SGAA Conference

Excelsior Springs, MO — June 9 – 11, 2014: The Stained Glass Association of America is proud to announce that the 105th Annual Summer Conference will be, for the first time, the SGAA Artists’ Retreat at the Elms Hotel and Spa. The park-like grounds and the serenity of the atmosphere at the Elms is perfect for an artists’ retreat. The SGAA has received a special room rate of only $119 per night, single or double. The Retreat registration rate will be $225. Register before January 1, 2014, and be automatically entered to win a case of glass from Uroboros at the Portland 2015 conference.

The SGAA Artists’ Retreat will include more hands-on, interactive and contemplative programs with time for reflection and sharing of art and theory. But the business-minded will not be left out. We are planning workshops on both Committee Psychology and Restoration.

The Conference Committee is also working with the Stained Glass School to provide workshops during the conference rather than prior to the conference. This plan is to allow attendees to save on travel and hotel expense while still being able to attend School workshops.

The Annual Summer Conference tour will be optional this year, taking place on June 12, and will include a tour of churches, historic buildings and homes, and some of the local wineries.
Are you interested in being a Conference Sponsor? Contact us at 800.438. 9581, or and request a Suppliers Showcase program — you’ll receive lots of advertising coverage at very little expense!
Watch the SGAA website at for more updates and conference registration.

Discover the SGAA

Stained Glass Association of America — The SGAA is a professional trade association dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the architectural glass arts. Discover for yourself the importance of the Association and all the benefits it provides you and the industry. Affiliation includes:

• four issues of The Stained Glass Quarterly
• four issues of the Kaleidoscope
• listing in the Sourcebook directory
• the privilege of using the SGAA Swash logo


9313 East 63rd Street
Raytown, MO 64133
(800) 438-9581

Standards and Guidelines for the Preservation of Stained (and Leaded) Glass Windows

SGAA Member Price $5.00 each
Non-Member Price $10.00 each
(plus $2.50 for US shipping)

Years and the experience of many major stained glass studios have gone into the writing of this major SGAA publication. It has been designed to provide educational information to the owners and caretakers of stained glass windows — how stained glass windows are made, how they are maintained and repaired, and how they are restored.

Meant for stained glass practitioners, this publication will be invaluable to you, your employees, your clients, and potential clients.

Visit our website now to securely order through PayPal, or call the SGAA Headquarters at 800.438.9581.

Publication Details:
• 8 1/2″ x 11″, 49 Pages
• Illustrated
• Archival Quality

Large-quantity orders are available through the SGAA Headquarters by calling 800.438.9581. Case price Special! Available until December 31: 105 copies for only $262.50 for all purchasers. All pricing is plus shipping and handling to your location.

Available from:


