Richard H. Gross, MTS, is the editor of The Stained Glass Quarterly and media director of the Stained Glass Association of America.

Oct 142010

by Richard Gross

The SGAA’s Annual Summer Conference is always exciting, but this year, with SGAA President Jack Whitworth’s announcement that the Stained Glass Association of America, together with the SGAA Stained Glass School, has purchased two-and-a-half acres of land on which to build a permanent headquarters, teaching facility, and research center, the excitement felt by all of the members in attendance was palpable, indeed.

While there are still many decisions to be made and plans to be created, purchasing land is a major step toward the ultimate goal of creating a world-class teaching and administrative facility for the Association. For many years, the Association has been headquartered in makeshift facilities that, while they have served the day-to-day functions of the SGAA, have not allowed so many of the extra things that a trade organization like the Stained Glass Association of America can and should be doing.

Teaching, of course, is at the forefront of that. It is up to the professionals that make up the professional trade organization for our craft to train the next generation of professionals in techniques appropriate to work in a production studio. While it is possible for someone earnestly seeking deeper craft proficiency to learn some of these techniques on their own over a period of years, these are skills that are best learned at the bench, using the tools of the craft in the manner in which professionals use them under the instruction of a highly skilled teacher.

The SGAA Stained Glass School has a history of offering valuable one- and two-day classes at the Annual Summer Conference. Those certainly are beneficial, and they will, I hope, continue even after the new SGAA Stained Glass School is built. However, a six-hour painting workshop set up in a hotel meeting room certainly does not give the same exposure or benefit that a six-day painting workshop in a facility designed specifically for painting on glass would provide. It’s not even fair to compare the two, they are so radically different.

The SGAA Stained Glass School is to be applauded for its hard work in bringing classes to the Annual Summer Conference, and it has been an honor and a privilege to have taught a class at a conference. But as important and as valuable as these classes are, they pale in comparison to the value received from a multi-day or even multi-week format. In addition to having a focused environment for intensive learning, one can make friends and contacts at these workshops that will last a lifetime. In this respect, it’s not unlike the network of friendships that is formed by those who attend the SGAA Annual Summer Conference.

What are the steps to building a world-class teaching facility? That’s a question that the board of directors of the SGAA Stained Glass School is working to address right now. Certainly, there are many decisions to be made, and none of them should be made hastily, since the foundation now being laid is one that should endure for many, many years to come. There is no reason why the school built now could not endure for generations into the future, enduring long after all of us here now are gone.

The goal is clear; the path to reach that goal is one that will take thoughtful deliberation. Jerome Durr, of Syracuse, New York, served with distinction as Director of the SGAA Stained Glass School in recent years and with the assistance of the School’s board of directors brought it to where it is now and helped oversee the purchase of land. Jerome has now been elected First Vice President of the Stained Glass Association of America and has handed on the Directorship of the SGAA Stained Glass School to the capable hands of Bob Markert of Louisville, Kentucky.

Bob brings many years of experience in teaching art and craft to the table. In addition to being a Fully Accredited Artist/Designer Member of the Stained Glass Association of America, Bob has served for several years as the Apprenticeship Committee chairman and has worked extensively on the Association’s apprenticeship efforts, bringing them up to date and forming training schedules that, when implemented, will allow the craftsman to achieve certification at the Apprentice, Journeyman, and Master levels.

It is a truly exciting time for the SGAA Stained Glass School. While major and historic steps have already been taken, there is much more to do. The SGAA Stained Glass School is moving boldly into the future; it is a wonderful time to be a part of the Stained Glass Association of America.

Apr 222010

This Donation Challenge for the Kansas City Summer Conference has been issued by Sue Shea of Stained Glass Resources, Inc., of Hampden, Massachusetts (, an SGAA Fully-Accredited Studio: Make a donation now to the Stained Glass Association of America’s Summer Conference, and donations received by 05/21/10 as a result of this post will be matched dollar for dollar (up to $5,000.00) by Stained Glass Resources, Inc!

To take part in this challenge, contact the SGAA Headquarters at 800.438-9581 or via email at and mention that you are responding to Sue Shea’s challenge when you make your donation.

