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June 3, 2009

Golden Hour Glass History

Stained glass is my favorite hobby, my side business, and the most beautiful art form I know. In college I had pieces on consignment at local gift shops. When I moved to LA and into a tiny apartment, I didn't have a suitable place to practice my craft. So I walked away from actually making anything myself for many years, and turned to appreciation by buying pieces at flea markets, restoring if necessary, and often re-selling them.

Now I'm slowly bringing myself back to the craft of creation. This means buying new pattern books and playing with the patterns in my library for four hours this week, cleaning all my tools to set up my workspace again, visiting local supply shops to familiarize myself with available supplies and new tools and products. I have so many projects on my agenda!

Today I went to Lighthouse Stained Glass & Supply on Melrose, over near the Paramount lot. The owner was welcoming and helpful, and let me browse as long as I wanted.

Anyway, to tie into the blog, I've been meaning to start posting my projects, so I thought I'd begin with some personal history. This is the first project I ever made in stained glass, in a copper foil class at Creative Glass in Salt Lake City, Utah, I'm guessing spring 1994. I was a sophomore in college, and I'd found my folks' old stained glass tools in our basement. The piece is hanging in our kitchen window, so our patio set became the backdrop. I'm including a poorly framed photograph as well, since it shows the piece against a white background.

In the film world the golden hour or magic hour is the first and last hour of sunlight during the day when a specific photographic effect is achieved with the quality of the light during these hours. Typically, lighting will be softer, more diffuse, and warmer in hue, and shadows will be quite pronounced as a result of the sun being so close to the horizon. The sunlight is traveling obliquely through more of the atmosphere and striking objects at an angle, instead of straight down. The golden hour thus produces a mild version of alpenglow.

I am particularly drawn to warm, fallish tones that are enhanced by the golden hour. I draw my inspiration in stained glass from these colors, so I unified my love of film work with my stained glass pursuits through the business name I chose.

If you're looking for a class or supplies in the SLC area:
Creative Glass
2265 Highland Dr
Salt Lake City, UT 84106
(801) 487-4088
Tell 'em I sent you!

What do you think of my business' name? Do you have a favorite tonal or color palette? Leave me a comment with your support!


  1. From April Nelson, blogger at, by email:

    Ellen: Very, very nice. I loved your reference to the magic hour, because I once heard either Klaus Kinski or Werner Herzog explain the concept in an interview and have never forgotten it, especially when I am outside at that time. I applaud your decision to start creating stained glass pieces again and look forward to reading about and seeing the results.

  2. LOVE your business name! And golden hour colors DO SUIT you! Awesome work!


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