Ray Gregory, Art Glass, Resplendent, stained glass, Norfolk, Virginia, Beth El Congregation, Chrysler Museum, Christ and St. Luke's, Capt. George's Seafood, Washington Hebrew Congregation, Annunciation Greek Orthodox

 

 

 

Stained Glass

Art Glass, Inc. made most of its stained glass windows using lead came and solder, the traditional way that first appeared over 1300 years ago. But even using modern wheeled glass cutters, light boxes, grozing pliers, electric soldering irons, and stock lead caming, the work, all done by hand, required much labor, patience, and skill. Now and then Art Glass would use the copper foil technique that Louis Comfort Tiffany's studios used to make his famous stained glass lampshades. While most of its larger stained glass commissions were for religious congregations, Art Glass also served many restaurants and other businesses, military installations, and residences. Plus it did a hefty amount of stained glass restoration and repair work.

Simple hand tools of the trade

 

Religious Windows in Various Styles

The symbol laden windows of St. Aidan's Episcopal Church, though not very large as stained glass windows go, were my favorite church commission. I think that with them I made my closest approach to the liturgical ideal of "teaching" with stained glass. I met with the church's very dedicated window committee three times, for a total of nearly nine hours! But hashing out which symbols they wanted and didn't want was a joy — even though my own recommendations didn't always prevail. It must have been the knowledge of the Bible and Christian symbolism I displayed that led St. Aidan's priest at the time to deduce that I was "a devout Christian steeped in the history of the Church..." (from the church's window brochure). Actually my doubts about the prevailing doctrines of Christianity may be what I'm most devout about. But "steeped" seemed a just tribute to my Norfolk Christian High School education.

— Ray Gregory

St. Aidan's, Episcopal, stained glass, Virginia Beach

See St. Aidan's window brochure

St. Aidan's, Episcopal, stained glass, Virginia Beach

 

St. Andrew's Lutheran, another wonderful church to work for. The congregation wanted stained glass for its sanctuary aisle windows, but also wanted to enjoy the exterior view, so there was this pleasing solution:

St. Andrew's, Lutheran, stained glass, Churchland, Portsmouth, Virginia

A couple of St. Andrew's entry windows

St. Andrew's, Lutheran, stained glass, Churchland, Portsmouth, Virginia

 

Foundry UMC altar window (actually a large lightbox)

Foundry, UMC, stained glass, Virginia Beach

 

St. Timothy Lutheran

St. Timothy, Lutheran, stained glass, Norfolk, Virginia

 

St. Mark's Catholic

St. Mark's, Catholic, stained glass, Virginia Beach

 

St. Mark's altar windows (scenes from the Gospel of Mark)

St. Andrew's, Lutheran, stained glass, Churchland, Portsmouth, Virginia

 

San Lorenzo Spiritual Center

San Lorenzo Spiritual Center, stained glass, Virginia Beach

 

 

 

 

Hindu Diwali (Festival of Lights) Symbol

 

 

Naval Security Group Chapel

Here Art Glass produced five baptismal windows for renowned architectural glass designer David Wilson:

Naval Security Group, Chapel, stained glass, Chesapeake, Virginia

Naval Security Group, Chapel, stained glass, Chesapeake, Virginia

 

Washington Hebrew Congregation

Art Glas, Inc. also produced and installed the stained glass panels for the "Wall of Light" (approx. 75 feet wide) designed by David Wilson for the sanctuary of the largest synagogue in the nation's capital:

Washington Hebrew Congregation, stained glass

 

Naval Security Group, Chapel, stained glass, Chesapeake, Virginia

 

Glass Painting

Below, unpainted glass pieces lying on a light table and the finished painted and leaded-together stained glass panel. The vivid colors were mostly in the glass itself, with vitreous paints (blacks, grays, and browns) applied to add lines and shading effects, then baked onto the surface of the glass pieces in the kiln. But sometimes vitreous enamels were used to add colors. Glass stainers' paints are nasty stuff, containing all kinds of toxic heavy metals, but once fired onto the glass, they're trapped in the glass, no longer able to contaiminate the enironment. Each glass piece required from two to five (sometimes more) firings in the kiln to achieve the desired effect. Here the colors of tree trunk, flesh, rock, soil, and some of the flowers also came from the paints:

 

A Glass Painter's Lament

Isn't it best to let glass speak for itself, to let a stained glass window be its full glassy self and not some luminescent semblance of a painting on canvas? Glass painters call what they do "arresting the light on the surface of the glass," but it might also be called, especially when done to excess, a kind of travesty, an affront to the ideals of glass and light interacting.

But glass painting, which reached its peak of opacity in the nineteenth century, is now expected for the "traditional" look, especially in stained glass church windows. Of course, in those cases where glass is illuminated by a lightbox, painting doesn't crimp the nature of the glass any more than does the flat artificial light radiating from a translucent diffuser. Neither does painting significantly crimp the style of windows made mosly of opalescent glass, a milky glass you can't see things through, something else that became most prominent in the nineteenth century, especially in church windows.

