Projects 2000-Present > Southern Maine Medical Center Chapel

Southern Maine Medical Center Chapel Window

Biddeford, ME


The Chapel window is made of mouth-blown stained glass with silkscreened and fired imagery, and sandblasting. The design is soothing yet upbeat, leaving the viewer with a feeling of well-being. It contains several large circular forms, which could be seen as symbols of wholeness, along with familiar patterns found throughout the natural world. The design matrix consists of strips in seaglass colors, assembled into a loose woven fabric. The background color is reminiscent of the inside of a shell.

The overall size is 5’h x 8.5’w x ½”.

The specific imagery includes diatoms, based on drawings by Ernst Haeckel from his Art Forms In Nature. There is a fiddlehead fern, and a nautilus, both examples of the Fibonacci series. There’s also a French celestial map from the 1700s (courtesy of Osher Map Library), a vine from an ancient illuminated manuscript, and beautiful, shaded bands of white flowers.

This is an interior window and is viewed from both sides. The colors and textures are rich but light, and the printed and sandblasted imagery stops the eye from looking through into the chapel space. Also, the design is most dense at eye level to provide a privacy screen for people in the chapel.

Passersby and chapel users enjoy the beauty of the mouthblown glass and the complexity of the subject matter. It is the kind of design that can be appreciated right away, but keeps revealing something new as people return to look at it again.

Photos by Jim O’Neil