Common Ground: GLASS
Newsletter of the International Guild of Glass Artists, Inc.
Editor: Ann W. Baxter
Fall 2005/Winter 2006
IGGA Member Spotlight
on Anna T. Croyle of Randallstown, Maryland,
whose colorful logo enhancement is now available on our new IGGA T-Shirts!
Anna had always admired stained glass artistry, with the idea that it was something a little out of her reach. She’d had no real formal art training, unless you count drawing classes at the local community college, but had been told that she possessed a creative touch.
After the birth of her son, Justus, in the spring of 1998, she decided to give up on her 17 years as an Engineering CADD designer to become a full time Mom. Then after almost 2 years of staying home with her son, her husband agreed that she needed a diversion from Motherhood! That’s when he purchased a gift certificate for Anna in a beginner’s copper-foil class at a local stained glass studio. Still unsure if this was something she could handle, Anna began her first project. Not being one who lives comfortably within “the box”, she designed a panel that ended up being 24”x18”, larger than recommended for a beginner. But it seems destiny was calling, and she took to it like a second nature, finishing TWO projects in that first 6-week class.
Shortly after taking a lead came class, Anna began working part-time for that same studio for a year and half, as their primary designer and part time artisan. When a friend opened his own studio in Baltimore, Maryland, she went to work with him as a designer and artisan for 2 years.
Through the prodding of friends and family she finally submitted a stained glass design book proposal to two publishers in September, 2004. To her surprise, Dover Publishing, Inc. picked up the idea and her first design book, Modern Designs - Stained Glass Pattern Book, hit the shelves in December, 2005.
Since then, the studio she worked with moved to Vermont and Anna began working on her own. She works out of her small studio, Patterns in Glass, located in a Baltimore suburb, specializing in leaded windows, doors and transoms. She also still does custom designs for other studios and hobbyists.
Baltimore City is well-known for its neighborhoods of row houses, and many of those homes have their address numbers displayed in a leaded glass transom. Many neighborhoods are experiencing a renovation boom, so the need for stained glass has blossomed. Renovators and home owners with missing panels want to recreate what was there when the house was built 100 years ago, while others want to put their own spin on the traditional windows. Existing panels are often in need of repair and rebuilding. Although this is not Anna’s favorite task, she has learned to appreciate that certain satisfaction gained in restoring a window to its original beauty.
Anna’s taste leans towards abstract or modern window designs, but she appreciates all styles of leaded glass. She hopes to continue growing with her art, and maybe even publish another book someday.