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Modern interpretation of ancient art form installed at Seventh-day Adventist Church

Post Time:Mar 12,2012Classify:Industry NewsView:289

When a new Seventh-day Adventist congregation decided to add a contemplative and inspiring element to their modest church on Chattanooga's Southside, they commissioned local stained glass artist Todd Grafe to create a modern, nontraditional work to be a focal point.

 

Grafe took his inspiration for the three-panel installation from the name of the church, The Well, tto design the piece that represents water moving across each panel. Ripples reflect on the wall behind the suspended installation, underscoring the motif.

 

The artist is inspired by the shapes, patterns and textures in nature and said he likes to spend time at museums and looking at other artists, working to stay familiar with trends and design ideas.

 

"Design is one of the harder parts, but once I cut the first piece of glass, things move along pretty quickly," he said.

 China Glass Network

The original art created for the church took Grafe about eight weeks to make and includes more than 200 individually cut pieces of glass, including five antique handmade red rondelles from Germany.

 

"They have been in my family for about 30 years. I don't usually use them in projects. I tend to keep them for myself. This was a special project," Grafe said.

 

Grafe has been working with glass since he was 12 years old, getting his start at the family business, Grafe Stained Glass.

 

He pursued an art education in college until he received a piece of advice from a professor that changed his course.

 

"He told me, 'What are you doing here in an art class when you already do art and already make a living at it? What you need to do is focus on making stuff and get out there and do your thing,'" Grafe recalled.

 

Twenty years later, the artist still finds ways to express himself with the thousand-year-old medium, working as a full-time artist at his own studio, Grafe Glass, located in St. Elmo.

 

Grafe's work includes restoration of old stained glass windows and commissions for contemporary original art. He said he enjoyed collaborating with the Southside church to come up with something that they both liked.

 

"The part I like best is I start with a blank piece of paper and end up with what we have [at the church] today," he said.

 

His work can also be seen at the Whole Foods store in North Chattanooga as well as in many private homes all over the Tennessee and Georgia area.

Source: www.nooga.comAuthor: shangyi

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