American Glass Guild


Conference Overview
Drew Anderson
Joseph Cavalieri
Debora Coombs
Jean Farnsworth
Arthur Femenella
Ginger Ferrell
Nicola Gordon Bowe
Carol Heidschuster
Judith Hiemer Van Wie
Bob Jaeger
Kathy Jordan
Lance Kasparian
Tom Krepcio
Barbara Krueger
Tom Kupper
Charlie Lawrence
J. Kenneth Leap
Linda Lichtman
Gene Mallard
Ellen Mandelbaum
Ellen Miret
Nancy Nicholson
Nick Parrendo
Roberto Rosa
Vic Rothman
Don Samick
Judith Schaechter
E. Scott Taylor
Geoffrey Wallace
David Wilde
E.Crosby Willet
Diane Wright


2008 Conference Schedule


Thursday, July 31


2:00pm- 5:00pm   Workshop

J. Kenneth Leap:   Computer Design

			Designing with Glass Eye
Learn what the Glass Eye software can do to aid in designing stained glass windows 
and creating full-sized glass patterns. 
This course is perfect for those evaluating if a computer is the right design tool for them. 
The class is presented in a lecture/demo format. 
Those with laptops will want to download the 30-day free trial version of Glass Eye 
to follow along with the demo. 
However this is not necessary to get value out of the class. 
Students are provided with a lesson disk that they can work through at home. 


6:00pm- 9:00pm   Workshop  (cost $120.00)  

Debora Coombs:  

                        Trace & Texture: Glass Painting with Propylene Glycol

Suitable for all skill levels, from non-painters to seasoned professionals. Thursday July 31st 2008, 6-9pm
Discover how to paint glass with a slow-drying medium that allows for an endless variety of 
mark-making and textural effects. 
Propylene glycol is a common food-additive and safe, non-toxic painting medium.
This hands-on workshop starts with a demonstration of techniques and 
review of painted and silver-stained glass samples. 
Participants will learn how to print on glass with materials such as lace, plastic and rubber stamps; 
create faux textures such as stone, 
wood and fabric; control/modify transparency without compromising the sparkle of the glass; 
manipulate wet paint with silicon tools; 
and create lively, expressive tracelines. 
This is a great class for anyone wanting to loosen up and/or expand their repertoire of 
glass painting techniques.  
It will also touch upon improvisation using your own tools and provide instruction for mixing, thinning, 
and application of lead-free paints with propylene glycol.
Tools and materials will be provided but please bring your own glass painting brushes, 
especially a badger if you have one (optional).


Friday, August 1

8:30 - 11:30am  Workshops  (cost $120.00 each)

Judith Schaechter:  

                                    Rethinking Stained Glass

We shall begin with a POP QUIZ!

Its fun, I swear! It is one page of questions pertaining to the notion of creativity. 

This will be used to provoke discussion later in the session

To be followed by a brief PowerPoint entitled “Surviving Your Creativity”.

And then? A PowerPoint showing examples of nontraditional uses of traditional techniques, and some newer stuff such as photo sandblasting and filing and student work of interest

Finally: a rousing (I promise!) group discussion on the subject of rethinking stained glass. Discussion points will include:

  • The participant¹s answers to their quiz
  • New directions for stained glass technically
  • The influence of the current fine arts world
  • Learning stained glass in art school VS. apprenticeships
  • Tradition:  The tyranny can set you free, yes or no?


Arthur Femenella and Roberto Rosa:


                                    Structure, Support and Installation  

The traditional (saddle bars and tie-wires; flat bars; tee bars) and the non-traditional (structural fins; structural plating) methods of support will be discussed. 

This will include materials and methods such as computations of wind-loading; effects of bending bars on strength;  bar placement; etc. 

Samples of each system will be available for view as well as a power point presentation. 

Installation methods for stone, metal and wood frames will be discussed with the various methods and materials for retention and weatherproofing panels within the frames. 



