I found my passion for glass art and craft at about the same time the American Studio Glass Movement was taking root. While Harvey Littleton, Marvin Lipofsky, and Dale Chihuly were building their respective fine art ‘hot glass’ programs at the University of Wisconsin, UC Berkeley, and Rhode Island School of Design, I was studying the ancient roots of stained glass, guided by the words of Charles Connick,
E. Liddall Armitage, and others.*

Before long, I co-founded a studio where, by chance, I was introduced to stained glass and mosaic master Andrew R. (‘Andy’) Maglia. This led to a true friendship, firsthand experience in ancient and modern glass techniques, and collaborative design and creation of large-scale windows for worship spaces.

Four years into the studio partnership, I left to set up my own design practice in Detroit, Michigan. By this time, the earliest ‘National Glass’ exhibitions at nearby Habatat Galleries were raising glass artwork to a new level of prominence, and the artistic ferment was impossible to ignore.  As both my glasswork and my writing were reaching a national and international audience, I began to weave traditional leaded and stained glass concepts into abstract designs and new forms of presentation including murals, mobiles, and relief sculpture.  

After more than a decade of making art, lecturing, teaching studio classes, and writing glass-related magazine articles, I relocated to Philadelphia and spent years working far afield from glass design. Then I was asked to create a sculpture for an atrium in a library. The project, called ‘Thoughts on Wings,’ rekindled my joy in designing with a purpose. Once again I am enthralled by the beauty of glass art in architecture, and am now accepting selected commissioned work.

* Few books on stained glass can equal Connick’s inspirational treatise “Adventures in Light and Color” or Armitage’s authoritative and detailed “Stained Glass: History, Technology, and Practice”



ROOTS                  DISCOVERY

SHARING               SPIRIT




Unless otherwise identified, all text and photos ©2009 Mark Talaba, all rights reserved.