From the Editor’s Desk 112

The Stained Glass Quarterly, Summer 2011Syracuse Conference

This is a very unusual summer issue of The Stained Glass Quarterly, not because of its content but because of its timing. This issue is releasing late because the Stained Glass Association of America Annual Summer Conference was held very early.

You see, normally, the Conference falls sometime between June 15 and July 15 each year, with it usually coming late in June. For that reason, the fall issue is the one that covers the SGAA’s Annual Summer Conference. This year, though, to secure the best hotel room pricing available, the Conference was held three weeks early.

Since the Conference has, as of this writing,  already happened, the election of new officers and directors has also already happened. This means that, as this issue goes to press, the new President of the Stained Glass Association of America is Jerome Durr. Nevertheless, now past-President Jack Whitworth wrote the President’s Message (see page 84) for this issue since it is something that would normally have been written before the Conference. Each President, among his (many) other duties, is also responsible for writing eight President’s Messages.

For a complete list of current officers and directors, as well as the most up-to-date list of committee chairpersons, please see page 160. This list has been updated to reflect the recent elections held at the Syracuse Conference.

Because the publication date for this issue happened at the same time as the Conference this year, much of the work for this issue was done before the Conference happened. Therefore, the fall issue will still be the issue in which the Conference will receive in-depth coverage.

However, if you would like to know what you missed at the Conference and just can’t wait for the fall issue to find out, the official Conference program is available for download as a PDF file at, and you can see some photos from the Conference — including some that were taken and posted along with commentary as the Conference was underway — at the SGAA’s Facebook page,

Also, there will be a website update at in early July that will include Conference photo albums and information on the events.

Writing for The Stained Glass Quarterly

One of my duties as Editor & Media Director is to address the general membership at the Conference each year on the state of the Association’s publications and websites. This year, as a part of my address, I invited everyone in attendance to consider writing an article for the magazine in the coming year, and I would like to make that same invitation to all readers. I would especially like to see articles about historical artists, studios, and installations but will, of course, consider illustrated feature articles on any topic relating to stained, decorative, and architectural art glass.

A Question

During one discussion group at the Syracuse Conference, one of the attendees asked me why I don’t republish articles from (long) past issues of the magazine. After all, the magazine has been in continuous publication since 1906, and there have been many landmark articles over the years that are still very relevant today.

There isn’t any specific reason why I don’t republish older articles in the magazine other than the fact that there is always a full magazine’s worth of new articles to publish. However, I’m very open to the idea of once in a while publishing select articles from the past.

I would like to hear your opinion on it. Are you interested in seeing the occasional article from a long-past issue of the magazine? Write to me and let me know what you think. You can reach me via email at

Thanks — and I look forward to reading your opinions on this.

Your Business Plan

Spring 2011 President’s Message by Jack Whitworth, III.


Are you executing your business plan? Is your strategy successful? You DID make a plan for this year. After all, that is what you were encouraged to do in the Winter issue of The Stained Glass Quarterly! If you did not write down some plans for this year, it is still not too late. It is better to “find” a map to get you on track to your destination than to never have one.

Have you registered yet for the 2011 Summer Confe-rence in Syracuse? There is still time! The SGAA Board of Directors voted last month to extend the discount that was originally to be discontinued in March so that everyone has the opportunity to attend the Conference at a reduced cost. The Board did this because it is our responsibility to try to help each of you be successful — and this is the most direct decision we could make to impact your business in a positive way. Find a way to be there. You and your business will benefit from your efforts.

So, let’s be realistic. You made a plan and set some goals. You started taking steps to make a difference in your business this year — and you have seen little or no improvement in your business or your future. Where did things get off track?

Well, the SGAA has a plan for you: A Board member of the SGAA came up with the idea that we need a Business Forum for members only, to try to help each other. In order to do so, and to keep your business “your business,” — the Headquarters office will receive e-mails from our members and reconfigure them (no studio names or locations) to be sent to a panel of stained glass experts for suggestions and solutions. This information will be published via an e-mail blast to the SGAA members. The intent is to help our members discover new ideas, unique solutions and assistance by providing decades of experience to those who desire it. This Business Forum will work only if you are committed to finding solutions and opportunities for yourself and your business. This can become an important benefit of belonging to the Stained Glass Association of America.

