Saturday, December 03, 2005

More ornaments and now available from Stained Glass Photography

Greatly encouraged by customers' reactions to them, we are steadily increasing the range of ornaments we are offering. Although they are not stained glass they do succeed in capturing the vibrant colours of the original windows and at less than $10 they make really great and relatively inexpensive gifts. Here is a link to our new webpage about them

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Two new press releases issued

We took a chance and issued 2 press releases - on the one hand news editors have other things on their mind around Thanksgiving time but the flip-side is that there is not so much news around so that sometimes things stand out more. Speculation is pointless, however, and the only real test will be whether someone runs an article and/or our traffic gets a bump up.

Here are the links anyway: War story with a difference


Publication of 2006 William Morris stained glass calendar

Sunday, November 20, 2005

New Calendar and Ornaments

First of all let me say that this week I finally had the opportunity to see and touch some of the items which I have been creating on CafePress - and I do not mind admitting that it was a relief.

When creating 36 calendar pages (and 3 covers) using scans from original slides it is all too easy to overlook a scratch or a stray dust-particle. Even if nothing of that type slips through there is a chance that something could go very wrong during the printing process and how can one be sure that the file I uploaded here in New Jersey will look the same in terms of colours when printed in California? There are SO MANY things that can go wrong in that whole process and yet, amazingly, when I took delivery of the first calendars on Tuesday and then on Thursday they looked exactly as they should and the colours are absolutely SPOT-ON.

I will admit that I would prefer the paper to be just a teensy bit heavier and the binding with fairly light-duty staples is not my preference but this is publishing-on-demand and we have to make some allowances. Anyone who buys one of these calendars needs to understand that they are getting something truly unusual and different. These photographs are previously unpublished other than a few prints and cards which I have had done along the way. To the best of my knowledge no-one has ever published such a detailed study of the Vanderpoel window at Trinity Episcopal Church in Saugerties as may be seen on my 2006 William Morris Wall Calendar.

The other items which I got to see and touch this week were quite a number of ornaments. I was scheduled to present a slide show at Christ Church in Riverton, New Jersey, and quite a number of members of the congregation had pre-ordered sets of 8 ornaments created from 8 of their windows. I have to say that everyone I have spoken to who has seen these ornaments likes them. OK they are not actual stained glass but the designs from stained glass windows lend themselves quite well to this form of presentation. Although the obvious use is for christmas tree decorations it is by no means the only one. At Riverton there was talk of displaying them in shadow-box frames and, in the case of patron saints, even perhaps being worn as pendants.

I will definitely consider offering some selected designs for purchase from this website with either free or reduced shipping and handling.

Beginnings of a project with the First Baptist Peddie Memorial Church in Newark

At the suggestion of Lily Hodge from the New Jersey Historical Society I made contact with the First Baptist Peddie Memorial Church (which I will from here on shorten to FBPMC, or maybe just Peddie) to see whether they might allow me to photograph their windows.

The domed building was dedicated in 1890 and is said to have the most windows by Tiffany Studios of any church in New Jersey though most are geometric designs and so it does not has the same reputation as some other churches in the state which have large figural or pastoral works.

An extensive resoration of the windows has been undertaken in recent years by Barbara Meise (Artbuilders) and when I visited last week I noticed that one of the figural panels in a 5-light set is presently absent and being worked on.

In addition to the windows there is some other interesting artwork including some wall-reliefs and some curious looking gargoyles looking down from the gallery which surrounds the main worship area.

When I visited last Wednesday I was fortunate in being able to meet the Assistant Pastor, the Reverend James S. Kang, who coincidentally shares my interest in photography and had been considering photographing the windows himself. I am hopeful that the Rev. Kang will be able to persuade the committee which deals with such matters that having me photograph them, at no cost, in return for allowing me to use the images could be a win-win situation.

Rev. Kang has written a very fine and moving article about his ministry with the homeless which I commend to anyone, particularly at this time of year when those of us who are more affluent tend to over-indulge and sometimes lose site of the plight of those less fortunate, such as the homeless of Newark. Here is a link to the article by the Rev. James Kang

At this time I know very little about the windows and have only paid them a brief visit but hopefully I will get the opportunity to learn more about them in the coming weeks.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

New Fund-Raising Opportunity

The launch of the CafePress Affiliate programme has created an interesting new fund-raising opportunity which churches and other non-profit organisations should consider.

