Crystal Craftsman remembers 9/11

Sean Egan, of Sean Egan Artglass, a former master engraver with almost 40 years experience created one of the most renowned crystal pieces remembering those who perished on September, 11th, 2001.  His 9/11 Twin Towers commemorative engraved sculpture was presented to former US Ambassador to Ireland, Dan Rooney in 2011.

The piece, ‘Miracle on Stairwell B’ is a visual representation of one of the few ‘good news’ stories that came from the tragic events thirteen years ago this week.

9/11 has had a deep impact on Sean.  “9/11 means so much to me.  I have met a lot of people who were there that day and have listened to their stories, so sad, tragic and some like the story of Stairwell B, so miraculous.”

A group of NY Fire Department officers were some of the first respondents to the north tower, the first tower to be hit on 9/11. They were on their way up when they first heard and realised that the second tower had been hit and was collapsing. Chief Officer Jay Jonas instinctively knew that it would not be long before their tower also collapsed and made the decision to exit the tower.

On the way down Stairwell B they found a woman, Josephine Harris with a police officer. He has to decide to risk his and his men’s lives by trying to help them or to leave and save themselves. Despite Josephine’s protests they elected to carry them out but this slowed them down significantly. When they reached the fourth floor, the building began to collapse, so Jay Jonas radioed in their position. 

The rescue team, even though they knew the position of the fire officers, could not locate Stairwell B. Eventually one of the fire officers, Mickey Kross regained consciousness, looked up and saw daylight. He reached up his hand through the rubble and heard the words “We’ve found someone”.

It is this moment in time that Sean Egan recreated, where the hands of Mickey Kross and the search team member are just about to touch.

 Sean said, “My skill is to capture moments in time in glass and this is exactly what I did with the 9/11 commemorative sculpture.  I hope my piece goes some way in paying respects to those who died that day.”

“As we draw close to the anniversary each year I always think of the bravery and courage of the rescue teams, front line officers, emergency response units and the many ordinary men and women who did all they possibly could to help those in the Towers.”

Sean added, “I actually made my first 9/11 piece in 2006 for the fifth anniversary of September 11th and then made two larger pieces which are in New York and Waterford Crystal showrooms respectively.  The “Miracle on Stairwell B” is currently housed in the US Embassy in Dublin.”

Sean’s connections with the US were further cemented this year as he had the great honour of designing and crafting the stunning piece, entitled the “Gathering Bowl”, which was presented to President Barack Obama by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD following the traditional St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

Mr. Ciaran Cullen, CEO, Waterford City Enterprise Board, which supports the Kite Design Studio in the Viking Triangle, where Sean Egan Artglass is housed praised Sean’s creative flair and empathy.  “Sean is a true artist who can replicate the most significant moments that have impacted on us all.  Miracle on Stairwell B was a momentous piece as it embodied the hope and optimism that came from the rubble of the Twin Towers.”

For further information about Sean Egan Art Glass and further details about his many exciting projects visit