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Stained Glass - Hobby or Small Business

Updated on September 19, 2016
Pamela99 profile image

I am interested in the history of stained glass, and I have learned how to make some unique projects. I have sold several unique pieces.

Pelican Piece

I designed this piece and gave it to my nephew for a wedding gift.
I designed this piece and gave it to my nephew for a wedding gift.

Transition Stained Glass Artist

Stained glass is a wonderful hobby and can be easily turned into a small business. Most people love stained glass in a window or door in their home, or they enjoy seeing glass in cathedrals or other art display centers.

In 2000, my doctors told me I couldn’t work any longer as the stress was causing the Lupus to flare up, plus I kept ending up in the hospital. For the first few months at home I did not do much, but I starting feeling somewhat better. I am not good at being a couch potato. I had taken a class and worked with stained glass as a hobby for many years ago, so I got out some of my old equipment, purchased some new equipment and some gorgeous pieces of stained glass.

I have always loved stained glass whether they are Tiffany windows in churches or in older homes and any type of newer designs. This remained a hobby for me for the next couple of years as I worked on my skills as I am a bit of a perfectionist. I had our 3rd bedroom setup with a large table and my husband bought me a large cabinet to store my supplies. Then, I just worked and kept improving my skills.

Group Along One Side of Display

3 pieces I designed and sold at this craft fair.
3 pieces I designed and sold at this craft fair.

Butterfly Sun Catchers

My photo
My photo

A Business is Born

Finally, I was approached by a friend and asked if I would like to be in their group of crafters and sell some of my stained glass. The sale would be in November in order to catch the Christmas shoppers. Each person in the group had different types of crafts. Some made jewelry, ceramics, one did machine embroidery and a whole host of other types of crafts.

Thus, for me, a small business was born. The show went very well and I sold several hundred dollars of my work. People loved my work and I received many compliments about the outstanding quality. Then, I went and got my business license and of course, my tax certificate, as I would be in violation if I didn’t collect sales tax. My husband actually welded together a display stand to hang the larger pieces and we painted it white and then used a lot of lights to show off the various colors in the glass. This was the perfect business for me as I still had health problems, but I could set down my work most any time and rest. I was productive some days more than others. My family would help me set up and tear down after the events, so it all worked well. My husband and I are a team.

Stained Glass Pieces using my Designs

My photo
My photo

Perfecting my Glass Making Skills

Stained glass is not cheap, nor is it a cheap hobby to begin. You need a lot of equipment, such as a grinder, a good glass cutter, protective gloves, solder, copper foil, fluxes, special tools and the uncut glass is expensive as well. You need a lot of practice to make those difficult glass cuts so things fit together smoothly. Practice, Practice, Practice is what I did.

If people like your work, they will buy your glass I started selling my glass in some independent shows which was also successful, and I did private orders as well. I’ve often repaired a piece of glass someone had for a long time but got cracked. I gradually became more creative, often drawing my own patterns and to be a good stained glass artist you have to be able to visualize how colors and textures look when placed together.

Chilling Man

My photo
My photo

My Chilling Man

This piece of glass I kept has been a lot of fun. I made it early before I was in business and I call it the “Chilling Man”. I saw a guy, resting easy, smoking a pipe or blowing bubbles.

When my sons came to visit they cracked up laughing. “Mom, you made a glass picture of a guy smoking pot!” I know I can be naive, but that had not occurred to me. I don’t care though. I never put him up for sale as I still see a guy just chilling out hanging in one of my windows.

Abstract of Clear Glass

This is also my design  and I sold this piece at a craft show.
This is also my design and I sold this piece at a craft show.

Feeling About My Work

I certainly did not get rich but it is nice extra income that helps defray medical expenses, and I like having my own income, It was hardly comparable to my nursing income even though I had only been working only 3 days a week by the time I quit. I was a part time hospital house Supervisor, so I made a good hourly wage.

The satisfaction that I receive from the reaction of people who come in and buy my glass is wonderful. I love the idea I creating something of beauty that is hanging in someone's house. I haven’t been able to do any work in the several months due to health problems, but I do envision the day I can begin again. The crafter group really wants me to rejoin and maybe that will be possible

© 2010 Pamela Oglesby

Comments

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  • Tom Whitworth profile image

    Tom Whitworth 7 years ago from Moundsville, WV

    Pamela,

    Beautiful stained glass. You are very artistic. I see a bubble pipe with the man chilling.

  • Pamela99 profile image
    Author

    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    Tom, Thanks for your comment and I agree!

  • breakfastpop profile image

    breakfastpop 7 years ago

    What beautiful work, Pamela. You are very talented.

  • Pamela99 profile image
    Author

    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    BPOP, Thanks so much for the compliment.

  • The Rope profile image

    The Rope 7 years ago from SE US

    These are beautiful pieces, Pam. I am especially intrigued with the "bubbles" - it is so unusual! Glad you like your work and hope you are able to get back to it - in the meantime - it's great to see you sharing with us!