As we continue to face the ever-changing guidelines concerning lead issues, restoration issues, and a host of regulations, we must move toward providing assistance and knowledge to our members. The Stained Glass Association and the Stained Glass School are not only about education concerning techniques and procedures. We are equally as dedicated to providing support to our members and our industry.

Our industry will be successful only if we are successful. At some point in most of our lives, we discover that we receive proportionately to what we give. The Stained Glass Association of America is in the business of attempting to give our members every opportunity to be successful. In return, the SGAA becomes stronger, and the perception of who and what we are becomes a reality — an organization that gives.

If you have an interest in stained, decorative and architectural art glass, I encourage you to be an active member of the Stained Glass Association of America. I implore your commitment because I know that you will receive opportunities far in excess of your giving. The time is now, and the potential is beyond comprehension. Join me in Syracuse this Summer, and hear and see what the SGAA and the SGAA Stained Glass School are doing to meet the challenges of tomorrow and the years ahead.


Design Competitions

The Stained Glass Association of America’s Design Competitions at the Syracuse 2011 Annual Summer Conference represents a new and novel approach to competitions designed to highlight stained, decorative, and architectural art glass. These competitions — essentially, there are two of them, as both theme categories can be entered and both will be judged separately — will be judged based on 11″ x 22″ proposed designs on the theme of either Creation (religious) or Harmony (residential).

This is a great opportunity to show off some designs on these themes and also maybe win a prize for your efforts. The entry fee is only $35, and there will be cash prizes for first, second, and third place. There will also be product prizes, including gift certificates from Artisan Glass Works, S.A. Bendheim, Blenko Glass Company, Denver Glass Machinery, DHD Metals, Kokomo Opalescent Glass Company, Mayco Industries, Reusché & Co., and Uroboros Studios.

Also, winning entries will be published in The Stained Glass Quarterly and on the SGAA websites. For more information, see Syracuse 2011 Design Competition on

Time to Plan

President’s Message, Winter 2010

Once again, another year passes. We have another year of “experiences” under our collective belts, which means we are wiser, more frugal than ever and cautiously optimistic that the worst is behind us.  That also must mean that, for the first time in a long time, we are going to plan next year now — we are going to set goals, establish time lines, and assign responsibilities. After all, we plan to do that every year, and now is the time to actually write down our priorities!

What is your strategy to achieve your goals? What steps will you take to fulfill your dreams? Some of you only want to be able to learn more as a hobbyist. Others yearn to make stained glass a full-time endeavor. Some know that, if ever, it is time to quit renting and actually buy their own building. Studios that have built their reputations and markets for decades may have had to downsize and lose loyal employees, and that may will impact how they do business next year. Whatever your goals, the business of stained and architectural glass is both challenging and rewarding.

Setting priorities to ensure continued excellence for your business will involve planning now. Identifying your markets, controlling your labor and overhead, maximizing your assets, and communicating with those who can help you — all are essential elements for success. There is yet another new year approaching. Are you ready to do something differently? Will you plan for success, think “outside the box,” and make a map to arrive safely and successfully? Or will you just continue to drive with no real destination, no budget, and no priorities?

All of us have different experiences and different goals in this business. As I reflect on my stained glass journey of more than 40 years, it is very apparent that my lack of planning limited my accomplishments. However, the fact that some planning is better than none is also evident! Without a doubt, the most important asset has been the wealth of information obtained from listening and talking with other members of the Stained Glass Association of America. Next year will mark 23 years for me as an Accredited Member. It was absolutely the best investment I ever made in my business.