J. Kenneth Leap:   Computer Design 

			Photoshop Tricks for Designers
Adobe Photoshop Software is a pricey investment, but it can do, oh so much! 
Learn how one designer uses this tool to "think through & build" his designs, 
explore options & produce stunning proposal renderings. 
Photoshop can also solve some of your problems in laying out type for inscriptions, 
and prepping graphics for screen printing or photo sandblasting. 
Those who already work with Photoshop will learn some new tricks, 
beginners can evaluate if computer design is right for them. 
The class is presented in a lecture/demo format. 
It is not necessary to bring a laptop or own Photoshop to get value from the class.



11:30 - 1:00pm   Lunch on your Own


1:00pm   Introductions and Opening Remarks


1:30 - 2:20pm  Dr. Nicola Gordon Bowe:


                                The Life and Work of Harry Clarke

“Keep your pictures for the walls and your windows for the holes in them”  Christopher Whall

'Harry Clarke (1889-1931): A Mediaeval Genius of Celtic Revival Ireland' 

Eleven of the seventeen stained glass windows in the Honan Chapel were designed and made by Harry Clarke when he had barely left the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art.  They are  arguably his greatest jewelled masterpieces and they established Clarke’s reputation before his twenty eighth birthday.  P.O. Reeves wrote a rapturous and perceptive review in The Studio magazine:  “These windows reveal a conception of stained glass that stands quite alone…. No one has ever before shown the great beauty that can be obtained by  the leads alone,  nor the mysterious beauty and ‘liveness’ that each piece  of glass receives at the hands of  this artist, nor  the jewelled gorgeousness of ‘pattern’ that may  be given to a window that teems with subject, interest and meaning.”    Thomas Bodkin wrote that “Nothing like Mr. Clarke’s windows in the Honan Chapel had been made or seen before in Ireland.  Their sustained magnificence of colour, their beautiful and most intricate drawing, their lavish and mysterious symbolism, combine to produce an effect of splendour which is overpowering”.   Others declared that the gap had been bridged between the middle ages and the twentieth century and that: “These windows are amazing, the best modern glass I have ever seen.  They knock the William Morris and Burne-Jones windows hollow”, as well as: “It is difficult to know what to admire most in Mr. Clarke’s windows, whether the colour scheme, the marvellous use of symbolism or the entire originality of treatment.  There is a complete departure from the common unattractive window so often erected at a fixed price per foot.  Mr. Clarke has given us real works of art.”

Clarke was raised in Dublin, where his family lived above their church decorating and stained glass studios, and left school, aged fourteen, to gain experience in the business.   By 1907, he had become an apprentice in his father’s studio, while studying at night at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art.  It was his teacher there, A. E. Child and his father’s principal Dublin glass painter, William Nagle R.H.A., who would provide Clarke  with the rudiments of stained glass,  as  would his reading of  Ruskin  (windows should be “serene, intense, brilliant like flaming jewellery”, their colours “deep, mysterious and subdued”) and  Christopher Whall’s  seminal  book,  Stained Glass Work: A Text -book for Students and Workers in Glass   (London 1905) with its insistence on the relationship between architecture, light  and stained glass, on the artist as designer and craftsman  and on  the thorough  knowledge of  materials as the basis for style.   Between 1910 and 1913, on a stained glass scholarship at the Art School, his designs, cartoons and worked-up panels caused a sensation by winning a Gold Medal for three years running at the National Competition held annually in London.       

In 1913,  Clarke won a travelling scholarship which enabled him to study  mediaeval glass in England and France He  made valuable visits and  contacts in London and in  Paris,  where the mediaeval glass collections in the Cathedral of  Notre Dame, at  Cluny, in the old Trocadéro Museum and Chartres, Amiens  and Rouen  Cathedrals,  deeply affected him,  and provided rich sources of inspiration for the Honan Chapel and subsequent windows.  He returned to Ireland shortly before the First World War was declared, and set off for the first of a series of formative sketching visits to the Aran Islands.      

The donor of the chapel was determined to ensure that the windows represent the finest design and execution “by Irish artists and craftsmen working in Ireland”, adhering to the credo adopted by An Túr Gloine (The Tower of Glass), the Dublin  co-operative stained glass studio set up by the painter Sarah Purser in 1903 : “Each window should be in all its artistic parts the work of one individual artist,   the glass chosen and painted by the same mind and hand that made the design and drew the cartoon”.  Purser had presumed that all the Honan Chapel windows, would automatically go to An Túr Gloine and thought she had been promised at least eight before Clarke was approached, but when his proposals were presented, he was commissioned to make five and, ultimately, the eleven remaining windows.

