The Creation of a Stained Glass Masterpiece: Part One

Step by step walkthrough of our AGoH's 2023 design.

By Master Stained Glass Artisan Leia Powell

Leia Powell, a 25-year veteran glazier and owner of Wildcat Mountain Artistry in Florence, Alabama, is creating her yearly
masterpiece specifically for Chattacon 2023. Our Artist Guest of Honor conceived of “Spirit of the Rails”, a shadowy apparition haunting the rusty railroads of Chattanooga, as a multi-layered or “layover” piece where she takes four separate creations and binds them together to give the viewer a more in-depth experience.

The sunset background will be created as a full-sized stained glass panel first, then the ghostly train made of transparent white and grey wispy glass will be a layover, soldered strategically, so when the piece is backlit, the sunset can be seen through the train. The next layer will be the details of the locomotive with wirework and more solid white piping to give it more realism. Lastly, the foreground foliage will be added as a third dimension, coming out of the window itself several inches, to give it even more depth.

Stay tuned as Leia takes us on this journey of creation, where she will send us a step-by-step update, complete with pictures, as she builds this for us.

This is a digital mock-up of what “Spirit of the Rails” will look like when complete, but you can definitely expect the finished product to be much more spectacular.

Master Stained Glass Artisan Leia Powell has been creating glass masterpieces, breaking down barriers, and rejuvenating the old world artistry for over 25 years. The first stained glass artist to be nominated for the coveted Chesley Award, Leia is also the first glass artist in history to be the sole maker of an author’s trademarked characters: Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Her three-dimensional figures and exceptionally intricate stained glass windows have won her multiple art show awards at both LibertyCon and JordanCon. Her fused glass jewelry is a testament to how glorious melting glass at 1200 degrees can be.

Leia keeps apprentices and interns on staff at her studio Wildcat Mountain Artistry in Florence, Alabama, and is determined to teach everyone she can to ensure the flame of stained glass creativity keeps burning.


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