Our Stained-Glass Windows
We are happy to announce that our stained-glass windows have been completed and delivered to the church!
One aspect of our church projects has been to complete the stained-glass windows for the upper windows of the church, as well as for our confessionals. This makes a total of 22 stained windows in all. (To see the original designs of the stained-glass windows, click here).
Real work on this project began over a year and a half ago with brainstorming concepts and images for the windows. After a meeting with the diocese, one of the suggestions given by the diocese was to make each of our upper windows a different symbol of Mary. The confessional windows would depict images related to God’s mercy and forgiveness. With this, we were able to find 20 different symbols of Mary, as well as utilize the stories of The Lost Sheep and The Prodigal Son for the confessionals. The windows were designed by Conrad Schmitt Studios out of Wisconsin (the same company that designed the painting for the church), and they were fabricated by Rayer’s Bearden Stained Glass out of Wichita.
The fabrication process was fascinating. Fr. Nick was able to visit Rayer’s Bearden’s a number of times during the process. Taking the initial designs from Conrad Schmitt, the company made large, life-sized prints of the design. Then, with hundreds of options available, they selected the proper colors of glass, making sure to match the colors with those that were already in our current windows. Some of this glass was purchased and collected by Rayer’s Bearden’s several years ago, as some of the companies that made the glass in our original windows were going out of business, and therefore, the glass they produced became limited (Rayer’s Bearden’s doesn’t make the glass – they purchase panes of glass from other companies to make the windows). Once the proper glass was selected, the various parts and shapes were cut. Many of the pieces had to have details painted on them. These were shipped to another artist in Colorado for this step. Finally, the windows were put together like a giant puzzle.
While working on these windows, in order to get a sense of the true colors, they were placed on a table that was lit from below. However, the actual vibrancy of the colors did not completely shine through until they were held up to natural light. When this occurred, the various shapes and colors truly came to life!
The windows were delivered, and are currently being safely stored in the basement of the church. Unfortunately, they may not be installed for some time yet. This is because specific scaffolding will be needed in order to install the windows. This scaffolding must be rented, and in order to save on cost, we hope to rent this scaffolding only once for all of the projects that will need to utilize it. The projects that will need the scaffolding not only include the installation of the windows, but the installation of the updated lighting, the pendant lights, and the painting as well. Therefore, all of these projects will need to happen in conjunction with each other. In addition, the windows for the confessionals will need to be installed after the confessional renovations are completed so as to make sure they are kept safe during those renovations. Nonetheless, the windows are completed and safe until the time we are ready to install.