Johnny Hinrichs Studio

AUTOBIOGRAPHY (1973-2002)

      I first saw someone doing stained glass in 1973 while living in the Napa Valley, where I was working in the Christian Brothers vineyards. After cutting the glass in a variety of geometric shapes and covering one side with Contact Paper he taped them together and squeezed silicone sealant into the crack between them and proceeded to build a three dimensional terrarium. I was delighted!

      In 1974 I cut my first glass and began building terrariums by using this same technique. I helped develop a small terrarium manufacturing business in southwest Wisconsin then helped move it to Woodstock, NY.

      I left the terrarium business in 1976 and returned to Wisconsin to pursue the more traditional techniques of working with glass. I developed my skills independently by the trial and error method.

      I was part owner of a craft co-op in Spring (Frank Lloyd Wright) Green called "The Hand Works" from 1978 to 1980. In 1980 to 1982 I was partners in "Main Street Memories," an antique, collectibles and stained glass store in Richland Center.

      In Spring Green I met Dennis Pearson and helped him create 26 pieces for the new Madison Civic Center in Madison, Wisconsin. We designed one together, a six foot circle of art nouveau tulips, that was a beauty. I learned a lot about different glass types and reaching for the bright and bizarre from Dennis. I worked with Dennis on and off for about 7 years.

      I returned to the University of Wisconsin in 1984 and took a hot-glass class where I learned the basics of casting and blowing glass. Toward the end of class I blew about a dozen rondels, which are glass bubbles that are worked open and then rapidly spun into flat discs, and used them in abstract panels here in Vermont. While in Vermont I've been buying my rondels at the Hot Glass Works in Jamaica, VT. and Manchester Hot Glass.

      My present work consists of a variety of styles from detailed floral pieces to landscapes to abstracts to L.C. Tiffany reproductions to three-dimensional panels. The types of glass I use includes new antique, mouth-blown, opalescent, streakies, heavy ripple and drapery glass. With the great variety of Tiffany reproduction glass now available you can find mottled glass, brilliant opalescent and confetti glass of many densities and colors to suit any inspiration. With imported glass you can find French new antique, English streakies, and German flashed (a fingernail thickness of colored glass fused onto one-eighth inch of clear glass).

      Most of my work has always been from commissions ranging from Orvis' 16 ft. x 12 ft. leaping brook trout, to a 9 ft. by 4 ft. 6 in. semicircle of day lilies and butterflies and a 38 in. by 16 in. by 14 in. tall oblong peony shade, to a 4 ft. wide dome with a 16 inch rise, to Tiffany reproduction lamp shades and kitchen cabinet panels . And you can generally find small boxes, mirrors and suncatchers in my showroom.

      I like to work closely with the person who has commissioned a window or lampshade to be sure their glass work is just what they want. After all I consider myself a creator of family heirlooms and I want them to be delighted with what we have brought into being. I thoroughly enjoy the rare person who comes to me with dimensions and says, "I have $1,200 to spend on it - go for it!," and after we've discussed style and general content they leave it entirely up to me to create and they don't see what they're getting until I deliver it or they pick it up. It brings me much satisfaction knowing I have never had a piece refused.

      Publicly my work can be seen around Manchester and the Mountains at the new Orvis Flagship Store (Rt. 7A in the village), Garlic John's Restaurant (Rt. 11/30), and the Chanticleer Restaurant in Manchester (Rt 7A north), at Mulligan's in Stratton Village, Jonathan's Table at Roaring Branch Crossing on Rt 7A in Arlington, The Ecumenical Chapel at the Southwest Vermont Medical Center in Bennington (across the hall opposite the second floor elevator doors) and for sale at various restaurants in Arlington, East Arlington, Stratton, Manchester, Peru and always at my studio/showroom in Sunderland. By appointment I can arrange for you to see some of my major works in private homes in the area.

      I've also taught high school and adult education stained glass classes. I also have complete supplies and tools for the hobbyist and professional alike.

      Stop by any day but Wednesday to look around, talk about stained glass, drop off a repair, or just visit.

Peace/prosperity,
W. J. Hinrichs



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Johnny@VermontStainedGlass.com
Studio: 802-362-2883 · Fax: 802-362-2766
P.O. Box 514 · 6350 Historic 7A · Sunderland, VT 05250

Copyright 2002-07 Johnny Hinrichs Studio