Suncatchers by Jan Meng at Hungry Holler
In the winter, the view out the window is calm while plants rest and as much as we enjoy the structural beauty, we also miss color. One way to enjoy nature’s colors is to hang suncatchers so when the sun is out colors are reflected into the room, creating rainbows on drapes and walls.
Glass beads date back to 3,000 B.C. and stained glass itself was seen only in churches until Tiffany popularized it in lampshades in 1895. Native Americans from the American Southwest made the original glass sunlight catchers we know.
Artist Jan Meng designs and creates complex glass suncatchers at Hungry Holler Art Refuge in Eucha OK. On a single suncatcher strand she creates items that are made of 10 or 12 tiny pieces of glass interspersed with single glass beads or a series of glass cubes and mirrors.
“I want my pieces to be dazzling and fabulous,” Meng said. “With suncatchers in your windows the passage of the day is made manifest as sun moves through the room. I notice it all the time; I’m never un-aware of the beauty.”
Meng designed her suncatchers to hang outside and last a lifetime no matter what the weather. She spent years going through miles of various types of specialty string, looking for the strongest. Now, the individual glass art pieces are stung together with stainless steel snaps.
The squiggly metal hangers she uses are made by a woman who crafts them on a specialty machine her grandfather invented and each suncatcher piece has a metal core crafted to order by another woman artist. Meng starts with those metal cores and the rest is artistry.
Meng said, “It brings me peace to work with glass. The rainbows the glass makes flit across the room with the sun, reflecting the light the Universe gave us all to appreciate.”