2018 Stained Glass Conference

I had the pleasure to attend the 2018 Stained Glass Association of America (SGAA) conference in Long Beach, California in late June. It was such a great event (arrived to its 109th instalment), and I had the chance to meet other stained glass artists and conservators, all under one roof.

The conference featured many amazing and inspiring talks. I particularly enjoyed the talk by Judith Schaechter, who showed her work, the processes she uses and her sources of inspiration. I am a big fan of her work, and always enjoying visiting museums or galleries that exhibit her stained glass.

Some of the samples Judith Schaechter showed during her talk.

Some of the samples Judith Schaechter showed during her talk.

I also met again with Ariana Makau from Nzilani Glass Conservation, who I had visited few years ago in Oakland, California, for inspiration and insights about stained glass conservation. Ariana’s talk at the conference was focused on health and safety when exposed to lead: a big issue when working with stained glass, and in particular when doing conservation works. The talk flamed up lots of discussion, which demonstrates how important this issue is to stained glass makers and conservators.

Another talk I enjoyed was by Lindsy Parrot, from the Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass, in the Queens Museum, New Jersey, who spoke about the mosaics from the Tiffany Studios. I have visited the collection in the Queens Museum few year ago, and I talked about it in this blog post.

The conference also featured a number of classes. I enjoyed taking part to the Laminating class by Rich Lamonde, from Glass Strategies, and to the gilding demonstration by Alix Gomes from Angel Gilding.

One of the pieces I created during the Lamination class at the SGAA conference.

One of the pieces I created during the Lamination class at the SGAA conference.


Alix Gomes demonstrating the gilding technique.

Alix Gomes demonstrating the gilding technique.

The conference featured two banquets; the first took place at the Judson Studios. Before reaching the studio, we visited the Gamble House, a National Historic Landmark in Pasadena. The House is a masterpiece of the American Arts and Crafts movement, and features a strong focus on details and craftsmanship. The design of the house is influenced by Japanese aesthetic. We also visited the Bullseye Resource Centre located next to Judson Studios.

Glass racks at the Bullseye Resource Centre located next to Judson Studios.

Glass racks at the Bullseye Resource Centre located next to Judson Studios.

Once at Judson Studios, we had the chance to visit the building, and admire some of the work underway by Narcissus Quagliata.

A section of the impressive Judson Studios

A section of the impressive Judson Studios.

The conference ended with a one day tour of stained glass around the LA area. The tour started with the stained glass windows at the USC Caruso Catholic Center. The windows, recently designed and created by the Judson studio, feature stories from the Old and New Testament. Each window has been sponsored by a donor, who had input on the subject of the window, and provided reference material for example for some of the depicted  symbols and faces. The picture below capture some examples of these windows and details.

The tour then continued to the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels, Los Angeles. In the basement of the cathedral are exhibited a number of stained glass panels by the Franz Mayer & Co of Munich, which where installed in the original Cathedral before being moved to the current location. The panels are beautiful and showcase the artistry of the Mayer studio. I will talk about these windows in a future post, where I will combine pictures taken during this tour with those I took in a previous visit to the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels.

The tour finished at the Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House, which features a number of original stained glass windows in the typical motifs of Frank Lloyd Wright.

I also enjoyed meeting and knowing new people. I thoroughly enjoyed talking with Tom and Gayle Holdman, from Holdman Studios, in Utah. I also enjoyed chatting with David Judson, owner of Judson Studios, one of the biggest and most famous glass art studios in the US. David was a wealth of knowledge about both traditional and new glass art techniques.

A Trip into Heritage Stained Glass in the US and its Conservation

Thanks to the generous support from the Storylines Art Bursary by Mark Furner MP for Ferny Grove and the James Whitney Workshop/Seminar Scholarship by the Stained Glass School/Stained Glass Association of America, I recently had the opportunity to spend few weeks in the US to further my expertise in glass conservation, in particular for heritage stained glass.

During this trip I spent some time at the Corning Museum of Glass (NY), visiting and working with Stephen Koob, Fellow of the International Institute of Conservation and the American Institute for Conservation, who is responsible for the care and preservation of all of the Museum’s collections.


Under Stephen’ mentorship, I have practiced conserving some damaged glass objects, including a vessel created by Frederick Carder in his carrear at Corning. I also had a chance to visit the museum and assist to the end of residency demonstration by visiting artist Dane Jack (blown glass).


