Tucson artist Neille Olson creates a kind of steeped-in-color beauty that never fades. Her canvas? Cast-stone tabletops. Her medium? Stained glass.
Stained glass is Neille’s art and her craft. First produced in ancient times, the medium requires the vision to conceive a beautiful design, as well as the precision and patience to see it through to completion.
Each table begins with the inspiration. Sophisticated botanicals. Timeless geometrics. And fluid organic forms. Then Neille and her team of artists get to work – individually cutting and placing by hand as many as 3,500 glass, marble and travertine tiles onto each tabletop. As when working on a puzzle, the satisfaction comes when the whole picture emerges from these thousands of painstakingly selected tiles.
True to the nature of artisanal work, the real beauty is that each of these mosaic tables adopts a character of its own. Deep, sophisticated hues and intricate patterns transform with the daylight into iridescent waves of color, and then glisten with opaque mystery by nightfall.
This unique dance is what makes each of Neille’s tables so appealing. And she’s been making them for Frontgate for more than 20 years. Every season she receives cards, letters and emails from people showing her tables gracing their gardens, porches, poolsides and balconies. And to Neille, that’s a gift that’s as enduring as her art.