Over the years, many opportunities in stained glass have presented themselves, and I have not always been able to participate. Attending conferences is a priority, and I budget for it. Sometimes it goes on a credit card, but I still attend! The Sourcebook has resulted in two commissions for me over the years — those two commissions have been instrumental in my financial success as well as enhancing my reputation for future clientele. The new Call for Bid program, using the Sourcebook as the essential marketing strategy, will promote the Accredited Studios, but the program will be successful only if you participate in the Sourcebook program. This program is not a right; it is a privilege to have the opportunity to participate. Plan to be a part of it for the long term success of your business.

There is currently a discount incentive to register for the 2011 Conference in Syracuse, New York. Final plans are already being completed for the speakers and seminars for this outstanding Conference. Furthermore, the additional tour after the Conference to Corning and selected wineries is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I ask for your attendance in Syracuse in June 2011. Now is the time to plan and to register for the 102nd Conference.

As I read the President’s Message from a year ago, I reflect on the accomplishments of 2010 for our organization. The most ambitious undertaking of the organization has been the purchase of property and a commitment to build a National Center for Stained and Architectural Art Glass, which will include classrooms, archives, space to house the National Headquarters of the Stained Glass Association of America, and a community room for local events. This accomplishment was achieved through much research, planning, and commitment to the future. The SGAA is to be commended for its efforts. 

In addition, the first step was taken in a totally new marketing strategy for the Stained Glass Association of America. This comprehensive plan to educate and promote stained glass was developed by Jim Piercey and is based around creating jigsaw puzzles of stained glass windows. The first puzzle — Faces of Mary in Stained Glass — was presented at the Summer Conference and is currently being sold and promoted for fundraisers by members of the SGAA.

I want to thank all of our members for your support this year. I wish the best to each of you this season of thanksgiving and blessings!  

Jack Whitworth, III
President, Stained Glass Association of America

Developing Your Opportunities

by Jack Whitworth

As I correspond with large and small stained glass studios, hobbyists, and multi-generational artists, I find most are concerned about either not having any work, not having enough work, or having to reduce their scope of operations. For decades, the stained glass industry has been perceived as a “dying” art, with a painful lack of knowledge by the general public about who we are and what we do. I have never heard complaints about having too much work or too much of a backlog.

What a fantastic opportunity! Those who persist and are creative in their efforts to survive will have an even bigger slice of the pie, so to speak! How do we move in that direction?

First, we need a plan to create a market for ourselves. All of the talent in the world will not make you successful if no one knows you exist. Finding inexpensive ways to tell the world and investing in techniques that will give you a good ROI (return on investment) are critical to long-term success. Although highly recommended, I am not addressing the multitude of virtually cost-free social networks that can be accessed to publicize your business. What follows are techniques that I have used over the years that have helped me when I needed more stained glass work.

First, let people know who you are and what you do. Join service clubs, be active in your church and volunteer some time with your Chamber of Commerce or other civic endeavors. Donate some smaller stained glass items to fundraisers that are highly publicized and get your name out there with free advertising. Celebrate a studio anniversary or other occasion and get your local paper to do an article on you and your accomplishments.

Secondly, get credibility. Join the SGAA, participate, meet other members and learn from them. You will reap whatever benefits you sow. You will learn, your clients will be impressed, and your reputation and your business will be advanced according to your efforts.

Thirdly, think outside the box. Have you ever had a fundraiser for the youth in your church during the fourth quarter to deliver stained glass Nativity scenes, crosses, or puzzles? Have you had a booth at a Home and Garden show that attracts 25,000 upscale buyers who will see your work? And they ask, “Do you do church windows, too?”

Does your community have an annual trade convention that showcases local businesses? Almost all church denominations have annual conferences that allow booths for display and information about your work. I have done or am doing all of these above-suggested opportunities, and I know they all provide the ability to develop your opportunities!

Lastly,  focus on the use of your time and talent. It is very easy to spend 80% of your time talking and working with those who only provide 20% of your income. We all spend too much time talking about our passion for stained and architectural glass to anyone who will listen. While sometimes necessary, reminding yourself of your priorities must be continually a part of your plan if you want to achieve your goals.

