Self Portrait by Scotty Giffen
How was it that you started working with stained glass?
The year was 1979, I took a weekend Workshop Class in `Stained Glass', taught by Karen Krupa at our local Community College. We started by designing something on the Saturday morning then moving onto cutting glass and leading our little panel by Sunday afternoon. I was hooked, for the next 30 years I've been creating my version of Stained Glass. And teaching, sharing my love of this medium.
Where does the inspiration for designs/ work come from?
I've worked as a Professional Artist for 25 years or so, upon being hit by the Stained Glass bug, I returned to school (both College and University) to study Art and Design for 4 years.
While attending school I started my apprentiship with stained glass at a local stained glass company `Edwards Glass` London, Ontario, Canada. After 6 years of doing, learning every aspect of glass work, I left and opened my own Glass Studio. Work comes from commissions, either as a Memorial Church window, or a private residential piece. I respond to each of these commissions by looking at where the window will be installed, and finding out from the client what the idea's or wishes are. I supply small sketches until we arrive at something that works. Then I draw the design to full size. In my own art work, my inspiration comes from where I'm at ! What interest's me, what's exciting me at this time, what am I thinking about, reading, researching? etc. Lately its been about `Energy within us' and how to express this in a Painting using Glass or Canvas.
Who influenced you the most, or helped you along the way?
The Thousand Year History of Stained Glass (book). In the beginning of my learning about Stained Glass, I joined AISG. They, at the time offered courses with Masters of Stained Glass. I took everone I could afford. That introduced me to the Ideas and Techniques of Paul Marioni, Patrick Reytiens, Robert Jekyll. Of course, he was the founder and inspiration of AISG. I also took class's and Workshop's with Narcissus Quagliata, Richard Millard, Kenneth Von Roen, Lutz Haufchild. Peter McGrain, to `name` only a few of the best ones.
When have you ever been frustrated/ disappointed with the material?
I have never been frustrated by the medium. Working with Glass and fellow lovers of the Stained Glass Medium has been a thrilling adventure, full of challenges. It's taken me places I once only dreamed of.
What is your favorite glass and why? How did you use it?
Antique Glass, Flashed or Handmade Glass because it is quality glass. Someone created the glass by eye, hand and experience. It's `not` the same old piece produced by machines.
You can see it and experience it in everything I've ever created. I especially enjoy flashed glass because of the different effects that can be produced.
Thank You ! Scotty Giffen. September 2009.
See more of Scotty's work in the Members Gallery - Thank you Scotty.