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American Glass Guild Conference
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 20 -22 July 2012

Thursday, July 19 - Friday, July 20 - Saturday, July 21 - Sunday, July 22 - Monday, July 23

Conference and Workshops Registration (See below for details of events and speakers)

You can pay with credit card using Paypal by using the drop down menu below. You must still download and fill out registration form and email or fax it in.

Checks should be made payable to the American Glass Guild, with the words "Conference Registration" in the memo, and mailed to: American Glass Guild, c/o Rona Moody, 608 Dorseyville Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15238. Forms can also be faxed to 708-778-7951 or emailed to stained.glass@verizon.net

Print Registration Form

See Cancellation Policy

Pay for Full Conference and Workshops
Pay for Single Day Conference and Workshops




Bookings are open for the Omni William Penn, the hotel for the American Glass Guild's conference in July.

Remember to sign up for their Select Guest program - it's free and gets you lots of things like free internet in your room, free morning beverage, complimentary shoe shine and pressing! Click here for driving directions and transportation information.

And if you're thinking of taking Judith Schaechter's workshop immediately after our conference at the Pittsburgh Glass Center, you can stay at the Omni at our special rate until the 24th.

Workshops - Thursday, July 19, 2012

CZ Lawrence - Design & Color
Teaching Assistant: Kathy Jordan

Charles Z. Lawrence has been designing windows for over 50 years.  His innovative and unique approach to design and color is his signature. His career has produced a vast and exceptional body of work; most notably, the National Cathedral in Washington DC.  This is an interactive, hands-on workshop that offers a rare opportunity to see and experience glass with through CZ's perspective.   
Students will learn the techniques CZ uses to create his designs/cartoons for client presentations.  In addition, CZ will demonstrate his atomizing technique for applying mattes.  Each student will have an opportunity to learn and experiment with this technique.  The class will conclude with a lecture segment from his body of work: "Color, Chiaroscuro & Light" and a critique on the design work the students generated within the workshop . 

2:00pm - 5:30pm - Class is limited to 20. Cost $200, plus a material fee of $25 to be paid to the teacher at the workshop.


Dan Maher and Nancy Nicholson - Advanced Leadworking
Advanced leadworking techniques for the stained glass artist. The workshop will include the proper use of traditional and non traditional leadworking tools such as lead knife, lead dykes, lead saws, tubing cutters, lead planes, and combining lead and copper foil in constructing a window. The workshop will address the use of round and flat leads, high heart leads and custom trimming of leads to create multi layering of glass techniques by plating with flanges, building of leads to accommodate non traditional glass objects, weaving of leads, internal and external support systems, proper soldering and the use of different alloys in a variety of lead profiles.

The goal of the workshop will be to advance the participants’ knowledge of proper structure of leaded windows, to increase speed in custom- and production-style leading, but most importantly to improve the aesthetic quality of the leaded component of a stained glass window. The participants in the workshop will work hands-on leading sample panels in a variety of techniques and profiles of leads. Students will glaze several 12" x 14" panels; glass will be provided cut and ready to glaze. Students should bring lead glazing tools they like, but will also be provided with tools, and will have the chance to try tools they may not have.

9:00am - 4:00pm - Class is limited to 12. Cost $350 including materials and use of tools.


Nick Parrendo - Painting Eddie's Head Workshop
Enjoy a fun-filled painting session with AGG Senior Advisor and Joseph Barnes Lifetime Achievement Recipient, Nick Parrendo, at his historic Hunt Stained Glass Studio. This is a rare opportunity to observe and study with Nick in his native environment of over 60 years!

Participants will learn to paint King Edward during this 4-hour workshop (or if they prefer, paint a head of their own choosing). Participants will be supplied with materials and will engage in guided painting play utilizing traditional methods of tracing with oil, waxing up windows and matting and spraying with water and alcohol, transforming the glass which will then be fired. The finished piece can be incorporated in to other work at a later date. Students are asked to bring their own brushes.

9:00am - 1:00pm - Class is limited to 15. Cost $250, plus a material fee of $50 to be paid to the teacher at the workshop.


