactoring, as the main visual feature running continuousely up the front, over the top and then down the back of the body of the piece. On the Jewelry Chest line, this streaky coloration is then given a sharp kick by the edging and side glass that while still complimentary to it, is in a strikingly contrasting shade.
  • Granny Steamer Catch-alls

    These are the four color versions made so far. This piece is intended as attractive addition to any table, shelf, desk or dresser. With the added benefit of its ability to provide a handy place to toss all those must have, handy items. Size: 6.5L x 4.5W x 4.5H inches.
  • 2 Granny Card Cases: Original and 2nd Make

    The original was a gift for a realtor whose motto on her card was 'Pack Your Bags". I remembered my granny's steamer trunk which would have perfect proportions for a business card case. Then many years later someone browsing through my web site, saw pictures of that box & commissioned a remake as a gift for an old college chum. Size: 3.75L x 2.25W x 2.25H inches.
  • Granny Steamer Trunk Series

    The series consists -so far- of 3 types of boxes: the business card case, The desk top Catch-All and the Jewelry Chest. All three use the same basic design of straight-up bottoms and a 5 piece arched top.

The Predator of the Amazon

From deep in the rain forests of South America and up through the hot south-western states of the USA, the jaguar hunts. The top of the food chain in the Americas, this creature hunts the trees for monkeys, the rivers for fish and turtles and everywhere in between for everything in between.
In Africa it is the lion, but in the Americas, the jaguar is king of beasts.

The story of this piece begins with a photograph of a jaguar perched on a rock in a zoo. The locale was typical zoo, but that cat was startling. It was staring back at the photographer--i.e. we the onlookers--and without flexing a muscle of its face, its look said,
"mmm...lunch".

In searching the internet for info on the cat, I was captivated by the idea of the lush, dark rain forest that is one of its favorite homes. The dense and towering foliage, insures a world of darkness with just the occasional ray of light penetrating to the forest floor--even on the brightest days. I also assembled multiple photos of jaguars in multiple poses, and used them to come to know the cat's coloring, the turn of the muscles beneath its coat, and the stances the cat would take in various situations. From this I built my jag, in my pose, in my ethereal rain forest.

Wall hanging stained glass mosaic with 'cold glass' painting, Size: 14.5W x 24.75H inches.

Poseidon Oceanus, a stained glass box

Oceanus, the enormous river of oceans encircling the earth, was the realm ruled by Poseidon. This box celebrates his thalassocracy--his mastery of the seas. But that story involves all the roiling waters of the earth: crashing waves, thermal currents, rip tides and undertows. The waters of the oceans are not smooth and calm, but constantly in motion both uniform and opposed. That is the text of the story this piece relates.

The box is constructed of opalescent glass in the Tiffany style of foil and leaded solder.
The portrait of Poseidon was painted and kiln-fired.

The box measures appx. 8" x 6" x 3.5" (203.2 mm x 152.38 mm x 88.89 mm).

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