Indigo Glass Art Sculpture | #BookMarkSculpture | @BookMark_Sculpture
BookMark in the Media:
“A new sculpture in downtown Concord is sure to catch your eye. Not only does it light up, but it’s also made of shards of indigo blue glass! Katlyn Cornelius is the mind behind TuxedoKat and the artist of the sculpture. She joined us on QC@3 to tell us more about this beautiful work of art.”
CONCORD — A local artist hopes her recent sculpture, made from repurposed mill glass, will get Concord talking about public art.
My art is meant to burn into your memories, like a BookMark, as something you recall when you reminisce this, that, and the other. Whatever reason brought you to know the BookMark – planned or accidental – the meaning of it all is to act as a bookmark of that moment within your consciousness. Someday in the future you won’t just remember the BookMark, you’ll be reunited with how you came to see it, whom you were with, and the actions that followed.
record the page (in a book) or address (of a website, file, etc.) to enable quick access in future.
“There have been important moments that were beyond my understanding and the “not knowing” has been one of the unsettling concepts of my life. My solution has been and is to “bookmark” those moments for “later understanding” in a belief that it will be fully explained to me in my death. This process has helped me move through many unexplained moments.”
World & Personal Events watched/celebrated while creating BookMark:
While laying the pieces into the resin, I live-streamed several events in our nation’s history. These are literal BookMarks in American History woven in the process of this sculpture:
- January 6th – Insurrection of the U.S. Capitol
- January 20th – Inauguration of the 46th President
- February 1st – 2.49Million COVID Deaths Worldwide
- February 7th – Super Bowl LV
- February 9th – 13th – Trump’s Second Impeachment Trial
While laying the pieces into the resin, I celebrated a few milestones in my own personal life:
- January 3rd – My 1-YR Wedding Anniversary
- January 4th – My Birthday
- January 23rd – Step-Daughter’s 10th Birthday
The bulk of the sculpture is comprised of thoughtfully placed shards of indigo blue glass collected from a 2020 renovation in Mill No. 17, the current location of Southern Strain Brewery in Concord, NC. The thick glass is rich in the most beautiful blue color. In addition to the glass’s color feature, it also boasts a unique texture as one side has a studded stamped texture while the other is smooth and flat.
Each of the four 8′ x 2′ panels is made of two layers of the thick glass and weights close to 100 lbs. Each piece of glass was individually placed with the studded texture facing outward so the observer could experience its unique pattern.
Resin is a wonderful medium that adds a thick gloss to a flat surface, can be formed inside a mold for custom shapes, and can even fill in large gaps to create objects river tables. Resin is a two-part mixture of liquid resin and liquid hardener that, once properly combined, undergoes a chemical reaction that hardens wherever poured. Different types of resin mixtures harden at different rates, have various rates of viscosity (the liquid factor of the resin), and can have a yellow or crystal clear color. Resin is water-resistant
This project required several types of resin to create the panels and adhere the panels to the internal frame. To allow for thoughtful placement of each piece of glass in one large 2′ x 8′ mosaic, the slow-hardening MAS Art Pro resin was required to give me an hour of working time. To speed through the panel’s “fill” layers, MAS Table Top resin was used to a faster curing time. Finally, MAS Low Viscosity resin with a 10 minute working time was used to speed through the install the panels to the steel frame.
The internal double-helix light design was influenced by The North Carolina Research Center in Kannapolis, North Carolina. The history of this Research Center begins at the end of the Cannon Mills legacy as a center for improving human health through research into nutrition and agriculture. The mill where the indigo glass was collected also houses Southern Strain Brewery whose logo and beer culture contains a double-helix
The design contains four strands of RGB and two strands of white commercial-grade Everylite LEDs, each controlled via remote.
The structural steel frame was designed in collaboration with local fabricator FP&A and powder coated by FNO Race Cars Inc, both local to Concord, NC.
Collection of Glass
As Mill No. 17, the current home of Southern Strain Brewery, began replacing the old windows with modern fittings, the indigo glass was removed and saved within an industrial-sized liquid container. The glass was collected and transported to TuxedoKat Imaginarium in bins in the back of her Blue RAV-4.
Cleaning & Sorting of Glass
The indigo glass was covered in sand and dust from the industrial floor boards while mixed with rusty staples and pieces of old grout. The bins of glass were filled with water to remove the dust and sorted to remove the staples.
Having to search for the right size & shape shard of glass in a large tub of un-sorted glass proved to be painstaking in the mosaic process. Therefore, the sorting the indigo glass pieces into like shapes and sizes was key to creating a large mosaic within the curing time of the resin used.
Creating the panels was an intensive process that included a wooden 8′ x 2′ x 2″ mold lined with plastic and frog tape.
Layer One: Fiber Glass was pressed with resin into the mold.
Layer Two: Cleaned & sorted indigo glass pieces were placed in a mosaic fashion to the fiber glass.
Layer Three: The panel is removed from mold, flipped over, and returned into the mold for the second and final layer of mosaic indigo glass.
Adhering Panels to Steel Frame
The four panels were adhered to the steel structure individually with resin and fiber glass. Panel edges and raised resin lines were dremeled smooth and resined over to maintain visual smoothness of the glass. Due to the weight and assumed frailty of the sculpture… yes I… I had to dremel in the house. Trust me… I didn’t want to…. but we had to. Thank goodness for the Shop Vac and my vast experience in dusting!
The adhered panels left gaps at the corners which were strategetically filled with resin, sanded, and recoated with resin for a crystal clear and solid corner.
Creating the Helix Light Design
We always knew we wanted to illuminate the sculpture but didn’t land on a solid idea until Richard, stump owner, suggested we create a double-helix design. We knew we needed killer LEDs and a cylindrical tube to create the helix look. With his extended tenure as an Estimator for a sign manufacture company, David knew where to purchase top exterior-grade RGB LED lights. We knew that acquiring a clear acrylic cylindrical tube would be timely and costly – so chicken wire it was! And boy was chicken wire the right answer: easy, cheap, and amazing!
Leveling the Stump
On the corner of North Union Street and Buffalo Avenue, the historic town of Concord NC began. This corner is popular due to its corner residence, the old Odell House, built after the Civil War and in conjunction with the Odell Mill across the street – now Locke Mill. In the 21st century, the Odell House is home to the best Halloween decorations in Concord – even Charlotte.
The corner of this intersection contained an 80 year old tree that died in late 2020. The stump because the talk of hosting our Bookmark Sculpture.
Transportation & Installation
Transporting the 300-pound glass sculpture called for the help from Frazier Sign, a professional sign installer with the experience and trailer.