Illumnated image of carved glass otter detail on handrail Illumnated image of carved glass otter detail on handrail

Elfriede Foster's Illuminated Handrail Project

Elfriede Foster knew exactly what she wanted when she first contacted me. Elfriede wanted to replace her wooden spindled stairway railing with carved glass panels. She wanted otters and killer whales, and she wanted the glass illumated from the sides.

For me the challenge was how to make otters and killer whales fit on the panels together. To create a realistic representation the actual proportions of each animal did not allow them to be put in the same panels as the otters would be so small in relation to the killer whales. After much thought, I suggested to have the otters in the lower part of the glass along the stairs, and the killer whales in the upper panels so it would appear that you were traveling through various ocean depths. This allowed me to keep the animals in proportion to one another and to tell an interesting visual story.

I took the measurements for the panels and went to work on a basic sketch which I presented to Elfriede and which she liked instantly. Then I went to work on the actual production of the glass panels. My husband designs and installs the LED lighting component of my illuminated projects. The final installed project is both appealing during the day and dramatic at night.

image of carved glass handrail panel with killer whales in daylight
Handrail top panel illumniated at night. view larger image
image of carved glass handrail panel with killer whales in daylight
Handrail top panel in daylight.
view larger image
Illumnated image of carved glass handrail panels
Top handrail panels with killer whales.
Carved glass detail of otter in Elfriede's handrail