I have always thought stained-glass windows were beautiful, so when some friends took lessons at Avalon Stained Glass School in Munfordville, I listened to them discuss the procedure with interest. The more I thought about it, the more I decided I wanted to give it a try.
When I was a little girl, I remember watching my mother and grandmother cut out quilt pieces and sew them together. I never took part in quilt-making because I couldn’t sit still. I simply didn’t have enough patience. If I didn’t have enough patience to make a quilt, how could I believe I had enough to create a piece of stained glass?
My first mistake was when my instructor (a wonderful and very patient man named Carl) showed me patterns and asked me to choose one. I looked through them all and picked one with 82 pieces. I guess you could compare that to someone who just started piano lessons attempting to play Beethoven’s first symphony.
Carl has a wonderful studio with lots of different colors and textures of glass. He also has two buttons on the counter where I work. One says “That was easy,” and the other says “Panic” and makes a screaming noise when you punch it. I hit the “Panic” button at least three times a session.
I haven’t finished my first piece yet because I’ve had to miss several classes. Carl, bless his heart, has never complained even though I’ve broken more than my share of glass, nicked myself several times, and bled all over my pattern.
I have learned a lot from Carl and his class. I’ve learned that while patience is truly a virtue, slow and steady wins the race. I’ve also developed a much deeper appreciation for the time and skill it takes to create a stained-glass window.
Art doesn’t just happen, it takes hard work and determination to create something beautiful. To all those who choose art as a way of life, thank you. You make the world a more beautiful place.