Our studio prides itself in investing in ourselves, in working and perfecting our craft over time. Here, Wayne inspects a bevel he is working on for a custom beveled glass window soon to go into a home outside of Richmond, Virginia. Over 30 years ago, Wayne taught himself to bevel on glass, without the aid of YouTube or Google, and researched all he could find on beveling glass at the Library of Congress in DC. After taking what he could from the books, he worked for years practicing until he mastered the craft. Now, our studio is one of few left in the country to do custom hand bevels on antique machines, using low speeds to give our bevels the same warm glow you see in 200 year old windows up and down the east coast. Our polishing stones, from Newcastle, England, helps us distinguish our bevels from those done on industrial diamond equipment, which in turn makes our windows sparkle.
We were contacted for an editorial in the Washington Post where a lady was curious how to light her stained glass window in her apartment using a light-box. We gave our advice, not thinking much of it, and were surprised when we ended up in the paper. Two papers in the same week aren’t bad.
Check out that article Here:
As a young man, I was influenced by the Artist/Craftsman movement where one designs and builds original objects. I love the translucency of nature, so glass seemed like the perfect material. Being self-taught, I have followed my passion for 46 years, working intuitively, alone and with others to achieve my life’s work.
|“Memorial Sculpture”||Working glass over a torch (flameworking) gave me the freedom to interpret music in glass.|
|One of my early drawings, moving away from the symmetry of traditional windows.||I created this design to show that one does not have to have symmetry to create balance.|
|Side lights for owners of a vineyard.|
|Doors for a Spanish home.||An early example of combining traditional and contempory design.|
|Bannister used to create a skylight.|
|Stylized clouds for a beach home.||Sketch for a beveled and carved door|
|Traditional design with clear center for observing cars coming down driveway.||Whiplash design for carved coffeetable.|
|Sculpture ideas using bronze and glass.|
|Designs I created for my own enjoyment.|
|The “moodiness” of glass|
|Influenced by the Green & Green period|
How my contempory work has developed using various
These are the happiest days of my life.
Art is both an inward journey and collaboration. Most of the time one of us takes a lead role, usually because the commission lends itself to a strength one of us has. However, much discussion goes on when the need arises and time is a valuable asset in letting ideas evolve. If we find ourselves agreeing too often we become a little concerned.
I greatly appreciate what Daniel beings to this studio. Starting out over 40 years ago, when an artist could make a living with a couple of number twos and a crate of glass, I would have missed a great deal working in this electronic age without Daniel as a partner. Like many places of endeavor, ‘new blood’ not only revives the established but secures the future. Not a day goes by that Daniel doesn’t surprise or impress me in some way. Two self-directed fellows with so many resources, a willingness to take risk and backing each other up when needed has created a work place that is fun, productive, and fulfilling.
It is the role of the artist to give us something new.
‘New Work’ represents our growth and development beyond traditional art glass.
|Our windows are asymmetrical, yet balanced.||
Created with different thicknesses and
Incorporating color using fine european hand-blown glass
|Developing our new style, sketch by sketch|
Free form beveling around sculptured metal creates the illusion of
Working glass over a flame enhances its translucency and frees us from
Tribute window to the work of cartoonist Billy Ireland.
When working with our clients through the design tage of our art glass windows, we are often asked to help them develop ideas where original hand made objects are considered
Gate and railings surrounding a pool.
Designing with stone is similar to designing with glass, both in design and color selection. This is a fountain for the end of a pool where color, texture, and design are influenced by materials from different quarries.
Studies for consideration for the above fountain bowl, to be cast in bronze.
Randomized study for stone sidewalk.
Basket weave studies for stone floors.
Sculpture studies for bronze and glass
Examples of the diversity of our original art glass designs
|Between college classes in the early 1970’s, I dreamed of a life that would give me the freedom to follow my passion.|
For sixteen years I had endured the rigors of academic life completing a degree in Sociology and Forestry. Now I wanted to educate myself by following my ideas and inspiration as they developed, by working intuitively, quickly and creating my own product. This was the beginning of my life as an artist.
I also enjoyed watching sunlight filtering through the forest. The translucency of nature inspired me to search for a medium that embodied such beautiful light and color.
