NANCY O'NEIL         


Public Art
Glass Blocks

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I developed my handmade cast glass blocks because I wanted to create glass art that would be touchable. In addition to being extremely tactile, the blocks are very watery and sparkly, filled with wonderful optical effects. Because they are an inch thick and have texture, they don't seem to show dirt, which is fortunate since people can't seem to keep their hands off them!

The blocks are made out of molten colored glass and clear crystal. The 1800 degree glass is poured into our custom made molds. A team of people works together, imbedding pre-heated pieces of colored glass that have been decorated with fired on drawings and photos. As the blocks begin to cool, turning from white hot to red hot, we stamp them with our handmade bronze embossing tools. The blocks are then placed in an annealing oven overnight to cool down slowly.

We assemble the blocks into panels using a special glass epoxy that is made for this purpose. The blocks require very little in the way of maintenance, just an occasional going over with Windex and a soft paper towel.

For additional images, please click on any image below.

Photoblock with historic photo
: from Darius Kinsey Collection, courtesy Whatcom Museum, Bellingham WA

Gateway to Tampa
Gateway to Tampa, 2000
: Marriott Residence Inn, Tampa FL

Bay County Public Health Facility, Panama City Florida
Courtyard windows
: Bay County Public Health Facility, Panama City FL

Lisbon Elementary School
Windows between library and corridor
: Lisbon Elementary School, Lisbon, ME