artist gallery : mbalakstudios

mbalakstudios's Profile


Bio

I am a retired historic architectural restoration specialist/conservationist, having spent my career restoring historic old buildings and homes. Stained glass has always been my main art interest as well as my home hobby for over 40 years. I have built scores of stained glass windows, as well as restored scores more over the years. I also specialized in lincrustra wallcovering restoration, ornamental woodcarving and architectural carving restoration, veneer work, statue restoration, mural restoration and inpainting, and ornamental plaster restoration and gold leafing as well as antique furniture restoration. I have also been a musician from childhood (I play 7 different instruments and have played in many rock and bluegrass bands over the years) and a collector and restoration luthier since the 70's and I have restored countless vintage wooden musical instruments over the years. My other hobby besides the stained glass and musical instrument work was collecting and restoring exotic sports and luxury high performance cars, a hobby which I had absolutely loved for over 27 years and still enjoy today, although I have downsized my automobile collection over the years as car values rose and age started catching up with me. I have been fortunate to have been able to make my passions and hobbies my life for so many years. My interest now that I am retired lies in building complex stained glass windows from photos I have taken of nature or found photos that I really like. I am striving to achieve the look of a fine painting, only done in glass instead of oils. I hope to do a four seasons set of windows in this style, of which my 'Autumn from the 2nd floor' panel was the first in the group, now followed by my latest summer 'moon flowers' window. Only two more seasons to go!
Recent Activity
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MBalakStudios comment on Glass Bead
April 18, 2014

Congratulations on your win, Whitney. I enjoyed seeing all of your entries in this year's festival, you do really nice work.

MBalakStudios comment on Tiffany 28" Magnolia
April 18, 2014

Great lamp, and another well deserved win. Your workmanship and glass choices are truly outstanding. Michael.

MBalakStudios comment on 26" Oriental Poppy
April 18, 2014

Congratulations on your first place win, Scott. Well deserved. Michael.

MBalakStudios comment on Blue Fish
April 18, 2014

Congratulations on your win, Michelle. This was one of my very favorite pieces of this year's festival. Michael.

MBalakStudios comment on Steampunk Under Glass
April 18, 2014

Congratulations on your well deserved win, this piece is really beautifully done, love your design and paintwork on this piece. Michael.

MBalakStudios comment on 26" Oriental Poppy
March 28, 2014

This lamp is beautifully done. I can see you spent a lot of time on your glass choices and selection for colors, correct shading, etc. Really nice work.

MBalakStudios comment on Glass Bead
March 25, 2014

I really like your work. The colors and patterns in the glass are beautiful.

MBalakStudios comment on Hidden Fruit
March 19, 2014

This piece is absolutely wonderful. Your work is truly exceptional and while I really like all of your entries, this piece stood out to me for it's beautiful design, choices of glass, and flawless execution. You are really great at what you do. Michael.

MBalakStudios comment on PLUM CRAZY
March 13, 2014

Thank you again, Elzi. I am pleased that you like my work. I tend to always think that I get too fussy choosing my glass or with small details in my pieces, but when I finish a window I always look at it and think to myself how I sure am glad I did this or used that glass, or that I am really glad I took the extra time and did this, or that, etc. I guess one can never be too much of a perfectionist when it comes to glass work, as it always pays off in the end result. I really enjoyed building this window, as I love rich, dark colors in glass, and this one pleased me very much. I never get tired of looking at this piece as the colors and hues change wonderfully throughout every hour of the day depending on the light. Michael.

MBalakStudios comment on MOON FLOWERS
March 13, 2014

Thank you Elzi, for the nice compliments. I spent just over 2 months building this window, with the goal of making it as realistic as possible. I too like the balance of various greens and white, with a touch of reddish brown with the vines, in person the window is very striking. My biggest challenge was getting the flower petals to look correct and have the proper shading, which is why I went with the drapery glass to make those. The glass is actually very pure white, but it is so thick that it makes it's own shading in places when light passes through it, so I used that natural shading while cutting and placing pieces in order to get the result of flowers that look as close as possible to the real moon flowers. Michael.

   
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mbalakstudios
mbalakstudios
Profile
mbalakstudios's info
joined:Mar 25, 2009
location:Sioux Falls, SD US
display name:MBalakStudios