Monday, January 17, 2011

The Jordan River, The Roadrunner, Abstract Transoms Part 3, Dawn of a Sunset

It's been such a long time since I have updated my blog. The studio has been very busy none the less!
We are getting ready for a wonderful tour of studios in my new digs "Monticello Park" in San Antonio. This area has an annual event held February 19 & 20, with an opening night at the Bihl Hous Arts Gallery The event is called On and Off Fred. If you live in the San Antonio area it will be a wonderful weekend where you can visit 70 artists at their own studios where they will have demos and fabulous art for sale.

Friday, April 17, 2009


The last several months have been dedicated to completing the third set of panels honoring the Kool and the Gang Band. Scenes were taken directly from DVDs of concerts and even an early appearance on Soul Train. It has been a pleasure creating these panels. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

This is the largest stain glass panel in the Koolzeum. It is an unmistakable and classical pose of Kool & the Gang's namesake musician. His body language conveys his majesty, confidence, authority, mastery of his instrument, and his rhythmic showmanship as the man to provide the bottom line for the world's most prolific Funk-Jazz band. Why he has that name KOOL speaks for itself. This stained glass panel was designed by Cleveland Brown and Olimpia Perez and is exclusive to Cleveland Brown's Koolzeum Archives.

The Sax Duel
This panel articulately illustrates the intensive highlight for the shows from 2003 - the present. It is performed in Get Down On It, when Khalis Bayyan takes his tenor solo past the limits and mesmerizes the audience. He is swiftly joined by Dennis Dee Tee Thomas on alto in what is first a harmonious duet, but progresses into a saxophone duel which delights the audience with its musicianship, professionalism, and explosive energy. This panel makes this a frozen moment and adds its own energy for all time. This stained glass panel was designed by Cleveland Brown and Olimpia Perez and is exclusive to Cleveland Brown's Koolzeum Archives.

Soul Train
This unforgettable pose of the Kool & the Gang horns is another moment now frozen in glass. It happened at the band's first appearance on the "brand new" dance show Don Cornelius' Soul Train. It was network television's rhythm- loaded response to Dick Clark's American Bandstand. From left, Khalis Bayyan on tenor, Spike Mickens on trumpet and Dennis Thomas on alto carved a sound unlike anything previous - only to change the face of music and influence bands from every genre for decades to come. The dancers in the audience melted into the show, their dances are part of the choreography, and their 1970 perfect Afros became part of the show's wardrobe. This stained glass panel was designed by Cleveland Brown and Olimpia Perez and is exclusive to Cleveland Brown's Koolzeum Archives.

The Fist

In 1969, the civil rights movement had informally changed names to The Black Power Movement. America's inequity towards African Americans had the Black community at the boiling point. The assassinations of the leaders and slow reaction to fair demands signaled an emergent need for power to be transferred to the people who were the victims. When Tommy Smith and John Carlos put black leather gloves on and held their clenched fists up to the sky, while looking down to the ground, in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, it was a symbolic message to the world that it was a new day. Still teen-agers living in public housing projects, the anger was strongly felt by the musicians of Kool & the Gang, their staff, families, friends, neighborhood, and national community. The sign of the fist had been respectfully given to the band from the audience nightly at all the shows and the band used their choreography to face the crowd, turn to the right simultaneously, look down and pump their clenched fist as a tribute to the people. It was touching and meaningful then - but no permanent record of it has materialized until this stained glass panel four decades later. The late Claydes Charles Smith (seated playing guitar with a halo) was very laid back but extremely important to the music and the message. The light coming from the fist above the band has obvious significance. This stained glass panel was designed by Cleveland Brown and Olimpia Perez and is exclusive to Cleveland Brown's Koolzeum Archives.

THE FRENCH DOORS - A double set of panels that are 19" x 50" before frames.

The Flip

Performed in Get Down On IT from 1981 - 1987 as an extreme crowd-pleaser, then lead vocalist James JT Taylor and trumpet dance-master Michael Ray would back up to each other during the lyric line "Get Your Back Up Off The Wall" and the final time they chanted it, the flip over the head would take place meticulously in synch with the rhythms and the steps. It delighted audiences around the globe, as Kool & the gang slipped into the position of the world's best selling act, which they maintained throughout the entire decade. Part of the thrill of it would be supportive background steps from Clifford Adams, Curtis Williams, Dennis Dee Tee Thomas, and The Funky George Brown on Drums. This stained glass panel was designed by Cleveland Brown and Olimpia Perez and is exclusive to Cleveland Brown's Koolzeum Archives.

