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GGW "e" Vignettes                          Vol. XIX No.1                                       June 2015

We're back!
And no we haven't forgotten about you! There have been many inquiries about the whereabouts of the GGW Vignettes, some feeling like they have been forgotten or removed from the mailing list. I am so grateful for all my followers; this will ease your worries. Gong Glass Works is happy to announce that it has been booming over here with new and exciting projects the past few years – unfortunately this led to a bit of a hiatus for the GGW Vignettes. Here is the latest issue to update all you loyal Gong Glass Works fans and those of you just getting to know the studio, with all that has kept us from you for so long.
I hope you enjoy the newsletter,

In This Issue

Recent Works  •  Between Then & Now  •  Doings Credits & Kudos
Up & Coming  •  Care of Your Artwork  • For Your Information


Recent Works

Current Exhibit: Bringing A Design To Life

TeloMeMitoWho | 2015 | Laminated, etched, chipped, painted glass | 30"w x 18"h

TeloMeMitoWho is a prototype for an architectural art glass installation originally designed for a potential commission in a hospital boardroom.  Designed to inform viewers with a broader concept of what health evolves around; it depicts the exploration of life-cells and the breadth of information they carry with them. The design takes an abstract microscopic view of various types of cells and the structures within them.

Viscous structural elements of cells like mitochondrion, the main energy source of a cell and how vital that is, telomeres and how they are said to be indicators of health as protectors of chromosomes along with DNA and ribosomes – narrating the orchestrated flow of how all the parts function within and for the whole of the cell.  Having barely passing science and lab classes in school, I find the forms of all these elements and how they co-exist to have a profound beauty.

The design remained un-titled until this past April when this un-built design had been selected for the American Glass Guild’s 


TeloMeMitoWho (detail) | 2015 | Laminated, etched, chipped, painted glass.

Juried Exhibition America Glass Now 2015. I chose to create a modified version of the original design, smaller in scale for a more accessible fine art approach. Lured by the process of laminated glass and its sleek contemporary aesthetic, I find that laminated mouth-blown sheet glass has a language of it’s own that cannot be attained with traditional leaded glass. Combining the unique characteristics of mouth-blown sheet glass, building up to four layers of glass with eight different surfaces to layer colors and develop imagery on conjures up visions of a fluid specimen viewed through a microscope. The images within are etched, chipped, carved, painted and gilded on the front and back surfaces of one of 6-8 layers of glass before being laminated together.  The laminated glass process supports and enhances this design allowing me to create a more fluid, dimensional, bright and modern aesthetic.
The Fourth Annual Juried Show American Glass Now: 2015 is at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, DC from May 1 – July 31, 2015 7th floor. You can find more information about the exhibit and the jurors by visiting You can also preview and purchase the catalog here.

Alma Matter: Commission for Brighton High School's New Library

Adventure of Knowledge, 2015, design sketch

Adventure of Knowledge is a project that was recently completed by Gong Glass Works, commissioned by the Brighton High Schools Alumni Association (BSAA). Pete Heinrich, Co-Chair of BSAA first contacted me inquiring if I would be interested in designing a “not your usual” memorial window for the school library that would honor one of BHS’s distinguished alumni, Henry “Pete” French. Pete Heinrich thought my connection to the school as an alumni (Inducted into the School’s Alumni Hall of Fame 2013, Class of ’74) and the fact that I am "a professional artist would make me an ideal and fitting partner for sake of the mission of the association." Of course, I was honored to accept.

Pete French was dedicated to enhancing the Brighton High School educational experience and was also the founding co-chairman of Brighton School Alumni Association, BSAA. His commitments to the school and community of Brighton made an extraordinary impact on the quality of education and student / faculty relations during his time at BHS continuing thereafter. Pete French passed in 2012. BSAA's goal was to honor his adventurous influence on education in a way that future generations could relate to. The BHS Library Media Center has been dedicated in his name, due to his explicit fondness of the program. 