CafePress has been in business for over 5 years and has always been a potential source of fund-raising for any organisation with the resources to upload designs and make available t-shirts, mugs, posters, cards and other gift and household items with appropriate slogans or logos or other artwork. All that the organisation needed to do was create items in the CafePress system, set prices and then persuade people to buy them. Any money in excess of the CafePress base-price would be credited to the account of the organisation and would be payable approximately 6 weeks later.

What has changed is that with the introduction of the new Affiliate Programme it is no longer necessary to create the items, it is now possible to make money by promoting and selling someone else's items. The programme is about as simple as you can get - all that an organisation (or individual) needs to do is open a CafePress account (which costs nothing), sign up for the affiliate programme (also free) and then paste a link with a special code which identifies the organisation as the referrer onto a website or into the text of emails. The organisation will then receive 20% of any sales on CafePress coming from people arriving via that link.

To give an example, supposing that a church considers it appropriate to suggest to parishoners that they might consider buying Christmas cards or ornaments from our store at CafePress then all that they need to do is join the affiliate programme and have a link placed on their website or sent out via email or even just printed in the church bulletin. If any sales result then the church would get 20% of the proceeds. The price that their members pay is just the same as if they had found CafePress by accident the difference is that CafePress (and ourselves) would be contributing a portion of our profit as a 'thankyou' for referring a customer.

If anyone wishes to find out more here is a link to CafePress.

If anyone requires help with this please contact me.

Here are some ornaments which we designed specially for Christ Episcopal Church in Riverton, New Jersey. The images are from the windows in the church:

Saturday, November 05, 2005

ANOTHER 2006 Calendar

If you love William Morris stained glass then this is the calendar for you!

These designs are from the first stained glass commission in America by the William Morris company and include original works by Edward Burne-Jones, Ford Madox Brown and Morris himself.

Also included are some details about the designs such as who created them and where else they have been used.

2006 Morris Calendar

Monday, October 03, 2005

Items for the Holidays

These past two weekends I have been very busy rearranging items in the CafePress store as well as creating and uploading many new ones.

First priority was to create a selection of Christmas cards. CafePress offers well-printed cards, on good stock, in sets of 6 and to date we have created sets using 8 designs. Each design is available with the cards blank inside and in addition there are up to 3 other versions incorporating either a text from the Bible which corresponds to the subject of the stained glass or a Christmas greeting. Time and resources permitting we will probably add to this section before the Holiday season is finished and I also plan to explore the economics and logistics of offering a wall calendar via CafePress.

In addition to adding Christmas cards we also greatly expanded the "Quotations" section and created a sub-section for each of the featured quotations. This was done partly to give them more visibility but it also means that there is a full range of items for every quotation which was not previously so.

In case you were wondering, the reason why all items are not necessarily available for every design is because groups of items require images with different sizes and aspect ratios. For example, an image which will work perfectly well on apparel may show up with white lines on either side when used for a Christmas card design. Similarly, not all designs can be adapted to work as oval Christmas ornaments. The work of resizing and uploading images to fit all of the templates is quite time-consuming but we do plan to go back and selectively add new items within the existing array of designs as well as continuing to add new designs.

CafePress have just launched an affiliate programme. What this does is to reward sites and organisations (and individuals) who refer people who end up buying product. At its simplest, if a site refers a customer to CafePress and that customer buys something CafePress will pay a referral fee of 20%.

So, why am I mentioning this? Well, first of all if anyone who reads this is from a church, a school, a choir or just about any organisation - especially non-profit - then we highly recommend that you consider joining CafePress as an affiliate. It is free and whoever updates your website can easily insert the necessary code to allow visitors to your site to get to CafePress and be identifiable as having come from you. Even if you do not have a website you can paste the code into emails below your signature and either email it specially or as a matter of routine. To get started or just find out more click on this link:


Secondly, if you visit CafePress and end up buying something from another vendor there, StainedGlassPhotography will still benefit provided that you began your journey here and so if you plan to visit CafePress and buy something we would ask you to start your journey on this site if you can remember to do so.

