Oh Cappy! My Cappy!

Image source: Tiffany Tong PhotographyI have huge and growing respect for what I see Cappy Thompson  accomplishing in glass! I became aware of her work when my nose was glued to the pages of Richard LaLonde and Friends. (Great book for anyone fascinated with glass!) Cappy’s work is a visual feast for the eyes and soul. What’s so supremely cool about what she is doing, is that she is taking an ancient art form of glass painting which we observed in Adam Delving c. 1176 from my last post and creating awe-inspiring contemporary work in a beautifully evolving narrative/mythopoetic style of her very own. She infuses images and themes from her own life into what she calls “picture poems” which take on a life of their own.

Though she received a B.A. in painting and printmaking from Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA in 1976, Cappy is self-taught when it comes to a special technique called “grisaille”. It is a gray-tonal painting technique on glass. In the following picture, a thin wash of vitreous black paint has been applied.  Once dry, various bristly, dry brushes are used to create shadowy details and textures. The glass is fired again before colorful vitreous enamels can be added. Thank you Tiffany Tong  for permission to share pictures!

On my bucket list would be to fly in through Seattle-Tacoma International Airport just so that I could get an up close glimpse of Cappy’s dreamy/majestic/drool worthy installation there entitled “I Was Dreaming of Spirit Animals…“. Completed in 2002, it measures an astounding 33 ft. x 90 ft. For more detailed information on this modern masterpiece I recommend checking out the 33 min. DVD documentary by Sally Cloninger available here. It takes the viewer from its dream inspiration, to its fabrication, and finally its installation.

Now THAT’s a most splendid and awe inspiring piece of glass!

Source: Sea-Tac Airport Website

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