The photos above and below show the stained glass windows I did for
Racine Bible Church in the fall of
I was first contacted by a man
in the congregation who had done some stained glass himself, and so was
given the task of finding the right artisan to design and craft two
stained glass windows for the main sanctuary. These artworks, each
consisting of four
pie-shaped panels, were quite
large and located very high up on the side walls of the sanctuary. In
the course of corresponding about the project, he and I traded hundreds
of emails concerning working out the logistics of such a large an
inaccessible setting, and in fact, we became such good friends that I
stayed with him and his wife on the two occasions that I traveled to
Racine (the first time to make templates of the eight windows and the
second time to install the completed stained glass panels).
was honored to be selected for this commission, both because I am
Jewish and because he had communicated to me that he was considering
two local studios besides me for this project.
I believe that my
willingness and eagerness to be available to answer questions and
discuss possibilities is what won his confidence and eventually caused
Once I was chosen as the artist to create these stained glass windows,
I flew to Racine, whereupon he and I went up in a rented lift
to make paper patterns of all eight pie-shaped windows.
Designing the project involved working with a Design Committee made up
of members of the congregation. After I asked questions that
basics themes that would be acceptable, my first submission of designs
included more than 40 drawings showing seven background designs paired
with six foreground designs. These were then whittled down to less than
a dozen possibilities, and further refinements suggested by the
committee lead to the final two designs being chosen. While
designs seem a bit on the simple side, that was necessary because they
were to be mounted 35 feet in the air, far from the eyes of the
congregation. The difficulty in doing this commission was to fabricate
these simple but elegant designs with enough precision to ensure a
fit and enough strength to never require any repairs or concerns.
The Design Committee
allowed me to select the final glasses to be used, assured by me that
my choices would be based on the colors shown in the final designs and
a list of real glass selections sent to me by the man who had
experience with stained glass and who had himself visited his local
glass supplier to create a list of suggestions.
The fabrication of the panels took about two months. This was followed
by a second trip to Racine with the completed panels in my van. My
friend in the congregation helped me to install the stained glass.
The congregants were very happy with the results, and talk of doing
other windows in the sanctuary was even brought up before I left Racine
for the drive back to Denver.
image to the right shows the size of
the pie-shaped panels, which had to be strengthened with steel
reinforcement bars to make the panels self-supporting. These "rebars"
were bent to follow the leadlines of the design so that they would be
hidden in the final artworks.
image to the left shows how high up the windows were mounted.
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