Putting the pieces together

Published 9:13 pm Friday, August 15, 2008

John Hogarth of Jackson has brought his business to the classroom — or “glassroom” — as he is teaching a stained glass art class at the Demopolis University Center this week.

The class was held Wednesday through today in the science room of the center, and is a part of the continuing education program of the University of West Alabama. Students take the glass, shape it, stain it, trim it and place it in drawn-out patterns, then solder the pieces together into a work of art.

“When I retired and started my business, I noticed that, in talking to people, they didn’t want to travel 60, 70 or 80 miles to get lessons,” Hogarth said. “So, I started it my shop, and it just went. I’ve been doing stained glass work for 25 to 30 years, but as a business for about six years, John’s Stained Glass in Jackson.”

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Kyra Sparks of Selma has taken classes before, and took this class to improve her skills.

“I enjoyed the first class, and I finished the first piece then, so I decided to try a harder piece, and I needed Mr. Hogarth’s help,” she said. “So, I’m taking him again, and when he teaches the next class, I will try to find him for that, too.”

“I’ve done this before; I took a class when I lived in Oak Ridge, Tenn.,” said Dashiell McKay of Demopolis. “I just needed to refresh what I learned before, so I just took this opportunity to come back and learn the technique again.”

“I saw a lot of stained glass work in my travels,” said Joyce Yeager of Linden.

“The stained-glass chapels at Duke University are just amazing. So, I thought I would take this chance to learn something that I might want to display.”

“I have been looking for a piece to hang in my window for three or four years,” said Rosemary Shows of Demopolis. “I have not found just the right thing, so when this became available, I thought, ‘Hey, I’ll just make my own!’ and I can make the thing I want in the colors that I want.”

The work is meticulous, but the finished product is amazing, and the art that these students learn is something they can continue to do for a long time.