The SGAA Headquarters
9313 East 63rd Street
Raytown, MO 64133


The INDY 2013 Conference – From the Editor’s Desk 132

In my opinion, this year’s Annual Summer Conference, which was held in Indianapolis, Indiana, in early June, was one of the better conferences the Stained Glass Association of America has had in recent years, and the SGAA has a history of quality conferences. This year’s presentations were informative, entertaining, and engaging; the exhibition had some extremely fine pieces that represented stained glass very well; and the venue itself — downtown Indianapolis — was extremely nice, clean, and home to a number of excellent restaurants, not the least of which was the Weber Grill. I know there were a number of others who enjoyed eating there as much as I did, and for them — and for anyone else who might find it interesting — I’d like to point out that their website,, features recipes of some of the dishes they serve there.
I would also like to say a very big thank you to SGAA member Michael “Zimmy” Zimmerman. When I say this conference could not have been what it was without him, that is no exaggeration. Because of my knee injury, I was not able to drive, nor was I able to do much lifting or many of the other things that I regularly do at a conference. Zimmy flew to Kansas City, helped load the truck, drove it to Indianapolis, and helped with every aspect of setup and cleanup above and beyond what he had volunteered to do as chairman of the Exhibition Committee. The SGAA is blessed with many members whose dedication to the Association and whose strength of character and desire to advance the cause of the Ancient Craft is truly impressive; Michael Zimmerman certainly deserves to be recognized as one of those members.
Of course, I also have to mention the 125th Anniversary Celebration at Kokomo Opalescent Glass. What fun that was! I have been fortunate enough to have visited Kokomo in the past and was happy to be there again. I, like most who are involved in stained glass, really enjoy watching sheets of glass being made. While watching the men taking ladles of molten glass from the furnace to the roller, I made the same comment I made last time I was there and the same comment I am sure I will make the next time I am there: I wonder how much I would have to pay them to let me do that job for fifteen minutes?
Our hosts — John O’Donnell, Dick Elliott, and the entire Kokomo Opalescent Glass staff — were wonderful hosts. They treated us to quite a celebration, and it was very nice to be able to celebrate this important milestone with them.
The Stained Glass Association of America’s Annual Summer Conference could not be what it is without the support of our sponsors. (For a complete sponsor list, please see pages 98 and 99; please be sure to support these companies with your business, and let them know you appreciate their support of the SGAA.) Every one of our sponsors is directly responsible for much of the success of the Conference. I would especially like to extend a personal thank you to Jon Rarick of Reusché & Company of T.W.S., Inc., and Robert Jayson of S.A. Bendheim, Inc. These long-time supporters truly understand the vision of the Association and are willing to support that vision as we work for a better future for stained, decorative, and architectural art glass. Not only are they willing to support the Annual Summer Conference, but they also generously support the SGAA Stained Glass School with donations of materials for both conference classes and on-site workshops at the SGAA Headquarters. Gentlemen, I thank you for that support.
I started off by saying I thought this was one of the better Annual Summer Conferences in recent years, and it certainly was! However, I have to say that I am expecting next year’s conference — an Artists’ Retreat at the historic Elms Resort & Spa in Excelsior Springs, Missouri, which is just northeast of Kansas City — to exceed even Indianapolis. The discussion and planning for the Artists’ Retreat has been very exciting. There will be more hands-on classes and workshops as a regular part of the Conference than there has been at recent conferences. This format is not simply a new direction for the Association’s Annual Summer Conference; it is really more a return to our roots and revisiting the format of Conferences long ago, when it was not uncommon for the Association to plan a life-drawing class for its members complete with music provided by a string quartet. Like I said, it has been very exciting to be a part of that planning; you can expect to see much more about Excelsior Springs 2014 over the next several issues as planning progresses.

Technology Is Here to Stay – President’s Message 132

All periods of time have their curiosities, positives, and negatives. The art of glass continually unfolds while seemingly taking on a life of its own.
The business world has, for hundreds of years, been a global institution. The difference today is that we have instant views of faraway places and events, with no need to rely on foot, horse, ship, train, or plane. For the most part, we click, double click, and drag, and — voila: we are “there;” we are learning; we get instruction; we are entertained. And we blog. A myriad of opinions are literally at our finger tips. Technology is here to stay.
The materials we work with are basically the same as in the time of Marco Polo. However, technology will afford different ways of using these time-honored materials or, in some cases, not to use the materials at all.
This is where the SGAA finds itself. Individual artists as well as studio teams meld their work to accommodate changing tastes, emerging technology, and instant communication. The SGAA needs to be proactive, serve members, and augment these changes through conferences, workshops, and publications. Our Board of Directors is dedicated, and, with today’s communication, they hear from the members on a daily basis and truly act in the best interests of the whole.
Where the world of art glass will go will be an interesting evolution — a combination of technology and new design. The SGAA will be there to oversee the positives and negatives and, with the support of members, will move onward.


SGAA Recommendations for the Safe Use of Aerial Lifts, Scaffolding, Ladders, & Ladder-Jack Scaffolds

Safety is not something to take lightly. Not only are the health and well-being of yourself and your employees at stake, but there is also the risk of hefty fines from OSHA — even if you think you are compliant but find out you are not.

This book is designed specifically to help the stained glass craftsman and studio owner understand what is required by law and regulation when using scaffolds, lifts, ladders, and ladder-jack scaffolds. It will help you understand what you should be doing to keep your workers safe and your studio out of trouble with the regulators.

