Friday, August 13, 2010



"Truthseeker"- Crash Glass

While in Oxford England, my granddaughter, Marcy, and I had the privilege of touring Christ Church at Oxford University. The Dining Hall, we learned, has two literary film associations. I was surprised at it’s connections with Alice in Wonderland but not at all about Harry Potter. The White Rabbit was based on Alice’s father, the Dean. The left hand wall, shows portraits of Alice and creatures from the book. There is a large portrait of the college’s founder, King Henry the VIII, who executed two of his wives. Hence the Red Queen’s shouts of “Off with her head!”

Stairs leading to the famous Dining Hall where Harry Potter was filmed

The Dining Hall

Scenes from the first two Harry Potter films were shot at Christ Church. We walked down the dining hall expecting Harry himself to appear at any minute. We gazed at the amazing ceiling which was of ‘hammerbeam’ construction.

Custodians with bowler hats welcomed us and answered our questions

The Chapel

Outside of the dining hall, we entered the Lucy Chapel where there is a Stained Glass window dated 1320. It is a rare pre-Reformation image showing the martyrdom of Thomas Becket. We also saw the chapel where the world famous choir sings daily and has done so since the college’s foundation.

Although we took many pictures, I found this video that really does Christ Church more justice. You can hear the beautiful choir and see the dining hall toward the end.

Stained and mosaiced glass has always intrigued me. I also delve into into “crash glass” from time to time. I used to own a stained glass studio in which I built huge church windows and constructed windows for restaurants and homes. Here is the posting of my shop where you can view the crash glass technique I use. Was my waist really ever that small?

Although I enjoy creating the large pieces, I am confining myself to the smaller, more workable ones.

Crashed Glass piece titled "Truthseeker"

Smaller crashed glass piece titled "Cosmic Light"

You can view Truthseeker and Cosmic Light at my Etsy shop where you will see other views and dimensions and be able to read their stories.

Here is another picture from my trip to the UK for you to use in your artwork if you choose. The church is near Oxford. I love the way the cross and church seem to mesh together on this one. I can picture a ghostly figure hovering above or near the cross. The texture that you see on this picture, when you enlarge it, is not a result of any kind of editing. It is actually the rain drops that were on the window of the bus, where I took the picture.

Celtic Cross at graveyard

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  1. Cheryl, today's post is beautiful and enlightening! I'd no idea that Oxford's founder was Henry VIII or that the idea of the Red Queen's infamous remark, "Off with their heads!" is related to Henry.

    Every bit of the 'tour' is wonderful. I've enjoyed every moment. And your crashed glass pieces are so creative and wonderful! Thanks, too, for the great freebie! Happy Weekend! Hugs, Terri xoxo

  2. Beautiful. I loved the video of the gentleman singing in the pub, too. Ohhh and your fabulous party!

  3. Thanks for sharing these exquisite pictures that take us back to what I imagine might be our former lives. I was fascinated by the Alice and Wonderland connection. Perhaps we need to do a little supper club party around that theme and do costumes, as well. You would make a fine White Queen!

  4. I learned so much in this post. I was fascinated by the crash glass. For some reason, I didn't realize you had to piece each little broken bit to a substrate. For some reason, I thought it stayed together as a sheet. This was fascinating to learn this process and thanks so much for sharing it.

  5. So fascinating learning about your crash glass technique Cheryl, another area completly new to me. I learn so much from you! I enjoyed reading about your experience of Oxford and Christ Church, somewhere I have not been for years - must really take a trip there soon. Here's an intersting note, did they tell you this? Charles Dodson often used to take little Alice Liddell to a nearby shop in St Aldate's, which still exists and is to be found opposite Christ Church College. Here Alice would buy barley sugar, and the shop itself is featured in Through the Looking Glass, where the fictional Alice is served by a bad tempered sheep.
    It's still there I understand!

  6. The chapel is just gorgeous.....

  7. Oh Cheryl, what a lovely post! I have never heard of "crash glass" before. You are always up for a new challenge and trying new techniques. It is what gives you that "edge"! Once again, your new piece is "smashing"! :)

    I too enjoyed learning about your visit to Oxford and Christ Church. The connection to Alic in Wonderland is indeed fascinating! The Dining Hall looks beautiful, though hardly a place for an intimate conversation during a dinner party! I love the grand fireplace ... I can almost see the long flames flickering away, hear the snapping, cracking, and hissing of logs roasting away, all the while I am curled up on a large settee, wrapped in a blanket, reading a book! Harry Potter perhaps!

  8. Love the glass-stained technique and the wonderful texture. You made amazing creations!
    Hugs Anja

  9. You have soothed my wanderlust by making it seem as I was there with you all the way. I love the singing at Christ Church, so ethereal.

  10. Cheryl you have to be one of the most informative and interest person I know.
    I truly enjoyed your posting I adore Alice in Wonderland and huge fan of Harry Potter too.
    Your newest creations are breath taking, I truly love them. I had never heard of crash glass,that is so cool !!!
    YOUR SO AMAZING,thanks for sharing.
    Big Hugs,Laura. xoxx

  11. Hi Cheryl,
    So glad to be able to comment again and I'm glad I could be of some help. I am a complete computer dummy but am learning as I go and have learned from my many mistakes. Again I love your new pieces!

  12. I thought I'd already commented on this wonderful new piece of yours.....ah well, I'm glad I checked ;) I love the way you maintain your style in the faces you create even as you push beyond the boundaries with each new media. So brave of you, and it really adds an amazing depth to your work!
    Oh and the eyes in this piece are incredible, as always- they really speak to me....if only I had a little extra cash!

  13. I tried to leave a comment yesterday but either blogger or my aol just wouldn't stop kicking me off. LOVE those pictures. I love old churches and to see the one where HARRY POTTER was done. whoooopeeeeee. I love Harry Potter. Well, I love the books. I love ANYTHING that get kids of any age to READ.
    Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. AND, for taking the time to sign up. That was sweet of you. I appreciate it. :)Bea

  14. Very interesting, Cheryl. I love your crash glass. I would not have known what it was.

    I can't believe I was at Christ Church years ago...I never connected it to Harry Potter ( could I miss?) I do remember hearing the Anglican service. As I was raised Episcopalian (no longer), it was very meaningful. I always hated the repetitive liturgy but I found myself very taken in by the meditative quality and (of course) the wonderful music!

    Thanks, Cheryl!


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