Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Elizabeth Grafton

We love art and we love Fayetteville, so we were doubly pleased when we learned of an influential stained glass artist who made her home here. Elizabeth Grafton died several years ago (at the age of 99) but left a legacy of influence far and wide; seemingly more well known elsewhere than in her home town.

It was our Charleston friend Gary Blake who first told us about Elizabeth: "I met her many years ago, her work still plays over in my mind. The mark of a true artist," wrote Gary.

We asked around town until some friends helped us find some of her art on display locally at United Bank in Fayetteville, and in Oak Hill at St. Andrews Episcopal Church and the Plateau Medical Center.

Elizabeth's technique of using a hammer to cut Blenko Dalles glass left each piece with many facets that played with the light. The thick blocks of glass were mounted in epoxy or cement to create a very unusual effect. See for yourself in the following photos:

One of the sanctuary windows at St. Andrews Episcopal Church. The repeated geometric pattern in this window is striking. 

Incredible depth and detail in this St. Andrews Episcopal Church window. 

In the lobby of the United Bank in Fayetteville.

The chapel window at the Plateau Medical Center in Oak Hill.

A close up shows how thick was the glass used to create this flower.

A closeup view in which you can see the veins that the artist etched into the leaves.

It's amazing to think that the "petals" of this rose were cut out with a hammer.
Here is a link to another web page that features some of Elizabeth's pieces that are installed in a hospital in Maryland.