Stained Glass/ Copper Enamel Doors for Grunewald Guild

©2010 Kristen Gilje with Joe Hester, Window I for Guild Doors. Stained glass 55×25 inches

A big project has been brewing for quite a while now at the Grunewald Guild near Leavenworth WA. We’ve been collaborating on designing and building new entryway doors for our main building, the Centrum, to make it a more welcoming space. I was asked to design some stained glass “windows” which friend and stained glass artist Joe Hester somehow turned into a much bigger “entry doorway” project!

©2010 Kristen Gilje with Joe Hester,  Window II for Guild Doors. Stained glass, 55×25

Here’s the second window.These two will of course be side to side.

Joe Hester, stained glass person, put the windows together, etching  some of the glass with a labyrinth pattern, and painting on other parts to help simulate a butterfly wing.

Grunewald Guild commissioned Andrew Campbell, a woodworker from Plain WA, to make double wooden doors which will hold the windows.

Now you might think that these doors would be special enough but Joe decided to get enamelist Jean Tudor involved. She helped Joe develop enameled copper sheathing for the door! Following you will see all the color samples. Joe and I chose the enamel colors together, with the idea of extending the butterfly design out onto the copper sheathing over the wooden doors.

Joe with enamel colors

Joe is holding the butterfly that originally inspired my design. Below you can see my smaller schematic drawing of the butterfly design, and the larger drawing Joe did on big paper that served as a pattern for the stained glass cutting.

Scene from the glass studio
Schematic, large drawing, enamel colors, copper enamel sample

Pretty complicated, eh? Can you see the penciled outline of the wooden doors in the small drawing? And the two ovals that define the glass? So you see the design spills out onto the wooden doors.  There in front on the table you see one finished piece of copper enameling that will sheath the door.

Powdered enamel colors

Here’s a peak into the enameling process.

The enamel is applied as a powder onto copper pieces, then heated in a kiln to fuse the enamel onto the copper. It’s a big project, and Joe had lots of people helping.

And below you can see the finished copper pieces that will go onto the wooden door. The center part of the door, where the two doors meet, will hold the body of the butterfly.

Copper Enamel Pieces for Grunewald Doors



Joe has worked very hard to bring this project and all its pieces together. But now Joe is dealing with severe health problems and the project is on hold. I do believe all the pieces are there… literally. It may be that others of us will have to assemble them, to finish the beautiful gift Joe has made for the Grunewald Guild.







Here’s my original silk painting from the series “Metamorphosis” that inspired the door design. The series uses local butterflies representing change, labyrinths for the spiritual journey, and Celtic knots denoting the interconnectedness all. So this becomes the theme for the Grunewald Guild Entryway Doors.

©2010 Kristen Gilje “West Coast Lady Becoming II,”  28×22 inches, hand-painted silk. 

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