Apr 082010

Glashütte Lamberts of Germany, recognized as the world leader in the production of mouth-blown sheet glasses, is now under the new leadership of Mr. Hans Reiner Meindl. After 28 years at the head of the family business, Stephan Lamberts will remain as consultant.

Mr. Meindl has extensive experience in the glass industry. He now concludes a 10-year career at Heinz Holding GmbH., a leading international manufacturer of perfume bottles, leaving his current position as managing director. Mr. Meindl is expected to bring the business forward through his experience, the expertise of Glashütte Lamberts’ staff, and the factory’s long-standing relationships with global business partners. Lamberts’ partnership with Bendheim, the exclusive distributor of Lamberts glass in North America, has endured for three generations.

“We are confident Mr. Meindl will build on Lamberts’ foundation of traditional glassblowing methods and technological knowledge to increase their capabilities and range of products,” said Robert Jayson, President of Bendheim. “We look forward to the continued growth of our 70-year partnership with Lamberts.”

The art of creating mouth-blown flat glass has become a rare craft. Glashütte Lamberts is known to artists, designers, and architects throughout the world for the quality and variety of its mouth-blown glasses, unsurpassed in their brilliance and body. Artists have designed with Lamberts glass for a variety of residential, commercial, and institutional projects. A rich palette of more than 500 colors is availble from Bendheim’s extensive stock, with more than 5,000 colors and textures accessible through the Lamberts factory in Germany.

To request information and samples of Lamberts original mouth-blown art glass, visit or call 800-221-7379 (East), 800-900-3499 (West).

Apr 082010

 Evenheat announces a new and valuable alarm enhancement to the Rampmaster control. The alarm update consists of “Beginning of Process Hold” and “End of Process Hold” alarms. The process hold is the point during a glass firing where the glass moves and takes on new form, such as slumping or fusing.  

The Beginning of Process Hold Alarm alerts you when your glass is about to start taking on new form. Knowing when this occurs is very helpful as it puts you in a timely position to react to the glass changes and make decisions and adjustments as necessary.

The End of Process Hold Alarm alerts you when your glass has completed the shape-changing process and is headed to the anneal portion of the firing. This allows you to be present to stop further movement of the glass and to force cool down to the anneal if desired.

With these new Rampmaster alarm features, the artist has every opportunity to extend or shorten the firing process or to be present to stop further changes and quickly cool the kiln down to the anneal temperature.

To learn more about Evenheat’s Rampmaster control and these new alarm updates, visit

Apr 082010

"Lighting" is reprinted from the SGAA Stained Glass School's Reference & Technical Manual, Second Edition.

The Stained Glass Association of America is pleased to announce the availability of “Chapter 21: Lighting” from the SGAA Reference & Technical Manual, Second Edition. This is the latest chapter made available in reprint edition of the popular Manual, which has been out of print for many years.

This chapter includes essays on color and light in interior spaces, the artificial lighting of stained glass windows through the use of light boxes, and includes extensive information on the design and fabrication of stained glass lamps. The book concludes by touching briefly on the use of neon.

This is the eighth title available in this series. Other available chapters are “Glazing & Copperfoil,” “Cartooning & Cutting Glass,” “Installation & Safety Glazing,” “Design & Color,” “Dalle de Verre,” “Painting for Stained Glass,” and “Structure and Reinforcement.”

“Chapter 21: Lighting” and all reprint chapters from the SGAA Reference & Technical Manual, Second Edition, are available from the SGAA Headquarters by calling 800.438-9581 or are available for order online. For more information, see

Apr 082010
Gathering Light

Hel Goleuni.Gathering Light



Hel Goleuni.Gathering Light

In October 2009, Ellen Mandelbaum participated in the exhibition “Hel Goleuni.Gathering Light” at the National Waterfront Museum, in Swansea, Wales. She also was invited to demonstrate glass painting at The Welsh School of Architectural Glass.

Gathering Light

Hel Goleuni.Gathering Light


Mandelbaum is an Active Accredited member of the SGAA and is the principal at Ellen Mandelbaum Glass Art ( The Welsh School of Architectural Glass, Swansea Metropolitan University, ( is the only dedicated architectural glass school in the world.