Each window demanded considerable research before the colour scheme, overall composition and decorative and symbolic details relating to each Saint’s life, personality, character and mythology could be designed.   Clarke consulted a range of antiquarian and contemporary sources, popular, traditional, erudite and historical, which he ingeniously wove into the rich tapestry around each seemingly entranced, resplendent figure.  

Throughout the Honan Chapel commission, Harry Clarke had taken great pains to seek out the exact materials he needed: for the last two windows, he wanted particularly limpid flashed blues made by the English glassmakers, Millar and Beale, and other full-bodied tones from Hartley Woods in Sunderland.  Lead was becoming scarce because of the War and no company would undertake to ship over from Sheffield the fluoric acid he needed for his exacting etching work.  The very limitations of this demanding craft served only as a challenge for his perfectionism.  Under considerable pressure for  special brown glass flashed on blue for St. Brendan, extra wide-grooved lead for St. Gobnait’s thick blue slabs,  and particular  flesh tones,   he managed to meet his October deadline and complete the sumptuous  St. Gobnait, St. Brendan and  St.  Declan.

Clarke was brilliantly able to weave an extraordinary wealth of fascinating, carefully researched, narrative and symbolic detail into the challengingly long, narrow compositions around his beautifully apparelled, saintly figures.  One critic thought them “very beautiful, mostly & very diabolic”, “very wonderful in colour...  so modern & conventionally unconventional.... The actual glass has a quality of burning & furious brilliance that I have never seen anywhere else.  The blue robe, for instance, hits your eyes like a living flame or a blast of wind.  Perfectly amazing, but not quite pleasant... His windows have a kind of hellish splendour - In a chapel dedicated to the Internal Deities they would be exactly right, gorgeous & sinful”.

©  Nicola Gordon Bowe          February 2008



2:30 - 3:30pm   Tom Küpper: Lincoln Cathedral  


                            The Conservation of the Dean's Eye Rose Window

The Dean’s Eye rose window, in the North Transept of Lincoln Cathedral, England, is one of the most important examples of medieval stained glass in Great Britain.  It was begun in 1220 and completed in 1235.   The original flat tracery window with its 77 panels tells the story of the Last Judgement.

In Christian art the painted glass of the Deans Eye played a fundamental role for the Catholic Church in teaching the medieval worshiper and pilgrim the story of the Second Coming of Christ to judge the world.  The historic glass is composed of an arrangement of sixteen outer panels representing the Last Judgement, which originally also contained images of Hell and Damnation, and sixteen inner panels representing the Kingdom and the Blessed of Heaven.   Christ in Majesty is the central focal point in the middle of the tracery.

Historically the Deans Eyes glass and its masonry have received much attention from overzealous 16th Century iconoclasts, 17th Century neglect, 18th Century re-arrangements, 19th Century archaeologists, early 20th Century restorers, and more recently 21st Century structural engineers.   This has not always been beneficial to the window.

Over the last two decades the main focus has shifted from considering only the important collection of medieval glass to also analyzing the structural capability of the historic tracery and making the decision to restore the window in its entirety, rather than just concentrating on the glazing. 

Between 1989 and 2005 the window has been the subject of a major restoration programme at a cost of over £2 million.  The essential restoration work was not only a straightforward conservation of the historic glass, but also involved the replacement of the medieval stone tracery, the conservation of the 13th century wrought iron ferramenta and a search for an acceptable solution for the long term protection and preservation of the ancient glass.

For the glaziers dealing with the conservation of the medieval glass, the work followed the standard principals and techniques of any ethical stained glass conservation.  The real challenges however, lay in overcoming the practical issues of restoring a built architectural artefact, considering the structural engineering and the dismantling and re-building of the window.   Restoring a window of such complexity and historical significance can only be achieved by allowing a highly motivated and skilled conservation team to do their job.  A project of such calibre needs to be carefully discussed, planned, organised and of course financed. 

