Judson Studios’ Resurrection Window, the largest single composition fused glass window in the world, was dedicated in April, 2017. Created for the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, the groundbreaking work measures a mammoth 37 feet tall by 93 feet wide. For the ambitious project, Judson Studios collaborated with world-renowned artist Narcissus Quagliata to bring Judson designer Tim Carey’s vision to life. This represents the first time a notable liturgical window was created entirely from fused glass.
Chosen for the Resurrection Window project via a worldwide selection process, Judson Studios designed, fabricated, and installed 161 panels each measuring 4 feet wide by 5 feet tall. Located above the sanctuary chancel and choir loft, the spectacular 3,404 square feet of glass is comprised of approximately 6,000 individual pieces of painted, fused, and glazed glass. Though protected from the elements by a glass curtain wall, the colossal expanse of art glass is visible at night from miles away.
To accomplish the daunting task of producing this first ever fused window wall, Judson Studios expanded from their workspace in nearby Highland Park to a new addition in South Pasadena. More than 5,000 square feet of modern factory and kiln capabilities enabled the studio, with Quagliata’s assistance, to complete their most challenging commission to date.
The dramatic centerpiece of a $93-million capital improvement plan, the Resurrection Window serves as a beacon on the church’s 76-acre Leawood campus. Designed by Minneapolis-based HGA Architects and Engineers and Gould Evans of Kansas City, the new sanctuary changed the local landscape with its seven stainless steel-clad exterior panels. These "sails" rise more than 104 feet above ground and represent each day of creation, the wholeness of life, and the seven days of Holy Week. In harmony, Judson’s Resurrection Window tells the biblical story from Genesis through Revelation.
Our conversation begins with president of Judson Studios, David Judson. Next we’ll hear from designer Tim Carey, then Narcissus Quagliata about each of their roles and experience in the creation of the Resurrection Window.
Robert Mickelsen’s second act in glass not only pays homage to his early career in flameworking, but couldn’t have happened without it. The artist gracefully transitioned from sculptural to functional glass, promoting his artwork to an entirely new fan base and resulting in the most successful years of his career.
Born in 1951 in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Mickelsen apprenticed with a professional lampworker for two years in the mid ‘70s, then sold his own designs at outdoor craft fairs for 10 years. In 1987 he took a class from Paul Stankard that opened his eyes to the possibilities of his medium.
Mickelsen stopped doing craft shows in 1989 and began marketing his work through fine galleries and exhibitions in high profile shows nationwide. His work can be found in many prominent collections including the Renwick Gallery of American Crafts at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.; the Corning Museum of Glass, Corning New York; and The Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo Ohio.
Beginning in the mid 1990s, Mickelsen taught flameworking at major glass schools including the Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood Washington; Penland School of Crafts, Bakersville, North Carolina; and The Studio at the Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, New York. He has published numerous technical and historical articles on flameworked glass and served for six years on the board of directors of the Glass Art Society as treasurer and vice-president.
June 19 - 23, 2017, Mickelsen will co teach with Jared Betty the first flameworking workshop at Pratt Fine Arts in Seattle, Washington, to include pipe making as part of the curriculum. From July 17 – 21, 2017 Mickelsen returns for his ninth year in a row to Pittsburgh Glass Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to teach the creation of organic forms made from bubbles of borosilicate glass. He also teaches private workshops at his home studio in Ocala, Florida.