The Liberator

Also from Get Down On It from 1981- 1987, Curtis Williams, who joined the band in 1981 at barely 18 years of age, he quickly rose to more than an instrumentalist. This was a part of the night that blossomed into a show-stopper. Williams would strap on the keyboard known as the Liberator and dramatically step down from his multiple keyboard fortress a half flight above the band to the right corner of the stage. When he landed on solid ground with the band he would continue a merciless solo - featuring interacting steps with band-members Clifford Adams, JT, Dee Tee, and Michael Ray. Their fluid like motion on stage is felt with the water color shades in this panel. This stained glass panel was designed by Cleveland Brown and Olimpia Perez and is exclusive to Cleveland Brown's Koolzeum Archives.

Stevie Wonder

The genius and artistry of Stevie Wonder has had an impact on the universe in ways beyond measure. His effect on the musicians of Kool & the Gang has been overwhelming. His strengths as a music writer, lyricist, producer, studio musician, live show performer, and multi-instrumentalist, and a voice that defies description are probably overshadowed by his commitment to humanity and his ability to make differences. His charitable contributions as a philanthropist, his insistence on forcing the passing of the King Holiday bill, his assaulting expose of the former South African aparthide gained the attention and respect of the world. Wonder's manhood to boldly confront what is wrong and offer equitable solutions led multi-millions in America to support the Obama bid for the presidency, also causing more people than that to register and vote. This is a hero that is not to be taken lightly. Here, Wonder is captured in glass, incorporating cultural symbols while he is universally communicating through music in his recording studio. This stained glass panel was designed by Cleveland Brown and Olimpia Perez and is exclusive to Cleveland Brown's Koolzeum Archives.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Amber Beveled Cluster - Dreamy Mediterranean

A lovely combination of classic and Mediterranean. The perfect finishing touch to this masterfully recently built bathroom. 
A melding of several clusters, corners and diamonds make this panel a traditional beauty, while the amber borders give it a touch of Mediterranean spendor. 
Recently installed in San Antonio, Texas.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Sweet Amarillys

A delicate touch, a demure statement. One tiny flower with a grand attitute. 

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Texas Stars My Style

A classic Texan favorite, with my jewel favorite colors.

My Flower Garden Vase

A clear vase with a varied selection of flowers from my friend's garden. She sent me pictures of her flowers in bloom and I placed them in a vase.
Dreamy green/blue background surrounds the central motif, a lovely glass.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Abstract Transoms - Part Two

A few months back I completed a set of 6 abstract transoms. My customers requested 4 additional panels to complete the set of 10 transoms in their living-room, dining-room and kitchen.

Based on the same feeling of the past design I came up with another pair of contemporary windows. Although they blend in their setting they are definitely an eye catcher.

Pale and dark amber glass mixed in a swirl of background glass reminiscent of waves. Other strong texture glasses were used to enhance the design. A fun touch of orange just enough to make it all come together.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Soft Colored Cranes

A fabulous pair of panels depicting elegant cranes. Subtle colors were requested while maintaining a definitive feel of nature. The reed type glass suggests tall grass while the drop textures glass used for the river gives it a watery feel.

Subtle grays and wispy whites compose the wings while a stark black gives presence to the main subject.

A classy trio of classic birds!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Coat Of Arms

Boland Family

This has been a great delight to complete. A very elaborate panel that is only 18" square but chock full of detail.

The luscious red glass used in the scrolls brings this panel to absolute royal delight in the sun. The central shield was a successful challenge. The Lion and Eagle were painstakingly cut out in once single piece on a ring saw and fused in a kiln to the white and yellow glass respectively in two separate firings.

The enameled details were added after the kiln firing in a separate kiln firing.

Framed in rich dark oak, a perfect setting for this classic.

Considering a unique gift for a special family member, friend or customer? This might be the answer!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Spiritual Welcome

A small but full of spiritual meaning pair of sidelights were recently commissioned. Each motif represents something special for this customer. It was also important to maintain light in the area while also blocking the main view into the house. Large bevel diamonds as a central motif allowed for this.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Kool & the Gang - Part 2

I was honored to have four more panels of these great musicians commissioned. A blast of colors and textures demanding a "kool" look and so it is!

"The Angels"

“The Angels” are two figures somewhat based on the presence of John Coltrane and Miles Davis. Although these actual legendary forces passed in 1967 and 1991 respectively, the blessings of their musical legacies have had immeasurable influence and inspiration to Kool & the Gang, and to all bands, especially those with pronounced horn sections. This is a respectful tribute and an acknowledgement that the angels are being felt, heard and now seen. This piece was created for the KOOLZEUM and was exclusively designed by Cleveland Brown and Olimpia Perez.

Larry Gittens

Joining the band in 1975, Larry Gittens was already an established professional and was actively touring and recording with Stevie Wonder. His reasons for working in Kool & the Gang were to “keep sharp and the Gang’s horn lines are the most intricate in the business.” Gittens has remained on active duty to present with both acts, even becoming Wonder’s Musical Band Director and miraculously finds time to pursue a solo career. He is one of the most respected musicians in the business. This was designed by Cleveland Brown and Olimpia Perez and is exclusive to Cleveland Brown’s KOOLZEUM.