The Deans Eye Rose was completed in November 2005 and the window was graciously handed over to the public in May 2006 by the Prince of Wales, who called it a celebration of completion and a great achievement.  



3:30 - 4:20pm  Artist's Panel


                              "In Conversation": Nick Parrendo and Charles Z. Lawrence. 


Moderated by Debora Coombs




4:30 - 5:30pm  Business Panel


                                  Discussion of Training and Labor Issues

Moderated by Donald Samick.  Panelists: Arthur Femenella, Judith Van Wie and Carol Heidschuster



5:30 - 6:30pm   Cash Bar


6:30 - 8:00pm Dinner by AGG


                               A Tribute to Joe:   Joseph Barnes, S.A. Bendheim



8:00pm Members Slide Show


Saturday, August 2


9:00 - 9:45 am    Gene Mallard  


            Acid Etching:  Tips on Setting Up a Safe and Effective Etching Station

This discussion will focus entirely on the subject of creating a safe, effective, and efficient environment for acid-etching on flashed glass. 

Etched glass can add an entirely new dimension to stained glass; variations of etching and engraving have been used for centuries to add intricate detailing and texture to both representational and graphic elements in stained glass.  This presentation will attempt to give the artist some tips on the safe handling and use of hydrofluoric acid when etching.

Among the topics to be covered will be:

  • Where to buy the materials needed to start.  This will include chemicals for etching and neutralizing, etching trays, spill mats, rinse trays, ventilation systems, and the materials needed to build a self-contained ventilation station for the actual etching. 
  • The safety equipment needed for working with acid.
  • The dos and don’ts of working with HFL, including the frequently asked concerns about wearing rubber gloves, and other safe handling procedures.
  • Tips on creating an etching station (similar in ways to a sandblasting box) that will expose the user and his/her studio to the least possible exposure to fumes emitted from the acid.
  • How to continually reuse and re-fortify the etching solution (much diluted from its original strength), and how to best store the acid solutions when not in use.

The presentation will include photos of a working etching station, and if time permits, photos of a new one under assembly. A complete list of all suppliers, with phone numbers and websites will be given to all participants.  When feasible, samples of some of the materials (such as matting and safety equipment) will be on hand for viewing.

Finally, a large proportion of the discussion period will be left open to questions and answers; in fact, pertinent questions may be asked at any point in the discussion.



9:55 - 10:40 am  Arthur Femenella and Kathy Jordan


                               St. Bernard's - Restoration of Fire Damaged Windows

In late summer of 2004, a ferocious fire engulfed the Sanctuary of St. Bernard’s Episcopal Church in Bernardsville, NJ.                                                                                                                                                                   In addition to severe damage to the roof and interior of the Church, the stained glass windows were significantly damaged.  

The altar window was a total loss and the balance of the windows suffered thermal shock and soot damage.  The windows of the Church are by Charles Eamer Kempe and the studio of Clayton & Bell.  

The project included: On site documentation; emergency removal of windows; initial cleaning phase; assessment of condition in the studio;  determination of extent of thermal shock; disassembly of windows; annealing of glass to relieve thermal shock; repainting of previous poor replacements; full restoration of the windows; and complete replication of the altar window.  

The talk will discuss the issues confronted and the decisions made; the methods and materials used to complete the restoration; the journey of the replicated window; and the philosophy that was followed to guide the restoration project



10:50 - 11:35  David Wilde  

                                             French Stained Glass


Who is David Wilde?  David Wilde is a self-taught architectural glass artist.  Well, not really, his first exposure to contemporary glass was at a weeklong course with Robert Jekyll as the teacher. Wilde decided then and there, to make windows. Over the early to mid 1980’s, Wilde studied with Jochem Poensgen, Johannes Schreiter, Narcissus Quagliatta, Dick Millard, and even two French artists, Jean-Dominique Fleury, and Gilles Rousvoal in Chartres in 1990.

Wilde has written many articles about the things he sees and things he thinks about.  Some of his writings have appeared in Stained Glass Quarterly of the SGAA.  These writings are based on a series of very focused trips to Europe, especially to France, which figures prominently in his researches because of its wonderful history of glass.  France is the ideal place to carry on the tradition without being restricted to traditional designs. The Government of France, through various agencies, has made featuring new glass in its historic buildings a priority.  Participating artists might have no experience in stained glass, so they are paired with well-known studios, whose artist/owners share their knowledge, and together they bring some very exciting projects to life. And so, David Wilde has become the messenger for these undiscovered artists and some amazing developments in glass that are often unknown outside of France. Until now.

