Adaptive Re-Use of Old Stained Glass to Create New “Glass Quilt”

Stanton Studios recently designed and created a “glass quilt” using pieces of glass from old windows found in First Presbyterian Church in Waco, Texas that were in need of repair. Read on to see the initial windows, the new design, and the finished product!

Rev. Leslie King, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Waco, Texas, asked the Stanton Studios team to look at a stack of old windows they recently came across in their church attic. The church wanted the know if the windows could be restored and installed into a window opening at the end of a hallway in a section of the church that was being remodeled. After surveying the windows and seeing the extensive restoration necessary, it was decided that the cost to restore the windows vs. the value of the windows made no fiduciary sense. So Bryant Stanton, owner and designer of Stanton Studios, proposed a window designed and signed by our Studio that would add value to a pile of otherwise broken pieces of glass.

The Original Windows: A Survey and Commentary by Bryant Stanton

The original stained glass windows, which were found in the church attic, speaks of the church’s history and had sentimental value to the church.

“One set of windows is a Grisaille style of window. The other windows are American opalescent style windows. Grisaille is a French term that refers to a nonfigurative design painted in black lines on the light-tinted glass. Grisaille windows do not use many colors and are typically geometric patterned. Painting a Grisaille window is achieved through stenciling or silk screening the paint onto the glass and firing it in a kiln. This method allows many square feet of glass to be decorated without much cost. Therefore, smaller congregations just getting established would install these affordable windows. After the church became established and prospered, these lesser windows would typically be replaced by more expensive memorial gifts and figured windows depicting bible scenes or windows with symbols. Regardless of their humble origins, the Grisaille window speaks of a church’s history and is the oldest stained glass in the building, well worth saving. “ -Bryant Stanton

The New Design: A Glass Quilt

“When life hands you a pile of damaged stained glass windows, make a ‘Glass Quilt.'” -Bryant Stanton

After conferring with the production manager and glass craftsmen, we realized there weren’t enough ‘whole pieces of glass’ left in each window to justify restoration for the small budget they had. Of course, any window can be restored, but there is a cost associated with restoring windows broken up as badly as these.

Staring at the pile of glass, inspiration came to me. I had an idea of tumbling glass pieces falling. Out of many, one – or simply a glass quilt.

I told the Pastor that reimagined new windows would have more value or enjoyment to the congregation as a signed abstract designed window by (me) a local artist rather than simply restoring the original windows together.

We were excited when the church decided to go with something “different from the status quo.”

-Bryant Stanton

Timothy Stanton and the rest of the Stanton team did a fantastic job on this project. The craftsmen managed to use the glass from the broken windows without adding any other glass. Only a handful of glass scraps were left when the Stanton Studios craftsmen finished the project. Stanton Woodworks provided the new wood window sash for the stained glass windows.

The new stained glass windows hang in the educational center of the newly remodeled area of First Presbyterian Church in Waco, Texas.

The plaque next to the window reads:
“New Life Windows 2022
Out of the pandemic of 2020, we gather sacred pieces.
Together, trusting in God, who assembles all things new.
Time tumbles, cascading forward. Hope rides the waves, motivating a strong journey.
Rev. 21:5

Original Design – Bryant Stanton – 2022″

The Stanton Studios team loved being a part of creating something new out of something old, and we’re so proud to have our work featured in this Waco church!