Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bogenrief dome heads to home in Florida

SUTHERLAND-After three strenuous years, Bogenrief Studios has created a stained-glass masterpiece.

While it might not be the largest, it definitely has been the most complicated project for the Sutherland-based glass artwork studio.

In 2006, Bogenrief Studios, owned by Mark and Jeanne Bogenrief and their son, Seth, was commissioned to create a 7-foot-tall, 23-foot-4-inch-wide dome, a 7-foot diameter circular entryway window and two 28½-by-114-inch powder room windows for a 90,000-square-foot private home owned by David Siegel in Orlando, FL.

“He lives in the same gated community as Shaquille O’Neal and Tiger Woods,” Seth said.

Siegel, an Orlando-based billionaire, is the founder, owner, president and chief executive officer of the time-share company Westgate Resorts and its parent company, Central Florida Investments.

When construction of his Orlando mansion is completed, Seth said it will stand as the largest private home in America.

As the home will be decorated in an Italian, Versailles style, Siegel thought stained glass would be appropriate.

The dome, which Siegel purchased for $325,000, will be situated inside a ring in an enclosed skylight in his 800-square-foot ballroom.

“A chandelier will hang from the center, and the design that appears in the center of the dome will be replicated on the marble floor situated directly below,” Seth said. “Artificial lighting will also be installed for evening events.”

Seth, along with three or four other individuals from Bogenrief Studio, will depart in one week to hand deliver and install the four pieces.

While the dome is assembled in the studio now, the Bogenrief team soon will deconstruct the piece into nine sections of 153 glass panels so it does not get damaged on the flatbed truck during the more than 1,500-mile trek from Sutherland to Orlando.

Seth estimates it will take a day and a half to install all four pieces.

Although Seth, Mark and Jeanne have made multiple trips to the home over the past three years and have provided Siegel with progress photographs, he still has yet to see any of the artwork in person.

“He seems to have loved the progress photos, though,” Seth said.

Having the pieces finally be a reality, it was well-worth the three-year wait for Seth.

“It’s a huge relief,” he said. “It’s really nice to see something you envisioned in your head turn out so close to the way you saw it in your mind. We started with a colored pencil drawing, and it came awfully close.”

Workers at Bogenrief Studios in Sutherland two weeks ago put the finishing touches on four masterpieces that will soon grace a Florida mansion.

Those projects were three years in the making.

Mark and Seth Bogenrief began work in 2006 with a Florida-based interior designer to begin color selections for the glass artwork.

But the team faced a slight challenge when it was learned that the homeowner, David Siegel, is color blind.

“The only color he sees is blue, so we knew we had to incorporate blue,” Seth said.

From there, warm complementary hues were selected, and preliminary sketches of the designs were made.

When a design was settled upon, the various shades were created into glass platelets, which turned out to be quite difficult.

“The project was so big that we would make one model of glass, and the next time we would run the same pour through, it would turn out totally different,” Seth said.

Perfection finally seeped through, and employees began cutting, grinding, beveling, foiling and soldering each tiny piece of glass.

The building process did not start until a year ago.

“It was two years of frustrations and one year of actual building,” Seth said.

Now completed, the four large-scale glass pieces are like history in the making for the Bogenrief team.

“When you take into account the level and complexity, this is the largest, most complicated thing we’ve done,” Seth said. “When we’ve done pieces to this magnitude before, it’s always been a simpler design.”

This article appeared in the May 30, 2009 edition of The N'West Iowa REVIEW.

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