Scholarships: support them; apply for them. Don’t let stained glass become a Lost Art!

photo5Thank you Carol Schaller for your delightful comment below. I started this blog as a way for Carol and others at Trinity Episcopal in Branford, Connecticut to follow their commission. Starting with my very first post in April 2013 are dozens of descriptions of  the different stages of making Trinty’s stained glass windows. Type Trinity in the Search box and you’ll be inundated with work-in-progress photos and technical information.  These include glasspainting and design, the subjects of my May 2020 workshops.

It was once feared that stained glass would become ‘a lost art’ but the tide has turned in recent years. Thank goodness! Younger artists are taking an interest, many with the support of two US organizations that work tirelessly to keep stained glass alive and thriving.

The Stained Glass Association of America (SGAA) is a vital community of stained glass artists, artisans and aficionados of stained glass. The American Glass Guild (AGG) is a nationwide group of equally dedicated independent artists and professionals. Both organizations encourage and promote the creation of new work and the conservation of stained glass. Both have also, for 13 years now, generously supported my workshops with tuition scholarships. Please support them if you can.

Donate to the American Guild Guild

Donate to the Stained Glass Association of America

Here’s my schedule of 2020 stained glass workshops for stained glass professionals and serious amateurs. Check out the websites above for info on their scholarships.

ps I will also be offering residential art-making vacations for non-professionals during 2020 but these workshops will NOT be eligible for scholarships from the trade guilds.

pps I do recommend reading The Lost Art: a Survey of 1,000 years of stained glass by Robert Sowers.

 

Oct 2019 Glasspainting Workshops

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If you know of anyone else who may be interested in taking a weeklong glasspainting workshop with me in October please pass on this message. All the info is on my website, links below. Dates are Oct 21-25 (intro) and Oct 29 – Nov 1st (advanced). Last year I canceled to be with my Dad before he died. It was hard, but the right decision. Thanks for waiting. I am so looking forward to meeting those of you who did.

Luis Gianera, a wonderful stained glass artist from Buenos Aires just posted an appreciation of this 4 minute video showing me painting stained glass roses in real time using my proprietary mixture. This is the technique I will be teaching in October. The image here shows separate pieces of glass on the light table. No lead. In the bottom rh corner the glass has been painted and fired only once. Multiple firings allow you to permanently fix good strong tracelines then -without losing what you’ve already done -experiment with textural effects and matting techniques.
Luis was unable to study directly with me. Instead, we corresponded, he read my Notes for Students and figured out how to use these methods himself. Beautifully. To all my other blog and Facebook followers – now from 46 different countries around the world; Happy Glasspainting!
      Videos of me glasspainting in real time (scroll down past the math)

2018 stained glass design and painting workshops

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I am offering three 5-day workshops in September 2018 at my studio in Vermont. Here’s a schedule and some general information.

For those interested in scholarships, application deadlines for the American Glass Guild James C Whitney Memorial Scholarship is March 19th. And for the Stained Glass Association of America’s Dorothy L. Maddy Workshop/Seminar Scholarship and Albinas Elskus Scholarship the application deadline is April 13th.

September 10th-14th, TRACE & TEXTURE 5-day intro to GLASSPAINTING FOR ARTISTS is open to all. Excellent for artists in all/any media (not just stained glass). Tuition $860, includes lunches and materials.

September 17th-21st, STAINED GLASS DESIGN, STEP BY STEP, All levels. Tuition $825 includes lunches and materials. Check out this post Why Teach Stained Glass Design.

Sept 24th-28th, ADVANCED GLASSPAINTING  is a workshop for those wanting coaching on a specific project or glasspainting topic/subject; familiar with my techniques and wanting a refresher; or simply interested in taking their skills to the next level. Tuition $860, includes lunches and materials.

Above: painted glass on the light table from the Archie Hanna Memorial window at Trinity Episcopal in Branford Connecticut. I started this blog in April 2013 to share the entire process with the congregation. There are lots and lots of posts to read…

Stained Glass for All Saints Chapel at Carroll College

I spent 3 weeks as Artist in Residence at Carroll College in Helena, Montana in February working on the initial design concepts and preliminary drawings for five new stained glass windows. Since then I’ve been back in my studio making shop drawings, scale designs, supporting artwork and full-size drawings with specifications for building the stained glass. Below, work-in-progress on windows based on an analysis of the Medieval geometry of the San Damiano crucifix.

