Nicholas Parrendo’s Labor of Love
“Stained glass is put together with lead, and lead is flexible to allow the glass to contract and expand. If you want to live a long life, you’ve got to be flexible.”
Artist and owner of Hunt Stained Glass Studios in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Nicholas Parrendo spent his career in service to the studio and the multitudes of churches and synagogues for which he designed and fabricated or restored stained glass windows. His absolute reverence for the craft he undertook as young man is evident in his artwork as well as the many related endeavors he participated in throughout his career that spanned more than six decades.
Parrendo exhibited work for and is a member of both the American Glass Guild (AGG) and the Stained Glass Association of America (SGAA). He was presented with both organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award – SGAA’s in 1999 and AGG’s in 2009. As a senior advisor for the AGG, Parrendo participated in the organization’s conferences and exhibitions. In 2012, when AGG’s conference was held in Pittsburgh, Parrendo hosted an intensive painting workshop at his studio.
He delighted in presenting slide shows and lectures for various organizations and schools, taking the opportunity to encourage others to share in his passion for stained glass. He was a guest lecturer at several SGAA summer conferences as well as a master instructor of stained glass for the Life Long Learning Program of Carnegie Mellon University. He taught at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; the Pioneer Crafts Council, Farmington, Pennsylvania; and at St. Michael’s Institute on Enders Island, Mystic, Connecticut.
Parrendo passed away February 11, 2016. He worked six days a week into his 80s, starting every morning at his church, St. Cyril of Alexandria on Brighton Road, attending morning Mass, doing readings, and leading hymns.
"I think my father possesses more than talent when it comes to stained glass. It’s more like a special gift," says daughter, Celeste Parrendo. “He has such a passionate love for what he does.”