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Artist's stained-glass creativity yielding a big-time success story

By Georgia Rogers

Dec 2, 2006

It is Arizona’s abundance of sunlight that fueled Tempe artist Troy Moody’s passion for creating objects of beauty in stained glass.

Little did he know that, after 10 years honing his skills in stained glass, he would end up using similar techniques to create a massive public art project at the new Phoenix Convention Center (formerly the Phoenix Civic Plaza) in downtown Phoenix.

Besides having an in-home stained glass studio, this graduate of Corona del Sol High School manages the production department and teaches specialty classes at Artistry Glass Studios, 4940 W. Ray Road in Chandler. 

He started out as an apprentice at another glass studio in the southeast Valley, and then began teaching at Artistry Glass in 2000.

A few months ago, Moody was awarded his first major public art commission by the city of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture.  Working with the award-winning firm Advance Terrazzo of Phoenix, he will create “underfoot artwork” in the form of 24,000 square feet of terrazzo flooring for Phase 2 of the Phoenix Convention Center.

For now, Moody is referring to his designs for the terrazzo project as “Downtown Canyons,” since the massive surfaces will depict rock canyon walls and the blue Southwestern sky. 

He explains that terrazzo is similar to the decorative art of stained glass because, in both mediums, metal strips are laid down to separate the different fields of color.

With terrazzo, a composite material is poured in place that consists of marble, quartz, granite, glass or other suitable chips that are mixed with a binder.  The terrazzo is then cured, ground and polished to create a smooth surface.

“My inspiration for this project came from Arizona’s massive rock formations, like the ones around Sedona,” Moody explained. 

“I believe in using what’s in abundance in the environment around me.  That’s probably why I love stained glass.  Arizona has a lot of light, so glass is ideal.  A stained glass piece responds to its environment and can look different depending on the light and time of day.”

Every summer, Moody and his wife travel back to her home state of New Hampshire. There Moody has studied with and worked alongside stained-glass artists like Dick Millard of the Antrim School and Margaret Britton, whose Pearl Art Glass business is located in Portsmouth, N.H.

Moody remains as enthusiastic as ever about creating custom stained glass pieces featuring his line-driven, contemporary designs.  By the end of 2008, his massive terrazzo floors for Phase 2 of the Phoenix Convention Center will showcase his artistic talent on a truly grand scale.



Photo by David Stone


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