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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Let there be Light! - The First screening of the new film about AGG Senior Advisor Rowan LeCompte. Film by Peter Swanson. 96 minutes. - Doors open 7.30.
A block of seats will be reserved for AGG members.
Peter Swanson will present a brief introduction and a Q & A session afterwards.

Pittsburgh Filmmakers: Harris Theater, 809 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, (412) 471-9700

Friday, July 20, 2012

Juried Show - Display Launch - 8:30am
As well as the usual members’ show, for the first time AGG is having a juried show on display to the public. Noted historian Virginia Raguin will lead the jury. We hope this will become a regular feature of our conferences.

Site visit - 9:30am - 5:30pm
See some of the fine stained glass that Pittsburgh has to offer. The tour will be guided by renowned stained glass historian and Connick expert Al Tannler (Keynote Speaker) and Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation approved restorer John Kelly, both of whom have in-depth knowledge of the windows we will see. The schedule will be finalized closer to the conference but will probably include Calvary Episcopal Church (Willet, Goodhue, Heaton Butler & Bayne, Gorham, Connick, Reynolds and Rohnstock); Sacred Heart Church (Alice and George Sotter); East Liberty Presbyterian Church (Rudy, Young); and Heinz Chapel (Connick). Bring binoculars and a camera. Lunch provided.

Virginia Raguin - An Illustrated Reflection on the Juried Show - 5:45pm

Dinner on your own - 6:15pm

Evening Social Events - 8:00pm
President’s Welcome, Auction Preview, Members’ Slide Show (ongoing), Lead Demo (ongoing), Cash Bar, Stained Glass Pop Quiz

Ken Leap - Open Drawing Class - 7:30pm - 10:00pm
Attendees will be both participants and models. The class is free and the AGG encourages participation by all.
Students must bring their own drawing materials. Although this is free, you must indicate on your registration form if you plan to take this ever-popular class

On Sunday, Ellen Mandelbaum will hold an informal discussion on any portfolios people would like to show. In order to participate, please bring what you’d like to discuss with her on FRIDAY evening. Please do not bring single rumpled sheets of paper but sketches or photos that have been mounted on a standard sized paper or slipped in the sleeves of a binder.

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Speakers and Sessions

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Ken Leap - Working with Silver and Copper Stains - 9:00am - 9:20am
When working with stains understanding the chemistry, temperature and different methods of application can lead to more predictable results in the studio. While researching his book, “Silver Stain: An Artist’s Guide” J. Kenneth Leap prepared over 200 stain samples. This lecture will present a 20 minute overview on how to work with stains including new information not covered in his book – namely the nuances of working with copper stain and its role in replicating historic orange and red stains.

Jean Farnsworth - The Gibsons & The U.S. Capitol’s Skylights: An Introduction. - 9:20am - 9:40am
The four stained-glass skylights crowning the United States Capitol’s grand public staircases stand as true gems of America’s cultural heritage, recognized by connoisseurs of the art as “truly spectacular”. Their survival alone would be noteworthy, considering how much early American stained glass is lost, but their significance is historic as well. A study of these 1860 skylights not only reveals much about the talents of the artisans, John and George Hastie Gibson, but also the rising interest in stained glass demonstrated by the decision to embrace this luxurious material for the decoration of the U.S. Capitol Extension.

This presentation will focus on the talents of the Philadelphia brothers John and George Hastie Gibson who, along with their older brother William, were a remarkable trio of artisan siblings who ventured to this country from Scotland during the first half of the 19th century and established themselves in the stained-glass and decorative painting professions. William settled in New York City where he founded one of the earliest, if not the first 19th-century stained-glass studio in this country. John and George became two of Philadelphia’s most accomplished mid-19th-century decorative artists. Though much of their glass is lost, fine examples remain as a testament to their talents, including their extraordinary grand staircase skylights for the U.S. Capitol.

Al Tannler - Keynote Speech - 9:40am – 10:20am
Al Tannler has been Historical Collections Director of the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation since January 1991 during which time he has researched extensively the history of architecture and the decorative arts in Western Pennsylvania. He has explicated what Pittsburgh Post-Gazette critic Patricia Lowry has called “Pittsburgh’s great treasury of historic stained glass” in books, articles and book reviews and will share some of that knowledge with us.