Also if any not-for-profit needs help getting the affiliate programme working, or if you would like us to create some custom designs just for your organisation please contact us, we may be able to help you.

I will not show individual items or designs here but I will post a link direct to OUR STORE AT CAFEPRESS where you can view the new products if you are interested.

I would also like to announce that we plan to upload more content in the coming weeks. There are some images from several locations which for various reasons I have not uploaded but plan to do so soon. Gradually our intention is to focus most of the commercial aspects on the individual sites such as MQGifts and CafePress and develop as the content site which it was originally intended to be. Of course, plans might change!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

A few items from our CafePress store

The purpose of this post is to partly direct promotion of our store but in addition the intent is that these links will give it more prominence in the major search engines.

If you are not familiar with Cafe Press it is a company which has been around for at least 5 years with a neat concept which is to enable people to create designs for items such as tee shirts (or is it t-shirts?), sweatshirts, hoodies, coffee mugs, cards, posters, mouse pads and all kinds of everyday "stuff". Items can then be ordered but on a kind of 'print-on-demand' basis with no minimum quantities.

Quite often designs are uploaded and items ordered as a one-off, perhaps for a family event or some kind of group event, either social or work-based. However, for some this has become a significant business with hundreds, if not thousands, of designs and very pro-active marketing and sales.

Quite some time ago I had seriously thought of doing something and got as far as asking my webmaster to open an account so that he could refer me and get commissions on first-year sales. However, he didn't get around to it and I got side-tracked onto other things and it didn't happen.

When I did finally bite the bullet, just under 2 months ago, I regetted not having done it sooner. It really wasn't too difficult to get started with some designs and, having created them I have a sense that the products will probably look quite good. From what I gather Cafe Press use t-shirts, sweatshirts and other garments made from good quality cottons which are said to stand up to being washed multiple times.

The great thing about using stained glass designs for these is that they are usually striking and well-drawn with clear, boldly-coloured images which stand out against a plain white background. Black would be preferable but there are seemingly problems doing these kinds of transfer prints onto black cotton. It is something which CafePress are working on but have yet to be resolved.

So, here are a few images of items which can be found in our CafePress store.

The first item is one of our St Francis of Assisi designs some of which also incorporate the Prayer of Saint Francis

St Francis t-shirt

The next is one of our "Quotations" series which incorporate stained glass designs featuring quotations such as "Nature is the Art of God", "Architecture is like frozen music" and other quotations about education, literature and life.

I will not detail every design but there is Noah who is styled here as the world's first conservationist, the Good Samaritan including the scripture reference from the Gospel of St Luke and Jesus as a carpenter with the slogan "My boss is a Jewish Carpenter". These designs are available on various kinds of t-shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, cards, posters, prints and if there is something anyone would like which is not in the system we can create it provided that it is an item that Cafe Press can supply.
Nature is the Art of God tote
stained glass and famous quotations tee shirt

To see and buy visit our CafePress store

Monday, August 22, 2005

New product offerings

Well, my earlier post proved not to be premature and we are now offering at least part of the Timothy Richards line-up of incredibly upscale models on and on our own Amazon-hosted websites and The reason why we have only launched part of the range is that it is a time-consuming process to properly describe these items and also to understand quite a lot about the architecture which they represent and the creators of that architecture.

As an example, a month ago I knew virtually nothing about Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow School. Now, because Timothy Richards has 4 models depicting details from Mackintosh works and Winged Heart have quite a number of stained glass panels featuring his designs, I have become something of an expert - at least able to hold my own in a serious discussion about his style and his work and probably not far short of being able to write a decent undergraduate essay about him! I have even reached the point where I want to see more and learn more about this very talented designer who sadly in his own lifetime did not achieve the recognition which he so richly deserved.

One of the problems with Timothy's work is that it covers the whole gamut from early Greek and Roman architecture to 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th century works. Some items have been made because of the significance of the building rather than for stylistic reasons - in this category I would include 10 Downing Street, the White House and 221B Baker Street - but others are there because of the architect or particular architectural style as in the case of the Mackintosh works, those of Gaudi and some Art Nouveau pieces.

