This, in case there is any doubt, is stained glass. This occupied my Monday nights for the past several years. In this section you can see some of the things I have made.
One of my favorite vacation destinations is the Oregon Coast. Aside from the breathtaking beauty of the mountains and forests which meet the vast misty, deserted stretches of beach, one of the other things that always intrigued me was browsing through the collection of quaint craft shops which are a staple of every town and village along the coast. For years I would admire the works of stained glass and wish that I could learn how to make it. One day I casually mentioned this to a colleague of mine. She immediately told me that she was taking a stained glass class at Holton High School and Judy Swisher was the teacher. Judy turned out to be a great teacher.
Aside from teaching me the basic fundamentals of making stained glass art, she was also available to “clean up” or put the finishing touches on the projects until I learned enough about the craft that I could work independently.
Judy’s philosophy is,
“ If you want to make it---then you can make it. There is nothing too large or too small. Your project is yours; you decide what you want, and then do it.”
She probably cringes a little when she sees me working now. I have taken what she taught me, and I am sure I have adapted it to fit my own unique way of working. It works, and I am usually rather pleased with the results. My house is becoming more or less saturated with stained glass hanging in almost every available space, and now it is beginning to spill over to outside yard decorations. I have given away as gifts about as much as I have kept for myself. But I have no intention of stopping now. It is fun; it is satisfying and rewarding to see the finished product. Not being an artist in any sense of the word, I can take pleasure in knowing that I can still create works of beauty and value. Stained glass affords the opportunity for artistic expression without being an “ artist ”.