Order your copy today!

Softbound, approx. 24 pages, black and white. Created by the Stained Glass Association of America’s Health & Safety Committee.


Available from:


The SGAA Headquarters

9313 East 63rd Street

Raytown, MO 64133



Pricing: SGAA Members & Affiliates, $3; non-members, $5; shipping, $1.

Where Can I Learn Professional Stained Glass Techniques?

114 CoverSerious individuals who want to participate in stained glass on a professional level often ask the question, “Outside of a lengthy studio apprenticeship, where can I learn professional stained glass methods in America?” Unfortunately, currently, the answer is, “Nowhere.” That situation needs to change, and the Stained Glass School is the logical catalyst for that change.

I recently had the pleasure to speak with stained glass artist and educator, Ken Leap. Ken currently heads up the educational efforts for the Art Glass Guild, so we share some mutual concerns in the educational realm. He asked me what my vision for the Stained Glass School is. I presented my thoughts and would like to share a more concise version of those with readers of this magazine — indeed — with all members of the stained glass community.

The SGS educational efforts I envision can be divided into three separate categories — artistic excellence, technical proficiency, and continuing education.


Artistic Excellence

The SGS, through its network of existing stained glass artists and acknowledged leaders in the field, can and should, provide learning opportunities for art students across America. We cannot hope to get a stained glass curriculum into every recognized art college in the United States; however, the SGS can provide a stained glass curriculum and instructional opportunities at a central location at its property on the outskirts of Kansas City.

Much like a “semester abroad,” a semester-long, highly concentrated, residential program might be accredited, through a national association of colleges of art. A rigorous, artistically oriented stained glass program will recruit talented, young artists from across this country to embrace fresh approaches to new markets — markets outside the usual ecclesiastical setting. Fledgling studios with newfound ideas will inevitably develop, breathing new life into this medium. The infusion of informed artistic talent, armed with uncommon design ideas, may define an artistic direction of American stained glass for decades to come. That is a deliciously enticing prospect.


Technical Proficiency

Stained glass education of the type required to produce bona fide artisans is an arduous and extensive process, generally involving lengthy apprenticeship programs. At no point in the history of stained glass education has a simple, abbreviated time frame been discovered to produce competent, professional craftspeople.

There is no easy way — no magic bullet — to learning the ponderous, sometimes mystic, complexities of the stained glass art and craft. No weekend seminars, no intensive semester immersion programs can replace a dedicated academic and “practicum” experience — mentored by masters — over the course of several years.

The most expeditious course may be to amalgamate the stained glass curriculum with an existing vocational training facility. In addition to classroom training, young learners, during the course of their studies, will participate in project-based learning and internships, and will, eventually, be offered certification through their participation in SGS studio activities and testing. At the conclusion of their studies, students will be proficient in engineering, construction methods, installation techniques, and restoration procedures involved in the trade. This program, which may also involve adults and veterans who are re-training in new fields, is anticipated to take two to four years to complete, depending on the level of certification desired.


Continuing Education

For those individuals currently involved in the art and craft of stained glass, there is a constant need to upgrade and learn new skills. Short, intense “master classes” and symposia are envisioned to fulfill this need. Classes ranging in length from three days to three weeks in duration and focusing on one specific area of knowledge are proposed. These classes will be taught by recognized masters in a specific aspect of the art and craft, and will be offered at the Stained Glass School facilities. Certificates of completion will be granted to those who successfully complete the classes.

It is anticipated that these classes, due to their relative ease of production, will be the first to be offered by the Stained Glass School.


In Conclusion

Establishing programs of the scope and magnitude outlined above is a monumental undertaking — one that cannot be accomplished by any single individual. There is a great deal that must be done, including decisions regarding direction, funding, curriculum, outside participation, faculty, and a myriad of other concerns, all of which must be addressed before the first class comes to fruition.

