Creation theme runs throughout the design of these windows.
(Mt.Vernon Nazarene University, Mt. Vernon, Ohio)
As an idol is not to be used to depict any god, the all powerful YHWH can,
from traditional use, be depicted as the light of creation - the burning bush
- a light revealing the presence of YHVH as a messenger to a person who is to do
some incredible spiritual act to achieve some profound purpose.....
And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. (Genesis 1: 3)
When God was creating the heavens and the earth, it was on a grand scale far beyond our comprehension. The creation windows in the Nazarene University chapel are a mere hint at the incomprehensible magnitude of the creation.
I felt and feel a sublime honor in being a part of the creation of the Nazarene project, because such a project brings people closer to God by offering them a glimpse, however so finite, of the majesty of God.
The architectural feature of the cross separating the sections of the window design symbolize the profetic coming of the manifestation of Yeshua and his redeeming sacrifice to save the world as the original intention of Yahweh.
The longer I live the more I realize that whatever beauty I have brought into the world, the fact is that I didn't do it. Our Lord said "Without my Father I am nothing." If he said "Without my Father I am nothing"; how much more does that pertain to me. Without Yahweh, I am nothing. Without Yahweh, I can do nothing, that is, nothing that is positive, true, pure and beautiful.
At the time I designed the windows for the Nazarene College which has become as I understand, a University, I was the head designer working for Franklin Art Glass in Columbus Ohio.
I submitted a design through the owner of the company. His name is Jim Helf. He told me to come up with a design for one of the lancets.
It was about one and one half years until we heard from the college concerning my design. At that time they wanted to see an alternate design and Jim told me to create a couple of quick color sketches of the entire group of lancets.
I made a scaled layout of all of the lancets on the left side of the sanctuary in ink on illustration board to be used on the final design. I then made two copies of the layout to make the color sketches. I then made two completely different color sketches on the copies.
When they were done, Jim and I met with the stained glass procurement committee. The committee was made up of department heads as well as art professors. They chose the rough color sketch which depicts the creation theme.
Next I made the finished color design on illustration board with the black areas separating the pieces of glass. The black areas in a stained glass window design are as important as the color and type of glass to be used. The committee agreed that we should mirror the design on the right side of the sanctuary.
I might add, on seeing the project again recently, the bold line work in the stained glass reflects the shapes of the interior architecture which could only be construed as an act of God overseeing the project.
In addition to that design, I also needed to create a design for the facade of the chapel which would harmonize with the sanctuary windows. After finishing the first design I made a scaled layout of the facade frame work and painted the color design of the existing window beneath the steeple.
When I submitted my designs to the committee they were met with whole hearted approval.
The next stage was to make full sized drawings from the designs. This is why it is so important to make sure the designs are scaled as accurately as possible. We had to set up a special walled surface in a building behind the studio where I could tack the enormous sheets of paper needed to make the full sized drawings.
I also ordered the glass exclusively for this job and used the scaled designs to figure out the number of dalles for each color that would be needed.
When the drawings were finished we laid them out on twenty foot long tables and I labeled where each color was to be placed by the craftsman.
These windows were made using a twentieth century technique called dalle de verre. A dalle is a slab of glass 1" thick by 8" by 12". It can be cut with a diamond saw but the end result has much more character when it is cut with a standard glass cutter to score the cut and then broken apart with a specially designed anvil and a carbide tipped hammer.
Dall glass is also known as faceted glass because a special faceting hammer is used to chip oyster shaped pieces out of the interior surface of the glass. These facets catch the light and they glisten enhancing the overall effect of the large black areas of epoxy resin and the intense color. The next time you are in the chapel run your hand over the surface of the glass and you will feel the facets.
Because the pieces of glass are held together by hardened epoxy resin, they are also known as epoxy windows.
When the project was well under way I was told by the vice president of the company that I also needed to make drawings for the two windows in the balcony and that it was not necessary to submit a scaled design to the committee. So I made full sized drawings and labeled where each color was to be placed by the craftsman.
The color of stained glass is unique as compared to pigment painted on a surface. When viewing pigment on a surface we are seeing light reflected off of that surface. There are three primary pigment colors (red, yellow, and blue), the combination of which produces most other colors. Because pigment is impure, two of each of the primaries are needed to produce all other colors with the addition of white and black and there are still nuances which these eight colors cannot produce.
Stained glass is actually colored light. Light is pure as opposed to pigment. The three primary colors of light are (red, green, and blue). Because light is pure, all colors are produced by these basic three colors including white which is the equal combination of all three colors, and black being the absence of light.
