When former Tennessee Lady Vols basketball coach Pat Summitt died in 2016, she was widely recognized as one of the best college basketball coaches of all time, with 1,098 wins to her credit. . Now she is honored with a series of handcrafted stained glass windows by The Glass Factory in Owensboro.
Scott Poynter, owner of The Glass Factory, said he was contacted by Mount Carmel United Methodist Church in Summitt’s hometown of Clarksville, Tennessee, about an order for seven stained glass windows to honor the late legend of the training with funds donated by his family to the church. .
“They found us on the internet, basically,” Poynter said from his studio. “They had looked at previous churches that we had done in the past, and we had a meeting.”
The project, which has been underway for about four months, is expected to be completed sometime in May.
Featuring iconic Kokomo glass in vibrant shades of blue, green, orange and red, each of the seven panels is constructed in sections, with an oval-shaped “medallion” in the center showcasing a variety of images, such as the church original as it appeared in the 1830s.
“I’m going to draw them, and they’ll go from me to a gentleman in Huntsville, Alabama who is basically a master of religious stained glass,” Poynter said. “He’ll take what I’ve drawn, apply it to glass, and it’s almost kind of a silk screen at first, detailed in black, and then your colors are painted onto the glass.”
While the window design being completed in Summitt’s memory is considered traditional, Poynter said the color choices are a bit more modern.
“They chose to use really vibrant colors, which I think is amazing,” he said. “The design is a traditional design, you have your paisley, the scroll work.”
Poynter said he used stained glass from Kokomo Opalescent Glass in Kokomo, Indiana, which was also used by stained glass master Louis Comfort Tiffany and renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
After confirming the design with the church, Poynter said he started by cutting the whole class for each of the seven windows, so that everything was cut and ready to go, before installing the pieces on a wooden frame. lead and solder everything in place.
While churches might be the first thing many associate stained glass with, Poynter said churches don’t make up the majority of his commissions.
“I get about a commission for a church about every two years,” he said. “A lot of residential, some commercial. At this point, we’re doing a lot of custom front-end entries. This is our big job. »
Poynter, who has worked with stained glass since he was 14, after his late father opened the store in 1978, said that while technology has changed the industry somewhat, he still does things the right way. Ancient.
“There are so many different things people can do when it comes to technology,” he said. “Now they can waterjet cut glass, but it’s still not done by hand.”
Poynter points to a small group of hand tools arranged on one of the overhead workstations. They include a pair of lead pliers for cutting lead, scraping pliers, a soldering iron and a small rubber mallet.
“Technology has changed, but with what I do, what has changed is the lack of original stained glass,” he said. “Every time I get something like this, I’m over the moon, because it’s my love, and it’s a lost art.”