Customized Stained Glass Transom
Welcoming visitors to Art Shop is a gorgeous stained glass window installed in the transom above the shop door in the main entry foyer of Oxford Community Arts Center.

"As OCAC started replacing windows, I looked up at the Art Shop transom and envisioned beautiful stained glass designed by Sylvia McQueen Schibley, longtime personal friend and friend-of-the-arts," says Art Shop member Debra Bowles of ArtistryFarm.

The eleven members of Art Shop voted in favor to engage Sylvia to create a stained glass window depicting the colorful graphic in the Art Shop's logo. Sylvia not only accepted the commission, she offered to donate the completed window as well.

As Sylvia explains," As a third generation Oxonian, I grew up admiring the beautiful brick building with large, white pillars, now home of Oxford Community Arts Center. Having my stained glass transom become part of OCAC allows me to share my pride in the arts and give back to the Arts Center that gives so much to our community. I am thrilled to have my work recognized with so many other talented artists."

View the process of making the Art Shop transom below. To enquire about custom stained glass, contact Sylvia Schibley at
Artist Sylvia McQueen Schibley, front right, presents the Art Shop logo mark in stained glass to Art Shop members and OCAC executive director. 

Making of a Transom: Week 1
The pattern for the window is an adaptation of the Art Shop logo. To translate the original design to a pattern suitable for stained glass, Sylvia employs a computer generated schematic such as the one she is holding.

Making of a Transom: Week 2
Sylvia cuts glass to fit the sections of the pattern. Here she uses Spectrum Opal & clear hammered art glass in colors resembling the Art Shop logo. The curved, intricate shapes are more challenging to cut than those pieces with straight edges.

Making of a Transom: Week 3
After cutting all 83 pieces of glass to fit the Art Shop logo pattern, Sylvia grinds the edges of the glass smooth to prepare them for foiling. As in Tiffany stained glass, Sylvia wraps the edges of each glass piece in copper foil. Sylvia favors copper over lead as it is safer and cleaner than lead. The foil will later be soldered together to form the completed stained glass.   

Making of a Transom: Week 4
When foiling is complete, Sylvia prepares the glass pieces for soldering by taping them in place on the pattern. She then tack solders the seams to further prevent the glass from shifting. One by one, she brushes each individual seam with flux and fully solders it in place. Maintaining the temperature of the soldering iron is a delicate matter. Too hot and it will crack the glass or melt through the window, too cool and it won't melt the solder.

Making of a Transom: Week 5
To complete the stained glass window, Sylvia applies a patina to the soldered seams. She brushes on the patina, avoiding contact with the glass, until the desired finish is obtained. After wiping away the excess patina, she uses a finishing compound to polish the seams, protect against tarnish, and clean & wax the glass to a brilliant shine.