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The State of Stained Glass

Talking Out Your Glass podcast

Release Date: 03/21/2024

Jonathan Capps’ Global Practice of Interdisciplinary Collaboration, Social Engagement, and Cultural Exchange show art Jonathan Capps’ Global Practice of Interdisciplinary Collaboration, Social Engagement, and Cultural Exchange

Talking Out Your Glass podcast

The inspiration for Jonathan Capp’s art comes from the experiences that shape his life. Whether hiking the Appalachian Trail, coaching Little League Baseball, becoming an archaeological illustrator halfway around the world, or competing on Blown Away, he channels those experiences into ideas and fully embraces life as a part of his art. Capps states: “I welcome new ideas and innovations in the studio, bringing fun, energy, and an inspiring enthusiasm into the hot shop.” Raised in Knoxville, TN, Capps spent much of his youth outdoors, camping, hiking, and playing baseball. After...

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David Graeber: Preserving Nature for Eternity in a Paperweight show art David Graeber: Preserving Nature for Eternity in a Paperweight

Talking Out Your Glass podcast

Early in his career, Paul Stankard used to trade paperweights for gasoline and car servicing with John Graeber. In 1989, through his uncle John, David Graeber wound up casually visiting Stankard’s studio and weeks later was invited to come and work with him. Young Graeber started learning about glass in the deep end of the pool. Thirty-five  years later, he continues to work with Stankard about a day a week.  Having mastered numerous glassmaking techniques and having developed his own working style and visual aesthetic, in 2009 Graeber started his own art glass...

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Morgan Peterson: Winner of Blown Away 4 show art Morgan Peterson: Winner of Blown Away 4

Talking Out Your Glass podcast

Said Blown Away Season 4 winner, Morgan Peterson, “I’m not just the creepy weirdo lurking in the background anymore. I’m right up front.” As champion of Netflix’s 2024 glassblowing competition series, the Seattle-based artist received a whopping cash prize of $100,000, a paid residency in Venice, Italy, with glass legend Adriano Berengo, and a residency at the world-renowned Corning Museum of Glass. Growing up in Boston, MA, Peterson’s watched horror films and Unsolved Mysteries with her Godmother, introducing her to the unnerving  and creepy style so associated with her...

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Clifford Rainey: A Life's Travelogue in Cast Glass show art Clifford Rainey: A Life's Travelogue in Cast Glass

Talking Out Your Glass podcast

Principally a sculptor who employs cast glass and drawing as primary methodologies, Clifford Rainey creates work that is interdisciplinary, incorporating a wide spectrum of materials and processes. A passionate traveler, his work is full of references to the things he has seen and experienced. Celtic mythologies, classical Greek architecture, the blue of the Turkish Aegean, globalization and the iconic American Coca-Cola bottle, the red of the African earth, and the human figure combine with cultural diversity to provide sculptural imagery charged with emotion.  A British artist...

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The State of Stained Glass show art The State of Stained Glass

Talking Out Your Glass podcast

Enjoy this stained glass panel discussion with top industry professionals and educators Judith Schaechter, Stephen Hartley, Megan McElfresh, and Amy Valuck. Topics addressed include: what is needed in stained glass education; how the massive number of Instagrammers making suncatchers and trinkets affect stained glass; how to promote stained glass in a gallery setting; and how to stay relevant as stained glass artists. The panelists: By single-handedly revolutionizing the craft of stained glass through her unique aesthetic and inventive approach to materials, Judith...

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Kazuki Takizawa Uses Glass Art to Address Mental Health Issues show art Kazuki Takizawa Uses Glass Art to Address Mental Health Issues

Talking Out Your Glass podcast

Kazuki Takizawa’s 2015 installation entitled Breaking the Silence represents the artist’s interpretation of a person’s breaking point and the juxtaposition of balancing inner struggles with oppressive external forces. The installation incorporated performance aspects and sound, where slanted vessels filled with water until submitting to the liquid’s weight, falling over onto a table. Takizawa’s work provided a new perspective for interacting with glass, going beyond form and technique to provoke a deeper level of engagement. Impressed by how humble and open Takizawa was...