Brighton High School

The design of the memorial window for Pete French resulted in design input from Mary Goldman, Interior Designer, BSAA including Bev French, Pete's wife, Mike Leinor, BHS Assistant VP, Library, Art Department, Facility and other BHS staff, students and others. The window depicts elements that reference Pete French's journey in life, working in BHS, his love of teaching, history, politics and his passion for Asian and European cultures. The glass is etched and chipped with various textures to render the images. Lit by LED lights , the blue color replicates on of the school colors. The style of the design, images and use of light technologies are meant to establish a forward thinking lasting impression on students for generations to come.

"Knowledge is an unending adventure at the edge of uncertainty." Jacob Bronowski is etched along the path in the design. "Adventure of Knowledge" is a part of the larger initiative to honor Pete French which includes the redesigning and refurbishing of the media center to better reflect today's students needs making it more user friendly with a contemporary atmosphere.
I would like to take a moment to honor Pete Heinrich who passed away earlier this year before the design was completed. My relationship with Pete goes way back in my career. He made his mark as a respectable restauranteur and humble, but proud owner of the property where the Daisy Flour Mill is home which he and his cousin Jon Heinrich were responsible for opening. He commissioned me to design windows for the entrance of the Daisy Flour Mill, an abandoned flour mill turned restaurant when it first opened. Today you can still find those windows at the Daisy Flour Mill, no longer owned by the Heinrichs and now a catering facility. I rented the flour miller's house from Pete where I set up my third studio - if you count the studio I set up in my bedroom at my parents house. I cut glass and soldered in that first bedroom studio! At the flour mill location, I used the dinning room as my working space and sandblasted in the grungy dirt basement. It wasn't heaven. Pete caught wind that I was using that extremely raw under-space and offered to let me sandblast in the open barn like garage. Later he purchased a fine Corvette that needed to be stored in the garage so again, Pete graciously offered to build me a lean-to off the side of the garage. A few years later he and Jon built the Lodge at Woodcliff, a hotel, restaurant and conference center. Pete commissioned several carved and etched glass works for various locations within the center. What a great landlord, a great friend, client and man. Peter was always happy with a great sense of humor. It was infectious. Pete was like that. it was always fun to work with Pete. I want to thank Pete Heinrich and members of BSAA for thinking of me to be a part of this project for my alma matter in an important, impactful and lasting way.

Transforming Space With Glass, Light & Color

Fermata Rapture | 2014 | Laminated, Chipped, Etched, Painted Glass with Jewels. | Private Residence

Fermata Rapture, 2014: Imagine vibrant, dimensional mouth-blown sheet glass gracing a window or building facade without the restrictions of lead. Imagine fine layers of textured glass creating patterns of light and shadow that change with each hour and season—preserving the grandeur of stained glass while imparting a bright, modern energy. This effect is made possible by a recent method of manipulating glass to create laminated glass. In the December 2011 issue of E-Vignettes, I shared a little information about color-laminated glass. The process has been most commonly used in Europe for nearly 30 years. The use of laminated glass has recently made its debut in the United States through the very few artists, including myself, who have incorporated this technique into their work.
The Gong studio introduced laminated art glass typically fabricated in Europe with an installation in Rochester, NY. Ray and Judy Ricker of Perinton, NY commissioned this piece to bring personal interests to the design of their home in a unique and colorful way. Their love of music, nature and various cultures helped to shape the foundation for art glass using bold color and abstracted patterns to further enhance the feel of their home. The front entry was replaced with a wider sidelight from Morse Sash & Door to one side designed to be in harmony with the contemporary architecture. 
The design comes alive as the viewer moves through the entry and colored glass catches the light – this is a beautiful way to bring any space alive, weaving up to six layers of painted and etched glass into one striking work of art. Utilizing Lambert's mouth-blown, hand-rolled antique sheet glass laminated to tempered float glass, the colored glass is selectively hand cut into specific patterns. Etched and painted art glass is then laminated, using a fluid two part silicone that is similar to what is used in solar panels. The laminated glass is sustainable interior or exterior installations and is able to withstand extreme desert and subzero temperatures. Combined, the factors allow for greater design flexibility and application possibilities for both architectural and fine art glass. A line of large scale colored contemporary glass art screens for permanent outdoor installations and indoor spaces is in the works. Laminated glass provides  a creative way to bring color to high-traffic areas that are easy to clean. The approach eliminates the structural design limitations with traditional leaded glass, and can be used for anything from large glass building facades to windows, doors, sculptures and tabletops. Creating with laminated glass is akin to painting with light.
Ray and Judy pass through this part of the house throughout the day. “The interesting thing is that it looks different depending on the time of day and the weather outside,” says Ray Ricker. Every now and then Judy checks in, this time in May: “Very concentrated colors early, and then an explosion. Maybe 5:00. . . It brings our space alive.”the colors from the windows keep changing and are incredible! They bounce across ceilings, walls, floors, and even into the lower lever. Very different than even a month ago. It starts slowly before noon, and is still going on at almost 7:30. The colors go from intense to diffused. Glad we happened to have this south-western exposure! We never expected this as a bi-product of your beautiful windows."

