Stained Glass in the Windy City

The American Glass Guild will be holding their 11th annual conference Chicago, Illinois on July 8-11, 2016. The University of Chicago, in the city’s historic Hyde Park neighborhood on the south side, will be the site of most of the workshops, demonstrations and lectures.

chicago-conference-call-for-proposals-headerThe most current info about the conference can be found on their conference blog.

The American Glass Guild is a non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging and promoting the creation, conservation, and history of stained, leaded and decorative glass. They welcome novices as well as experienced craftspeople.

A personal note from the president of Whittemore-Durgin:

This note is going out to a wide audience, but it is especially meant for those of you who consider yourselves loyal customers and friends of Whittemore-Durgin.

My parents started this stained glass business in 1965, and it seems as though everyone in my family has worked here at one time or another. The company has grown, and shrunk, and grown again; and all along we’ve had some of the most loyal, hardworking employees imaginable.

But the one constant was my father, Jim Hepburn. His tireless efforts, his imagination, and his sense of humor infused this company with a unique character and set of values, which we strive to continue to this day.

You might have heard that Dad retired suddenly in August 2005 after a stroke. My husband Kevin and I eventually took the reins, and have kept Dad involved as much as he has been able. The stroke has made it difficult for him to speak and get around, but he continues to read, and enjoy conversations, even to this day ten years later.

He is getting on in years — his 88th birthday is coming up shortly — and naturally he is having some health challenges. We just thought you’d want to know that if he, or this company, holds a special place in your heart, now would be a great time to let him know. I’m sure it would mean the world to him. If you would like to send him a note, you may reply to my personal email address (, or by post to the business address (Whittemore-Durgin, 825 Market St., Rockland MA 02370, Attn: Kathy). I will personally deliver your message to him.

Thanks for reading, and on behalf of my family and all of us at Whittemore-Durgin, thank you for your business, and your friendship, all these many years,


Kathleen Hepburn
President and co-owner,
Whittemore-Durgin Glass Company

Maybe someone should tell James Bond about this

Reported in the London Telegraph recently: An interesting use for stained glass. (For the record, we officially frown upon this.)

Prankster hangs fake stained glass window at Tony Blair's residence

Prankster hangs fake stained glass window at Tony Blair’s residence


BBC prankster beats security at Tony Blairs London home

Do we need a reason?

Why do we do stained glass? Barbra Davis of Stained Glass One studio came up with six good reasons, such as, “It’s a stress reliever”, “Using your creativity is the best way to hang onto it”, and so forth .

As I ponder the myriad reasons why I continue in this craft, all the while suffering cuts and burns and sore back and neck, I am reminded of the first stanza of the poem Father William, by Lewis Carroll:

“You are old, Father William,” the young man said,
“And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head–
Do you think, at your age, it is right?”

“In my youth,” Father William replied to his son,
“I feared it might injure the brain;
But now that I’m perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again.”


Stained glass in the windy city

Tiffany window at the Museum of Stained Glass

Angel Pair, 1910
Tiffany Studios

While “stained glass” and “windy” don’t usually go well together, they do in Chicago.

Claiming to be the only museum in the U.S. dedicated solely to stained glass, the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows at Chicago’s historic Navy Pier is a permanent display of 150 stained glass windows housed in an 800-ft.-long series of galleries along the lower level terraces of Festival Hall.

Religious and secular windows from 1870 to the present are displayed, from the great well known stained glass artists — Tiffany, La Farge — as well as from local Chicago artists. Of special interest is the Dreihaus Gallery containing 13 windows from Tiffany’s New York studio.

The museum is free, and open Sundays through Thursdays 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Geeky stained glass project idea #2

Wonder Woman and her Lasso of Truth

Wonder Woman and her Lasso of Truth

More geeky glass!

At the appropriately named, you can see Mario again, plus some characters from Futurama; logos from the Avengers and Wonder Woman; and the TARDIS, among other things, from artist Judy Mascolo.

To each her own, we say. Still, we must admit, we’d like a TARDIS of our very own.

Thanks to the cool blog The Mary Sue (“A guide to Girl Geek Culture”) for this tip.

Who made the first glass?

In a previous post, we offered a tidbit from The Learning Channel, an item that they humbly named “The Ultimate Stained Glass Quiz“.

The very first question was, “The art of stained glass making was originated by which early culture?” The given answer (spoiler alert), The Egyptians, is apparently up for debate. According to National Geographic, “Glass fragments unearthed in modern-day Iraq suggest that glassmaking began around 1500 B.C. in Mesopotamia…. the ancient Egyptians mastered the art of glassmaking very soon after…”

Nonetheless, according to NatGeo (as they like to be called these days), “… the earliest known glassmaking site anywhere in the world and the only one dating from the Bronze Age” is indeed in Egypt.

So now you know.