The Embrace by Studio Job. A Fantastical Facade of Glass and Bronze.

kunstkerk studio job facade
photo: Jeroen Musch

Studio Job of The Netherlands has completed their largest, and thinnest, sculpture to date. The 46 foot tall sculptural façade of stained glass and bronze is completely handmade and took over five years to create.

The Embrace by Studio Job

glass and bronze facade at kunstkerk

The Embrace by Studio Job , installed in front of an old church in Dordrecht, is their largest (and thinnest) sculpture to date, which is really saying something when you are familiar with their work.

sketch of the embrace job smeets
sketch for the project by @jobsmeets

My initial sketches started off as interpretation of the shapes of front facade, but over time it evolved into a composition that is about storytelling, our everyday life, about holding on to one another whilst the cockerel above freaks out. I wanted to portray shelter and togetherness with the form. Our decision to have glass drawings facing outwards instead of inwards was important to make it visible to everyone passing” explains Job Smeets, “It’s where art meets craft, and religion meets architecture.”

the embrace by studio job

The piece covers the facade of an old Protestant church that’s been transformed into an exhibition space and cultural centre called KunstKerk, or art church, in Dordrecht.

sculptural facade The Embrace Studio Job

It stands 14 meters high (that’s 45′) and weighs a whopping 10,000kg (that’s 22,046 lbs).

stained glass and bronze facade of kunst
photo:Jeroen Musch

The glass panels are made using the latest techniques to get the most precise color and details in the glass. Contrary to common practice in churches, the performances on these windows face outwards so passers-by can see them.

photo: Jeroen Musch

Crafted of bronze and glass, it was entirely handmade in their atelier and took five years to complete. With clear religious references, the glass art features a contemporary version of a crucified Christ, Mary and Joseph and a Baby with devil’s horns – who could be interpreted as Jesus – or the artist’s own son, according to the artist.

stained glass baby jesus with devil horns
Studio Job, The Embrace (detail), glass and bronze, 2020-2022

Artist Job Smeets admitted to The Art Newspaper that the figure of the Virgin Mary, who happens to wearing a bomber jacket, is based on his partner and the mother of his two young children, Studio Job’s Rebecca Sharkey.

contemporary stained glass
Studio Job, The Embrace (detail), glass and bronze, 2022
modern glass art
Studio Job, The Embrace (detail), glass and bronze, 2022

The curvalinear piece contains a triptych of stained glass narratives set within a textured bronze framework that is supported by 4 bronze turtles at the base.

Studio Job artist Job Smeets sits on The Embrace, photo @jobsmeets

At the very top of the piece stands a 6 and 1/3 foot tall rooster.

all images courtesy of @studiojobofficial and

Photos by @jeroen_musch @kunst.kerk and @jobsmeets

Studio Job

See more terrific Stained Glass work here