My love of stained glass began as a child in church, where, inevitably bored with adult sermons and songs, I’d gaze into the faces of the saints and angels that adorned the stained-glass windows surrounding me. I loved how the sun brought intensity to the colors as they cast their radiance upon the worshipers. The colors came alive. They charmed me, centered me and gently competed against the solemnity that pervaded the church. They made it the heavenly abode it was, and emphasized the importance of the place like nothing else could. Fast forward a decade or so, and I am married with one child, and desirous of a stained-glass lamp for our bedroom. Since our finances were meager, I purchased a stained-glass kit for an eighth of the price of a completed lamp, learned the art, and made one myself! I went from there to designing my own suncatchers, trinket boxes, and just about anything else I could think of for Christmas gifts.
Another child later, my work was placed on the proverbial back burner, then slowly slipped into oblivion while I devoted my time to the more pressing certainties of dirty diapers, dishes, utility bills, divorce, and finishing my college degree.A few years later while working in Boston, I would eat my lunch in Trinity Church in Copley Square during the Friday afternoon organ recitals. Other days, I would head there to steal a few moments away from the hustle of Boston business life. At times, I would be the only person in that massive cathedral. At those times, I loved the impenetrable silence there. It became my sanctuary away from the world.That’s where I was first introduced to the works of John LaFarge, who reinvented the art of stained glass despite protestations from his rival, Lois Comfort Tiffany. Among the many patents LaFarge held, he also invented opalescent or opaline glass, the opaque stained glass that adds depth to some works. And he created my favorite stained glass masterpiece, Christ in Majesty, that graces the West façade of Trinity and which was installed there in 1883. Siegfried Bing, who coined the term ‘Art Nouveau’, commended La Farge’s window thusly: “All marveled at the large stained-glass window, whose astonishing brilliance surpassed, in its magic, anything of its kind created in modern times.”I agree with him. The picture here of LaFarge’s Christ in Majesty, fails to reveal the ‘majesty’ of this work. I had never before experienced the overwhelming awe this window created in me, even after having visited the Rose Windows of Chartres Cathedral in France years later. I felt this window viscerally. The colors are brilliant and stunning, especially the blues. And LaFarge almost invented a new hue of turquoise that I’d never seen replicated before or since. The pieces of glass are leaded together more closely aligned with mosaics, than traditional stained glass form. These unique factors, as some have said, combine to make this work the greatest piece of stained glass in America.
I’ll never be a Tiffany or LaFarge, but I love creating with stained glass and am honored to partake of its history with every piece I create. I will often add other forms of glass like glass gems and sea glass that reminds me of my upbringing on Cape Cod. I am at a time in my life where I am lucky enough to be able to devote myself to stained glass full time and I want to make the most of it. So, look around the website and if you like what you see, take it home. I also work on commission and will design a window or other piece to your specifications.
Thank you for spending time here.