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Tuesday, May 23, 2017
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(Courtesy of Frank Thompson)

(Courtesy of Frank Thompson)

Frank Thompson finds a way for glass art to shine, even without windows

Last Modified: Friday, October 18, 2013 5:48 PM

By Alex Onken / American Press

Frank Thompson has been busy.

Between traveling from art shows in Shreveport, Atlanta, Jacksonville, Fla., Austin, Texas, and New Orleans, the Topsy resident was recently interviewed by LPB for the series “Louisiana Artists: Profiles on Canvas,” though his work goes beyond just canvas and paints.

With a background in carpentry, blacksmithing and glasswork, Thompson creates art consisting of fused glass panels with a polished aluminum backing.

“You get the light bouncing back,” Thompson said. “With stained glass you have to have that in a window. Everybody would say that ‘I don’t have any windows’ or that ‘I have blinds on my windows,’ so I started to think of doing glass art in terms of doing glass art that would fuse like a glass painting.”

The glass is fired in a kiln and melted together. The entire process takes about 18 hours at 1,500 degrees F. After each piece has cooled, it is mounted on aluminum using standoffs, fashioned by Thompson, with silicone to have the glass floating above the back of the piece.

“It’s so different, and it’s unique,” he said. “People resonate with that when you look at it. It’s awesome.”

Thompson’s work can be found at Christus St. Patrick Hospital, the Imperial Calcasieu Museum and First Methodist Church in Welsh, as well as other Lake Area locations. After Hurricane Rita in 2005, he became known for his stained glass crosses and sold more than 900 of them by January 2006.

Recently, he received the juror’s award at the Red River Revel art festival.

At Lafayette’s Festival Internationale, Thompson was approached to place a work of his into LPB’s art auction. Thompson, selected as one of the top six artists, was then interviewed for “Louisiana Artists.”

When not creating, working or traveling, Thompson spends most of his time at home with his wife of 30 years and his four children.

“Louisiana Artists: Portraits on Canvas” will air at 10:30 p.m. Friday and at 5 p.m. Sunday. Some fused glass pieces are on view at La Truffe Sauvage restaurant.


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