Pane in the Glass

Written by Niki D'Andrea Category: At Home Issue: July 2013
Group Free

Reflect your sense of style with glass works for every part of the home.

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Celebrated glass artist Dale Chihuly once said, “Glass is the most magical of materials. It transmits light in a special way.”

In metro Phoenix, myriad glass artists manifest their own magic on the material, creating colorful glass works both decorative and functional. Tempe-based Meltdown Glass Art & Design literally gets people in the door with works like the glass entryway pictured above. The flow texture, says glass artist and Meltdown founder BJ Katz, “gives privacy, and yet it gives such a sense of welcoming... it gives obscurity that people crave while providing light.” The dichroic glass adds another decorative dimension. “It’s a discovery of the space industry. It’s the material that coats the space shuttle to prevent it from blowing up when entering or leaving the atmosphere,” Katz explains. “It’s a lower-tech way to get iridescence and color shifting.”

Pieces like decorative windows from Tumbleweed Stained Glass further display the diversity of the material. With nearly 270 types of textured clear glass in stock, Tumbleweed can create custom components from kitchen cabinets to bathroom mirrors, and take time for quality. “Stained glass and leaded glass is a very labor-intensive thing,” says Tumbleweed co-owner Fred Newton. “It’s not something that can be done very fast.” But the end result, Newton says, are unique pieces that provide simple elegance and privacy.

Like Tumbleweed and many other glass studios, Meltdown makes pieces that are each handmade one-offs. The material may be the only unifying factor. “[Glass is] unique – it’s translucent, it’s reflective,” Katz says. “I like to think our studio [produces] a very fine aesthetic, but also very practical.”


Glass artwork Made from 3/8-inch clear, tempered, kiln-fired glass and hand-painted with custom cold-applied paints, this piece provides a splash of color anywhere in the home. $195/square foot

Meltdown Glass Art & Design
6810 S. Clementine Court, Tempe, 800-845-6221,
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  Glass chandelier This hand-blown glass lamp features 280 pieces, each made individually and then fused together on a frame. Measures 32 inches long and 48 inches wide. $4,500

Circle 6 Studios
501 E. Roosevelt St.,
Phoenix, 602-454-9342,
Metal and Glass Ocotillo Sculpted by Phoenix artist Joshua Dopp, this decorative piece features LED lights inside glass and steel and stands 9 feet tall. $3,000

Doppler Design LLC
5448 E. Washington St.,
Phoenix, 602-320-6071,
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  Bathroom window This stained and leaded glass window fits against an existing pane (hence the mullion), and provides both light and privacy. Measures 40 inches by 6 feet. $2,000 average

Tumbleweed Stained Glass
2636 W. Baseline Rd.,
Mesa, 480-838-1711,