Oak Park glass artist, Bryan Northup, transforms shards left in the wake
of the devastating June 30, 2011 hail storm into one-of-a-kind art bowls featuring hail-marked white wash. Supporters and patrons who purchase
a bowl will not only own a historic piece of the conservatory and be supporting a local artist, but will also contribute to the ongoing reconstruction efforts of the famous and beloved Chicago landmark.
Northup, who was already working extensively with recycled bottle glass was thrilled to work on a project that so seamlessly fit into what he was already making in his studio, and for a cause dear to the artist’s heart.
“If I wasn’t in the studio creating with glass you would find me in the
garden tending plants. Anything I can do to help restore one of my favorite places.”
The shards that make up each ”Catching Hail” bowl are historical records. The glass was whitewashed at the time of the storm to reflect the summer sun but also acted as a canvas for millions of hail stones to leave their mark. Those hail strikes in the whitewash are now fired on to the glass.
The bowls entitled “Catching Hail” were released in November 2011 to benefit the ongoing rebuilding efforts at the Conservatory. Since then hundreds have sold. The bowls will be available in the Garfield Park Conservatory gift shop until all the collected shards have been repurposed.