Robert “Spike” Mickens

An original band member, Spike’s trumpet eloquence, percussion performance, and physical presence were defining high points of the core band from 1964 to the mid 1980’s. In addition to his musical talent, songwriting, and showmanship – Spike’s level of natural koolness was a patented rarity that cannot be found elsewhere. His style is one that is fiercely imitated and immediately recognizable. This was designed by Cleveland Brown and Olimpia Perez and is exclusive to Cleveland Brown’s KOOLZEUM.

Ricky West

A founding member of the world’s Koolest musical entity, Ricky West wrote and lead sang on 1973’s smash hit Hollywood Swinging. His unique approach to all keyboards and lead and backing vocals cements him in the archives of pop music history. His likable nature, genuine quality and distinction came forth in every note of his music and this helped to shape the band for all time. West passed away in 1986 but his legacy is felt in the band today and his contribution was abundant. He released a solo album in 1977 titled “Ricky West and North South East.” This was designed by Cleveland Brown and Olimpia Perez and is exclusive to Cleveland Brown’s KOOLZEUM.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


Closing the year with a bang!
This set of three panels is part of a full set of seven to be completed shortly. Multiple glass colors make quite a statement, and a statement is what was expected!
The photos will be replaced with ones taken in their permanent setting when they become available, these don't do them justice.

Funky George

George Brown:

Also known as Funky George, is a world class music industry producer, the original drummer for Kool & the Gang and the one of the band's founding musicians. This piece was custom designed by Cleveland Brown and Olimpia Perez to be displayed only in Cleveland Brown's KOOLZEUM Archives.

Dee Tee

Dennis Thomas.

Stage named Dee Tee, one of the most immediately recognizable people in the music industry, plays alto saxophone, flute and is a consummate showman. He is also a founding architect of the band. This piece was custom designed by Cleveland Brown and Olimpia Perez to be displayed only in Cleveland Brown's KOOLZEUM Archives.


Amir Bayyan:

Formerly Kevin Bell. He is a major recording producer, songwriter, and musician in his own right, and is also Robert "Kool" Bell's brother. Amir was the keyboard player for Kool & the Gang through their most successful hit-driven era and is now Kool & the Gang's rhythm and lead guitarist. This piece was custom designed by Cleveland Brown and Olimpia Perez to be displayed only in Cleveland Brown's KOOLZEUM Archives.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Contemporary Transoms - Textures Delight

A set of five contemporary transoms was the last couple of week's project. Swirls of transparent hand rolled glass served as a background for a multitude of different textures and beveled pieces. Rough rolled orange and golden amber waterglass give a perfect touch of color in this abstract yet warm design.

An abstract design that most non-abstract lovers love!

Part of an open design floor plan, the three panel set is for the living room. The two panel set is for the adjacent kitchen.

These photograph have been taken by just resting them against a window in the studio, hopefully the customer will send a photo once they are installed in their permanent home.

Here are the panels installed in their permanent home. The owner decided the orange was too bright for their taste and we changed it to a lighter shade of the existing amber. They look wonderful also!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Night Howling Fun!

A delightful composition to say the least. Dear to my customer's heart this panel was designed exclusively for her. Lily The Golden Retriever, Corky The Schipperke, Margaux The Rottweiler. This is how she pictures them.

Multiple techniques and types of glass were used. Fused musical notes on the white moon. Kiln fired glass. Copper foiled grapes and three different types of lead came to allow for detail and strength.

And now a photograph of these fabulously funny guys at home!

And then there is also traditional. Sometimes we just want what we are comfortable with and has survived all styles....

Monday, September 3, 2007

Celtic Cross in Bevels

This piece was commissioned as a sidelight for a home in Colorado. The central motif is a Celtic Cross that gives this piece a touch of royalty. The beveled clusters add to its castle like feel. Shades of Blue and Bronze brings it all together.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Ivy Framed Door & Transom

This ivy framed door is quite a welcoming statement! A subtle reminder of nature wrapping your door. What makes this design so soft and not intrusive is the barely there green glass used for the leaves.

An adjacent transom is the other window, topping a wonderful entrance to a sitting room.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

How about some Quails!

Great classic Texas piece. This panel was delivered this week for a Texas home. A pair of delightful quails, streaky blue glass makes a wonderful southern sky. Simple greenery and sandy dry soil are all typical landscape details found in this part of the country. This happy quail pair found their permanent home in Saint Hedgwig, Texas.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Sunset River ... glorious colors

It's hard to not admire the force of a sunset, glass when selected carefully can capture the breathtaking colors of a Sunset River....

The studio has been scheduling commissions consistently, so I am happy to report I am busy!