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Art Glass Show features 95-year-old Brooklyn artist

by: Rita A. Leonard, Brooklyn artist Frank Springer featured his fused glass art at a show in February. Brooklyn painter Cecelia Hallinan (right) organized the event at Camamu Studio/Showroom on S.E. Clinton Street.

Brilliant samples of colorful fused glass art sparkled in the windows of Camamu Studio and Showroom during a February 9-11 art show. Longtime Brooklyn artist Frank Springer's latest works were featured at this, his first public art event in the new showroom at 2021 S.E. Clinton Street.

Scores of friends and art lovers gathered to admire the work of this gracious and talented senior at a Friday reception and wine-tasting event, followed by a weekend art exhibition.

Springer, 95, is retired from the Portland Police Bureau. He has experimented in various art media for 35 years, moving from agates and polished rock sculptures through a stained glass window period, and settling, eight years ago, on fused colored glass art forms.

'It's a lot of fun, not too expensive to get into, and you can design whatever your imagination can think up,' says this cheerful gentleman.

Currently, Frank creates a variety of dishes, vases, bowls, and smaller art pieces. 'I took classes at Cline glass Co., and now have my own kiln for fusing and slumping glass,' he says. 'I purchase materials at Cline Glass, and at the Bullseye Glass Company in Brooklyn.'

Springer first began his art hobbies with cut and polished rocks. His wife asked one day if he could create a leaded-glass-style window from the samples he'd stockpiled. After conferring with a Scappoose Artist on leading tips and techniques, Frank began to create 2- and 3-dimensional 'leaded rock' art. His unique collection of wheeled vehicles includes a jade stagecoach, rose quartz Cinderella's coach, Roman chariot, and a Conestoga wagon made of petrified wood, among other objects.

As the rock art process became too weighty, Frank moved on to stained glass projects, settling most recently on fused glass art.

Springer's friendship with Brooklyn artist Cecelia Hallinan resulted in a wonderful 64-foot-long garden mural that she painted along the fence in his back yard. Cecelia convinced him to display his latest talents in a public venue, and organized the February art show. Visitors were delighted with both the glass art and with Springer's lively stories--an extensive collection of historical Brooklyn anecdotes.

'These are such beautiful pieces; you're so inspiring,' commented one guest. Another addressed his historical reminiscences, saying, 'Frank seems to know everybody in Portland.'

Springer enjoys the creative aspects of his hobby. 'The big plates take a couple of weeks to complete,' he says. 'Most of the work is in choosing the colors and designing the patterns on cardboard. You have to plan on wasting some glass through cutting errors, but by experimenting with shape and color combinations, you can create a variety of finished pieces. The fusing process takes about 14 hours, since the kiln has to heat up first.'

This talented glass artist enjoyed meeting guests and sharing his love of color with visiting art lovers. Many striking art glass pieces were snapped up by eager buyers, pleased to have lovely art pieces created by this amiable and talented senior, Frank Springer, a lifelong Brooklyn resident.