Relative to the Nazarene windows, in the areas where there are the deepest cobalt blues, one can easily see how intense the blues are as compared to the brilliant yellow areas. In these blue areas a phenomenon known as halation is apparent. The large black areas around these blue pieces of glass almost disappear as they are engulfed within a halo.
When working with pigment, yellow on a dark violet ground which is its complement is the most luminous of colors. When looking at stained glass, deep cobalt blue is the most luminous of colors.
I must interject here my dismay over the high intensity lighting on the steeple from the ground. It was explained to me that the reason for that lighting is to show off the steeple. However, all of the windows I designed are double glazed with sheets of plate glass on the exterior of the stained glass.
The large window beneath the steeple was intended to be seen from the outside since the top part of the window is not seen by anyone from the inside. The room it is in is where the janitor keeps his equipment. And the bottom portion of the window is seldom seen by anyone because it is in a room behind the altar.
These two rooms are constantly lit from the inside so people can see the window from the exterior but the high intensity lamp shining up on the plate glass from the ground creates a very strong glare off of the plate glass, in effect, hiding the color of the stained glass window.
I suggested that they move the lamp from the ground and place it on the roof to show off the steeple and at the same time allowing the colors of the stained glass to be seen.
All you need to do is take a couple of heavy blankets and cover the lamp at night to see how strongly the glare from the lamp washes out the color of the stained glass.
I would also suggest that the University invest in professional interior lighting to expose the real beauty of that window.
The total footage of the Mount Vernon Nazarene project is approximately 2,000 square feet making this the largest project I have done to date. From the inception of the project to its completion it took us about two years.
EIN-SOF (Heb. אֵין סוֹף; "The Infinite," lit. that which is boundless), name given in Kabbalah to God transcendent, in His pure essence: God in Himself, apart from His relationship to the created world. Since every name which was given to God referred to one of the characteristics or attributes by which He revealed Himself to His creatures, or which they ascribed to Him, there is no name or epithet for God from the point of view of His own being. Consequently, when the kabbalists wanted to be precise in their language they abstained from using names like Elohim, the Tetragrammaton, "the Holy One, blessed be He," and others. These names are all found either in the Written or the Oral Law. The Torah, however, refers only to God's manifestations and not to God's own being which is above and beyond His relationship to the created world. Therefore, neither in the Bible, nor in rabbinic tradition was there a term which could fulfill the need of the kabbalists in their speculations on the nature of God. "Know that Ein-Sof is not alluded to either in the Pentateuch, the Prophets, or the Hagiographa, nor in the writings of the rabbis. But the mystics had a vague tradition about it" (Sefer Ma'arekhet ha-Elohut). The term Ein-Sof is found in kabbalistic literature after 1200. However, it was apparently not coined as a technical term since this was not the style in which, in the medieval period, negative terms were coined. Most probably its source is to be found in those phrases stressing God's sublimity which is infinite (ad le-ein sof), or which emphasize the characteristics of the (Divine) thought, comprehension of which "has no end" (ad le-ein sof). The use of this epithet in early kabbalistic literature proved without doubt that the term grew out of this kind of expression. It originated, apparently, in the circle of *Isaac the Blind, and his disciples. In the view of some kabbalists, the name Ein-Sof was likewise applicable to the first product of emanation, the Sefirah Keter, because of its completely concealed nature, and this double use of the word gave rise in kabbalistic literature to considerable confusion. There is no doubt that from the beginning the intention was to use the name in order to distinguish the absolute from the Sefirot which emanated from Him. The choice of this particular name may be explained by the emphasis placed on the infinity of God in the books of *Saadiah Gaon which had a great influence on the circle of the Provençal kabbalists. The term also shows that the anthropomorphic language in which the kabbalists spoke of the living God of faith and revelation does not represent the totality of their theosophical theological approach. At first there was no definite article used in conjunction with Ein-Sof, and it was treated as a proper name, but after 1300 there were kabbalists who spoke of "the Ein-Sof." At first, the term was used only rarely (even in the principal part of the *Zohar its occurrence is very rare), but from about 1300 its use became habitual, and later Kabbalah even speaks of several "kinds of Ein-Sof," e.g., the enveloping Ein-Sof, the enveloped Ein-Sof, the upper Ein-Sof.
G. Scholem, Ursprung und Anfaenge der Kabbala (1962), 233–8. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: M. Idel, "The Image of Man above the Sefirot," in: Daat, 4 (1980), 41–55 (Heb.); idem, "Al Torat ha-Elohut be-Reshit ha-Kabbalah," in: Shefah Tal: Studies in Jewish Thought and Culture Presented to Berakhah Sack (2004), 131–48.