Beth Glasser - Working with Architects: The Keys to a Successful Collaboration - 10:40am - 11:20am
This talk will provide an overview of the building design process, and how architects select and work with allied artists. Among the topics to be addressed: Stages of the design process; Types of buildings and how the design approach differs; How the ‘marriage’ is made; How are artists selected?; Whose design is it, anyhow??
The goal of this session is to provide a context for glass artists to understand who their audiences are –the building owner, the architect, and/or the Construction Manager – and how their agendas may differ. Knowing more about the process will help the artist to better position him/herself for potential opportunities/commissions.

Reiner Meindl - From Archaic Manufacture to Modern Appliance - 11:20am - 12:00pm
Since the first century, glass sheets have been made using a furnace and blowpipe., requiring the skills of a master glassblower. Glashütte Lamberts in Germany is one of a handful of companies worldwide which currently produce hand-blown sheet glass utilizing the tools and methods of ancient glassmakers. For two millennia, this method has produced glass of character and great beauty, lending distinct individuality to each and every sheet.. Today, besides the inventive and creative uses of glass with traditional stained glass techniques, there are art-glass designs that call for a seamless unit consisting of large sheets of hand-blown glass laminated into a glazing unit. For any technique, the master glassblower produces a truly magical material that enchants the world.

LUNCH; View Demonstration - 12:00pm - 1:00pm

President's Report; FInancial Report; Elections - 1:00p - 2:00p

Sylvia Nicolas - Glass as Monumental Art - 2:00pm - 2:40pm
Nowadays it is rare to find opportunities for stained glass artists to create windows for site-specific settings. Increasingly, stained glass makers are producing small exquisite pieces designed to be seen close up, while larger more prestigious commissions are awarded to artists from other spheres. In this talk Sylvia discusses the challenges and rewards of working on a larger scale, and the importance of producing windows which are appropriate to place.

Arthur J. Femenella - How Isothermal Glazing Preserves Our Stained Glass Heritage 2:40pm - 3:20pm
There are many aspects to designing a successful protective glazing system: Glazing material - glass or plastic? Framing detail - stand alone frame or utilize an existing part of the building profile? Venting the interstitial space to the interior, to the exterior, a mix of both? and, how much is enough?

How do we properly address these issues within a design that is aesthetically pleasing to the exterior of the building and does not infringe on the enjoyment of the stained glass window? A properly installed isothermal glazing system can greatly reduce the need for intrusive conservation procedures when preserving the window and can totally separate the window from the forces that are willfully attacking it. The downside is that in the past, these systems have proven to be very expensive and often architecturally unsightly. Due to recent developments isothermal glazing is now available in a cost-effective, aesthetically pleasing package. This paper will discuss the problems caused by past protective glazing systems and focus on the system of the future, isothermal glazing. The science, engineering and artistic aspects will be discussed along with the additional benefit of reducing the need for intrusive conservation techniques such as releading.

Standards discussions: Standards and Guidelines in Conservation 3:35pm - 4:45pm
Chair: V Rothman - Introduction by Mary Clerkin-Higgins

Standards and Guidelines within each field must be clearly thought-out and defined to be useful both to practitioners and specialists within the field, and to others outside it, who are looking for guidance.

In stained glass, besides studios engaged only in making new windows, we have those who restore windows from the last 100 years and a few with experience restoring 800 year-old windows. All are using the same basic materials, but need standards that take into consideration a complex range of conditions. Every project involves balancing a range of issues, conditions, needs, and materials. Standards and Guidelines need to be flexible, take into account real-world situations, and focus on "what are the needs of this particular stained glass panel on the bench (or headed for it)?"

This panel, led by Victor Rothman and with an introduction by Mary Clerkin Higgins, will discuss existing guidelines, how they are used and misused, and begin a dialogue aimed at establishing useful Guidelines and Standards for stained glass.

