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.”

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.