I love stained glass. The church i went to as a kid had coloured glass panels . I guess you could call that stained glass. The first church my kids attended had a large stained glass window in the back of the sanctuary. You only saw it when you were coming in and then leaving for service. They were a concern to the board of directors because they leaked heat badly. My friend’s dad worked in stained glass as a hobby years ago. His were works of art. He had a shop set up with glass and lead organized in small cabinets. That kind of attention to detail I aspire to.
The church has some pretty neat stained glass. Interestingly, Dreamgirl’s favourite window is similar to 5 others except it has a purple coloured glass border. It really is a pretty piece. When I looked at the individual square tiles I noticed they were copies of each other. It looked like they were baked in a loaf and sliced. I am now reminded of the “Stained Glass Cookies” Dreamgirl bakes every Christmas. They are like that only real glass. I’m hungry. Cole, a 16-year-old who volunteered at our church camp this summer, stopped by and, when I hypothesised how I thought the glass was made, told me he thought they were laid out in a sheet and fired. Pfft! Teenagers think they know everything when really, they are just learning. I smiled and pretended his theory had validity.
Stained glass causes you to pause. You do more than just stare at the beauty, you look at each piece and realize they were hand laid individually. You stand and this is where you listen for the still, small voice of God. Even though I spent considerable time staring at them, and knew that they would need work because of their age, someone had to point the blemishes out to me. A missing piece in this square, cracks running through these. Even though I am now aware of those blemishes, These windows still make me stop and stare. Dreamgirl has the same effect on me.
I have no idea what to do with these windows. Our desire is to keep the church looking original from outside. We’ll keep the shape of the windows but here’s the thing: I like to look outside. I like to see what my neighbours are up to. I look outside every night before bed. I’m not sure what I’m looking for, maybe I just want to know we are safe before I close my eyes. I also want to see what the neighbours are doing. Growing up, the story was told of a delivery person who tore back the paper covering of a mattress so the kids in the window could see it before he took it into the neighbour’s house. I’m that kid. You can integrate the widows into modern vinyl frames with thermal qualities but they are still just translucent, no spying on the neighbours. We could mount them on a swing in frame and use them as blinds or a window covering but that seems like it would use up valuable space. You could hang them beside the windows but that would take up space and look museum like. This is one problem I have yet to solve.
The local restaurant had an Art in The Park event. There were several people there that worked with stained glass. One fellow though, had windows that looked like they belonged in a church. Dreamgirl spoke to him and he showed a photo album of the work he has done. I brought a sample of the stained glass from the church. He gave us some insight into them. They were made near the turn of the century (meaning 1885 not 1985, different turn of the century). Interestingly the yellow center images on each panel was silver staining. This was done through a silk screen process on sheets which were then fired to cause the staining. I have not told Cole he was right, that kid is smart enough already! He came to the church on his Harley Davidson Sportster. (That last line has nothing to do with the article, but I’m not allowed to have my own “hog” so I live vicariously…) He gave us a reasonable price on removing and restoring the windows. But I am still left with the question: how do I make these work?
While we work out a solution I am wasting a lot of time just staring out the window. Actually I am not wasting time. I am waiting on the still, small voice. Prayer is always answered.