Along with an inquiring mind, Wilde reads a lot.  There are reasons why the French are interested in their culture. And there have been growing problems as the Government reaches out and then subsequently abandons various sites, confusing the locals. Wilde finds that reading about French culture and French politics, even back to the French Revolution, helps to put everything into some kind of perspective.  Through his writings and his convention speeches Wilde presents what is right about French stained glass, what has gone wrong, and why.  What do other Europeans think of the French glass of the last 25 years?  What does America know about these artists, or let me ask, “Do you even care?”  I think we should all know what’s going on over “there”, and see how we can respond to their successes, their excesses, and their failings.  David Wilde is here to start a different kind of dialogue and to encourage those among you who describe yourselves as artists to take a peek into the French situation and see how it might be of some use to you.



11:35 - 1:00 pm Lunch by AGG


                                             AGG Business Meeting




1:00 - 1:50 pm   Dr. Nicola Gordon Bowe

Monumental Modernism: The Stained Glass of Wilhelmina Geddes

Wilhelmina Geddes (1887- 1955), born, bred and trained in Ireland, is an artist for our time, though she began working with glass nearly one hundred years ago.   After seven years in art school studying as a painter and illustrator, she trained and then worked with An Túr Gloine, the stained glass cooperative workshop in Dublin, between 1912 and 1923.    She moved to London in 1925 where she worked from a studio at the Fulham Glass House until her death.

She was in many ways a pioneer, a woman working alone in the mainly male world of glazing and church architecture, a solitary, somewhat anti-social figure entirely devoted to coaxing her art out of painted glass and lead.   Although influenced by a broad range of classical, mediaeval and historical sources both literary and visual,   she was a modernist in her rejection of any detail superfluous to the dramatic intensity of the brooding figures who act out the subjects of the windows she made.    Her figures are monumental in their treatment, whatever their actual scale.   Displaying what an Irish Times critic described in 1925  as an  “almost alarming strength”,  they fulminate,  gesticulate, glower or  ponder,  lost  in their inner thoughts rather than any immediate narrative,  their relentless emotional responses to fundamental  human concerns intrinsically bound to  twentieth century  expressionist art.  By combining a powerfully vivid imagination with a subtly inventive command of a notoriously complex technique, Geddes effortlessly transcends any categorization of art or craft to evoke images which are universally recognizable in their terrible yet compassionate beauty.

As far as she was concerned, the “deep, mysterious and subdued” colour of the French stained glass of the 12th and 13th centuries had never been surpassed and the great archaic figures of the prophets and saints in the 13th century windows at Chartres were “not only more impressive but more modern than anything that has been done since in the same medium”.    Contemporary critics admired her rare gift “for the simple rendering of essential action which seem[ed] to have come straight from the middle ages” in its “dignity of large simple gesture” juxtaposed with “all the exuberant invention of detail which belongs to the middle ages”.      She said that the qualities she sought in stained glass were “intensity of colour and a vigour of design appropriate to the architectural setting of stonework and iron”.    Geddes agreed with John Ruskin that “We are always trying to get colours bright - when their chief, real virtues are to be deep, mysterious and subdued”.   She instinctively recognized that “the thick black leadlines necessary to the construction of a window and the strong, fiery colours which are really the beauty of the material make pictorial realism impossible in stained glass.

            Right from the beginning, Geddes followed the golden rule advocated by the great English Arts and Crafts artist/craftsman Christopher Whall in his enduringly  relevant  Stained Glass Work: A Text Book for Students and Workers in Glass  (first published in 1905)  to ‘handle every bit of   [glass] yourself:   “The cutting of it into little and big bits; the lacework of the leads; thickening and thinning these to get bold contrasts of strong and slender, of plain and intricate;  catching your pearly glass like fish, in a net of larger or smaller mesh”, never forgetting to “make your white spaces interesting” (his emphasizing italics).    She was soon well able to follow Whall’s recommendation that the drawing be “free and beautiful; the whole work... like jewellery, the colour ...varied and irregular”, the work loved so that each bit of glass is treated on its own merits, its texture, tone, surface and very substance enhanced by brush and hand so that it may be enlivened by the ever-changing light.   

