I finally began the preparatory cartoons for the set of 9 large windows in January 2022. It had already been more than a year awaiting and anticipating the final designs from the Maronite Iconographer, Rita Assaf of Montreal, who was designing them through consultation with the bishop and the donor. The deadline to unveil the windows to the congregation was set at Easter 2023.

The windows tell the Life of Mary in the Lebanese Maronite tradition, the first 4 are her life on earth, the last 4 are her afterlife.

The first piece of glass was cut in April 2022, leaving barely 10 months to create 9 windows!

the depictions had to strictly adhere to the Iconographer’s instructions

fabulous mouthblown glass from Lamberts, Germany

I calculated the glass needed and ordered it and lead and solder – supply chains were still poor since Covid. One of the best things that this job allowed, was to be able to have an apprentice, Erin, full-time in studio for the duration!

Cartoons, portraits and patterns

By April, I had completed all nine cartoons, shaded in pencil as they would need to be painted, and received approval from the Iconographer to create them in stained glass. There would be 54 panels, each 5’x2′, 6 per window, installed into custom metal frames with proper ventilation. I’m sure I couldn’t have done it without Hazel’s help. Check for paw prints.

There was a lot of drawing to be done before cutting glass could begin. The windows were 12′ tall and 5′ wide, with 3′ between each. The Iconographer’s designs had rays coming from the middle window, and radiating across all 9 windows. These had to line up across the 70′ length! There were also many faces, hands, angels, cherubs, seraphim, and portraits to render in pencil on the cartoons.

This statue, window #5 Our Lady of Lebanon, is in Harissa and was given to Lebanon by France. It is a pilgrimage destination

With all the half-scale cartoons complete and approved, I enlarged them, divided them into 6 panels each, and superimposed the architectural frame dimensions onto each panel, then drafted patterns for each panel. They HAD to line up and fill the 12′ window precisely, including the dimension of the metal T-bar that supported each panel, made by Tony and Chris Salah of MacDonnell Welding and Metal Works.

Test Fit

WE made 4 panels and did a test fit. They looked pretty good.

This window #6 is based on a 6th century Syriac Icon

Let’s make these windows!!

It was a really hot summer and I had the kilns firing day and night. After each panel was painted, Erin leaded them up, soldered and puttied, and stored them in the crates she made specifically for this job.


We completed by the deadline! Installation went smoothly with the help of Tony and Chris Salah.

Job Done!

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