Dream Window #17: An Adirondack Reflection

I still love finding salvageable Queen Anne windows and Tudor windows and ultra-long transom windows, and I still love turning them into something artistically amazing.

And when I saw a church window available as part of a five-pane set on eBay, I could not resist.  Four of the five windows at auction went through some nasty bidding wars in previous shows, and I needed to use all my sniping skills to get this final pane.

Bang.  Snipe bids activated.  With thirty seconds to go, you set two bids.  One is the bid you’re willing to pay, one is the “insane” bid – if anybody surpasses your “insane” bid, they’re probably descended from Crazy Eddie, and you’re slightly smiling in that they overspent just to get that prize from you.

One of the bidding warriors tried to jump my price.  He didn’t bet enough.

The second tried tried to jump my price.  But he was too late.  Insane price from Chuck Miller won.

Window pane is mine.  Hands rubbed together in glee.  Grabbing a cigar and doing my best George Peppard imitation – man, I love it when a plan comes together.  Okay, now I have to pay for shipping from –

Oh.  Forgot to read the fine print.  Local pick-up only, from Pennsylvania.

I checked my online maps.  Five and a half hour road trip to Pennsylvania.  I’ll be driving through South Central Pennsylvania… as long as I don’t see Lebanon Levi, I’ll be in good shape. #amishmafia #yesIusedahashtaginmyblogpost #dontgivemegrieforiwilldoitagain

I made arrangements with the eBay seller.  They might not be home on my driving day, but if that were the case, the window would be on their front porch for me to claim.

Okay.  Road trip in the Blackbird.

And when I got to Pennsylvania – there it was, on the porch, just as advertised.  The church-style window.  Oh my this thing is beautiful.  Elegant.  Sanctified.

And the weird thing about this window is… I bought it without any idea of what type of artwork I would insert; what kind of Dream Window imagery I could create.

But honestly … do you really think there’s any way I could pass this up?


Yeah, you agree with me.  This is amazing.  Twenty-two panes; twelve rectangles and ten curved shapes.  This will definitely take some crafting.  And I’d like to keep those sash ropes attached, if at all possible.

But saying all that… it’s time to start the best part of working on a Dream Window.


Yep, break out the chisels and the hammers and the glass cutters and the big bucket.  I should probably break out a respirator mask, because I’m suspecting that this paint probably shows up as “Pb” on the Periodic Table of Elements, but there’s enough people out there who say I’m brain damaged anyways, so what’s a few lead paint flakes among friends? 🙂

I tried to save the curved panes, but to no avail.  I’ll need to re-cut new glass for this project.

Okay, the glass is bashed, and the panels are cleaned.  But I still don’t have a good idea of what to put in this frame.  Argh.

And then it occurred to me.  I have to look at this Dream Window concept from a different angle.

Or, in this case… a 180° angle.

I rotated the window so that the curved part was at the bottom.

Now for more thinking.  An Adirondack foliage scene would be swank – maybe with some lakewater or pond water in the curved lower section.

So here’s my idea.  I can put a picture in the window and –

Hey… let’s go one step farther.  What if I wanted a blue reflective sky in the picture?  And maybe some silver rippled mirror glass to replicate the flow of water?

Dang it.  None of my stained glass suppliers have smooth blue mirror glass available.  No freakin’ fair.  And after ordering what I thought would be the perfect antique mirror that I could slice and insert into the panes… the glass arrived improperly shipped and irretrievably broken. Nertz.

But thanks to one last Google search, I found a glass dealer named “Mosaics By Maria,” and through that retailer, I purchased several panes of blue mirrored glass.  And you know what?  The glass arrived properly packed and unbroken.  Props to Mosaics by Maria.

Now it’s time to trim, cut and assemble.  Four mirrored blue glass pieces for the top.  And I picked up some 1/8″ thick mirror glass from Lowe’s, and trimmed that glass for the eight remaining rectangular panels.

And now comes the curved glass panels.  The previous sixteen Dream Windows have all involved either straight cuts or angled cuts.  Curves?  Never tried it before.  And I’m nervous.

Well, guess what.  First time for everything.

I traced cardboard outlines for the twelve curved panes, trimmed the cardboard, and dry-fitted everything in place.  I then used the twelve cardboard templates to trace outlines on the stained glass.  Dry-fit time.  Works.

Now here comes the fun part.  Rather than have the individual window pane artworks professionally printed, I decided to print each pane artwork on water-transfer decal paper.  Then I could apply the transfer decals to the mirrored glass, to provide a nice translucence on the artwork.  Also, since I was using rippled mirror glass for the lower panels, I decided to print the lower panel transfer paper with a gradient effect, so that the artwork would appear to dissolve into the reflection of the mirrored water.

Cool, eh?

The window came with two sash cords, ropes that help in raising or lowering the window inside a wall.  Even though this artwork is “hanging” on a wall, rather than installed inside one, I kept the sash cords as part of the artwork.  A little duct tape to patch any splits in the cords; I also sliced off the frayed cord ends, and applied duct tape to the ends – so that the cords look almost like shoelaces.  Smile.

Everything took patience and time.  I had to cut the glass at the proper angles and curves.  I had to properly caulk everything.  The transfer papers and decals had to fit just so.

And then Saturday… once the caulk had dried to a consistent level – I took the Dream Window over to Hobby Lobby to get a hanging wire and a neat brown paper backing.

And now…

Here it is.  Dream Window #17: An Adirondack Reflection.

Dream Window 17: An Adirondack Reflection.  Nikon Df camera, lots of mirrors and glass and transfer paper.  Photo and creation by Chuck Miller.
Dream Window 17: An Adirondack Reflection. Nikon Df camera, lots of mirrors and glass and transfer paper. Photo and creation by Chuck Miller.

Oh I’ve got a few places where I could display this artwork.  Definitely the 2016 Thacher Nature Center art show.  Maybe in 2016 or 2017 for the Trask in Saratoga Springs.

Or – dare I say it – you think this would look good for a few days in August, at a zip code of, oh, I don’t know, 12009?

Yeah, you’re thinking like me. 😀