There are people that know more about stained glass than I do. I am not a museum curator, rather an Antiques Dealer. What I do know a lot about is the art-and-science of helping homeowners locate and incorporate stained glass in their homes. Actually, I have helped customers install stained glass in renovated barns, old doors, metal gates, cute outhouses, and even tree houses in addition to the traditional and customary placements.
So I am an “experienced expert” in creative utilization of this artistic medium. I will share some of what I know without being pretentious or faking credentials.
And perhaps just as important is the fact that you can trust me! I’ve helped homeowners, and sellers, from right here in Chapel Hill, Pittsboro, Raleigh, and Durham, to Asheville, Wilmington, Fayetteville…pretty much everywhere in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.
To begin with, I do not create nor restore stained glass. I refer customers to skilled folks who can. I collect stained glass and sell it to discriminating customers. I am not a particularly “high-end” stained glass dealer. Neither my taste nor my returning customers’ pocket books warrant trading in the upper echelons of this branch of antiqueland.
(Believe it or not, the best place to find high quality, expensive glass is via the world wide web buying sites…).
When folks arrive at The Last Unicorn’s five-acre “iron farm” and inquire about stained glass, I point them in the right direction (The Stained Glass Barn) and leave them alone for awhile. Veteran antique dealers know that the most important aspect of this entrepreneurial business is to trust the customer’s taste. It is not the role of the host (dealer) to determine taste. That is the job of the patron!
Nor is it the proper role of the antiques dealer to over-educate the customer. A major portion of the antique dealer’s role is to skillfully listen to the customer and lightly interview them regarding their plan or purpose for the stained glass acquisition.
If the stained glass is to be placed in an outside window, then the customer (or their builder or carpenter) need to know how to create a vapor barrier to provide protection and insulation rating. For example, if a plate of plexiglass is to be applied to the exterior frame (as installed in almost all churches with stained glass windows), the screws need to be one size smaller than the drilled hole to allow for expansion.
Also, someone needs to know that a single drill hole (1/16in) needs to be placed in the plexiglass (at an angle) to allow moisture to escape. Obviously this information is superfluous if the glass is to be placed in an inside wall or room divider…..
Again, information is not helpful if it is not applicable to the circumstances as presented by the customer. Showing off with too much information is for amateurs, politicians, and grandparents. Just remember…stained glass is a blast! (And I can help you with the details.)