There are many tasks to be accomplished before any of these programs can actually be put in place — tasks for which volunteers are desperately needed. Whether you are a fourth-generation owner of a major American stained glass studio, an independent artist, or a newly minted small studio, the Stained Glass School needs your input, expertise, and energy. Please consider helping preserve and enlarge the community of stained glass artists and artisans for generations to come. You will feel better for it, and the craft will benefit immensely from your participation. Volunteer to help today by calling toll-free 1-800-438-9581.

SGAA Is Working for the Industry

114 CoverIn approximately six months, the Stained Glass Association of America will be holding our Annual Summer Conference.  The Conference Committee has been diligently working to present a fine array of lectures and workshops that will be informative and fun.

What else has the SGAA been up to in the last six months? The Health and Safety Committee, under the leadership of Al Priest, has finished the Safety Pamphlet, SGAA Recommendations for the Safe Use of Aerial Lifts, Scaffolding, Ladders and Ladder-Jack Scaffolds. The committee has worked tirelessly for the past two years to provide studios and their employees with the safety recommendations of which studios need to be aware when working above ground level.  These pamphlets are now available and I urge everyone to get a copy to insure that you and your employees, as well as the general public, have a safe environment to be around.

The long awaited revisions to the Restoration Guidelines pamphlet will be available for distribution this spring. As with the previous pamphlet, this important publication is a most useful tool at the bench. Many studios also use this booklet to educate and inform clients of proper techniques and procedures while restoring art glass.

Many thanks need to go to the former chair of the Restoration Committee, Jules Mominee, and his committee for laying the ground work for the revisions of this document. Under the capable hands of David Guarducci, who took over the Committee earlier this year, the Committee has finalized the pamphlet. I think most will be impressed with this publication. Restoration of art glass seems to be a controversial topic to discuss. Again, the SGAA leads the way in setting the standard for all of us to achieve.

Rick Hoover has established a formal office at the Stained Glass School property. This is an important development at the future site of a permanent complex dedicated to art glass education. Rick’s stewardship of the Stained Glass School has infused much energy into this important function of the SGAA. Many important decisions concerning the School will be decided at the Winter Business Meeting. The Winter Business Meeting is open to all.

Should you not be able to attend the Winter Business Meeting, you should plan now to attend the Annual Summer Conference. There is no better place to discuss recommendations and standards so important to our trade than at the SGAA Summer Conference. For most, the results of a good conference enable one to return to their shops with sound information and creative juices restored.  This helps a studio maintain high standards of efficiency and quality. The atmosphere of a conference is not all lectures and no fun. Sights and sounds abound mingled with food and drink amongst colleagues enjoying great conversation. It’s a chance to make friends with professionals working in the field that can be of great benefit to you throughout the year.

There have been many great lectures and presentations over they years; some of those most memorable to me include a demonstration of painting techniques by the late Dick Millard in Pittsburgh in 1995; Charlie Lawrence describing his creative process in Louisville in 2006; and Viggo Rambusch this past year in the middle of a Tiffany-adorned chapel discussing the illumination of architectural settings through the ages. I have found it to be true for me again and again, and I know you will, too. At the Annual Summer Conference, you will receive sound and important information to further your work. You can count on that.

So join us in Kansas City this summer to share the experiences of an SGAA Summer Conference.

Have You Considered Membership In The Trade Organization?

Founded in 1903, The Stained Glass Association of America (SGAA) is a nonprofit trade association dedicated to the advancement of the stained and leaded glass field.

The objectives of the Association are: to function as the recognized organization of distinction and to conduct its affairs in a manner that will reflect credit upon its image and craft; to maintain the highest possible standards for excellence in craftsmanship, integrity, and business practices; to provide facilities offering active membership participation, extensive craft training, organizational and craft-related information, trade-related consulting, and documentary services; to research and develop new products, processes, and techniques for the advancement of innovative craft expression; to act as the authoritative historian and archivist for its craft in America; to defend and protect its craft against unwarranted regulation restricting its freedom of use as an architectural art form.

If these objectives make sense to you and you want to be a part of the future of stained, decorative, and architectural art glass, then you should be a member of the SGAA.


