Charles Z Lawrence has five stained glass windows in the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. and is considered one of the most important stained glass designers in 20th century America. Of course I was thrilled to have the chance to work with him. We began working on logistics, photographing sketches for the client and writing up a contract. Then the holidays came and we let things lie. On Christmas Day Charlies daughters posted on Facebook that Charlie was in the hospital. He had terminal cancer. By the end of the month he was in hospice. I went to see him, took the sketches and glass and we talked about the windows and how he wanted them executed. On January 1, 2019 Charlie passed into the next life.
The church asked me to make the windows after Charlie died.
It wasn't just me. Years ago i started working with a very talented colorist named Nell Roemer. I hired her at the studio I was managing at the time. She turned out to be a brilliant glass picker and most importantly, when Charlie had us fabricate windows for us she became an avid student of his ideas about glass and color. She listened. And she watched Charlie. He taught us both a lot about stained glass.
But the team was not complete. I brought in a painter I had been training to paint on glass. James Tafel Shuster. The guy can draw like nobodies business. I'm a PAFA boy and so is he. We totally get each other. I knew I could teach him how to do Charlies style.
So in March 2019 we began the journey. The end goal: Make the best windows we have ever produced in our careers. Do it for this man we loved - CZ - Charlie - Charles Ziegler Lawrence, The man who taught os so much.