The other task in marketing these is to figure out ways of making sure that people find them. It is no use waiting for people to keyword search "Timothy Richards" because relatively few people have heard of him or his work. The list of people and organisations who have commissioned or just purchased his work includes some VERY impressive names. High on the list is HRH the Queen but there are also a number of famous film and rock stars whose names I am unable to quote for reasons of privacy. Organisations which have commissioned works include the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society, the V&A Museum, the Royal Opera House, the Soane Museum, the Toronto Stock Exchange, Vancouver City Hall, University of Oxford, the Dorchester, the Royal Academy and many, many others.

The trick within Amazon is to 'connect' items with existing best sellers using some of the mechanisms which exist on the site. If someone is looking for books on Charles Rennie Mackintosh (or even Frank Lloyd Wright) then they should find a reference or link to one of Timothy's models and/or a stained glass panel. Even if this does not immediately result in a purchase it may sow the seeds of an idea which may bear fruit when Christmas or a birthday comes along. These are very upscale items but I was told earlier that the average household income of Amazon-customers is $200K, a number which intuitively feels a tad too high though I could believe it to be into 6 figures.

Over the coming weeks we will be adding several new lines to our sites including some Frank Lloyd Wright items and some other niche products in the broad area of gifts and home decor this space!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Pending launch of Timothy Richards superb architectural sculptures
This posting is a tad premature but what the heck!
I believe that I have secured a non-exclusive right to distribute the art of Timothy Richards. I only discovered Timothy's work quite recently and it is not always billed as 'art' but art is what it is, without a shadow of doubt.

What Timothy has been doing for close to 20 years is making the finest archirectural models imagineable. Many are what I would describe as "bread-and-butter" items which can be used as bookends but his line-up also includes some signed and numbered limited edition pieces which belong behind glass, if not also under lock and key!

What destinguishes his work from the pack? Well, first of all Timothy's items are hand-made, in his workshop and studio in Bath in England. They are made with traditional construction materials; the primary material used is gypsum plaster but architectural details are added using lead, copper, brass and other conventional building materials with hand-painted finishes and decoration where appropriate.

The end-products are simply breathtaking in both substance and detail and they are simply light-years ahead of other mass-made and/or resin molded products.

Although by far the majority of these works of art are created with functionality in mind - to act either as single or pairs of bookends - these creations can justifiably be given pride of place on any desk or table or mantle.

Whether your taste is Art Deco, Gaudi, Neo-Classical or something completely different or if you would like something related to Harvard, the White House or Number 10 Downing Street there is something here for you. Buildings featured range from the Old Club-House at St Andrews golf course to great English country houses to the V&A, National Portrait Gallery and Dorchester Hotel in London to the Toronto Stock Exchange to Vacouver City Hall and Ellis Island, gateway to America.

These are not inexpensive but an expression which I learned early in life comes to mind and that is "You get what you pay for" and never has this been more true. In actual fact I have seen cheap Chinese resin-molded products at similar prices but the difference is in the profit-margins. With Timothy's models you are paying for craftsmanship and quality, there are no great mark-ups.

At time of writing we have only created descriptions and details for 12 items but, barring unforeseen problems, we plan to add more quite quickly and would ideally like to get the entire collection online within a week or two at most.

You can see whatever we have online at

Sunday, July 17, 2005

It's a long story.......

So, what is new after all these months with no updates? Well, in case you had not heard, the makers of Glassmasters went out of business. Apparently the business suffered a serious blow back in 2002 when The Museum Company, the former owner and largest customer, became bankrupt. This was all fairly well known but what was not well known was that the business was losing money through 2003 and 2004 to the point where the owner, who was not active in the business, quite understandably drew a line and put the business into what is somewhat euphemistically called "friendly foreclosure".

The news of this situation began to break back in May but the situation was complicated and quite drawn out due to the continuance of limited production in order to use up work-in-progress and meet at least some customer needs before the facility was totally closed down.

