American Glass Guild


Drew Anderson
John Bridges
Don Burt
Debora Coombs
D. Crampton-Barden
Jean-Jacques Duval
Arthur Femenella
Marie Foucault
Saara Gallin
Charles Z. Lawrence
Ken Leap
Rowan LeCompte
Sandra Liotus
Anne Litwin
Karen Long
Gene Mallard
Dick Millard
Sylvia Nicolas
Cliff Oster
Nick Parrendo
Daniella Peltz
Robert Pinart
Patrick Reyntiens
Stephane Ruault
Don Samick
Judith Schaechter
Helmut Schardt
Heidi Scheffler
Laurie Wells


2007 Conference Schedule

Wednesday, July 25

Church Tour ($50)

8:45 a.m. Meet in Hotel lobby

Providence College Chapel; Providence, RI The new chapel dates from 2001; complete scheme of 48 windows by New Hampshire sculptor and stained glass artist Sylvia Nicolas, daughter of famed Dutch artist Joep Nicolas, in her recognizable style.  A book about the Chapel that includes many photos of the stained glass windows will be available at the book-signing during the evening reception at the Hilton*.

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, E. Greenwich A treasure trove of stained glass windows, which includes two by Tiffany Co.; three by Gorham Studio, one by Carl Edwards of England, three by Burnham, four by Rowan Le Compte, and three by Robert Pinart.  There are also two windows by McPherson (c. 1879), and a 1924 Wright Goodhue.  Messrs. LeCompte and Pinart are scheduled to be on the tour and will discuss their installations.

Lunch provided by AGG

Rhode Island Hospital Chapel, Providence - There are two chapels here with work by local Cranston artist/educator Peter Geisser.  The fabrication/installation of a back-lighted stained glass ceiling is scheduled for completion prior to July.  It is abstract and colorful, but soothing.  Peter will be on the tour to discuss the work.  The two chapels are across a curved driveway from each other, and as the chapels are small, our group will alternate viewing the spaces.

St. Brendan’s Catholic Church, East Providence - This large, modern church was built in the early 1960s after the old church burned.  An original window of St. Brendan is overshadowed by a complete ensemble designed by Benoit Gilsoul (who emigrated from Belgium in 1960).  The colorful altar window wall is faceted; the clerestory and west wall are leaded; the baptistery window is a skillful and interesting combination of faceted and leaded work.  Gilsoul painted the Stations of the Cross on clear glass for an area with an interior hall behind it, which will be artificially lit for our visit.  Helmut Schardt, who collaborated on the presentation of Gilsoul’s work will be on the tour to discuss the many nuances of the installation, one of which was the “atmosphere” Gilsoul created for the interior.

4:00 p.m.  Tour bus returns to Hotel. Registration table open in lobby.

5:00 p.m. - A memorial session to celebrate the life and work of Albinas Elskus - Presented by Clifford Oster, a manufacturer of Ancient hand-ground silver stains.  Albinas was instrumental in the development of these products.

    The session will commence with some visuals of Albinas' work and a short discussion of his importance to stained glass.  The primary focus of the session is on the personal level, and all are encouraged to participate.  Those who knew him should be prepared to tell a story or two.  Artists familiar with his work through his book, The Art of Painting on Glass, are also encouraged to speak.

    This will not be a "50-year History of Albinas Glass Painting" lecture, but a tribute to a wonderful, caring man whose goal was to help and elevate our profession and his students.


6:30-10p.m. Reception - Hors d'oeuvres, cash bar; book sale and signing.

Thursday, July 26

8:45 a.m.  Stained Glass Walking Tour:  Meet in hotel lobby
      Grace Episcopal Church (less than ¼- mile from the hotel).  Grace is a Neo-Gothic church designed by Richard Upjohn, an innovator of Gothic Revival architecture in the U.S.  (He also designed famed Trinity Church in New York City.)  In 1912, Ralph Adams Cram was chosen to extend the chancel and add several stories to the Parish House facilities. 

    The stained glass windows originate from a variety of studios, including:  Maitland Armstrong; Robert Barrie; Heaton Butler Bayne; A.L. Brink; Henry Holiday; Lavers, Barrraud and Westlake; Tiffany; and Whitefriars.  The chancel window was “reorganized” by Charles Connick in 1912 when the chancel was extended.

    This will be a “study” tour led by Barbara Krueger, Debora Coombs and Roberto Rosa.  We will examine/discuss the iconography, leading patterns, plating, support systems, installation details and more.  

11:00  Registration table open
Lunch -
On your own.

Member Introductions

1:00 Rowan LeCompte - Stained Glass Costs - Observations from a long career in a demanding medium.    

