Showcase stained glass window labor of local love
article date: 08/30/2002
By Ellen Sussman
MANCHESTER - The first event of Orvis's Grand Opening weekend was a quiet and colorful one, the unveiling of a two-story, stained glass window facing Route 7A.
An artistic and creatively-executed 12-foot by 16-foot design named "Lure of the Fly," the window is a brilliant focal point both indoors and out. It depicts a 9-foot brook trout twisting through the air, its eye focused directly up at a waiting fly.
But it's much more than that in concept and design. Composed of 20 separate rectangular panels and weighing more than 200 pounds, the window was designed by local residents Laine and Yoshi Akiyama, of Our House Design Studio, in Manchester. It was fabricated by Johnny Hinrichs and Jill Cough, of Johnny Hinrichs Stained Glass Studio, in Sunderland.
The Akiyamas have more than 20 years of experience in themed entertainment. Laine Akiyama said she and her husband started conceptualizing the window in January and initially came up with five proposed ideas.
"One goal was to attract visibility in the evening, from the outside, to make passersby want to come back to the store. Our other ideas were well-suited for the inside of the store, but the stained glass won out because it caught the eye - inside and out," she explained.
Once approved, Hinrichs and Clough started work on fabricating the window in early May. The sole project of nearly four months of work, Hinrichs said he didn't have a clue as to how many man-hours went into the fabrication.
"This commission began in early May when Laine and Yoshi brought the design to me," Hinrichs said. "After thoroughly discussing different types of glass and what we were trying to accomplish with this piece, I went down to New Jersey to the S.A. Bendheim Company to pick out the glass.
"Jill and I worked ... for three and a half months to bring Laine and Yoshi's magnificent design to life. And alive it is. It's the crown of my career," he said.
More than just 20 panels of intricate design are the smaller details that bring the massive work to life. Composed of approximately 1,000 separate pieces and 29 pounds of solder, the focal point is the 9-foot trout - a spectrum of vivid color - its mouth open and its eye on the waiting fly.
The mottled green of the trout's back and the reds, oranges and golds of the tail are made with Uroboros Glass and bring a blaze of bright colors to the twisting trout - indoors and out. Hinrichs said it took four sheets of the red-to-orange transition glass to get exactly enough for what he needed for the tail.
The colorful trout sits above a pool of brilliant, blue glass depicting the water. Complementing the fish and the water are accents of sea greens and pussy willows.
Also a part of the window's creation was Andrew Weill, of Manchester Hot Glass, who made the large water droplets and splashes falling off the trout's back.
"When planning began for the flagship store over five years ago," said Orvis Executive Vice President David Perkins, "we knew it needed a centerpiece, an example of local artwork that would come to symbolize the distinctive Vermont country lifestyle. Whether we're open or closed, this stained glass masterpiece will remain lit and visible to thousands who visit Manchester. It's a reminder that for almost 150 years, fly-fishing has always been and will continue to remain our core business."
Upon seeing the stained glass window at Friday night's party, local residents said they were delighted that the extraordinary window was designed and created by talented and skilled residents within the community.
To view the intricate stained glass window closely, the balcony on Orvis's second floor provides an ideal vantage point to get up close and personal and see the bits of color and beauty that compose "Lure of the Fly."
"Lure of the Fly"
Design: Laine and Yoshi Akiyama 2002
Created by: Johnny Hinrichs' Stained Glass Studio
This commission began in early May when Laine and Yoshi brought the design of "Lure of The Fly" to me. After thoroughly discussing different types of glass and what we were trying to accomplish with this piece I went down to New Jersey to the S.A. Bendheim Co. to pick out the glass.
Through four trips to Bendheims, Jill and i worked in my Sunderland Studio (5 miles south of Orvis) for three and a half months to bring Laine and Yoshi's magnificent design to life. And Alive! it is.
Andrew Weill of Manchester Hot Glass made the large water droplets falling off of the trout's back and splashing.
Total size: 16 x 12 feet
Further questions: call me at 802-362-2883 closed Wed.
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