You can find out more about Fermata Rapture by visiting my website and by reading this article in Rochester Business Journal's Small Business section.

Between Then & Now


         Before                                                                                After

Tibet | 2013 | leaded & laminated, etched & painted mouth-blown antique sheet glass | 3 windows approx. 30"w x 14"h ea. | Private residence.

"Tibet has become very important to me as a way of transcending the particulars of my experiences, and situating them in eternal cycles of life and death. If I'm going too fast, I stop and gaze at the mandala, and slow down. The prayer flags stretch from the immediacy of the mandala to the distant mountains, and draw me out of myself. They just flap away. I could spend the day watching the colors change with the day's light, but as you know, one has to do get the laundry done." - Mary Lou Boynton


Association For The Blind And Visually Impaired (ABVI); Donor Wall

  Photographs: Chris Maggio, Bottom Close-Ups: Nancy Gong
Smalti Mosaic

Designed for sighted and low vision visitors and staff, a bold donor wall designed with UltraGlas® features the organization's logo and honors ABVI donors. A timeless smalti mosaic warms and adds a dynamic earthy design element that glistens like water and welcomes everyone to the center.

War Bride

War Bride | 2013 | Etched and painted, multiple layered laminated dichroic glass. 22"w x 20"h 

War Bride’s main feature – the long dress, or cheng sam is a link to Juane Quick-to-See Smith’s art that focuses on the Native American women’s experiences. War Bride is close to home in that it is my mother’ s story of life in the east, then west. This story of her journey was exhibited at the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, NY as part of “Art Reflected 1923-2013.”
Learn more about War Bride on our website.

Doing's, Credits & Kudos

American Glass Now: 2015 Invitation
May 1- July 31, 2015
Washington National Cathedral
Washington, DC
*Featuring the most recent work of Nancy Gong - TeloMeMitoWho, 2015
At the beginning, St. Ann's Donor Wall was barely filled with permanent and perpetual donors names. Each year, the panels are returned to Gong Glass Works to be updated and today, the donor wall is filled. This one of a kind naming wall serves the Foundation and Advancement team in helping to build support for St. Ann's Community mission.
2014 Marked The 35th Anniversary Of Gong Glass Works!

Nancy Gong in the studio, 1984
Photograph taken by Joan Stormont

Rochester Business Alliance, RBA recognizes Rochester’s Top 100 businesses annually with an awardee option for a dynamic colorful etched glass pyramid award. Each year RBA also presents the ATHENA Award winner and finalists with a cast glass carved with an artistic interpretation of the ATHENA Award Logo. For consistency in the finalist award program, the same shape and design is presented each year with a new color.
Jill Knittel was the 2015 recipient of the St. John Fisher Accounting Alumnus Award. Each year I create a personalized designed award specifically geared to the personality, character, interests and vision of each recipient. The next day, I heard from Jill. “I just want to thank you for the absolutely beautiful piece you made for me as the St. John Fisher Accounting Alumnus of the Year. I am astounded by how much I absolutely love it! It is just perfect for me and the energy it portrays is exactly who I am. It is already lit up and in my office for all to see!
My best to you ~ Jill Knittle. 
The studio is also in the process of working on two residential projects. Bev Hafner, Interior Designer, has worked with Gong Glass Works since the early 80's. Hafner of recent is working on Don and Joan Fella's residence where the interior is being reoriented to face the bay. A beautiful stairway that will have a custom glass wall utilizing the UltraGlas® UltraSwirl texture to capture the feeling of being by a waterfall. I asked Bev how is she able to put artwork into projects while still working within the budget? She says "If you take a dollar from the wall covering and paint and a dollar from the flooring etcetera, you can make it happen. You've gotta have art, it's the heart and soul of the space."

