frequently asked questions:
 
How do you create your art glass panels?
The basic techniques I use have been utilized by craftsmen in this noble field for nearly a thousand years.  Aside from the introduction of electric kilns and soldering irons very little has changed in the process of creating stained glass windows.  In order to craft the strongest possible panels, aesthetically as well as structurally, i use the traditional lead came technique (on rare occasions i use a copper foil method to create dimensional work). My glasswork may also incorporate sandblasting, kiln-work, torch-work and hand painted/stained elements.
What is “stained glass”?
As it is commonly used today the term “stained glass” is a misnomer. Most decorative glass being produced today is simply cut glass whose color is inherent in the glass itself (created by melting certain minerals with silica- iron=green, gold or selenium=cranberry or red). The colored sheets are cut and assembled much like a quilt.  To create authentic stained glass a craftsman applies a silver nitrate mixture to the surface of the glass, which is then fired in a kiln to approximately 1200 degrees. The silver nitrate (activated by the heat) molecularly penetrates the glass creating a stain. A variety of lemon yellow, amber and orange accents can be achieved in this way.  Most often glass that has been stained will also include glass paints. Glass paints are opaque pigments that are applied (and then partially removed) with a variety of brushes and utensils to create contour lines and modulations of highlights and shadows. The paints are then fused to the glass surface (again, by use of a kiln).  This process is often repeated multiple times until the desired effects are achieved. When done properly the stained/painted details are as durable and permanent as the glass itself. This is a fairly specialized, complicated and time-consuming process; the results are a level of sophistication and complexity not commonly associated with leaded glass.
What is “fused glass or kiln-worked glass”?
These terms generally refer to glass that has been manipulated by extreme temperatures within a kiln.  Different fragments, shards and powders of glass that is known to be “compatible” (having the same coefficient rate of expansion) are cut and arranged within the kiln and heated to a slightly fluid consistency (around 1500 degrees).  The heated glass is then allowed to “soak” and bond into itself before being cooled at a slow, controlled rate to relieve internal stresses. This process has become wildly popular in recent years and can yield a variety cast textures, color combinations and contemporary stylings.
How long does it take to make a window?
The time invested in a glass project varies depending on the scope and complexity of the design. The process generally begins with a series of sketches, which eventually become a cartoon (SG lingo for an exact full size working drawing). The cartoon is then used as a template to hand cut each individual piece of glass and arrange them for layout.  If any staining, painting, kiln-work or etching is required it happens at this stage.  Next the glass pieces are assembled within a matrix of lead came (grooved metal strips much like tiny I-beams) which is eventually soldered at each intersection or “joint”.  The soldered window is then “puttied” using a linseed oil putty or cement to lend the window strength and create a weatherproof seal. Finally, after attaching any necessary reinforcement and a detailed series of cleanings, the window is complete and ready for installation/delivery.  
What should i expect from the commission process?
i work closely with homeowners, architects, designers and custom homebuilders to create art glass that relates directly to the clients lifestyle and architectural settings.  In our initial conversation we will discuss your wishes regarding the project, your personal taste and possible cost estimates. A site visit typically follows so that i might fully investigate the location and identify any site-specific concerns.  After i have gathered all the pertinent information, i will take some time to develop a design proposal, glass samples, project budget and timeline.  Once we have an approved design (and deposit) the fabrication process begins. Clients are welcome to arrange studio visits to witness the translation from design concept to art glass reality.
How long have you been working with glass?
i cut my first piece of glass in 1996, i fused my first project in 1999 and i began painting on glass in 2002.  This website represents a fraction of the glasswork i have created throughout the past ten plus years.
Where did you learn to make stained glass?
i am still learning. My curiosity is boundless and every project offers fresh challenges and opportunities for growth.
Do you work in other mediums?
Before i found glass i worked mostly with pen & ink, of course i have played around with various other mediums. i indulge myself with whatever catches my attention and thoroughly enjoy collaborating with other craftsmen proficient in their chosen medium. In 2008 i completed my first large-scale public art project using terrazzo and was recently selected to design 75,000 sq ft of original terrazzo artwork for the Maricopa County Court Tower in central Phoenix.
Do you consider yourself an artist or a craftsman?
i've been called an artist, craftsman, artisan, designer, glass guy, glass technician, window builder and a glazier.  i take tremendous pride in my craftsmanship and as such i feel it is a great compliment to be considered a craftsman. However, when i am alone at the workbench or painting easel and the world dissolves around me, moments when i am lost in the high white noise of the creative process, locked into the immediate razzle-dazzle of a project, those are the times i feel i am closest to being an artist.  
What is your inspiration/influences?
We are each influenced by the beautiful strangeness surrounding us, each by our individual encounters, everything we see, read, hear or experience, by the lives we lead, the conversations we share and the people we meet. i find my inspiration in the abundance of love and the absurdities of life, by smokey Sadhu sunsets, my grandmother’s enchiladas, foot bridges in Vermont, my amazing wife and my beautiful son. i am inspired by the textures and patterns of the natural world, by spontaneity and intuition, by open roads, unknown horizons, intimate spaces and vast stretches of wilderness, by the laugh of children, a stranger’s smile, the roar of thunder and the screams of wild peacocks, by dirty history and clean knowledge, vagabond bliss and domestic equanimity, movement, kindness, quite minds, bold actions and odd silent moments.