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Jessica Loughlin’s Kiln Formed Glass: An Homage to the Observation of Light show art Jessica Loughlin’s Kiln Formed Glass: An Homage to the Observation of Light

Talking Out Your Glass podcast

Jessica Loughlin’s work is characterized by a strict reductive sensibility and restricted use of color. Fusing kiln formed sheets of opaque and translucent glass together in flat panels or in thin, geometric compositions and vessels, she alludes to shadow, reflection and refraction. Loughlin’s work is influenced by the flat landscapes and salt lakes of South Australia, and the recurring motif of the mirage appears in much of her work. Each piece makes its own poetic statement.  “My work investigates space, seeing distance and understanding how wide-open spaces, particularly of the...

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The Glass Galaxies of Josh Simpson show art The Glass Galaxies of Josh Simpson

Talking Out Your Glass podcast

Apollo 8, which launched on December 21, 1968, was the first mission to take humans to the moon and back. While the crew did not land on the moon’s surface, the flight was an important prelude to a lunar landing, testing the flight trajectory and operations getting there and back. Capt. James A Lovell, Apollo 8 astronaut, shared his memories of that historic mission: “Then, looking up I saw it, the Earth, a blue and white ball, just above the lunar horizon, 240,000 miles away…I put my thumb up to the window and completely hid the Earth. Just think, over five billion people,...

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Wesley Fleming: Flameworking the Realism of the Microcosmos show art Wesley Fleming: Flameworking the Realism of the Microcosmos

Talking Out Your Glass podcast

Wesley Fleming brings the fantastic realism of the microcosmos to life in glass. An ambassador for smaller denizens of the earth, his passion for nature sparks awe and curiosity in others. Growing up in the countryside, his favorite pastime was exploring beneath logs and rocks in the woods or reading science fiction and comic books. Hence the natural world and his own imagination became his muse. Says Fleming: “I hope to rekindle awe and curiosity for nature with my fantastic realism. I’ve focused more than two decades honing my flameworking skills and trying to capture the essence of...

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Robin and Julia Rogers: A Collaboration Resulting in Provocative Glass Sculpture show art Robin and Julia Rogers: A Collaboration Resulting in Provocative Glass Sculpture

Talking Out Your Glass podcast

Physically and metaphorically Robin and Julia Rogers put their minds, hearts and hands together to create sculptural works in glass – their chosen material because of its inherent qualities of luminosity, viscosity, and seductive flow. Their inspiration is drawn from the natural world, personal experience, family life, music, psychology, and science. Robin and Julia state: “Complex and mystifying, the human mind drives us, but the subtle inner workings remain, to certain extent, unknown. Delving into the psyche, our work explores the human mind to reveal a metaphorical interior of...

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More Episodes

Enjoy this stained glass panel discussion with top industry professionals and educators Judith Schaechter, Stephen Hartley, Megan McElfresh, and Amy Valuck. Topics addressed include: what is needed in stained glass education; how the massive number of Instagrammers making suncatchers and trinkets affect stained glass; how to promote stained glass in a gallery setting; and how to stay relevant as stained glass artists.

The panelists:

By single-handedly revolutionizing the craft of stained glass through her unique aesthetic and inventive approach to materials, Judith Schaechter championed her medium into the world of fine art. The content of her work – some of which gives voice to those who experience pain, grief, despair, and hopelessness – resonates with viewers, leaving a profound and lasting impression.

Schaechter has lived and worked in Philadelphia since graduating in 1983 with a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design Glass Program. She has exhibited her glass art widely, including in New York, Los Angeles and Philadelphia, The Hague and Vaxjo, Sweden. She is the recipient of many grants, including the Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships in Crafts, The Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, The Joan Mitchell Award, two Pennsylvania Council on the Arts awards, The Pew Fellowship in the Arts and a Leeway Foundation grant. Her work is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Hermitage in Russia, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Corning Museum of Glass, The Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution and numerous other public and private collections. Schaechter’s work was included in the 2002 Whitney Biennial, a collateral exhibition of the Venice Biennale in 2012, and she is a 2008 USA Artists Rockefeller Fellow. In 2013 the artist was inducted to the American Craft Council College of Fellows. The Glass Art Society presented Schaechter with a Lifetime Achievement award in 2023, and this year she will receive the Smithsonian Visionary Award.

