It is my goal to to create works of art that are customized to suite my client's needs. Designs that aim to commemorate retirement, birth, personal achievements, love, and memories. My goal is to use the skills that God gave me for making something truly meaningful- family heirlooms. Being malleable is the core of my business design. I collaborate with my client's in order to create something intimate and timeless. Photographic updates are given throughout the process so that you never have to wonder which stage in the process your order is at. You will have a birdseye view at all times. A completion date is always quoted before work is begun, and that date is respected and upheld.
A little about me:
My name is Dawn, I am the wife of a joint service veteran (Army/Airforce). Our children are now grown & off to college. I was an avid stained glass artist prior to starting a family. The role of motherhood and military wife took precidence and my passion for glass took an 18 year hiatus. I have spent a good deal of that time focused on pursuing a degree in geology , in concurrenc with running our wool farm in Idaho. Now that our nest is empty and my husband is near retirement my focus is on rebuilding my glass business.
In March of 2015 I set up my studio, updated my tools, replenished my glass stock, and began designing.
By the end of 2015 I had privately designed over 50 personalized panels that were shipped to
various service members across the country, in all branchess of service both active and retired. As of June
2016, I am nearing the 200 mark. It is a wonderful feeling to do what you love!!
Military and Civil Service designs are certainly my focal point. I continue to add new designs
monthly as time permits. I have a constant stream of orders that are given my devout attention, but my
goal is expand my designs to also include emergence services.
Another passion of mine is customizing family heirlooms. Designs that carry with them a depth of meaning
that only you would understand ...... a vivid memory from childhood, a private symbol that is connected to someone that has perhaps departed, or something bright to celebrate a wedding, birth, or personal achievement. Please take a look at my recent gallery and testimonials to better understand the breadth of my abilities and my willingness to go outside the boundary of what most stained glass artists consider comfortable or worthwhile. To me, if it is sentimental it is worth my time.
Don't be fooled:
Often times, AUTHENTic stained glass can be purchased for just a few more dollars than the 'fakes'...and the difference in craftsmanship and durability are very pronounced. With that said, I have also noticed an uptick in faux stained glass- items sold at a much lower price under the label of 'stained glass' that are actually various types of transparent paint overlayed onto glass. Albeit it attractive, if you are looking for authentic stained glass you will be sorely disappointed when you realize that you were sold something entirely different.
Many hobbiests are eager to sell their work before aquiring sufficient skills first. I urge you to ask many questions of anyone you buy from stained glass from. Amazon is a hotbox for fakes and faux stained glass, and those that are authentic are typically the work of someone underskilled and with no desire for perfection or durability. A family heirloom should be made with respect and precision, and the family should be involved.
I will be more than happy to send you information. I take painstaking time to ensure that each panel is stoutly constructed so that is can be handed down through MANY generations, the same cannot be said for the beforementioned.
So, what exactly is stained glass?
Stained glass dates back to the 3rd century A., and is made by fusing silica, and akaline compound and lead oxides for color. The glass is fabricated with temperatures exceeding 2500 degrees. the process is fascinating and and quite complex. I purchase mostly Spectrum and Kokomo brand stained glass which are made in the U.S.A. Stained glass artwork is made up of many individual pieces of glass, which are all handcut using a variety of techniques and cutting wheels. In order to bind these pieces of glass together into a cohesive design they are coated with metal. Cathedral style windows apply lead while smaller windows and designs apply copper. The metallic edgiong that is added to every piece of glass allows for it to be soldered together (to melt and fuse two metals together). The application of these metals is painstaking. It truly makes or breaks the design, and more importantly, it is the absolute backbone of a window. Its' strength and longevity rests with how well these steps were performed.
I devoutly use the Tiffany Method for all of my pieces. Despite being a strong advocate of leaded glass, previously, when I began the trade 20 years ago, it is no longer a method of choice for many viable reasons. Although this seems counterintuitive to the 'trend in quality in America', most of the methods of yesteryear are no longer the best options. Modern products have really proven their worth. The Tiffany Method (when properly used), surpasses the durability of a leaded window in that they do not sag over time. Lead need only be used in cathedral projects and not in your art piece.
How my windows are made:
Each piece of glass is hand cut, polished and beveled to ensure that there are three surfaces (Top, side and bottom) for the copper to bind to instead of one - (which many novices make the mistake of doing). Having multiple surfaces for the copper to bind to, (instead of just the edge of the glass), is where most of the rigidity and strength originate from. The other main factor which dictates strength is soldering. Soldering bonds the coppered edges of the glass together and is completed using a four-stage process. These steps carefully ensure that solder is allowed to ****seep between the glass pieces to form an actual bond (many artists do not allow this to happen! Many only surface solder, thus creating a very weak and poorly constructed piece). On larger pieces the strength is reinforced using rigid copper stripping that is naked to the eye once the piece is complete, but is woven through the panel to give it a strong backbone. Typically this is used on panels over 24" long. After soldering is complete, the panel is framed in a sturdy zinc frame, which protects the panel and adds to its design. Steel eyelets are soldered on, and high-polish chain is applied at a length that fits your needs. Once the soldering and framing are complete, the panel then goes through a series of steps to clean, patina, and wax the solderlines and glass.
Precision and mindfulness is key! My studio is tranquil and when I am working on a panel, it is my sole focus. I treat every order as if I am making it for someone I love. It is made with respect, love, and a great attention to detail.
How Long does it take to make a window?
Something small and simple may take half a day whereas more intricate designs can take a week or more. Before a client purchases a design they often message me to inquire about the time frame. Please feel free to do so at any time. The time frame is based on the complexity of a design and the amount of contracted work that is currently on the workbench. I always honor the dates that I quote (another pitfall in this line of work is that many artists do not. Often they over promise and under deliver). As stated previously, I consistently provide photographic updates throughout the process. My clients are not only part of the design process, but they also bare witness to much of the fabrication and are completely abreast of the progress from beginning to end.
If you are interested, please feel free to send me a message. Most of my prices range from $80.00-$600.00 depending on level of detail and size. Most panels are completed in a 2-6 week window of time.
Conversation and quotes are always free!
Thanks for taking the time to get to know me.