            By 1919, when her great Duke of Connaught War Memorial was exhibited in London and in Boston before being installed in Ottawa, the distinguished American stained glass artist and critic, Charles Connick, considered her to be “producing the finest, the most sincerely, passionately religious stained glass of our time”, and considered one of the very few contemporary artists in Ireland whose art could be seen as the profound expression of Spirit.    He wrote of the “inspired intelligence” and fresh, vivid technical skill of her Ottawa window, declaring that “Nowhere in modern glass is there a more striking example of a courageous adventure in the medium”.

            During her forty three or so years working with glass,   Geddes completed 17 windows at An Túr Gloine in Dublin and 17 more at the Fulham Glass House, apart from the smaller panels she made for exhibition purposes.    Each resonates with what the French philosopher Gaston Bachelard calls the “inner immensity” of the world we find ourselves dreaming in when we become motionless,  an immensity which is magnified through contemplation.  In her work, the Buddhist idea of clothing the body with the raiment of contemplation is never far away.

© Nicola Gordon Bowe             February 2008



2:00 - 2:50 pm   Carol Heidschuster,  Cathedral Works Manager    Lincoln Cathedral

The Role of the Clericus Fabricae

The administration of an important gothic cathedral is a very complex undertaking that includes religious, cultural and conservation considerations. Talking from the perspective of her role as Clericus Fabricae (Works Manager), and the first woman to serve in this position in the 900-year history of Lincoln Cathedral, Carol will show slides and explain the 21st century management structure of an historic gothic cathedral.  The main focus of the talk will be from the Works Department perspective and will cover the following points:

  • The history of the role of the Clericus Fabricae
  • How the ongoing conservation and repair work is prioritised
  • What approvals are required to enable the repairs to proceed
  • Where the money comes from to meet the ever increasing costs
  • How a Cathedral is managed, from the business perspective rather than liturgical
  • An overview of the Works Department Team
  • Craft skills training for the future



3:00  - 3:20pm  Nancy Nicholson


                                        Independent Work vs. Commissioned Work

Showing her body of work, Nancy will discuss her design process and the different approaches she applies to her independent work vs. her commissioned work.

"My work bridges the traditional to the contemporary. I connect to the arts and crafts movement of the late 1800s, when a perfect union between art and craft existed. I want to dispel the so-called “limitations” of the medium and to push the boundaries of what has been mostly considered a decorative or religious art form. I consider myself a painter, only my canvas is the illuminated sky and my paints are the glass and lead."



 3:30 - 4:20 pm   J. Kenneth Leap


                                            The Painted Window at 20


When he christened his studio “The Painted Window” back in 1987, J. Kenneth Leap made a commitment

to incorporate the technique of glass paining into all of his designs,

whether his clients wanted it or not! 

Now celebrating 21 years as a stained glass painter and designer, J. Kenneth Leap will show

highlights of his career, including production photos of his architectural commissions. 

He will also discuss his approach to designing public art works, and give insight into

how to reply when someone tells you their brother-in-law took up stained glass

in their basement after getting laid-off from work 






4:30 - 5:30pm        "State of the Art" Panel:

                                        Joseph Cavalieri, Ginger Ferrell and Tom Krepcio


Moderated by Judith Schaechter





5:30 - 6:00pm  Cash Bar 


6:00 - 7:00pm  Dinner by AGG



7:00 - 9:30pm  Auction to benefit the James Whitney Scholarship Fund and AGG educational programs


Sunday, August 3


9:00 - 9:20 am    Ellen Mandelbaum


                         Direction from the Medium Itself: Message in the Material

I was trained as an abstract painter and so was taught to respect the character of the medium. 
You can see this is works by painters such as Rothko or Pollack. 
As I worked in glass the primary character of the medium was the flatness of the sheet of glass, 
the brush strokes of glass paint, the transparency and spontaneity of glass and paint, 
the beauty of the color. These became a central focus of my work along with the drawn strokes
of my glass painting.  
As time passed I learned to integrate these aspects with the coming-and-going of a rhythmic lead line.  
My work has always had these elements and increasingly focused also on the 
beauty of mouth blown glass color and the way glass' transparency allowed me to 
integrate the plane of my work with outside views into landscape and space in 
large-scale architectural commissions and also smaller residential work. 
It has been my joy to pursue these elements for more than 25 years; a love affair with color and light.