Cash Bar - 5:15pm
Barnes Award; Dinner - 6.15pm
Followed by the 2012 Auction to benefit the James Whitney Scholarship Fund and AGG educational programs.

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Ellen Mandelbaum - Living Stained Glass - 9:00am - 9:20am
I will explore connections between the art field and the field of stained glass and connections to others working in stained glass. I've been working in stained glass for almost forty years. Finding stained glass was not only a discovery of a wonderful medium but also a rescue that changed my life. I hope to give some background about where I’m coming from to inform my portfolio discussions.

Mary Clerkin-Higgins - Kiki Smith and the Eldridge Street Synagogue - 9:20am - 9:40am
Making art is a combination of vision and problem solving, in both aesthetics and technique. A difficult medium to master, stained glass is often large in scale, architectural, and expensive, so experience is gained with difficulty. While there are many different ideas about what makes a stained-glass window work, with architectural glass a discussion of whether it is successful has to take into account the artist’s goals and how the finished window interacts with its environment. The choice of materials used is also critical to a work's long-term success. This paper is a discussion of a new window by artist Kiki Smith and architect Deborah Gans for the Eldridge Street Synagogue and Museum. This paper was presented at the Corpus Vitrearum Colloquium "Contemporary Stained Glass" in Liege, Belgium in November of 2011.

Mark Hall - Tepid Glass Mixing Cold and Warm with Hot - 9:40am - 10:20am
Connecting all aspects of glass working requires an understanding of the material and the science of how it works. We’ll promote collaboration, communication, problem solving skills, and create avenues for specialization.

We’ll discuss warm glass aspects by examining samples in stages of construction. Strips cut from sheets, shards, or frit are fused into thick slabs, cut into long square rods and loaded into the mold to fire again. Cold work enters in discussions about grinding, sawing and sandblasting. Eliminating bubbles is a popular topic. Specific visual characteristics associated with this technique are identified. It’s not difficult for novice warm glassworkers to follow these shared guidelines (a hand-out will be provided). Kiln owners will learn how to create their own decorative colored fused glass cylinders, and realize they can blow glass in their own studio by adding a few simple things – a glory hole, glassblowers bench, and some hand tools.

Viewing a video on the big screen is possible. We’ll see how a gaffer picks up the warm thick-walled cylinder on a collared blowpipe, seals the end with a warm ‘cookie’, then shapes the bubble. I’ll explain why this method is used, discuss alternatives, and answer questions. Finally, examples of finished pieces are reviewed.

Betti Pettinati- Longinotti - Stained Glass as an Art Form: 50 Years after the Studio Glass Movement - 10:40am - 11:20am
An investigation of stained glass as an art form 50 years after the Studio Glass Movement. The investigation will look at stained glass as a viable art medium and bring these questions into discussion: How has the education of stained glass advanced or inhibited the promotion of stained glass as an art medium? How does stained glass fit into the Studio Glass Movement over the past 48 years? What artists have promoted stained glass as a fine art/craft/design medium?

Troy Moody - The Anatomy of Gainful Unemployment - 11:20am - 12:00pm
Six years ago I was fortunate enough to be relieved of my employment obligations and freed to pursuit life as a freelance artist. I had been cutting my teeth fabricating residential stained glass when the small studio I had been working for decided to down size and focus on teaching and selling supplies to the hobbyist market. I was fired and the grand adventure of self-employment began.

It quickly became apparent that in order to survive financially I would need to diversify my income. Having spent years cutting glass and bending lead I was quite competent as a glazier and so kept busy fabricating mediocre windows for smaller studios in the area. I also began developing relationships with interior designers and reaching out to custom homebuilders and commercial glaziers. The designers are a source for ornamental work and the commercial outfits feed me a steady flow of repair work as well as the occasional new window.