  • Pamela99 profile image
    Author

    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    Rope, Thank you for your compliment. I wish I had a better picture as the bubbles are wispy glass that is iridescent so when the sun shines beautiful colors shine through.

  • profile image

    Partisan Patriot 7 years ago

    Sorry Pam

    It's hard to appreciate fine are or beauty in general while I currently loosing my ass watching the dow about to go below 10,000!

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

    I got to be honest, till now I wasn't a friedn of stained glass windows. When I saw your heading, I thought hmmm. But when I saw you design I must say they really have something special in it and Yu turned me into loving stain glass window. This is the truth and I am not just saying it. They are very tasteful. Make you laugh, at the moment I am reading a book 'The Glassmaker's daughter' and there again the details of her work bored me abit. I am reading it because of the great story. Wish you luck and success.

  • Pamela99 profile image
    Author

    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    Patriot, I am sorry to hear that news. I appreciate your stopping by my hub.

  • Pamela99 profile image
    Author

    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    Hello, I am glad you like my glass. Thank you for your comment.

  • TnFlash profile image

    TnFlash 7 years ago from Tampa, Florida

    Great Hub! Your stained Glass work is beautiful. I didn't realize you are so Artsy! Great Work.

  • Pamela99 profile image
    Author

    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    Jack, Thank you for the compliment. It seems on Hubpages over a period of time you get to know things about people you never suspected. I appreciate the compliment.

  • Handmade-Crafts profile image

    Handmade-Crafts 7 years ago

    Beautiful work. Thank you for sharing.

  • eovery profile image

    eovery 7 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

    These are beautiful.

    Keep on hubbing!

  • oliversmum profile image

    oliversmum 7 years ago from australia

    Hi pamela99. What beautiful work , I do admire your artistic talents, Thank you for sharing it.:) :)

  • Pamela99 profile image
    Author

    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    Thank you so much for your compliment on my work. I appreciate them.

  • Tubbs Merouge profile image

    Tubbs Merouge 7 years ago from Louisiana

    You make beautiful stained glass!! Wonderful artist!!

  • Pamela99 profile image
    Author

    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    Tubbs, Thank you so much for the compliment.

  • profile image

    rlayton 7 years ago

    Pamela, I have a great love for stained glass. I used the liquid leading and a pattern and stained the windows on each side of the front door. I would love to start cutting stained glass. You have some beautiful art work. You give me inspiration.

  • Pamela99 profile image
    Author

    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    rlayton, You could start with the basic equipment and take a short course and get started! Thanks so much for your comment.

  • tim-tim profile image

    Priscilla Chan 7 years ago from Normal, Illinois

    Love Stained Glass! Love your work:) Thanks for sharing.

  • Craftsmith profile image

    Craftsmith 7 years ago from India

    Beautiful stuff thr Pamela...keep up the good work and keep sharing :)

  • Pamela99 profile image
    Author

    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    Tim-tim and Craftsmith, Thank you so much for your compliments.

  • Carrie DeSha profile image

    Carrie DeSha 7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

    Thank you for sharing your talent! It was a real treat to see more of your work. Perhaps appreciation of beauty is part of the answer to the tough times we are all facing :)

  • Pamela99 profile image
    Author

    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    Carrie, Maybe appreciating beauty does help. I am looking forward to spring flowers. Thank you for your comment.

  • profile image

    ikechi 7 years ago

    Wow!!Your glasses are very beautiful.Do you have more pictures?Please share.

  • Pamela99 profile image
    Author

    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    Ikechi, Thank you for the compliment. I didn't take enough pictures and they are stored on a disk but I'll try to find it.

  • Roberta99 profile image

    Roberta99 7 years ago

    Your work is beautiful. I have several pieces of stained glass and a few I made myself. Hope you csn get started working with stained glass again.

  • Pamela99 profile image
    Author

    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    Roberta, Thank you for your comment.

  • blue parrot profile image

    blue parrot 6 years ago from Madrid, Spain

    This is very pretty!

    There is a printing mistake in the title. It says "buriness".

  • Pamela99 profile image
    Author

    Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

    Blue Parrot, Thank you for your comment and letting me know about my error. I appreciate your thoughtfulness.

  • mike1242 profile image

    mike1242 6 years ago from London

    Great pieces of work, nice to see..

  • Pamela99 profile image
    Author

    Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

    Mike, I appreciate your comments.

  • profile image

    Judy H. James 5 years ago

    Dear Pamela,

    I have linked your pelican pic into my web site,

    Brass Pelican Books. Find it at http://www.weebly.com/weebly/main.php# It's free advertising on my non profit site, but if you object, I'll remove it...leave me a blog message. jhj Chief Editor/Owner

  • Pamela99 profile image
    Author

    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    Judy, I'm glad you liked the pelican well enough to want to display it on your site. Thanks and I'll check out your website.

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