9:30 - 9:50 am  Lance Kasparian


                                 Early Examples of Plating in American Stained Glass

The rise of the revolutionary American opalescent style of the 1880s was preceded by a period of bold and thoughtful exploration of ancient traditions and contemporary trends in the art of stained glass.  This presentation will focus on five windows produced during this period, illustrating the earliest known uses of layered glass or “plating” as an expressive technique in the U.S.  Based on investigation of published and primary source materials, these works will be analyzed in terms of their material, technique and artistic intent, and compared to works by other artists of the time. 

The windows to be discussed are:

·        “Charity and Devotion,” St. Anne’s Episcopal Church, Lowell, MA.  W.J. McPherson Co. Boston and Donald MacDonald, 1872.

·        Staircase Window Ensemble, G.P., Wetmore House (Chateau sur-Mer), Newport, RI.  W.J. McPherson Co., Boston and Donald MacDonald, circa 1873.

·        “Chevalier Bayard,” Experimental Panel for Harvard College Class of 1844 Memorial Window (location presently unknown).  W.J. McPherson Co., Boston, John La Farge and Donald MacDonald, 1874.

·        “St. Michael,” Immaculate Conception Church, North Easton, MA (originally installed at Unity Church, North Easton, MA).  Cook Redding & Co., Boston and John Ames Mitchell, 1875.

·        Chimney Corner Window Ensemble, Private Collection (originally installed in the Walter Hunnewell House, Wellesley, MA).  W.J. McPherson Co. Boston, John La Farge and Donald MacDonald, 1875.



10:00 - 10:50   E. Crosby Willet


                                Willet Studios: Highlights of the First 100 Years





11:00 - 11:50  Don Samick  


                                        Estimating Stained Glass


During this session we will examine the components involved in preparing an accurate estimate

for new stained glass and stained glass restoration.

We will then discuss how to establish the profit markup to arrive at the final sales price.

Hand-outs will be provided.

Prepared questions are welcome at the conclusion



12:00 - 1:30 pm   Lunch by AGG


                                        Sacred Partners Talk by  Bob Jaeger



1:30 - 2:20 pm   Barbara KruegerE. Scott Taylor


                                            Belcher Mosaic Stained Glass

A Bit of history and some tips on repairing.

About 15 years ago, the Michigan Stained Glass Census learned of what was an unusual stained glass window which some antique dealers were calling a Tiffany window.  The window looked like a mosaic, as it was made of hundreds of triangular pieces of glass, gradually flowing from one color into another.

The patents were located proving the actual fabrication process to be very complex, and it certainly was not a Tiffany.  This had resulted in trial and error methods for repairing.  Previously thought to have a matrix of mercury, that has been disproved.

After closing down the Belcher Mosaic Glass Company, Mr. Belcher moved to the Chicago area where he became involved with the Luxfer Prism Company, the manufacturer of pressed glass tiles used in store fronts.  Some of the partners were clients of Frank Lloyd Wright and eventually several Wright-designed patterns were used in Luxfer prisms.





2:30 - 2:50 pm   Ellen Miret


                                        St Mary’s Church - The Journey from 1993-2007

Ellen's commission at St. Mary’s came about after Father John Ashe, then the new resident priest, saw windows she made for another St. Mary’s Church in Richmond Township PA in 1993.  The Chapel and entrance windows explore geometric form, cycles and tessellations in leaded glass.

Ellen will take us through the journey of the windows from the conception of the first St. Mary’s to the chapel windows done in 1994.  Fast forward to the selection of glass at Lamberts glass factory for the sanctuary and a side trip to Prague with photos of the stained glass of Alphonse Mucha at the Vitus Cathedral.  Then its back to the execution of the windows at Rohlf's Studio in Mt Vernon NY and the installation in Portland, CT where the windows were installed 30 feet off the ground behind an earthquake brace. 

