Southern Utah News Articles
Passion for stained glass
“Stained glass is a passion of mine,” said Ronne Chamberlain.
Evidence of how good she has become at her passion is the new portal of the United Church of Kanab and Fredonia. The intricate multi-colored glass catches and casts sunlight in different directions at different times. It’s a work of art to behold, and Chamberlain’s kindness and generosity will be appreciated by many for years to come!
“I just went to a glass shop, and was amazed at specifically the stained glass, and started getting into it,” recalled Chamberlain. “I just loved the way light comes through the colored glass.” She started reading books on the art, and tried different techniques along the way. “My dad encouraged me a lot, saying ‘you just dig in and go for it.’”
While she was mostly self-taught, she had a few friends to guide her along the way. When Chamberlain was 22, Doris Griswald (now deceased), helped her begin to learn the art, as well as former Kane County Commissioner Joe Judd.
Her stained glass creations were mainly used in her own home at first, as well as gifts. After United Church member Jim Aziz and wife Pam saw the stained glass in Chamberlain’s house, Jim asked if she might be interested in making one for the new United Church that was under construction.
“This window is a copper stain,” said Chamberlain. “I had Jim do a template for the design. The design had to be the exact size and shape of the window.”
Chamberlain said the committee she worked with at the United Church wanted leaves and wheat, along with the cross, and they wanted it to look southwestern.
“It took awhile for the pattern to get done,” admitted Chamberlain. The project took over three and a half years. “Most of the stained glass windows you see are assembly line created. This was definitely a custom window.”
A stained glass piece of any kind takes time. The cut glass is wrapped with copper, and then the lead solder holds it together. The pattern was on butcher paper on a table created by Karl Bistline in her basement. As she got the pieces done, they were placed on the design.
Chamberlain said she was challenged by the wheat stalks. While she used quite a bit of glass she had on hand, she also had to purchase some as well. “I even went out to the field and watched the rye and leaves blow in the wind to make it more authentic.”
Chamberlain is creative by nature, and she makes things at home. While she is famous for wedding decorating with her mom, Conne Lord, she also is a talented baker, and has done many murals for Western Legends.
Ronne Chamberlain has passion with a purpose.