 

 

My latest work: please come and visit Weds, Oct 19th, 7-9pm

I’m doing an artist residency at the Studios at MASS MoCA right now and we’re having an Open Studio next Weds, Oct 19th, 5-7pm. You are cordially invited. I hope local folks will drop by. I’m one of 10 artists, location is on the MASS MoCA campus. More info and directions here. I’ll be showing math-based drawings, my stained glass tiling, and sculptural models made with computer scientist Duane Bailey this past summer,

Everyone is welcome, so please share if you wish. The Facebook event is at https://www.facebook.com/events/341789096165887/

Why teach stained glass design?

September Stained Glass Design workshop: Step-by-step from idea to finished window

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Do you know how to accurately measure a window opening; take templates; make full-size shop drawings? What if your window needs support bars or has curved perimeters? Are you consistent in coding perimeter lines to prevent installation errors? Is it easy to decide where to position bars and leadlines?

If you’re dedicated to making good stained glass but have answered ‘no’ to most of these questions, please note: I am offering a specialized drawing workshop that shows how to design and build stained glass windows according to a logical, repeatable, step-by-step process.

So how do you birth an idea? Well, drawing is fundamental.

Aside from imagery and subject matter, there are four key visual components to stained glass: colour, line, value and transparency. Exploring options in all these areas is an important part of the creative process, and it’s difficult to do this when ideas are still floating around inside your head. This is where design drawing comes in; making sketches, working to scale, drawing a cutline, and, in the case of painted stained glass, making a full-sized black and white drawing.

And how do you build a window that fits properly; is structurally sound; and works successfully within it’s architectural setting? Again, drawing is the key. It’s much easier to progress smoothly through the manufacturing process (saving time, materials and costly errors) when technical information is clearly set out on paper beforehand. These are called shop drawings.

Even if you use a computer to do artwork, learning the traditional design procedure, and understanding the purpose of various drawings, may be helpful. Teaching will be via Powerpoint presentation, hands-on drawing exercises and group discussion.

September 26-30th 2016 (5-day workshop) General info about workshops here.

Hoaf kilns, tracing brushes and puttying

IMG_1592A couple of interesting Hoaf kiln questions came into my Inbox recently (thank you Jeffery), plus a request for help sourcing tracing brushes – something I get asked pretty frequently.

Hi Debora, I am a glass painter and I have a Hoaf kiln. Why do you have the extra fiber material with holes for the vents on the inside?
What you describe as ‘extra fiber’ is the original insulation in my Hoaf “Speedburn II Fuse” kiln, purchased directly from the manufacturer and imported from Holland in 1999. I bought a similar kiln in 1983 which I left in England when we emigrated. I haven’t added any insulation to my kilns, and do not recommend this because it may interfere with the finely calibrated ignition mechanism. I had my kiln serviced a while ago because it was not re-lighting properly at firing temps (when the burners to click on and off to maintain soak temps). The engineer explained to me that the volume of air inside the kiln affects ignition.

Long skinny pieces of glass tend to bow. Is there a work around?
This is because fibreboard kiln shelves wear out in the middle from years of vacuuming. My original shelf did this, and had to be replaced. During January when I was firing a lot of student work I was using the shelf like a tea tray to ferry unfired glass from college back to studio, and it finally broke.

Also I noticed you only putty the back side of your window. Do you always do that with your painted pieces?
I always putty both sides, very thoroughly. My video must be confusing. Puttying, or ‘cementing’ is structurally important, not just an aesthetic consideration.

Last question – Do you know a source for good tracing brushes. I am having a hard time replacing mine.
My old quill brushes are very precious and irreplaceable (as far as I know… please share if you know where to buy them). I also use Mack or Xcaliber sword stripers. Great for tracing with my propylene glycol mixture, they have long, soft, beautifully matched hairs. I do recommend these, and they’re easy to find online and at art stores.

My workshops generally end with a handout of notes gathered during class, which help to keep the ball rolling. I just incorporated some notes from last September’s  glasspainting class (brushes, carving and printing rubber stamps) onto my Resources page. My June 2015 Oregon students have continued networking since their workshop last summer, sharing technical advice, design ideas, and more and I get a great buzz out of this. Thanks to everyone who has contributed questions and shared their own sources and ideas over the years.

Photo is of last month’s Williams College student work, on trays waiting to be fired.