"Hello! Your work is beautiful and I think you would be perfect for the project I have in mind."
Wow! Excellent! I can always use a little validation. You want something unique and one of a kind, and you provide the glass?.........I'm in!
Now we're both excited...the glass is from an old Presbyterian church that is important to her husband. The piece will be a "just because" gift for him...surprise!
She ships the glass right away...
I wash it as I wash all my glass...hmmm...still dirty. I scrub it really hard. Still dirty...Arrg!
It's April 27, 2010...a Sunday.
Not to be bested by some old church glass I search the web for professional stained glass restorationists. I shoot a message to two different sites, and get a response from one. Michael, at Mezalick Design Studio http://www.mezalick.com/MDS/Home.html is gracious enough to reply to my inquiry and gives me a few tips.
Cool! Except the glass is s t i l l dirty! I make a face! Maybe if I tried the final and most extreme tip, given with much caution....but I'm not getting mixed up with any kind of acid!
I send an email..."I cannot get the glass clean.....can I add some other glass to brighten it up?" No...she wants to respect the integrity of the church.
I lay the pieces out on my work bench, touching them, moving them around, trying to picture the pieces in some new form. But suddenly I'm worried, I'm thinking that I have no idea what these people would really like...or dislike. Well...I just have to go for it.
It's somewhere around June 1, 2010...on a day that ends in y. I've completed the piece. It lays there, finished, on my bench, for something like a week. What if she doesn't like it? She likes the stuff in my shop....so does my mom, but I doubt that this piece would appeal to her. There's only one way to find out. I shoot a couple photos... I wait a couple more days...I'm a very busy person!
"My husband bought this church to save it from being razed. Our community is very poor - the poorest in the state of PA and has already lost 90% of its buildings, homes, business and people with the decline of the steel industry. (we're a rust belt town) The church was so beautiful and important ... we wanted to save it. The dream was that one day it would become a Community Center for the community, although we were unsure of how that dream would actually come to fruition. The previous congregation sold all the stained glass windows and really stripped everything in the church. Left behind was one small broken window and the glass pieces were the ones I mailed you."
"Our community is Braddock, PA and my husband is its Mayor, John Fetterman. A little bit more here." http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/01/us/01braddock.html
"Our dream for the Community Center is now finally coming true. The church is being featured in a national campaign for LEVI jeans that will be public July 1st, and can be seen at length on their website as of that date."
"And so ... our little church has life again."
Thanks Gisele...for a most excellent adventure!
Gisele was kind enough to forward a photo of her family....now my curiosity is entirely slaked!
"Hi Janet ...Here it is!
There is also a video on youtube that has a few great shots of the former church ... when you see an empty church window behind John ... you will see where the glass came from.
All our best!
And here's the communities website http://www.15104.cc/
Please feel free to leave a comment below...I'm interested in your thoughts...
I'm not sure I can ever top this! But please check out my shop anyway! ....http://www.etsy.com/shop/newmoonglass....thanks