Ellen will also show the Music windows at The First Congregational Church in Columbus, Ohio, selected and painted at Willet/Hauser Studios PA in 2004.




3:00 - 3:20pm  Diane Wright


                    Frederick Wilson and Ecclesiastical Design at Tiffany Studios

Frederick Wilson (1858-1932) was one of the most prolific ecclesiastical leaded-glass designers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and yet to date remains one of the least well-known. His anonymity is due in part to the fact that he spent the majority of his career working for the large and prominent studio owned by Louis Comfort Tiffany. It was Tiffany’s name, as the owner, that was associated with the output of his company rather than the individual artists who designed and produced the work, a common practice of the period. Although Wilson is not widely known today he was likely a recognized artist of his time. His name appeared in many period sources that discussed and announced work coming out of Tiffany Studios.

Wilson was born and raised in the United Kingdom. His father was a painter and it is probably from him that Wilson received his first lessons in drawing and design. Wilson was an established artist by the time he immigrated to the United States sometime between 1891 and 1892. He began his career at Tiffany Studios shortly after he arrived in America. It is his experience and style as a painter that sets his work apart from other ecclesiastical designers at Tiffany Studios and defines ecclesiastical windows at Tiffany Studios from the mid-1890s until the mid-1920s. His drawing and painting skills are seen both in the composition of his work and in the painting of faces on the windows themselves.

Wilson worked for Tiffany Studios for nearly 30 years and would act as the head of the ecclesiastical department for much of that time. While most of his work was executed by Tiffany Studios he also designed for other companies producing leaded-glass including Heaton Butler & Bayne, Godwin Studios, The Gorham Company, Judson Studios, and the Los Angeles Art Glass Company.

An in-depth study of the work of Frederick Wilson gives greater insight into the ecclesiastical work coming out of Tiffany Studios during the height of its leaded-window production. It also affords a perspective on how a window designer from this period worked, at times, as an itinerant artist, how his style conformed to his employer’s (known in part from his personal letters), and how his design aesthetic took an abrupt turn near the end of his career and life.



3:30 - 4:20pm  Geoffrey Wallace


                                        Masonry Glazing With Lime Putty Mortar

The presentation will be accompanied by slides showing all phases of masonry glazing and the preparation and use of lime.

  • General introduction to the theory and practice of setting windows in masonry glazing channels including taking templates, sizing of panels and multi panel window design incorporating lead joining seams in preference to T bars.
  • Installing a multi panel window. Step by step process of installation including fitment of panels, fixing of panels and fitment of saddle bars.
  • The preparation and use of lime putty mortar incorporating: Brief history of the use of lime in building and a comparison with the relatively recently discovered but inferior product, Portland cement.
  • Lime theory: Explanation, including the chemistry, of the different stages in the “Lime Cycle”. A living, breathing material with the ability to self repair.
  • The attributes of lime putty mortar and why it is eminently suited for glazing stained glass.
  • Pozzalanic, hydrated and hydraulic limes and their usage.
  • Preparing lime putty: Lime burning and lime slaking.
  • Ageing and storing of lime putty.
  • Traditional lime putty mortar. Choice of sand. Recipes and proportions. Mixing and storage of mortar. “Knocking up” mortar. Pointing a window. Step by step process of wetting up, pointing and pointing tools, wetting down and clean up.
  • A material for the future: The carbon neutral footprint of lime in buildings is now seen as playing a significant role in reducing green house gases.
  • Excavating a window. Step by step process of excavating a masonry glazed window whether pointed with lime or Portland cement mortar.




4:30 - 5:30pm   Conservation Panel     Vic Rothman, Roberto Rosa and Drew Anderson    


                  The Proof is in the Putting - Putting it all down for posterity




5:30 -  7:00pm  Dinner on your own



7:30pm - 9:30pm  Open Roundtable


Monday, August 4

Stained Glass Tour #1

Cost $ 45.00

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Tuesday, August 5

Stained Glass Tour #2

Cost $ 35.00


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Last modified: 6/24/08
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