Tuesday, September 16, 2014

This Little Light Of Mine

    The drive over to the church today was less stressful than yesterday in some ways, and worse in others. Today is the day we have to lift each panel up vertically, fix it in place, shim it perfectly, and shoot in the exterior stops. My mind creates one catastrophe after another. What if a panel bends in half?  What if it doesn't fit?  What if the nailgun misses and shatters a panel?

     Ed has been so patient during this whole process. I should have known he knew what he was doing.  After I watched him move the first panel into place, I felt a huge pressure lift off me. He made it look so easy.

    We began with the Lion and Lamb window. I have heard the phrase "And the lion shall lay down with the lamb" so many times, I didn't realize that the phrase doesn't actually exist in scripture. "The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them."  Isaiah 11:6.  Still, the symbolism and imagery remain.

 The next window is my favorite, He Is Risen. "When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus' body.  Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, 'Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?' but when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away."  Mark 16:1-4 Perennial lilies remind us of rebirth and renewal.  The open tomb glows with heavenly light. The rising sun lightens the sky.

     The Alpha And Omega window, the third one, has multiple symbols. The Greek letters are in royal purple.  "He said to me: 'It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.  To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.'" Revelations 21:6.
  The wheat and grapes symbolize the Eucharistic bread and wine.  "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.  Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. "  John 6:48 

   The final window is the Holy Spirit Descending As A Dove.  She is surrounded by olive branches, symbols of peace and reconciliation.  The dove is often used throughout the Bible as a symbol of hope, and as God's grace. "And the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: 'You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.' "  Luke 3:22.  The Holy Spirit is also represented in the flames above the dove's head. 

   I can't begin to describe how it feels to have these windows safely in place.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to do this work.  I am so grateful for Ed and the support he has given me throughout this project.  My hope is that it will enhance the peace and worship in this church.   

Monday, September 15, 2014

What A Ride

   What an anxious morning. Ed and I loaded the glass rack into the truck then began moving each panel to the rack.  Honestly, I was a mess the whole way over to the church. Every bump seemed like a mountain.  Every curve was ski moguls.  Only by God's grace and Ed's excellent driving did we make it without any noticeable damage.  Ed carried each panel upstairs into the sanctuary. Then we drove back home for lunch, loaded up ladders and power tools, and drove back to put in the stops.

    Ed cut the stops into appropriate lengths, leaving gaps for the rebar on the back sides of the panels. Then he used some hardwood we had (leftover walnut flooring) to make stops. The walnut is sufficiently dense that it won't shrink or deteriorate over time. The gaps will also provide space for the necessary air circulation.

    Tomorrow the windows will go up. If we break anything, that's when it will happen. I have every confidence in Ed's glazing abilities, but my stomach won't stop doing somersaults until we're all done.

     So the stage is set, the players know their parts. All we can do is do the best we can.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Clean Up, Clean Up, Everybody Clean Up

   The last panel was polished and put away today, pending installation. The stack of twelve panels in the garage doesn't look like all that much work.  Ed tied them down securely so the cats don't knock them over during the night.

   I went back into the craft room and began the clean up process. Sweep up tiny shards of glass and throw them away. Clean out the grinder. Sweep more shards. Sift through larger shards. Which ones to save as usable scrap and which ones to throw into the what-do-I-do-with-these? bucket. More sweeping, more sifting. Pull that tired old piece of sheet rock off the work table. There is still a lot of clean up to go, but I haven't seen the top of the work table in a long long time.
   Ed has the stops all sanded, primed and painted. Saturday I'll finish sorting and stowing the leftover glass. Installation begins on Monday. I'm so excited!

Monday, September 8, 2014


    Yay!  The last piece for the last panel is foiled and ready to be soldered,  This week will be soldering and cleaning this panel.  Ed will be working on preparing the wood stops for installation.

As I did for the other windows, I made a mock-up of all three panels together to get an idea of the finished window.

Next?  Installation!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

I See The Light!

  I just cut the last piece of glass for the last panel.  It looks kind of funny all by itself, but I estimated there are about 3,600 pieces in the twelve panels.

   I still have to foil this panel, solder it, polish it up and get it off the work table. But at least now I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.