How we Work - The Process

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     Almost every town of size has a stained glass studio of some sort. There you can have a door light made for your home, kitchen, bathroom or other location that will feature peacocks, parrots, flowers or other wildlife and will match your wallpaper or latest upholstering fabric. You can get your broken "Tiffany" lamp shade that you bought at Sears or Costco repaired there. You can also buy "suncatchers", kaleidoscopes, jewelry boxes and even stained glass ceiling fan pull ornaments! But do you want to have the stained glass windows for your church made there?

     I don't intend to sound condescending or arrogant. There is a proper place for these studios, they may do what they do well. But would you entrust the liturgical environment of your church to them?

     The artist that designs architectural stained glass windows, especially for a religious setting needs a combination of skills, education, experience, taste, and sensitivity. For a church project, an understanding and appreciation of the liturgy is also important.

     We work with both liturgical and non-liturgical spaces. Commissions can come to us in a variety of ways. People learn of our studio by having seen some of our work published or they see one of our advertisements. But, to date, most of our projects come by word-of-mouth recommendations of past clients.

     For those projects of a religious nature, sometimes committees will have already defined a theme prior to our first meeting. Some committees though will have no idea what they want their windows to say to the viewers, they rely entirely on our suggestions and recommendations.

     The best projects evolve after the committee has had a chance to meet us and view a slide presentation of some of our past projects. During this presentation we describe what our design parameters and limitations were, the specific liturgical and architectural requirements we had to address, as well as other special considerations. There are literally dozens of questions that committee members might ask, and they are encouraged to do so. This is a chance for them to become educated. We will attempt to provide answers that will not only inform and educate the committee but hopefully make them feel comfortable in selecting our studio for their commission.


1. Committees usually contact us by phone, snail mail or e-mail.

2. We respond by sending a brochure or recommending that they view our site (as you are now doing).

3. Prior to our initial meeting, we may request a set of architectural plans, photos, renderings, etc. so we can be somewhat acquainted with the project).


4. We introduce ourselves and get acquainted with each other.

5. We usually offer a slide presentation of some of our past projects. During this time we might mention how a specific theme and design evolved and if there were any special considerations.

6. We attempt to answer any questions the committee may have (refer to "FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS OF OUR STUDIO" ) such as:

a. how we might approach their particular commission

b. what medium might be the most appropriate for their space

c. what special structural and/or framing requirements need to be considered

d. what special lighting features we might suggest

e. what are the scheduling considerations

f. other ways in which JPS might be able to help in creating an appropriate liturgical environment.

g. we will also attempt to provide an estimate for the scope of the work for budgeting purposes.

7. Owner should have plans, renderings, proposed construction schedule, etc. available for review at this meeting.

8. We also will ask questions of the committee (refer to "FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS BY OUR STUDIO").

     This is serious work, it is a process. Realizing that building committees are the trustees of their congregation's funds, we discuss with them our philosophy that we are not only designing work for them, but for their grandchildren's grandchildren. Both of us have an awesome responsibility, one we do not take lightly. The owners are investing a lot of money, usually not all their own. Both parties owe it to the entire parish to invest a little effort in their project. Once a contract is signed, there is little work required of the committee other than approving submitted designs and signing checks promptly! But the committee needs to do a little work to get the process started.

     At the interview, we request an adequate amount of time to be allotted for the presentation of our work. Generally this meeting is something that can not be accomplished in less than 2 hours. You should be willing to invest this amount of time in the selection of the artist who will provide the art that will be part of your worship environment for many generations.


1. JPS will furnish a written proposal based on the estimated price.

2. The committee then reviews our estimate and decides, based on our interview and proposal, if they want JPS to proceed with the development of conceptual designs. The proposal will usually be valid for a fixed period.

3. The committee will execute the proposal.

4. JPS will receive a down payment for conceptual design development usually based on a percentage of the total price. The retainer is non-refundable and nontransferable to another project. It will be applied to the final price of the project stated in the contract.

5. The conceptual designs (scale drawings usually 1 : 12 in black/white) will be submitted to the committee for approval.

6. Upon approval of the concepts, another payment will be due for JPS to proceed with development of the final colored designs. JPS usually submits this along with proposed actual material samples or color boards.

7. Upon approval of the final designs, JPS will receive another payment to begin the cartooning phase of the project. NOTE: A word about cartoons. These are our shop drawings. They have to be both accurate and precise. They are made to 1 : 1 scale. This means that if you have a 12' x 60' window, the cartoon will also be that size. From this drawing we make patterns for cutting our glass, stone or whatever. The cartoons are in black and white. They include notes to ourselves, color number designations, pattern and panel designations, lead size designations, color orientation, corrections, etc. They usually aren't pretty!

This is also a time in which we often have to wait on the general contractor or glazing subcontractor. We do not like to begin cartooning until the frames are completed and installed, after which we can make accurate field measurements and templates. Then, and only then, does the execution of the project commence. There are some ways to speed up this process. If the owner provides shop drawings of frames that have been signed and approved by the architect, general contractor and frame fabricator, then sometimes we can use those dimensions for cartooning. But if the panels do not fit due to any inaccuracy of the shop drawings, additional charges will be applied to make corrections. Keep it simple, that's always the best way! We do not want to sacrifice quality for time.

8. Depending on the size and scope of the project, there may be an additional payment requested when fabrication is 50% completed in our studio.

9. Installation dates vary with the type of medium. For new construction, usually faceted glass windows are installed soon after the roof is completed. This helps the contractor "dry-in" and secure his space. There is no problem with this if the windows are protected afterwards. Stained glass windows and mosaics are some of the very last items to be set into place - about the same scheduling as pews, carpet, etc. are installed. If necessary, installation will be coordinated with the general contractor. There is seldom a problem scheduling the installation of "retrofitted" mosaics or stained glass windows.

10. In most instances we will request that the owner provide adequate and safe scaffolding for the installation. This can be provided by their general contractor. We may also request a safe site to store the panels and tools.

11. Final payment is due upon completion of installation.

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