Schaechter has taught workshops at numerous venues, including the Pilchuck Glass School in Seattle, the Penland School of Crafts, Toyama Institute of Glass (Toyama, Japan), Australia National University in Canberra, Australia. She has taught courses at Rhode Island School of Design, the Pennsylvania Academy, and the New York Academy of Art. She is ranked as an Adjunct Professor at The University of the Arts and Tyler School of Art Glass Program, both in Philly .

Born in Philadelphia, Stephen Hartley began his craft career working on a variety of historic buildings and monuments throughout the region. In 1999, he moved to South Carolina to attend Coastal Carolina University, where he earned his undergraduate degree in History. He then relocated to Savannah, Georgia, and continued to work in the traditional crafts and conservation fields while attending graduate school. After completing his MFA in Historic Preservation at the Savannah College of Art and Design, Hartley was employed as an instructor at various colleges within the Savannah area. He earned his PhD from the University of York in 2018 where his dissertation thesis studied the historical and modern frameworks of trades training in the US and the UK. 

Hartley eventually returned to the Philadelphia area and accepted the position of Head of Building Arts at Bryn Athyn College, where he formulated the first Bachelor’s of Fine Arts (BFA) in traditional building within the United States. Hartley, currently an associate professor in Notre Dame’s School of Architecture, wants his students to have a deeper appreciation for the work craftspeople do to fulfill an architect’s vision—by learning the vocabulary of the trades, understanding their history, and, when possible, trying out the tools.

Executive Director of the Stained Glass Association of America (SGAA), Megan McElfresh has dedicated her professional life to community service and the art and science of stained glass. With a background in fine arts and operations management, she joined the Association as a professional member in 2015 and became the Executive Director in the fall of 2017. Growing up in small stained glass studios, McElfresh continued to build on her technical skills in the medium by seeking mentorship opportunities throughout college. Some of the highlights of her glass studies were traveling to Pilchuck Glass School and time spent at the nationally recognized kiln forming resource center, Vitrum Studio. 

Prior to working with the SGAA, McElfresh worked in a variety of roles from operations management at a life sciences firm in Washington, D.C. to IT and web support for small non-profit art organizations. In 2011, McElfresh moved from Northern Virginia to Buffalo, New York, and founded her studio, McElf GlassWorks. With a passion for her professional career as well as her new community, she never turned down an opportunity to collaborate with neighborhood teens and local programs to provide enthusiastic and creative educational enrichment. In her personal work, McElfresh uses her artwork in the advocacy of issues she became passionate about during her time working at a forensics laboratory concerning subjects like domestic violence and rape, and DNA backlogs. Her studio work has been featured in the Stained Glass Quarterly, Design NY, The Buffalo News, and Buffalo Rising.

Find out more about the SGAA’s 2024 conference here:

Conference 2024: Sand to Sash | The Stained Glass Association of America

Amy Valuck is a stained glass artist and conservator based in Southeastern Pennsylvania, and the current president of the American Glass Guild. She began her apprenticeship in 1998 at The Art of Glass in Media, PA, and in 2014 went on to establish her own studio, Amy Valuck Glass Art, now located in West Chester, PA. Her studio’s primary work is the restoration and conservation of historical windows from churches, universities, and private residences. As a conservator she specializes in complex lead work, plated windows, and replication painting. Valuck also maintains a personal art practice, producing autonomous stained glass panels for private commissions and public exhibition, including the AGG’s American Glass Now annual exhibit. Her personal work is heavily influenced by the fabrication and painting techniques of historical windows but frequently includes experimental fused glass elements. 

Valuck is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, who earned her BFA degree in jewelry and light metals. Her work in jewelry earned awards including the first annual Cartier Prize, and the MJSA (Manufacturing Jewelers and Silversmiths’ Association) Award. She has served on the board of directors of the American Glass Guild since 2017 and has participated as a lecturer and instructor at several of the AGG’s annual conferences. Registration is now open for the 2024 Grand Rapids conference, July 9 – 14.

Find out more about the AGG’s 2024 conference here:

https://www.americanglassguild.org/events/agg-2024-conference-grand-rapids-mi

For further exploration of panel discussion topics:

The Campaign for Historic Trades Releases First-of-its-Kind Labor Study on the Status of Historic Trades in America – The Campaign for Historic Trades