— Ray Gregory

 

St. Theodore Chapel, Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Norfolk

Naval Security Group, Chapel, stained glass, Chesapeake, Virginia

 

St. Theodore Chapel, Annunciation Greek Orthodox, stained glass, Norfolk, Virginia

 

Painted (but not yet leaded) pieces for an Orthodox window Art Glass did for a monastery in Greece:

 

 

Entryway glass for St. Matthew's Catholic

St. Matthew's, Catholic, stained glass, Virginia Beach

 

Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters Chapel

Children's Hospital, King's Daughters, stained glass, Norfolk, Virginia

Some nautical church touches

 

 

Assorted painted church windows

Stained glass, Art Glass Resplendent, Norfolk, Virginia, Ray Gregory

A veterans' mausoleum

 

 

These two went to Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church in Brooklyn, New York, the farthest north Art Glass ever went to install stained glass windows. Mt. Lebanon's preacher at the time hailed from the Hampton Roads area.

 

Ray Gregory, stained glass

St. Aidan's Chapel

 

Craddock Presbyterian

 

Architect Spencer Scott, whose work I greatly admired, designed this window for South Street Baptist. I think he said his father was or had been the preacher at the church. You'd have to ask Spencer why two omegas and no alpha (I've forgotten).

— Ray Gregory

South Street, Baptist, stained glass, Portsmouth, Virginia

 

Piney Grove Chapel (Gates, North Carolina)

 

 

 

 

Ocean Vie

w Presbyterian

Ocean View Presbyterian, stained glass, Norfolk, Virginia

 

St. James United Methodist

 

 

St. Mark's Chapel

 

Ray Gregory, Orthodox, Vir

gin, Child, stained glass

Ray Gregory, stained glass

 

 

Not So Religious Work

 

With apologies to one old Greek god, a 17-feet-tall window for Capt. George's restaurant in Pungo

Capt. George's Seafood, stained glass, Neptune, mermaid

Funny story:  Jack Macione of Forth Dimension Design called to tell me they wanted stained glass for the large tower window at Capt. George's new restaurant in Pungo (in the nether regions of Virginia Beach), which was soon to open. Jack said he wanted to see Neptune with a mermaid on his lap, and he added he wanted the mermaid to have "big bare breasts." Well, okay, Jack. So when I took him a design sketch, which conformed to all his specifications, the old salt readily approved it. But once the brazen stained glass scene was installed, Jack called me back. The restaurant had gotten complaints from some of its customers, he said. He asked what it would cost to "put a bra on the mermaid." Seriously? I thought, since the big stained glass domes we'd already made for Capt. George's each had a topless mermaid too. I explained to Jack that stained glass bras weren't that cheap considering that we'd have to set up the scaffolding again and take down all three panels of the upper half of the window just to get to the offending anatomical part — er, parts. After that, I heard no more about the problem appendages. Who, I had to wonder, goes to a Capt. George's and worries about a topless mermaid overhead when there's all that sumptuous food to ogle and drool over at the buffet? After the Pungo restaurant closed, I heard that the Neptune-and-mermaid glass had been transfered down to Capt. George's in Myrtle Beach. Maybe the customers down there weren't as prudish.

 

Capt. George's Crazy-Big Domes

In the main dining areas of Capt. George's Seafood Restaurant on Laskin Road in Virginia Beach, two 35-feet diameter domes

 

 

 

 

Ray Gregory, Capt. George's, Seafood, stained glass

Lots more for Capt. George's

Capt. George's Seafood, stained glass, Viorginia Beach

 

 

A lounge that used to be in the basement of the Madison Hotel

 

A pool room at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard

Ray Gregory, Norfolk Naval S

hipyard, stained glass

 

 

A sci-fi phase

Ray Gregory, stained glass

 

 

 

A flying car, the ultimate sci-fi dream?

 

 

 

"ARG" monogram, which Ray Gregory marked some of his work with, here the subject of a stained glass attic window in one of the buildings Art Glass occupied

 

 

Residential Work

One of Art Glass' first residential jobs was stained glass for the kitchen windows of the delightfully cluttered Victorian mansion owned by John and Rose Parker in the Ghent neighborhood of Norfolk.

 

Something for a more contemporary Ghent residence

 

 

This one was modeled after a Persian rug, for an interior designers' show at the Victorian-era Hunter House in the Freemason area of Norfolk in the early 1980s. Years later it lives in a retro, though more modern house.

Ray Gregory, stained glass

 

Cabinet door lights made to match the wall paper pattern

(these went to a home in Boston)

Ray Gregory, stained glass

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ray Gregory,

 

stained glass

 

 

An addressed transom

 

 

Fireplace screen

 

 

 

 

While 99% or more of the windows were made with lead came, occasionally a piece was made with the copper foil technique (traditionally used to make stained glass lampshades)

 

 

Art Glass, Inc. also made and installed the handsome oak lightbox for this large copper foil work for a beach house in Virginia Beach (with a depiction of the house in the glass)

Ray Gregory, stained glass

 

A sunroom, with Art Glass also doing the window framing and cladding it with verdigrised copper, as well as making and installing the leaded glass (commissioned by Thomas and Geraldine Nicholson for their remarkable "chateau" in the Algonguin section of Norfolk, where they graciously made Art Glass' workers feel right at home)

 

 

Painted window gift for a beach neighbor:

 

 

Tarot Cards

Everyone has an idea what the Hierophant's alpha and omega mean, but the B and J of the High Priestess? They're for Boaz and Jachin, the names the Bible gives the black and white pillars at the entrance to the Temple of Solomon.

 

 

A layered-panel beach scene

Ray Gregory, stained glass

 

A couple of Ray Gregory's early hobby pieces

Ray Gregory, stained glass

 

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