After my time in Corning, I travelled for few days to Boston, MA, visiting some churches with heritage stained glass on the way. In Boston, I had the privilege to see a number of stained glass panels by Tiffany and La Farge, among others, including some installed in Harvard University’s Memorial Hall, generally not open to the public.

Once left Boston, I travelled to New York where I visited the Bullseye Glass Resource Center New York, the Queens and Brooklyn Museums, and the Claire Oliver Gallery (a commercial gallery that is the sole representative of Judith Schaechter’s stained glass work).


After New York, I travelled to Bryn Athyn, PA; not before having stopped in Princeton, NJ to admire some great stained glass from Tiffany Studios, depecting St George, and in Millville, visiting WheatonArts – the Museum of American Glass.


Once in Bryn Athyn, I had the opportunity to participate in a heritage stained glass conservation workshop, lead by Steve Hartley, with the help of Kenneth Leap. In the workshop, we had the opportunity to work on and examine a number of medieval and heritage stained glass panels. I also had the chance to return to Philadelphia to admire Tiffany’s Dream Garden mosaic and some stained glass in a church and in the local museum.

Next, I continued my trip and I drove to Washington, where I returned to visit the Washington National Cathedral, including the Stained Glass Association of America’s annual exhibition. Details of glass panel by Kathy Barnard below.


Finally, I concluded my journey in Los Angeles.  There I visited the St. Timothy’s Catholic Church, which has several Harry Clark’s windows, and the Forest Lawn – Glendale – Great Mausoleum. There, I had the chance to see ‘The last supper’, the famous painting of Leonardo da Vinci, but in the form of a stained glass window. The museum also had on exposition a few wonderful panels by Franz Mayer & Co. of Munich — but the greatest collection of Mayer’s windows in Los Angeles was in the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. A true art supper for the stained glass lovers.


I will post on this blog some stories and images from my trip, including images of Tiffany’s stained glass and lamps, La Farge stained glass masterpieces, fantastic glass artworks from the Corning Museum of Glass, and much more. So, keep looking!

Harry Clarke, in Glasgow

In my recent trip to Europe, I visited Glasgow, Scotland. I used to live and work in Glasgow few years ago, and it was there that I specialised in art glass design and worked in great glass projects for the Verrier Glass Studio, including the creation of leadlight windows and the restoration of heritage stained glass in Glasgow.

Harry Clarke's stained glass "The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin", at Glasgow's Kelvingrove Museum, Scotland.

Harry Clarke’s stained glass “The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin”, at Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Museum, Scotland.

Harry Clarke's stained glass window "Ascension", at St Stephen Cathedral in Brisbane, Queensland.

Harry Clarke’s stained glass window “Ascension”, at St Stephen Cathedral in Brisbane, Queensland.


















It was to my great joy that a beautiful stained glass window by Irish artist Harry Clarke was on display at the Kelvingrove museum. Harry Clarke (17 March 1889 – 6 January 1931) was a proficient stained glass artist and he created more than 130 windows which are characterised by rich colours (especially deep blues), fine drawings and the integration of the lead cames themselves into the design of the stained glass window (which remind the heavy lines in his black&white book illustrations). An example of Clarke’s stained glass windows is also in the St Stephen’s Catholic Cathedral in Brisbane (known as the “Ascension” or “Mayne” window, because in memory of Isaac and William Mayne). This window was commissioned to Clarke and imported from Ireland in the early part of the twentieth century (about 1923).

The window in Glasgow is titled “The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin” and, as the Brisbane’w window, it also was realised in 1923, as recorded along with Clarke’s signature in the bottom right corner of the rightmost panel (see image). The window is made up of 20 panels and was originally installed in the Convent Chapel in the Teacher Training College in Dowanhill Glasgow, Scotland, but has now been removed and is assembled into an exhibition frame in Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Museum. The window was commissioned by Sister Mary of St Wilfrid of The Sisters of Notre Dame and Principal of the Teacher Training College.

Detail of the faces of the Virgin.

Detail of the faces of the Virgin.

Detail of two praying people.

Detail of two praying people.












The window contains all the motifs that make Clarke’s work famous around the word: the deep blue colours of the Virgin’s dress, the delicate drawings of the faces of the people pictured in the window (see the details in the images above), and the inclusion of the lead as integral part of the design, for example dictating the flow of the Virgin’s dress and the drip of water in the central panel.

Detail from Harry Clarke's “The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin” at The Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow, Scotland.

Detail from Harry Clarke’s “The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin” at The Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow, Scotland.

Harry Clarke's signature on the window, with date.

Harry Clarke’s signature on the window, with date.