Glass was the perfect material: it was challenging (with thousands of colors), translucent, workable and accessible. Starting with a crate of glass, a glass cutter and a pair of pliers on the kitchen table, I made hanging ornaments by the hundreds and sold them to gift shops: apples, pears, cherries, chickens that stood on one foot, angels, mice and birds.
Next I wanted to make Tiffany-style lamps. At first they were lopsided, then it clicked. After the publication of a full page article about my stained glass in the Richmond Times Dispatch, I stayed busy making lamps for several years. Flowers, apples, pears, cherries, and even an eggplant lamp were requested. Then my passion turned to making windows.
First I studied all the books I could find on Tiffany, LaFarge, and other notable figures in the history of stained glass windows. Yet my real joy came from walking along the sidewalks of the historic Fan district of Richmond at night and admiring the transoms and landing windows in the homes there. My excitement soared as I studied beautifully designed windows with exquisite color and impeccable craftsmanship that were created in one of the peak periods of stained glass’ popularity.
One of the turning points of my career was discovering a complete set of 1915 Henry Lang beveling machinery in the old Richmond Glass shop. Dismantling the machinery and bringing it to my studio, I began a two year journey to learn the art of beveling. I could not find anyone who knew how to bevel and I couldn’t find any books on the subject at the time (not even in the Library of Congress). I taught myself the art of holding each piece of glass by hand over rotating iron, stone, cork and felt to create the many small facets on the beveled edge that give the finished window its character. It was an enormous amount of work.
Teaching myself how to draw opened up a whole new world for me as a craftsman. Now I could reproduce the historical windows I saw, and later, incorporate my own design ideas as my craftsmanship developed.
By now I had been practicing my craft for 12 years, had 5 employees and a cramped studio in the fan district of Richmond. Being pulled in so many directions, and missing the creative time for thinking and experimenting, I decided I needed a change.
So I packed up and moved just over an hour away west up the James River to Bremo Bluff: seven acres, a 1907 farm house and an old buggy barn for a studio. I was ecstatic again. With one helper, I dove into the pleasures of creativity. Solitude and a frugal lifestyle freed me once again to follow my own direction.
Our popularity grew as people sought us out to create unique art glass windows for their homes and places of worship. We shared ideas and sketched them on paper to show how we could combine our resources, processes and years of experience to create a “jewel” within their architecture.
People appreciated that their window was designed specifically for them and will never be reproduced.
My most popular style has evolved from traditional beveled glass windows. Working asymmetrically, I bevel various thicknesses and textures of glass from varying angles and blend the bevel’s unique character with fine European glass or superior quality domestic glass.
Often, I will incorporate techniques learned over a lifetime: flame work, sculpturing, painting, etching and carving. I consider these windows to be the pinnacle of my art.
Sculpturing metallic branches and vines has brought another dimension to my work. Free form beveling around the sculpturing gives these windows the feel of ice on the early morning vine.
Working glass over a flame has brought me the closest to my fascination with the translucency of nature. Mixing and drawing hot glass to make it thinner gives me the range of color I need to make interesting pieces. This is as close as I have come to the translucency of nature that has fascinated me.
I appreciate you taking your time to review our work and look forward to the possibility of working with you,
This window was created using our 1915 Henry Lang machinerey. We glue chipped 1/4″ glass for the background first, always making at least three times as much as we need so we could select for the effect we wanted. Here we were searching for a natural frost look to contrast the border. By hand beveling various thincknesses of glass over rotating iron, stone, cork, and felt we were able to bring the beveled edges to life with many small facets. The opening for this window was an interior wall, so to bring our art piece to life we hung a chandelier behind it. The light from the many small bulbs reflecting off the bevels is stunning as one moves around the sanctuary. As one member called it, “Our Spiritual Window”.
Working with the stained glass committee, we were given symbols that were importnat to the congregation. Many of the symbols were from children’s educational materials and literature collected over the years. It was our job to use our expertise and skill to interpret these symbols in art glass.
A wispy, iridescent white glass was chosen for the background for it’s ethereal quality. The symbols at the top were executed in stained glass, while some of the images were enhanced by painting. Beveled glass was used in the circles to add sparkle and light as if the symbols were an opening in our background of wispy white. We chose the scrolls because we felt they gave a historical look to the scriptures. The lion and lily are just two of the many symbols we created specifically for St. Peter Baptist Church