Stephen Hirt Studios Creates Glass and Bronze Lily Pad

The lily is placed so that visitors can see
the amazing similarity in structure between
the veins of the lily and the iron framing of
this wonderful conservatory.

When the Conservatory of Flowers, in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, was commissioning an artist, glass and metal creator Steve Hirt was a natural fit. Steve holds an MFA in Metals and Glass from Illinois
State University, and has trained and traveled extensively throughout the world. He has completed numerous residential and public projects, and takes inspiration from organic and natural processes.

Steve Hirt designed and created the beautiful glass and bronze Amazon Water Lily Pad for the conservatory. This is a most fitting tribute to the beautifully restored conservatory, as these iron and glass structures
(starting with the Crystal Palace of London’s Great Exhibition built in 1851) owe much of their strength, durability, and grace by mimicking the natural and complex architecture of the Amazon Water Lily Pad.
When Europeans first encountered this lily growing in the Amazon River of Brazil, they were astonished
at the sight of people walking across the lily pads and marveled at the ability of the lily pad to support the weight of humans.

Researched and written by
Heather Taylor

Stephen Hirt Studios
Conservatory of Flowers
Bulls Eye Glass

Life-sized glass and bronze sculpture.
Building the mold inside its custom-made kiln, three layers of glass were fused creating a panel 1/2 inch thick. That panel was later slumped to form the rim and mated to bronze veins cast by Scott Bartel and Duke Grenier.

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