I've just completed the installation of a large glass mural as part of a renovation of the 60-year-old Love Library at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. This vestibule wall totals 52 linear feet (16 meters), made up of 18 panels, each 3 feet (91 centimeters) wide by 6.5 feet (2 meters) high. This is one of the most detailed kiln-formed art glass piece in the world, with text, photographs, and drawings reproduced in relief, part of a wall project created with the close collaboration of architect Greg Newport of the Clark-Enerson Partnership.
The Love Library wall tells the story of the university and portrays the library as a gateway to the world beyond Lincoln. The design mirrors the history of the world with themes as diverse as an early Nuremberg text, African masks, line drawings of early astronomers, scientific instruments, a Copernican map, and the work of Nebraska author Willa Cather.
The design started with arranging images in Photoshop to produce a digital illustration. Then an enlarged printout was mounted on boards, and molds built to make an impression in casting sand. Half-inch- (13-millimeter-) thick plate glass was placed on the sand, and then heated in a kiln for two days. The result was a thick glass panel textured with the designs.
Kicking back in Nebraska,