The Journey To Stained Glass
Creative expression has always been important to me from an early age. In fact, my mom tells a story about me nibbling grilled cheese sandwiches and toast into recognizable 2-dimensional art while happily ensconced in my high chair. Since then, I’ve explored many creative venues, from music to dance to art, and experimented in many mediums including pottery, painting, silversmithing, and even blacksmithing but my true passion lies with stained glass. My first introduction to the art of stained glass was while I was on an eighth grade school field trip to Washington, DC. I was literally stopped in my tracks by a stained glass window with a piece of moon rock in it, located in the National Cathedral. I knew from that moment that stained glass was my medium. Ever since that time I’ve devoted myself to learning and practicing the art of stained glass.
I studied Fine Arts at Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire, and also at the American University in London, England. My main focus throughout my university education was in the art of stained glass and I dedicated much of my time to assisting my professors in the campus studios. During my time at Franklin Pierce, I worked as an underling/minion for Thomas Meyers at his fine art glass studio in Antrim, New Hampshire.
After college, I moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where I worked for many years as a stained glass artist, designer, and painter. My early employment was spent with an established stained glass studio. There I worked on everything from restoring old church windows to making new windows, repairing stained glass lamps, and many other projects. After a few years I was offered a position with a different firm to work on high profile jobs including the restoration of many Tiffany windows, Heaton, Butler and Bayne windows, Rudy Brothers windows, and several other windows of historic significance.
M. Sotherden Art Glass
After several years of restoration work I was downsized in the recession of 2004 and I decided that I had what it took to open my own studio. My years of work provided me with the experience and confidence I needed to produce a broad spectrum of design, ranging from jewelry and other small gifts to large windows for both residential and liturgical clients.
Since stained glass is a medium that remains a bit mysterious to most folks, I make a concentrated effort to educate others on the value of quality craftsmanship. One of my studio's other foundational values is a strong belief in human rights and paying it forward, and I use some of the income from my full time glass art job to donate to organizations like RESCU, The Trevor Project, and local food shelters. And I wouldn't be able to do any of this without you, my fabulous customers!
You can reach me by email at MSotherdenArtGlass@gmail.com or by phone at 724.452.7932 If emailing, please put something relevant in the subject line so I know it's not spam! Snail mail address: M. Sotherden Art Glass, PO Box 26044, Trotwood, OH 45426