2:00 Robert Pinart - A Conversation with Mark Liebowitz.  The process of making his recent windows will be shown and discussed.

3:00 Patrick Reyntiens Does the Stained Glass World Have a Future? Has the world of stained glass got a future in relation to the media, architecture, and people's personal experience? 

4:00  Charles Z. Lawrence The Evolution of My Work:  Charles will talk about his journey through the glass world from his apprenticeship through his windows for the National Cathedral and up to his present day commissions. C.Z. is a master of color and light and will  educate and amuse those that attend with his design insights and his personal stories.

Dinner on your own

7:30 Jean-Jacques Duval - Capturing the Light A retrospective of my work.

8:00 "Reflections"  Panel discussion with Robert PinartRowan Le Compte, Jean-Jacques Duval Helmut Schardt, Charles Z. Lawrence, and moderated by Dick Millard.


Window by Harry Clarke

Friday, July 27

9:00 Judith Schaechter  Solder and Cremora: Judith will present a discussion of her work from age four, when she drew “Winston Churchill In His Coffin” to the present.  The lecture will include discussion of how she comes up with her ideas to how she designs them to how they are actualized.  Judith promises to go into depth about some of her stained glass techniques, which include sandblasting with hand cut and photo stencils, engraving, and painting.

10:00 Sylvia Nicolas and Nick Parrendo  Multiple Aspects of Iconography: Interpretation in religious art.  A list of resources will be provided.

11:30  Helmut Schardt  The Work of Benoit Gilsoul - I knew Benoit Gilsoul as an artist and a friend for 40 years and helped execute many of his projects and commissions during that time. I would like to share some slides and observations I collected during those years.

12:15 Lunch - Provided by AGG.

1:15  Ken Leap The Cathedral in My Back Yard: Glass Making in Bryn Athyn, PA - Explorations and new discoveries of gothic glass blowing, glass painting and mosaic production in the 1930's at the Bryn Athyn Cathedral and Glencairn Museum.  J. Kenneth Leap spins the tale of a treasure hunt, from the discovery of the Methuselah Journal to the cache in the crypt and the ongoing search for medieval striated red.  Exciting tales of discovery amidst the nation’s largest privately held collection of medieval stained glass.

2:15 Debora Coombs A Personal Journey: Paint, Pattern and Light    Designer and glass painter Debora Coombs will talk about the development of her own stained glass through various stages including the figurative, decorative, religious, secular and personal artistic exploration. 
3:15  Heidi Scheffler and Stephane Ruault: Meetings on the Via Vitro, the Glass Road:
We traveled last year along Roman glass trade routes from India, through the Middle East and on to Europe, visiting the sites linked to history of stained glass and meeting and working with contemporary artists and scholars along the way.  Our journey was inspired by the legends and stories of other glass travellers: the Phoenicians of Pliny, the Ancient’s tale of the discovery of glass on the coast of modern-day Israel, glass blowers like Ennion from Sidon whose work has been found from Jerusalem to London, or Jean Lafond and his exciting discovery of 8th century Arab stained glass in Syria with the archaeologist Daniel Schlumberger, for example.  We would love to share with you through pictures our excitement on setting foot at these legendary sites in these countries that have been touched by the history of glass for over two thousand years. 

We would also love to tell you the story, through pictures, of the artists and artisans of today who are continuing the traditions of old, or creating their own, in a time when global exchange is still the norm.  We were fortunate to meet glass artists both traditional and contemporary in each country visited: from bead makers and mirror artists in India; gypsum and glass window artisans of the Middle East; artists continuing a 19th century glass painter’s tradition in Italy; to Indian, Lebanese, and Turkish artists inspired by Western tradition; and German and French artists pushing the definition of stained glass towards new meanings.  We will be showing a panorama of photos reflecting these meetings and showing work and techniques.


5:30 Dinner - Provided by AGG  (5 to 9 p.m. Cash bar open)

6:30 AGG Auction

8:15  Member Slide Show

Saturday, July 28

9:00 Daniella Peltz -
An Examination of the Lead Matrices of 19th Century American Plated Opalescent Stained Glass Windows by John La Farge - We address the necessity for more research and attention to the conservation of lead matrices by focusing on the lead matrices of the 19th century American stained glass artist John LaFarge.  These windows epitomize the conflation of several conditions the conservator encounters when working on 19th century stained glass windows:  the renewed importance of the lead matrix in the design and artistic intention of 19th stained glass artists; and the fact that we are often the first conservators to work on these important lead matrices.  By looking at some contemporary sources we see the importance the lead matrix held in LaFarge’s oeuvre.  Looking at three specific LaFarge windows that have received treatment in the authors’ studios, we see various illustrations of the reasons for the importance of lead conservation on 19th century windows.  In addition, we look at two methods the authors have used to further stabilize the lead matrices in LaFarge windows that can be helpful to conservators working on

other 19th century windows and, indeed, the lead matrices of all windows in our care.

