Four Windows for Saint Joseph’s Church in Pomfret Maryland

The four watercolor designs shown above are four an historic Catholic Church in Pomfret Maryland. The oldest part of this church date from the 18th Century but a recent addition of a spacious vestibule complete with four large windows just begging for stained glass. Father Harry Stokes wanted scenes from the life of Saint Joseph, his Marriage to Mary, The Nativity, their flight into Egypt and finally, the death of Joseph. These are the only source of natural light in the room so I chose to isolate the scenes in a field of lighter glass and this glass is my favorite feature as it changes colors to represent the changes of seasons. Spring colors in the first window become more densely green for Summer in the second window. In the third, the colors change to warmer autumn and finally, cooler blues and purples for Winter. The outer border gives a nod to the long history of the Church and region. Tobacco leaves are there as well as several Native American geometric designs along with elements of the State Flag of Maryland. While there is some vitreous painting in this border, the most exciting features are achieved with etching with acid.
Since I am knee-deep in my own glass project, I passed these four windows to Alec Stewart who is doing a great job. Here he is mid-way through the glass selection process, exploiting the range of subtle colors I had sent from France specifically for these windows.
Here is the Death of Joseph, including an American style quilt on the bed. The glass for the scene has been selected and cut.
  1. the upper
The upper pieces are ready to be etched, covered with a protective mask where the acid will be resisted. The uncovered portions of this flashed glass will be eaten away by the acid. Flashed glass consists of clear glass that has a thin layer of deep color on one side. Molten clear glass is gathered on the blow pipe and then dipped in a dense color, not unlike a candy apple. The molten glass is fashioned into a sheet that has a thin layer of color and this is what we will etch away to reveal the clear glass underneath.
Here the acid is being applied in our new booth specifically engineered to keep us safe during this dangerous process. An exhaust hood pulls the fumes of the acid up an exhausts it through the roof above.
A very nice job of etching means that the clear glass underneath is revealed while preserving the glassy surface.
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