Throughout this period a succession of potential buyers have investigated the possibility of acquiring the assets with a view to restarting the business. Having a tremendous admiration for the product line and believing it to have very significant undeveloped potential I became one of those potential buyers but sadly was unable to find the right financial partners within the limited time available. Even as I type at least one and possibly two attempts at purchasing these assets are underway.

Personally I hope that one of these succeeds because I do believe that these are very fine products. The feedback which I have had from the marketplace has been consistently positive and I strongly believe in the potential for growth. Also, from a practical business perspective, I would like to begin selling these products again.

The unexpected and unwelcome demise of Glassmasters and Stonemasters has forced us to accelerate plans to diversify across several complimentary product lines. Via Amazon and our Amazon-hosted site we have already launched a new line of stained glass which is made in the UK and we have identified a further 3 product lines which we believe fit with the "Museum Quality" brand which we have chosen for ourselves. One of these has already responded positively and we are hopeful that the others will follow. The new line of stained glass is quite different from Glassmasters in a number of respects. Firstly it is distinctly "English" in style and there are no opalescent items. Within the line the nearest to American glass are some reproductions of designs by Charles Rennie Mackintosh the Scottish architect and designer who was a contemporary of Frank Lloyd Wright. All of the pieces in the new line are hand-painted in the UK and this is said to make it easier to replicate colours but this is at the expense of colour-fastness because their process does not include the high-temperature firing which the Glassmasters one has. Whereas Glassmasters works will never fade the same is not true of these UK-made items. If you would like to see some of these then you should visit MQGifts where some have already been uploaded. We plan to add to these quite soon.

Going forwards we may decide to concentrate all sales, at least those of 3rd party products, on Amazon and MQGifts and simply use StainedGlassPhotography as the informational site it was originally created to be.

The loss of business resulting from the demise of Glassmasters has hurt and it is important that we replace it quickly. As an interim step we have even resorted to creating a few items on
CafePress in the hope of snagging some orders from the mass-market. Although we view the long-term with optimism the short-term is not without its problems and if you are even remotely tempted to buy something please do because every little will help.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Special Edition Stained Glass Roundel in Celebration of the Life of Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

Special Commemorative Roundel celebrating the life of Pope John Paul II which is being made by Glassmasters in conjunction with the US Historical Society. Regardless of faith or belief, an overwhelming number of people perceive Karol Josef Wojtyla to have been one of the greatest and most influential popes of all time. This 6 1/2" roundel can be purchased from or from StainedGlassPhotography. In either case a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Catholic Charities USA.

 Posted by Hello

Saturday, April 02, 2005

More images of the Harry Clarke windows at Bayonne

Today I uploaded a few of the images of the Harry Clarke windows from Bayonne, New Jersey. These 9 angels stand high above the altar, each carrying one of the symbols of the Mass. They comprise the first part of a project commenced less than a year before Clarke's untimely death to which he devoted much attention as it was his studio's first American commission. Due to the situation and height of the windows it is not possible to get clear shots of them without scaffolding or some other form of elevation. Click here to see them.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Henry Holiday windows at Trinity College Cambridge

Quite a few years ago I had occasion to visit my son, Robert, who was (and indeed still is) studying at Cambridge and we had the good fortune to venture into the chapel of Trinity College. I say 'good fortune' because our stay there was woefully short and there is so much to see that it was sheer luck that took us into Trinity College.

At that time I was still in the very early stages of my photographic pursuit of stained glass and in fact it was on that trip that I purchased June Osborne's "Stained Glass in England" which gave me the means of identifying some of the windows I had seen and photographed.

The windows in Trinity College are simply magnificent. On that particular visit we did not have the time to pay them the attention which they deserve and we had to cut short our time in the chapel because a choir practice was due to start but I did make a later visit with a little more time to spare.

I counted 132 full length figures going back to early Greek and Roman times, early Christianity, Kings and Queens of England, important historical figures and significant scholars with connections to Trinity College itself. The designs are the work of Henry Holiday and they are truly stunning.

June Osborne dates them 1871 but I find it hard to believe that such a significant undertaking was completed in less than a year.

