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The artful glass

Stained glass group delights community

Created date

August 21st, 2012

In a ground-floor meeting space, a small group cuts, grinds, assembles, and solders individual pieces of glass into beautiful designs all for their neighbors to enjoy. The stained glass group has met since 2009, and they ve completed three pieces of art for Wind Crest, the Erickson Living community in Highlands Ranch, Colo.

Creativity drew them all to the glass

The group consists of seven active members, and they meet regularly for the love of their art art that, once it s completed, offers beauty and serenity that both blends in and stands out. Three of the members Max Landon, Fred Wiese, and Loring Corky Corkum have each been working with stained glass for nearly three decades. Though they consider it a hobby, all three have been commissioned to design windows and have gifted stand-alone art pieces. Fred s daughter introduced him to glasswork, but he stopped doing it for a while until he moved to Wind Crest. A strong craftsman with a passion for woodworking, Fred discovered he could combine his interests and increase his creativity once he moved to campus. He makes all of the seven-inch-deep display cases that house the finished glass pieces. Max the pioneer resident amongst the group offered to create a piece for the chapel once he moved to Wind Crest. I offered and then realized I had sold all of my tools, Max laughs. He didn t think it would be an active hobby at Wind Crest because he didn t have a place to store his tools. Then Fred moved in, then Loring, then Fred Greenwood and they all came bearing the gift of tools and multicolored, shimmering glass.

Separate pieces to form a whole

The group uses two different methods to assemble the glass. In the first, copper foil is placed around each piece of glass and then soldered over the foil to hold the glass in place, Loring says. The second method is called lead came. During this process, lead is formed in an H pattern, and the glass fits into the groove on each side of the pattern. Those pieces are then soldered and puttied as a window pane would be. But it all starts with an idea the pattern. There s no limit to color and texture of glass these days, Loring says. Group members go to the glass supply store together. We pick colors and textures that are as realistic and artistic as possible, Fred says. The key is to get an even diffusion of light, Max adds. So they paint inside the cabinet with a special paint to reflect and diffuse light.

Sharing the love

The stained glass group encourages people of all skill levels to join, and they re also interested in showing other people who live at Wind Crest just how the art happens. They all participate for the love of creation. Seeing the shimmering end product that the entire community can appreciate makes what Max calls the hours of donated sweat and blood all worthwhile.