In this time of opportunity, it is good to know that there are many ways to be successful in stained glass. Managing our time, overhead, materials, and people is critical. I encourage you to spend some time being proactive in this business that we have chosen to pursue. The formula for each of us is different; however, it is agreed that what we do is truly a combination of business and pleasure.

Donation Challenge

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.

Summer Conference 2010 Classes

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.)

KC 2010 Exhibition Challenge

Help fill the Kansas City Hyatt windows and win more than $3,000 in cash and stained glass products!

Let’s fill the windows at the Kansas City Hyatt with the beautiful excitement that is stained glass. As a member or affiliate in good standing you are eligible to really impress the new home city for the Stained Glass Association of America.

1st Place winner will receive over $3,000 in Cash and Prizes

  • $500 Cash
    ·         EvenHeat Hot Shot Kiln
    ·         Free Registration to SGAA 2011 Syracuse Conference
    ·         50 Lbs. of lead from DHD Metals
    ·         25 Lbs. of solder from MAYCO Industries
    ·         Kokomo Glass $275 Gift Certificate
    ·         Reusche $275 Gift Certificate
    ·         S.A. Bendheim $300 Gift Certificate

2nd Place winner will receive over $1,000 in Cash and Prizes

  • $250 Cash
    ·         50 Lbs. of lead from DHD Metals
    ·         15 Lbs. of solder from MAYCO Industries
    ·         Kokomo Glass $150 Gift Certificate
    ·         Reusche $150 Gift Certificate
    ·         S.A. Bendheim $125 Gift Certificate

3rd Place winner will receive over $500 in Cash and Prizes

  • $125 Cash
    ·         50 Lbs. of lead from DHD Metals
    ·         10 Lbs. of solder from MAYCO Industries
    ·         Kokomo Glass $75 Gift Certificate
    ·         Reusche $75 Gift Certificate
    ·         S.A. Bendheim $75 Gift Certificate

Enter Now! Winning Exhibition entries will be heavily promoted in The Stained Glass Quarterly and on the Stained Glass Association of America website. 

Complete Exhibition Rules and Entry Forms at the Stained Glass Association of America’s main site:

You can also register for the KC 2010 Conference and the Hyatt Hotel on the SGAA main website at:

Frequently asked Exhibition Questions:

The SGAA usually has an exhibition theme. Why an open theme this year? We wanted to show off the incredible variety of art that can be created with stained glass – open up your imagination to all of the possibilities of glass.

Why 2ft. x 2ft.? That is the largest size permitted for most airline carry ons. If you are flying, be sure to check with your airlines for specific carry on guidelines or rules for checking through a stained glass panel as luggage. Panels can also be shipped early to the SGAA Headquarters.

Can a studio enter more than one piece? Absolutely! The more the merrier! This is what some studios are doing:

  • Submitting a team project representing their studio.
  • Employees are submitting individual panels. At one studio, the employees are getting together after hours to work on their projects with experienced employees mentoring newer, less experienced employees so that everyone has a chance to create a quality exhibition piece.
  • Studio owners are putting in entries in competition with their employees. What great competitive spirit!
  • One studio owner has created a challenge to their employees. The owner will match the cash prize should an employee win first, second, or third place.

NOTE: Names will not be posted with the exhibition pieces until after the winning entries have been selected.

 See you in Kansas City!

Sourcebook 2010 Now Available

The Stained Glass Association of America announces the publication of Sourcebook 2010. The online edition of this annual publication is now available at and, as always, the book can be downloaded as a complete PDF file from  

The annual Sourcebook serves as a guide to the world of stained, decorative and architectural art glass, and as a directory of the membership of the Stained Glass Association of America. Last year 43,570 visitors to viewed the Sourcebook as an online publication and downloaded it as a complete PDF, or downloaded parts of the publication as smaller PDF files.

For more information about the Sourcebook and to view the publication online, visit the Stained Glass Association of America at or