9:00 Cliff Oster -
Stained Glass Stains -
For this presentation Cliff will show samples of experimental stains and discuss what is involved in experimentation as well as the documentation process.  He will also discuss future new products.

9:30  John Bridges
and Laurie Wells Here, There, and Back Again – Tracery windows were traditionally carved in wood or stone.  The fabricating process for these curvilinear and ornate shapes was labor-intensive and costly.  Terra cotta was introduced as a substitute for natural stone in North America in the mid 19th century.  The molding process was ideally suited to repetitive shapes and multiple window openings.  The speed of production increased, and cost was significantly less than natural stone.   Pre-cast concrete became a popular substitute for stone in the 1920's.  The material is readily available and significantly less costly to produce identical units than its predecessors.  Recent attempts at glass fibre reinforced plastics and concrete have also been made.   Each material has its inherent strengths and weaknesses in terms of cost, availability, and durability.  Now, stone is making a come-back, by utilizing innovations in technology to reduce the labour component of the fabrication cost.  

Tracery windows, by their very nature, are highly susceptible to weathering and deterioration.  They are the thermal bridge between interior and exterior.  They are seldom properly maintained, and they are often anchored or reinforced with mild steel.  They have thin cross sections that are highly susceptible to moisture penetration and water ponding.  Corrosion of anchors and reinforcing are the common sources of failings in these windows. As the steel corrodes, it imparts enormous pressure on the masonry units.  Cycles of freeze / thaw create thermal expansion and contraction, further weakening the assembly.  Units crack, spawl, or fracture, creating structural failings.  Such failures can put valuable stained and leaded glass in peril, not to mention people and property from fall hazards.  


Repair or replacement of tracery windows is a complex process often involving partial or complete dismantling of the window.  Decisions about material choices are often guided by cost and projected longevity.  This presentation will utilize a series of case studies from Canada and the United States to demonstrate the rationale used to determine the choice of replacement materials and their relative costs.  We will look at relative costs for one-of-a-kind units versus multiple identical units in the realm of restoration and in the world of new construction.  We will also explore the innovations in technology and detailing which offer cost savings over traditional fabricating processes.  


The presentation will be in a PowerPoint format.  Sample materials showing a variety of failures will be on-hand for participants to view and handle.  Questions from the floor are welcome throughout the interactive presentation.


9:30  Saara Gallin Synagogue Windows: A personal selection:  Two things governed my presentation and selection.  First: windows which should be known both because of their place in history and aesthetically.  Second: windows which speak to me because of their excellence in using traditional symbols and subject matter, but interpreting them in inspired ways.  There will be a discussion (with footnotes) regarding the artists' use of the human image in Jewish art over the centuries.

10:30  Art Femenella - To Lead or Not To Lead, That Appears to be The Question - In the current climate of conservation there is a continuing debate over what methodology is right; a striving for some absolute.  Rather than dictate the methods and materials that should be used, Art will discuss and explore how one determines when a window is ready for re-leading; what are the parameters that determine the most appropriate repair of broken glass: copper-foil, edge-gluing, replacement or cover plate; what issues should be investigated when products of corrosion are found on a stained glass window; what types of in situ repairs are appropriate; and other vexing issues.  Attendees are encouraged to wear protective gear and have health insurance.  It could get ugly.

10:30 Gene Mallard: Acid etching as an integral aspect of stained glass - Gene Mallard will be discussing the basics principles of the acid etching procedure as it is used in stained glass.  He will present a slide show of some of his autonomous pieces which have relied heavily on acid etching in order to achieve a photo-realistic look, as well as photos of other projects that show how etching can be used to attain great graphic effect in both geometric and abstract designs.

 While it will not be possible to do a live demonstration of acid etching at the conference, a slide or video program will be assembled to give the viewers a concise overview of the process.  The artist will be demonstrating what is involved in etching with masks, as well as the process of freehand etching.  Freehand etching is most commonly used to compensate for unevenly flashed glass, but it can be an effective tool for gradual tone gradation and subtle shading.

11:30 Karen Long: The Ten Things You Must Do For a Safe and Compliant Studio

11:30 Debora Coombs:  Revealing The Journey: Designing a Window From Start to Finish: Debora Coombs will explain the design process step-by-step, using examples of her own and other artist's work.  She will describe the separate visual components of stained glass (structure, chiaroscuro, transparency/opacity, etc.) and how these contribute to successful design.

