Best Wishes and a Fond Farewell

cookout-graphic1978 was a very big year. How many of you are old enough to remember? The Camp David Accords were signed. Harvey Milk was assassinated. Jonestown happened. The first “test tube baby” was born. And in December, Nancy Wilke started working for Whittemore-Durgin.

If you’ve ever called us on the phone, there’s a good chance you’ve spoken to Nancy. Her relationships with customers go beyond simple customer service. She has been the company historian and virtual database, able to pull that obscure part number out of thin air, remember the name of that one special customer from decades ago, or locate the tiny missing set screw from that discontinued soldering iron.

Nancy has helped keep this company running through some difficult times, and has put up with some incredibly challenging customers, employees and vendors. We could not have asked for a more loyal team member.

After 38 years with Whittemore-Durgin, Nancy has decided to retire. Saturday, September 24, will be her last official day with us, and so we invite you to help us wish her all the best by doing any or all of the following:

  • Drop by on Saturday, September 24 between noon and 2:00pm for a cook-out in her honor, out in the parking lot at our store in Rockland, Mass.
  • Drop by to see her during the week between now and September 24 (she works Mondays 10:00am to 8:00pm, Fridays 10:00am to 4:30pm, and Saturday 8:00am to noon).
  • Drop me a line at with a sentiment that I can put in a memento book for her. Do you have a story to share? A photo or two? Or a simple good luck wish? Please send it to me at my personal address by Sept. 22, and I will put the collection of notes and photos into a book that she can take with her and treasure.
  • Write to her privately at

Thank you for helping us honor a fine employee and friend. We look forward to seeing or hearing from you soon.

Kathy and Kevin





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.