Dream Window 23 – The Dazzling Nipper

It’s been a long time between Dream Windows, so it’s nice to get back to creating one.


I’ve made nearly two dozen Dream Windows – artworks crafted out of Queen Anne windows nd Tudor windows and old church windows – for nearly a decade now.  I made the first one as a therapeutic focus after my divorce, and the response to the artwork was so promising and comforting, that I made another one.  And another one.  And another one and another one and another one.

In fact, I’ve had this Queen Anne window for a long, long time – it’s one of the last things I ever bought from the late, lamented Silver Fox Salvage.  I kept this window for a couple of years, and then I decided to turn it into a Dream Window art construct.  Especially since I haven’t built a decent Dream Window in a few years …

Anyway, here’s the window.

The perimeter windows are filled with red and blue and green glass panels.  I’m not touching those.  I want those to stay in the frame.

As for the center panel …

Normally I would get a hammer, smash the window and clean out all the glass chunks.

Not this time.

See, I want to save this center panel.  This will be part of my art project.

First, I have to get rid of the old glazing, the sealant that keeps the window glass pinned into the frame.  To minimize any damage to the window pane or to the frame, I used a heat gun and softened the caulk … then I used a putty knife to peel away the softened caulking.  After pulling out a few triangle-shaped glazier’s points and removing all the remaining caulk … I successfully extracted the glass panel.

That’s why you don’t see a camera flash in this picture.  You do see my living room carpet, though …

I put the window frame aside.

About ten years ago, I took a “golden hour” photo of the RCA Nipper statue that sits atop the Arnoff Moving and Storage building on Broadway.  I printed that photo onto some sheets of paper …

And then, I layered the pictures to re-build the original image.   The glass panel was 14 x 25.5 in size, so I needed four overlapping pictures to make this work.

I placed the glass panel on top of the pictures, then I used duct tape to bind the glass to a wooden substrate plank.

Not bad, eh?

I could certainly put this back in the window frame and I’d be done.

Silly you.  You thought I was done.

See, I have an idea.  The photo will actually be a template, in that I will take what is here and replicate it in a different material.

And that material … how do you feel about Swarovski crystals?

Yeah, I’m thinking Swarovski crystals.  I could buy a big bag of Swarovski crystals and put blue ones in the background, white ones for Nipper, and red and yellow crystals for the brick facade and roof.

Then I figured out how much loose Swarovski crystals cost.

And then I estimated how many of those Swarovski crystals I would need for this project.  If I pawn all my cameras, sell my car, and maybe give three or four pints of plasma … I can make a down payment on all the Swarovski crystals necessary for this.

Better idea.  Hobby Lobby has packs of flat-backed acrylic beads, and they’re at a much more reasonable cost.

I bought two packs of 6mm blue beads (for the sky) and one pack of 6mm red beads (for the brickface lettering), as well as a bottle of E6000 adhesive.

As you can see, the blue beads at the top will replicate the sky.  I’m not going to work with gradients at this point in time.  I also applied red beads to the brickface, and I’ll add yellow beads to continue the brickface look.

Eventually this project took a while – mostly because I had to purchase a certain set of acrylic beads, which came 150 to a pack from Hobby Lobby.  And Hobby Lobby wasn’t exactly selling tons of these beads; I would buy all three packs of a certain color at the Hobby Lobby at Latham, then have to go to the Hobby Lobby in Colonie to get three MORE packs of that color.  And If I run out of that specific color of bead … then I have to wait for Hobby Lobby to restock that product.  And that can take a week or two.  GRR.

Eventually, though, I was able to re-trace Nipper – using various sized white beads for his body, and black beads for his eyes, his ears, his toes and his snout.

Now comes finding enough blue beads for the sky.

Yesterday, I stockpiled.  I bought the last three packs of blue beads from the Hobby Lobby in Colonie, then the last three packs of blue beads from the Hobby Lobby in Latham.  I knew it wasn’t enough.  And since I had to go up to the North Country for a little foliage photo shoot, I stopped at the Hobby Lobby in Queensbury and bought all their remaining 6mm blue beads.

Another thing to keep aware – in order to bond these beads to the glass substrate, I had to use liberal amounts of E6000 bonding chemical.  And you need to pace yourself when using E6000 bonding chemicals – you need plenty of ventilation, you don’t want to inhale that stuff.  If it can bond acrylic to glass with super-human strength … imagine what that stuff can do to your brain cells.  Sorta reminds me of that old TV commercial about the guy that brings drugs to the schoolyard.

Yeah, that commercial.

Anyway, with a lot of apartment ventilation and taking my time, I was able to complete the beading project … and then I carefully re-installed the window back into the Queen Anne frame.  One slip up now, and this window is … well, I don’t want to think about what “is” is.

Here’s the finished project.

Dream Window 23: A Dazzling Nipper. Queen Anne window, acrylic beads with E6000 bonding compound. Creation (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

There it is.  Dream Window 23.  So if nothing else, I’ve got something ready for Historic Albany Foundation’s BUILT charitable auction … in 2020.

Hey, why wait until the last minute?? 😀