Chris Bird-Jones, Director of the Glass Masters program at the school, designed, curated, and exhibited in the exhibition.

“Hel Goleuni.Gathering Light” featured large innovative works by artists of the Women’s International Glass Workshop. Linda Lichtman and Marie Foucault-Phipps were the other American artists who attended the gathering in Wales.




MENFOLK: an Exhibition of Stained Glass by Debora Coombs

“I am trying to explore the world that lies behind the threshold of language. My series of stained glass panels titled Menfolk attempts to unravel the emotional complexity of ‘maleness’ from youth to old age.”

Debora Coombs exhibited Menfolk, a series of richly painted stained glass panels at the Cochrane Theatre Gallery, London, from October 8 to November 29, 2009; from there, the exhibit travels to the Stained Glass Museum at Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire, England, from January 2 to February 14, 2010.

The genesis for this body of work was an invitation by Laura Thompson, curator for Kidspace at MASS MoCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art), in North Adams, Massachusetts, for Coombs to exhibit in a three-person show Boxed Sets: Assembling Objects, Images, and People. Five panels were on exhibition there from April to September 2007.

Bird in Hand

Bird in Hand


Another stained glass panel, Man With Bird, was among 100 works of glass art selected from 2,974 submitted from 43 countries worldwide to be published in the 2009 New Glass Review 31 as part of an annual event organized by Neues Glas/New Glass magazine in Germany and the Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, New York. These works become part of the permanent public archives of international contemporary glass artists in the Rakow Library at Corning Museum.

Born and raised in Southampton, England, Debora studied at Edinburgh College of Art; in Swansea, Wales; and received her Master’s from the Royal College of Art in London in 1985. She went on to complete a series of successful public art projects and religious stained glass, including a memorial window commissioned by Sir Nigel Broackes, former Chairman of the Crafts Council of Great Britain.In 1995, Coombs was commissioned by Archbishop (now Cardinal) William J. Levada to create windows for the newly renovated St. Mary’s Cathedral in Portland, Oregon. This three-year project involved designing and making 20 stained glass windows — more than 1,000 square feet of hand-painted stained glass — on the themes of American saints, cultural diversity, and the sacraments. During this time Coombs and her husband, Richard Criddle, made the decision to emigrate to the US in 1996. They now live in Readsboro, Vermont.

Coombs’ stained glass has been exhibited in Europe, Australia, Asia, and the USA and is held in the permanent collection of the Stained Glass Museum at Ely Cathedral in England.Her work as an educator includes directing the glass department at Chelsea College of Art in London from 1994 to 1996, adjunct teaching at art schools on both sides of the Atlantic, including the Pilchuck Glass School, Seattle, Washington; and presentations to professional associations such as the British Society of Master Glass Painters; the Stained Glass Association of America; and British Columbia Glass Art Society in Canada.

Elected by peers as a lifelong Fellow of the British Society of Master Glass Painters in 1994, Coombs is one of just 13 artists with this status. Her commissions include two 25-foot figurative windows for Norman Vincent Peale’s church, Marble Collegiate, on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, New York; the design of 46 windows for St. Henry Catholic Church in Nashville, Tennessee; and the donor recognition window in North Adams Public Library.

About her forthcoming exhibition Menfolk, Coombs writes: “This series of work explores maleness, at various ages, and in different emotional landscapes. It grew from a desire to explore images of people that spoke to me in some way. Combining drawings and photographs of my own family with those of strangers, I discovered some interesting relationships. I handpainted people and patterns onto pieces of coloured glass to form a mosaic. Fixed together with strips of soldered lead in the traditional manner, these Menfolk are now preserved in stained glass, together forever.“Part of the allure for me is working with the real substance of glass and paint. The process feeds my need to make things. Sensual and tactile, craftsmanship is absorbing, technically challenging, and pleasurable. Making provides a perfect counterpoint to thinking.”

Mar 152010

The FYI: Notes & News section of The Stained Glass Quarterly is provided as a public service. There is no charge for listings in this section.