Due to the nature and duration of my trip I only shot a few frames and would really like the opportunity to do a thorough and comprehensive shoot but that will have to go on my ever-lengthening 'to-do' list.

I had the negatives scanned some time ago but had not got around to posting any of the images on the website. My only real excuse has been that there are only a few and several of them depict figures whose identity I neglected to write down. However, this weekend I stumbled across something which led me to upload these few images.

I was doing some searching and happened to visit the Trinity College Cambridge website. I thought that while I was there I would see if there were any images of the windows posted online. To my amazement and disbelief I found that not only are there no images of these magnificent windows but the mention of them is limited to the following: "The coloured glass windows are Victorian" Now admittedly some of the buildings date back to the 16th century and perhaps "Victorian" was not impressive to whoever wrote the guide but I do wonder at the lack of appreciation of such a beautiful and significant set of windows by one of the greatest stained glassmakers of his time.

To at least balance the record I thought that the least I could do was to post the few images I have and I have done so in this
folder here.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

A window by Harry Clarke Studios. After careful deliberation by its Monseigner the Church of St Vincent de Paul in Bayonne, New Jersey, selected Harry Clarke's studio to undertake the making of their stained glass windows. The project was initiated by Harry himself shortly before his untimely death in 1931 and was carried out during the course of many years thereafter.  Posted by Hello

Sunday, February 06, 2005

The latest, and in my opinion greatest, lamp addition to the Glassmasters line of Tiffany lamps. This particular lamp is an authorised and approved reproduction of an original in the Charles Hosmer Museum in Florida. This gorgeous work has been well over a year in development and the attention to detail is simply incredible. Unfortunately it is not likely to be available to ship until April 2005. Posted by Hello

A very nice concept. This stand has been made by Glassmasters so that their 6 1/2" roundels (such as the Tiffany Holy Spirit pictured in the inset) can be displayed backlit by flickering candle-light. If it proves successful they plan to introduce it in other sizes to take oval and rectangular panels. Posted by Hello

Posted by Hello
One of the most beautiful Glassmasters panels I have seen. It is probably no coincidence that Hollyhock by Tiffany has been developed in conjunction with the Corning Museum of Glass and is to their exacting standards and specification.  Posted by Hello

Friday, January 28, 2005

Posted by Hello
A beautiful Glassmasters piece for Valentine's Day, 'The Kiss' by Rosetti.  Posted by Hello

Buy Glassmasters and Stonemasters products from our brand new shop!

There is a new development underway! We have been invited by Amazon to participate in a new programme where they will host an online shop for us. Initially this will be in addition to our storefront on the Amazon site itself and our own shop on

Basically what Amazon have done is to establish a platform which enables them to allow merchants to create a new presence using all of the listings and images etc, with some customisation, and utilise Amazon's commercial system so that orders and all of the financial aspects are handled by Amazon.

There is still quite a bit of work to be done in terms of arranging the items into logical categories and adding details about shipping times and costs and sales and returns policies and so on but the site is already fully functional and so if anyone decides to buy something it can be done with a couple of clicks.

Currently the shop is called RALLEY, which is the name which our presence on Amazon went by, but we also intend to use the name Museum Quality Gifts and the url will be Currently we are offering the entire ranges of Glassmasters and Stonemasters products as well as some Frameable Art Cards and some larger, matted, photographic prints. We have already established some sub-categories for easier and quicker browsing including a Frank Lloyd Wright section, a Louis Comfort Tiffany section, a Thomas Kinkade section and a number of others.

In time, hopefully sooner rather than later, we intend to add other, complimentary, product lines.

So, if you would like to take a look simply click here and why not be one of the first to christen it? At time of writing this there is still time to get an order shipped in time for Valentine's Day, but only if you are quick!

Sunday, January 23, 2005

New Listings on Amazon

This weekend I added some new Glassmasters products to my listings on Amazon. The specific products are 6 suncatchers based on works by Marjolein Bastin, a very well renowned Dutch artist. These were recently launched by Glassmasters and complement the wild bird art of James Hautman and, of course, Michael Smith's Mad Bluebird images. This link should take you to the 6 Bastin items and I will also post an image of one of them below.