Watch for the next newsletter to see the story of a unique Willow tree entrance in the Rochester Finger Lakes.
Taking It With You - Tom & Nan Hildebrandt  commissioned art glass for the entry of their home years ago - to design and fabricate a leaded glass door panel. After a recent move they decided to remove it from their old house and install it in the new one. The side light of the original door is now set into a free standing panel with a structure designed by Wally Morse of Morse Sash & Door.

Care of Your Artwork.

Nancy Gong with Chad of Rochester Glass removing leaded glass panels for minor repair and cleaning. Photo by homeowner.

Forecast a two story leaded glass entry originally designed in 1989 for the contemporary home of Barry and Cookie Kaplan. The home now has new owners who have decided to keep and embrace the architectural art glass. They chose to restore the art work with minor repairs and a light cleaning inside and out to bring the entry back to new as they update their home to a more contemporary feel of today.

Call the Studio

If ever an issue comes up with maintenance, installation or if a move is being planned for your art glass - call the studio. In the best interest of the art, call the studio at 585-288-5520 for proper guidance. This can save you time, money and minimize or eliminate potential damage.

For Your Information

Updated Website

The Gong Glass Works website has been updated with a responsive design for all your mobile devices. See the new design here.

Introducing Our Newest Color for Art Glass Blessings - French Lilac!

Art Glass Blessing Joy in French Lilac.

This Art Glass Blessing with its Asian design celebrates the Chinese culture. The calligraphic design - a Chinese way of thinking, comes from the tradition of hanging hollow brass Chinese characters in a home or business to remind people of the good things in life. This blessing, with character "Joy", is a remarkable gift represented in a delightful jewel tone of French Lilac allows one to express their feelings in a distinctively timeless way that is sure to be cherished. Share your feelings of "Joy" for a special occasion or life event. You'll find standard designs and colors available as well as where you can find them at

Art Glass Awards Program

The art glass awards program has grown to serve numerous organizations that see value in presenting artful awards. The studio is now offering cut and polished glass and is pleased to provide this service to our customers! As this facet of the studio business grows, the juggling of time required for the architectural artwork, which is the studio's primary focus, becomes a challenge. We ask for as much lead-time as possible so we can give these special small works the attention they deserve. Your efforts will be greatly appreciated.

Founded in 1979, the glass art studio of Gong Glass Works is directed by artist Nancy Gong. Gong Glass Works specializes in the design and fabrication of glass art work including traditional and modern techniques for smalti mosaics, leaded, etched, carved, cast, chipped, polished and painted glass while also embracing new technologies in laminated, cast and screen printed glass. GGW is also the distributor for UltraGlas Inc. The primary focus is on site - specific installations, embracing fine art, decorative art, architectural ornamentation, signage and graphics. GGW designs for residential, commercial and institutional applications with emphasis on customer satisfaction; sensitive, responsive and enduring designs and quality craftsmanship.
©2015 Nancy Gong All rights reserved to all art work and contents of this publication. Photos by Nancy Gong unless otherwise noted.
GGW Vignettes is published quarterly, or more realistically, as time permits and or as the need for communication prevails by the studio of Gong Glass Works for its patrons, associates, friends and those interested in following our work. Editor and Proprietor, Nancy Gong. Please do share – pass the newsletter along. P.S. Please let us know if there are any address changes. Thank you for your interest!

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Contact Info:
42 Parkview Drive
Rochester, NY 14625
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