Thigpen Ranch

Just as simple as this: The Thigpens walked into our studio with a set of house plans and asked us if would we help them with their new home. Apparently, they were very familiar with our work and had reviewed our portfolio online.

Thigpen Kitchen WEB

The home would be built in a Prairie Style to showcase their love for Stickley Furniture and their considerable Western art collection. The couple wanted to fill their home with leaded stained glass evoking the style and feel of the Arts and Crafts era with a Southwestern flair, al la eclectic.

Mrs. Thigpen loved all things that sparkle, so the clear glass clerestory windows became beveled glass. To enhance the beveled glass ‘sparkle’ we used 3/8” thick glass with a 1/2” bevel. The thicker edge allowed for a sharper angle and greater prismatic effect bringing out the full spectrum of color in the beveled edge and a rainbow of color cast into the room. To further enhance our window designs we laminated gold stained glass onto the backside of the beveled glass to create ‘colored beveled glass’.

The design process went very smoothly. We would work up a sketch for a window, door, or cabinet and email it to our clients for their comments. We would then make the changes and email back the revised designs. After the clients were satisfied with the tweaked designs, we would ‘colorize’ them in Adobe Photoshop and send them back to the client for their final blessing. Using Photoshop allowed us to colorize our designs with photo samples of the actual glass we would be using in the fabrication of the window – WYSIWYG – what you see is what your window will look like, no surprises. We recently taught this design technique in a workshop for the Stained Glass Association of America’s 2014 Summer Conference.

The custom door glass throughout the Thigpen home evolved from a strict Arts and Craft style on the entry to a more relaxed design style on the ‘mud room’ to one of our signature abstract ‘Oak Leaf & Wind’ door panel designs. The guest cottage door took on a Texas theme with one of our custom ‘Texas Lone Star’ designs.

Custom white mahogany doors with custom designed "Prairie Style" beveled, leaded glass.
Lone Star Door 2 WEB

The owners asked that we make their kitchen cabinet glass ‘fun’ and not as formal as the leaded glass we made for their walnut, breakfront china cabinet in the dining room, so we designed the glass using skewed lines, diamonds and diagonals.

The Thigpens did not want to hang a mirror or painting over the master bath fireplace. That would have been predictable. Instead, they asked if we could do something eye-catching and unusual. We decided to do something with fused glass tiles and came up with an abstract theme of squares and rectangles. We divided the space up into a grid and allowed the design to flow from one grid to another, as if the rectangles were falling.

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