In 2009, New York artist Beatrice Coron designed a 3-part glass installation entitled “Tree of Knowledge” for the facade of the San Teresa Library in San Jose, California.
The largest of the three circular discs is approximately 200 cm in diameter and is placed centrally in the façade so that it is easily visible from many areas of the building. The two smaller circles, each about 100 cm in diameter, sit at different heights in the facade, inviting children and adults to view them up close. In the process, many details can be discovered: In the individual rings, the artist depicts diverse aspects of the history, culture and environment of the Santa Teresa community.
The realization of the small-scale designs, consisting of silhouettes, required great craftsmanship and a variety of different techniques:
Green genuine antique glass from Lamberts Glassworks was hand-cut and sandblasted into intricate shapes. Mouth-blown opal glasses were covered with plotting foils and finished with enamel glass colors using the airbrush method. The individual glasses were carefully ground in, laid together in an intarsia-like manner, and glued to a support disc of safety glass. Ornamental glass painted with silver yellow was additionally glued on as highlights in the third layer.