If you would like to announce a class, exhibition, workshop, conference, seminar, or similar event, you can fax your announcement to 816.737-2801, e-mail to headquarters@sgaaonline.comor mail it to The Stained Glass Quarterly, 9313 East 63rd Street, Raytown, MO 64133.

Important: You should send your announcement well before the scheduled dates of the event to ensure that there is time for it to be seen in FYI: Notes & News. Many FYI: Notes & News announcements run in multiple issues before the event, and there is no need to resubmit an item for consideration for future issues. 

FYI: Notes & News announcements appear in every issue and on the Internet at Items must be received in time for publication in The Stained Glass Quarterly to be eligible for Internet placement. All announcements are placed on a space-available basis, and the editorial staff of The Stained Glass Quarterly reserves the right to reject any FYI: Notes & News announcements for any reason.

Mar 122010

The SGAA Stained Glass School is proud to continue its tradition of hands-on classes prior to the Annual Summer Conference for the Stained Glass Association of America. These classes are designed to be professional-level classes, taught by professionals for professionals.

This year, for the Kansas City 2010 conference, a second day has been added to the class schedule to provide for longer, more intensive classes. This will continue next year at the conference to be held in Syracuse, and even longer class schedules are under consideration.

This is an excellent, inexpensive way to increase your knowledge or to expand the expertise of your employees. Classes range in skill level from Beginner to Advanced. Each class description gives exact details of instructor, materials provided or required, skill level and if any previous skills are required.

Beginning with the Kansas City 2010 conference all participants will receive a Certificate of Completion. The hours earned will be eligible for the newly reconstructed program SGAA Certificates of Competence. For more information on the program contact the SGAA Headquarters at 800.438.9581. Click KC2010 Conference Workshops to download the PDF Flier. (This flier downloads from the website.)

Mar 052010

The Stained Glass Association of America is looking forward to meeting in the home city of its national headquarters and is celebrating with a new, lower pricing structure for early registration: register now for only $250! Pricing goes up after April 1.

Pre-Conference classes filled so quickly, both painting instructors Bob Markert and Kathy Jordan have agreed to open up second classes. Call soon before all classes are filled! No more new sessions can be added after these are full. The Stained Glass School’s pre-Conference classes are on June 26 and 27.

The SGAA Stained Glass School will provide a very wide range of classes taught by professionals for professionals. Sandblasting with Kathy Barnard is a two-day intensive to discover the intricate art of sandblasting. It is a great class for both the beginner and the artist wanting to perfect their own techniques. Flesh Painting: A China Painting Approach with Kathy Jordan presents a very unique painting style developed by Kathy. We are pleased to have her with us for this intermediate level class. Bob Markert has been asked to teach his very popular intermediate painting class again. This special style that Bob developed for a major commission at Highland Baptist Church in Louisville is described as very freeing, allowing the artist to include something very different in their portfolio. Editor Richard Gross will conduct a class entitled Stained Glass Photography at the Grace & Holy Trinity Cathedral. According to Richard if you can photograph these difficult-to-photograph windows you’ll find other stained glass photography easy.

The list of lectures for Kansas City has inspired unprecedented early conference registration. Members are excited about our exploration into new Conference topics and directions. Lectures will include motivational speakers, business planning in the studio and in cyberspace, and expert speakers in a wide range of topics, including: The Art of Making Glass; Architects – What They Expect; Visual Theology: Art in the Catholic Church; Exploring Artistic Creativity.

Registrants will also be visiting the office and be able to view the permanent home site and building plans. Demonstrations will be available for building websites, mosaics, installation, and business planning.

A major exhibition of glass panels is also being planned. Sales from these panels will go toward the Stained Glass School Building Fund. The School is also requesting that everyone dig deep into their closets and bookshelves. Look through your display panels and extra tools for items for the annual auction. Your support will help build the school of tomorrow.

Register now through April 1 for only $250! Register online using PayPal at or call the SGAA Headquarters at 800.438.9581 to register, or email

Official Conference Hotel: Hyatt Regency Crown Center, 800.233.1234 or 816.421.1234; $139 for Single or Double Occupancy. Reserve your room now. Reservations can be changed within 72 hours of reservation date.