The Not-at-All Difficult Issue

114 CoverI am not a superstitious person. Or maybe, to be more exact, I should say that, historically speaking, I am not a superstitious person. The last issue was enough to make me wonder if maybe forces not of this world were out to get me. The day after I wrote my last editorial, in which I mentioned the difficulty in putting together the last issue and how relieved I was to finally have that one done, I went, quite unexpectedly, into the hospital. (I got better… but the timing couldn’t have been worse!)

So, let me say loudly and clearly that this issue went fine. No problems at all. Nothing unusual happened. Nothing to see here. Move along.

In all seriousness, now that this magazine is in the final days of preparation before it goes into print, I’m very pleased with this one. There are a number of very interesting articles, and each reader will, of course, have their own personal favorite.

My favorite is “Googling Stained Glass, Part 1: How ‘Google Book Search’ and ‘Google Scholar’ Can Help Stained Glass Studios, Artists, and Conservationists,” by Bill Serban, which begins on page 272. If you weren’t previously fully aware of some of the powerful tools that Google provides to assist in research, including access to entire books that are out of copyright in downloadable formats, then this article might be one of your favorites, too.

There is also some excellent photography in this issue. The photographs of the Tiffany lamps in the article “Tiffany Lamp Display Delights Biltmore Estate,” by Gregory Clarke, which begins on page 282, are wonderful. It’s nice to have good photographs, even though the limits of color printing necessarily means that the art glass as it appears in print will never be better than a representation of the art glass when seen in person.

There really is no substitute for seeing stained, decorative, and architectural art glass windows in person… and attending a Stained Glass Association of America Annual Summer Conference is an excellent opportunity to do exactly that. Next year, we will be meeting again in Kansas City. I want to invite everyone to come visit us at the Conference next summer and find out firsthand all about the progress we’re making on the school (see page 253 for an essay by SGAA Stained Glass School Director Rick Hoover about his vision for the future of the school).

Coming to Kansas City 2012 will also let you experience what Kansas City has to offer; it’s going to be a great Conference, full of very informative presentations and educational seminars on the Ancient Craft, which we all hold so dear.

Plus, we’re trying something entirely new at this Conference. The official Conference hotel offers all of the ballrooms, meeting space, and amenities that are present at all of our conferences. It also features a 55,000 square foot water park, making this the most family-friendly Annual Summer Conference in many years. So, please, make plans to attend and bring the family. It will be fun for everyone. (And because I know I am not the only one who has this particular addiction, let me point out also that the conference facility has an arcade, and the arcade has skee-ball. You’re welcome.)

In the summer of 2013, we’ll be meeting in Indianapolis. That, too, promises to be an excellent Conference. Our friends at Kokomo Opalescent Glass will be celebrating their 125th anniversary in conjunction with our Annual Summer Conference. The day of the stained glass tour, we will visit installations in Indianapolis before going to Kokomo to see a very impressive and historic installation there done entirely with Kokomo glass. After the tour, we will visit the Kokomo production facility for tours and a chance to pick out glass firsthand.

The coming Conferences will be great opportunities to learn, explore, and have fun doing it. Look for more information in this and coming issues, and — as always — if you have any questions about the Stained Glass Association of America and its programs, you are welcome to contact the Headquarters directly at 800.438-9581.