Kansas City Stained Glass Partners with the Battle Creek TabernacleMartin Faith
Stained glass has long been a cherished art form, renowned for its ability to blend history, artistry, and faith into mesmerizing masterpieces. In 2023, Kansas City Stained Glass, in collaboration with the Battle Creek Tabernacle, undertook an ambitious project to create a stunning 162-square-foot stained glass window for the church. Below, we’ve described the process in detail.
Creating Stained Glass for a Historic Church
This undertaking transcended mere creativity; it evolved into a remarkable journey through time, where art and history harmoniously converged to craft a radiant masterpiece. The decision to enhance the church’s stained glass collection was motivated by a desire to embrace tradition while embracing the potential for modern beauty. The church’s rich history and reverence for its heritage served as the foundation for this creative endeavor. By choosing to expand their stained glass artistry, the Battle Creek Tabernacle sought to infuse their sacred space with both timeless elegance and contemporary inspiration, ensuring that the light of their faith continues to shine brightly for generations to come.
Inspiration and Artwork Selection
Every great project begins with inspiration. For the Battle Creek Tabernacle, this inspiration came from the deep well of faith and a desire to adorn their church with a meaningful work of art. The first step was to select the artwork that would grace the stained glass. The church opted for “The Rescue,” a stirring composition by renowned painter Nathan Greene. This choice set the tone for the entire project, infusing it with the essence of faith and salvation.
Artistic Translation and Design
Translating a two-dimensional painting into three-dimensional stained glass is a complex task. Our artists meticulously recreated the nuanced imagery and colors from the original painting. Given that the original artwork was watercolor on canvas, our artists paid special attention to how the colors would appear on glass with light streaming through. Each hue was carefully recalibrated to create a deeper, more saturated palette, ensuring the artwork’s spiritual depth would shine through.
Custom Metal Framing and Steel Plates
The sheer scale of this project presented unique structural challenges. The stained glass needed to be several feet tall and wide to fill the designated space. To evenly distribute the weight and ensure the installation’s safety, the stained glass was divided into ten individually framed panels. A custom metal frame was created to hold these panels in place. Structural calculations were meticulously performed, and a color-matching metal frame was fabricated to complement the existing stained glass windows.
Steel plates were an essential component of the installation process. Holes were drilled through the wall to add eight-inch steel plates to the exterior. These plates held the metal frame securely in place. A 60-foot extendable lift was employed to install the steel plates, ensuring they seamlessly blended with the building’s exterior.
Backlit Lighting System
Creating the illusion of natural light streaming through the stained glass was a pivotal aspect of this project. To achieve this effect, a backlit lighting system was meticulously designed. Ten low-voltage LED panels were wired together to ensure a soft and uniform glow. This approach allowed for individual panel replacement if necessary, ensuring the artwork’s longevity. The LEDs are designed to last 100,000 hours, providing years of uninterrupted illumination.
The wiring for this system posed a unique challenge: it needed to remain hidden within the church’s interior. An on-site electrician devised a clever solution. They drilled a hole through the wall to connect the wires to the lights and ran a conduit around the outside of the building into the control room. This concealed wiring created a seamless, immaculate aesthetic.
With the lighting and metal framing in place, the final phase was the installation of the stained glass. The panels were carefully packaged and transported to the church. Our dedicated team worked diligently to install each panel, one at a time, ensuring a flawless assembly.
The Glorious Outcome
Upon completion, the Battle Creek Tabernacle was elated with the results. Their once-blank wall had been transformed into a radiant work of art, embodying the essence of faith and salvation. The intricate details and stunning artistry of the design were unveiled in all their glory, captivating the hearts of the congregation.
This project was more than a stained glass installation; it was a testament to the enduring power of faith and art to uplift and inspire. The Battle Creek Tabernacle’s new stained glass window will stand as a magnificent addition to their storied legacy, a beacon of light for generations to come.
The journey of creating this masterpiece serves as a reminder that when faith, art, and craftsmanship come together, the result is nothing short of magnificent.