Around this time I began to apply to public art projects (none of which I was qualified for). Surprisingly, in 2006 I was selected to design 10,000 square feet of Terrazzo for the new Phoenix Convention Center, a project that earned me an Honor award from the National Terrazzo and Mosaic Association. I pressed on determined to avoid punching a clock as long as possible.
Since that time I have completed numerous art glass installations for religious, commercial and private spaces in Arizona, California, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine and South Dakota. In 2011 I completed a 75,000 square foot terrazzo project to flow throughout the new Maricopa County Superior Court Tower. In addition to my site-specific installations, I am continually producing autonomous artwork for gallery exhibition.

LUNCH 12:15pm - 1:30pm

Art Femenella - Glass Applique - 1:30pm - 1:50pm                                                                                 
Having worked with Tom Garcia on the Kiki Smith Eldridge Street Synagogue window, Art will discuss this project in particular and lamination in general.
Art Femenella and Mary Clerkin-Higgins - Lamination - Some Questions, Some Answers 1:50pm - 2:10pm

Following on from their presentations, Mary and Art will lead a joint question and answer session. While they may have different perspectives, we hope to also find some common ground. Input from the floor will also be welcomed.

Julie Sloan & James Yarnall - John La Farge’s Stained Glass in Pittsburgh and Sewickley - 2:10pm - 2:50pm
John La Farge’s stained glass in the Pittsburgh area is diverse in subject and
purpose. For industrialist Henry Clay Frick and architect Daniel Hudson Burnham, La
Farge created one of the most unusual windows of his career: an allegory of Fortune derived from ancient Roman models. Installed in 1902 over the lobby and elevator banks of the Frick Building in downtown Pittsburgh, this massive window testifies both to La Farge’s uniqueness as a pictorial designer and to his ability to mastermind windows of great technical sophistication. In the wealthy suburb of Sewickley, La Farge received three commissions for memorial windows in the local Presbyterian Church, installing them in 1899, 1900, and 1908. More conservative in design, these nonetheless epitomize the pictorial qualities of his ecclesiastical commissions with their aspiration to rival the realism of French Salon painting, employing radiant opalescent leaded glass, faceted glass jewels, and enamel glass paint.
All of these windows are products of the artist’s late career and demonstrate the technical features of La Farge’s mature glass style. This talk will be divided equally between a discussion of these commissions in historic/iconographic terms and their technical features as they relate to La Farge’s late glass.

Kathy Barnard - Reinventing the Old . . . to be New; Influences and Processes of Creating Deep Carved Sculptural Art Glass.- 3.:10pm - 3:50pm
I have always been intrigued by glass, in essence - COLOR and LIGHT. It was the focus of many of my design pieces in undergraduate studies in Design and Explorations at Kansas University (ultimately majoring in illustration and graphic design). As I knew no one who could teach me about materials, equipment and techniques when I started to etch in 1979, I taught myself by trial and error. I will talk about my influences and inspirations, and process and touch upon the history of sandblasting in glass, as an “almost” lost art form in the late 1970’s. I will show slides of my techniques and the evolution of my present work along with a video of glass carving done in my studio.

Architecture Discussion - 3:50pm - 4:50pm
Chair: Ken Leap

Closing Remarks - 4:50pm – 5:15pm

Board Meeting - 5:30pm – 8:00pm

Roundtable - 8.00pm - ?

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Monday July 23, 2012

Free downtown walking tour - Tour Guide To Be Announced

Conference and Workshops Registration

You can pay with credit card using Paypal by using the drop down menu above. You must still download and fill out registration form and email or fax it in.

Checks should be made payable to the American Glass Guild, with the words "Conference Registration" in the memo, and mailed to: American Glass Guild, c/o Rona Moody, 608 Dorseyville Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15238. Forms can also be faxed to 708-778-7951 or emailed to stained.glass@verizon.net

Click here to print Registration Form

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Click below if you would like to become a member or you need to renew your membership. Unfortunatley this needs to be a separate transaction from the above registration. We apologize for the inconvenience:

Become a Member or Renew Your Membership
All notices of cancellation must be received in writing at the address provided below. If notice is received at our office before May 31, 2012, all fees paid will be returned less a $25.00 administrative fee. If received between May 31, 2012 and June 30, 2012, a $75.00 administrative fee will be charged. There will be no refunds for cancellations received after June 30, or for "no shows". No exceptions.