Stained Glass Association of America


Find out more at
or call the SGAA Headquarters at 800.438-9581

Why Every Summer Conference Has Opportunities

The Stained Glass Quarterly, Summer 2011Were you there? What a great Conference! The round table discussions; the presentations; the Willard Chapel with all of its Tiffany grandeur; the spectacular Rambusch installation; the Tiffany, LaFarge, Keck, and other windows were fantastic.

We learned about Henry Keck’s Studio and his many commissions, watched Jerome Durr’s stone-setting presentation, Steve Sussman’s framing information and Don Samick’s details on estimating techniques for job costs. An update about lead issues was provided by Al Priest, as well as an update on the Restoration Standards and Guidelines by David Guarducci.

We all enjoyed a special evening presentation by Albin Elskus, the son of Albinas Elskus, about the life and art of his father. Hearing the new owner of Lambert’s from Germany speak about our future; learning more about silver stain from Cliff Oster; seeing Sarah Hall’s  phenomenal work in solar art glass; hearing Dr. Pye’s scientific presentation about glass; seeing our friends again from Costa Rica, Japan, Canada, and all over the United States; meeting and getting to know new friends; learning more about old and new glass techniques — it was great!

The Stained Glass Association of America awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award to a very surprised Viggo Rambusch.  Jerome Durr made the presentation, and Viggo was joined by his wife, son (Martin), and daughter (Kristen). The SGAA was also pleased to award 100-year membership pins to Hunt Studios and Franklin Art Glass. And if you were not at the Awards banquet, you missed the most incredible “Mysteries of the Mind” magic show I have ever witnessed —performed by Steve Sussman!

And Syracuse, New York! What a beautiful area and traditional slice of the American pie! The beautiful landscape and flowers were everywhere; the Finger Lakes, especially Lake Seneca, were beautiful. We enjoyed touring the Corning Glass Museum; visiting the vineyards; and the bus tour through Watkins Glen, Auburn, and around Lake Skaneateles (also a beautiful Finger Lake)  made for a tremendous after-Conference tour.

This is my last and best opportunity to write a President’s message. Usually, this message is written before the Summer Conference; however, because this Conference was scheduled earlier than usual, I am getting to write this after the Conference and, technically, as your Past President.  So, this message is being written from two perspectives: Where our organization has been the past two years; and, secondly, where our future direction will focus.

The Stained Glass Association of America has survived and moved forward during the most difficult of economic times since the 1930s. Our members have made necessary changes in their studios and their business plans in order to remain viable and responsive to the needs of our craft — sometimes to the detriment of their own lives and those of their employees. Those of you who are hobbists or craftspeople need to observe and take heed to know that just having a passion for the art of stained glass does not guarantee success. I would highly recommend participating in the SGAA and its Business Forum opportunity (call the headquarters for details).

The good news is that the Stained Glass Association of America is the organization that continues to be the leader in providing support, benefits, and leadership now and in the future.  Our determination to provide a national stained glass center for teaching, archives, and headquarters for the SGAA is stronger and more focused than ever. The Stained Glass School, under the auspices of the Stained Glass Association of America, is currently in the process of finalizing the steps to achieve this goal. Our leadership is highly considerate of our obligations and our responsibility to our members and the craft we support, to provide the best choices in this endeavor.

Who is our leadership? It is those of you who choose to get involved, who give of your time—and give back to the craft which provides you with the fulfillment you receive from your work.

The leaders of this organization are united in building the Stained Glass Association of America and the Stained Glass School into a world-class provider for assistance and education. We exist to teach and promote our craft, using standards and guidelines to give credibility to who we are and what we do. We certify our members so that our clientele understands why we are the best and only choice to do their work.

I am highly confident that our new President, Jerome Durr, will provide focus and goals consistent with the Board of the SGAA and the Trustees of the SGS. Jerome has been the director of the Stained Glass School for several years and brings a wealth of experience and passion to the job. I commend the members’ choice to have him as President and look forward to being a part of his Board.

Thank you for our opportunities!