Picture Window

The creative craft of stained glass is alive and well

For over 50 years, Lyn Hovey has been working with stained glass, using 13th and 14th century painting techniques to create complex and authentic works of art. From a 30-foot-tall window in a school chapel in the U.S., to a spherical steel and stained glass awning in Taiwan, his designs decorate offices, churches, schools, hospitals and homes around the world.

In 1972, Hovey opened his first studio in Boston, Massachusetts, and over 30 years later founded another one in La Antigua Guatemala.

Alongside a small team of local experts, the talented artist specializes in creating stained glass windows, illuminated mirrors and Tiffany-inspired bent glass lampshades —all created using the traditional painting and firing method.

“I don’t know of any other firm making bent glass lamps,” says Hovey. “I think it shows the skill of the Guatemalan workforce that here you find this complicated design.”

Last year, Hovey was presented with a sketch of a traditional Guatemalan huipil and challenged to execute it into a unique stained glass window for a house on the outskirts of Antigua.

“We wanted a stained glass window with a typical Guatemalan design on it, and there’s nothing more Guatemalan than textiles,” says the homeowner, Jan Theberge.

It took the artist, Corinna Wittel, just 10 minutes to sketch the design, which she originally intended to give to Theberge as a sample. However, as soon as Theberge saw it, she thought it was perfect and passed Wittel’s rough huipil draft straight onto Hovey.

“I’ve always loved stained glass windows and have had some designed for me before, but they don’t compare to Lyn’s work. The first day the window was put in I just sat in the rocking chair enjoying it—it’s beyond all expectations,” says Theberge.

Using gold to bring out the pinks and purples of the design, Hovey and his team worked two months to finish the window, which they installed in April.

“It’s so perfect that we don’t want to curtain it, we’re just going to leave it as it is. It’s beautiful and when the sun comes through it sparkles,” says Theberge.

The family is so fond of the window that they have asked Wittel to sketch another huipil design for them using a slightly different color palette, and for Lyn to transform it into another Guatemalan inspired stained glass window for their house in Antigua.

photos by Lyn Hovey

You can find more information on Hovey’s work on his website: www.lynhoveystudio.com

One comment

  • Catherine Todd

    Gorgeous! Really enjoyed the text of the story and so many beautiful photos. Marvelous to see the artisans working on the stained glass window in many different stages. Thank you!

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