Copyright Robert Nechin
Stained glass artist Robert Nechin works in a loft paradise with views of
the Carmel Mountains surrounding his airy studio in Ein Hod, Israel. As I cut glass,
chose colors, filed, and soldered during a recent workshop, the sunlight
and blue skies filtered through Nechin’s work hanging throughout the studio.
As we flipped through his portfolios we saw his modern, abstract and brilliantly
colored, sculptures, partitions, windows and murals many filled with pieces
of wood and metal and glass objects to give an additional dimension to them.
Nechin’s art hangs in
synagogues and public spaces and private homes both in Israel and abroad.
He often works together with architects and their clients to create an art
piece whose design will complement the
architecture of the structure. Currently he is designing murals for
the seaside town of Nahariya in northern Israel. He recently completed windows
commissioned to celebrate the 100th year of the Israelitische Gemeinde Synagogue
in Beil-Bienne, Switzerland.
Our workshop began with a brief history of stained glass, an overview of
different techniques, an introduction to the tools we would be using and
then we quickly began practicing cutting glass.
Within four hours each
of us had created a small colorful piece to hang in our own windows.
While working, Bob told us about himself and the route that he took before
making aliyah in 1976.
in West Virginia,
was an honors
graduate of West Point Military Academy and then during the height of the
Vietnam War became a conscientious objector.
He is a graduate of Stanford University with a degree in Russian
Studies, has lived on communes and boats and learned his craft while tending
bar in Washington, DC.
The imprint of his life experiences are felt through his work and in his
own words: “Modern art has given expression to a great feeling of freedom
that grants room to the human soul, and I want that reflected in my work.
This is my aim then: to create works that provide both a sense of liberation
and a feeling of harmony with the natural world.”
Text: Deborah Rosenbloom
Photos: Judith Isaacson