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Dawn Lee Thompson

Artist's Profile

Dawn Thompson lives and works in Warwick, New York with her children and husband, illustrator John Thompson. She specializes in original art glass panels constructed with lead came; an ancient craft that has changed little since the Middle Ages. She also creates fused glass tiles, vessels and sculpture, most often featuring the female form.

"I have read that looking at stained glass lowers your blood pressure and eases stress. I certainly believe it. Glass is the most dynamic of mediums; it changes throughout the day, looks entirely different on sunny days as opposed to cloudy, and is transformed when backlit or viewed with reflected light. Truly, you never look at the same piece twice.

In my pieces, I try to capture the combination of serenity and drama evinced in the best of traditional glass craft with a modern sensibility. I blend traditional materials and design elements with contemporary colors and subject matter.

I am especially drawn to depicting the female form in glass. Fragile, temperamental, difficult, yet one of the most durable of all mediums, retaining its beauty and luminosity for centuries. It is sensuous and organic, functional and dramatic. What more perfect medium and metaphor for Woman?

Working with glass is a true test of patience and discipline. There are myriad constraints to design and you never really know what the piece looks like until the last joint is soldered and you hold it up to the light. Or in the case of fused work, when you open the kiln after annealing. For an analytical mind, it is a joy. Each design concept is an intricate puzzle of geometry and physics. Every piece holds dozens of victories and frustrations, Every piece is christened with spilled coffee and blood. It is messy, dirty, dangerous and wonderful."

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