12:15 Lunch - Provided by AGG   

1:15 Don Samick - Cash Flow Analysis:  I have a passion about keeping track of money in business.   It is knowing how much money is coming in and out every week over a  fixed period of time.  It shows when there is going to be a cash problem and also when there is excess money to put a down payment on a truck or equipment.           

1:15  Marie Foucault Basis For An Open Vision: The importance of schooling, training and awareness of self.  In any teaching, no matter the topic, school education is the basic foundation to get an ethical, moral and solid platform to be a decent student and to become a professional.  Then the merging out of this common mold to become a reliable craftsman and/or, (the first one not implicating necessarily the second one and vice versa) a creative artist in our discipline: stained glass.  From the difficult phase of learning will be plentiful rewards.  Glass is a wild medium too often mistaken with a flat surface - a decorative medium of a beautiful color - used as a canvas forgetting all of its depth of transparency, forgetting its playfulness with the light.  Glass is, to me, a support of light of unknown depth playing with the day, the night, the season.  It has more secrets to be discovered by constant research of trying to tame it.  It is controlling me, giving me an awareness of self, and I let it do it as I have no pretension of mastering it.
2:15   Sandra Liotus & David Crampton-Barden
: If The Light of God is Not Available:  LET THERE BE “BALANCED, COLOR ENRICHED, ENERGY EFFICIENT” ILLUMINATION BEHIND YOUR STAINED GLASS. These are the ultimate dream goals for back lighting exquisite and valuable stained glass masterpieces.  Sandra Liotus Lighting Design, LLC (SLLD) have come to specialize in back lighting stained glass masterpieces worldwide with their custom lighting solutions which are designed to enrich the color of the glass, create an even balanced wash of illumination behind the whole piece of glass and to be a maintenance free and environmentally friendly lighting solution.  Dimming controls can also be incorporated, so that the client has a full range of light levels and options to view the glass.  Hear a brief introduction from SLLD on how they have designed and custom built their lighting technologies to meet and reach all of these goals for artists and clients.  Some lighting projects which will be discussed include windows designed and created by Willet Hauser Architectural Glass for the Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan; Mary Clerkin-Higgins Window Creation for the Valley Bible Church in White River Junction, Vermont; Willet Hauser Architectural Glass Rose Window Designs for the Christ Church in Greenville, North Carolina; Marble House, Gothic Room Stained Glass Door Window Features, Preservation Society of Newport County.  


2:15   Don Burt The Enabled Amateur -  The Internet and the recent availability of training from masters of the craft have opened many once-closed or arcane crafts such that unexpectedly advanced results are produced by the amateur or 'dilettante.''

3:15   Documentation Panel with Drew Anderson. What is Documentation? - Full documentation of the preliminary research and of all steps, methods, and materials of a conservation process is a necessary part of the conservation/restoration of any historically significant stained glass project.  As the profession aligns itself with other conservation specialists and groups, even minimal documentation will become obligatory.  The discussion will weigh the necessity of documentation and debate what might be required in a condition, conservation or treatment report.  In addition, we will look at examples of documentation of work done in the private sector, including the materials used and the techniques for doing rubbings, photos (film, digital), etc.      

3:15   Anne Litwin Understanding Personality Style Differences; Communicating More Effectively with Customers and Co-Workers:  Do you sometimes wonder why it is so frustrating or difficult to communicate with customers or co-workers?  In this seminar, we will explore personality style differences that can create these frustrations, based on the dimensions of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).  We will also explore strategies to increase communication effectiveness, based on these differences.

Dinner - On your own.

7:30   Roundtable on Repair and Restoration

7:30   Roundtable on Design and Painting

Sunday, July 29

WORKSHOPS ($100 each)

9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. - Designing with Glass Eye & Adobe Photoshop Software:  With Ken Leap.  Bring your own laptop.  Learn to use computer software to design stained glass windows, prepare proposal renderings and full-sized glass patterns. Students should be proficient in Windows and have Glass Eye and Photoshop installed on their laptops. This class is also appropriate for those curious about computer design, who haven't yet taken the plunge.

9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. - Two Paisans Fixin’ Stuff; Restoration Techniques: With Arthur Femenella and Roberto Rosa - This workshop will discuss and demonstrate edge-gluing and copper foil repairs, structural fins, rubbings, application of plates, and techniques to seal multiple plates.  Attendees will get an opportunity to edge-glue with silicone and prepare a rubbing.










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