Crafting a Stained Glass Masterpiece for the Battle Creek TabernacleMartin Faith
At Fort Collins Stained Glass, we recently had the privilege of undertaking a truly exceptional project. Our mission was to create a magnificent stained glass window for the historic Battle Creek Tabernacle.
Creating Stained Glass for a Historic Church
This project was not just about crafting a beautiful piece of art; it was about preserving history, overcoming structural challenges, and breathing life into a new chapter of this remarkable church’s legacy.
A Historical Treasure
The Battle Creek Tabernacle, situated in the heart of Battle Creek, Michigan, has a rich history dating back to its inception in 1852. This iconic landmark has played an integral role in the spiritual journey of countless individuals. For over a century, it has been a testament to unwavering faith and community.
When we embarked on this project, we understood the paramount importance of respecting the church’s historical significance. It was clear from the outset that this window had to harmonize with the Tabernacle’s timeless architecture. We couldn’t simply cut a hole in the wall to insert a new window. It would have compromised the integrity of a structure that had stood for nearly a century. The congregation wished to ensure that the church’s existing materials remained untouched.
Addressing Structural Challenges
The sheer scale of the project posed unique structural challenges. To fill the vast space on the church’s interior wall, the stained glass needed to be several feet tall and wide. With an estimated weight of 1,000 pounds, mounting it 40 feet above the ground presented a formidable task. Our solution was to divide the window into ten individually framed panels, allowing us to install them one at a time.
Our collaboration with structural engineers helped ensure the integrity of the project. We meticulously crafted a custom metal frame designed to hold the ten panels securely in place. The frame blended seamlessly with the existing stained glass windows, matching their color and elegance.
A Design of Timeless Beauty
The design of the stained glass window was a critical element of this project. The church selected “The Rescue,” a composition by renowned artist Nathan Greene. Our skilled artisans undertook the delicate task of translating this masterpiece onto stained glass, paying close attention to color and how it would interact with natural light. The meticulous process resulted in a stunning palette that enriched the original painting’s hues.
Before our stained glass could be placed in the frame and mounted on the wall, we needed to introduce the magical element of light. The goal was to create an effect that mimicked sunlight streaming through the glass. To achieve this, we designed a system using ten low-voltage LED panels. These panels, with an impressive lifespan of 100,000 hours, guaranteed a radiant glow for years to come.
Our collaboration with an onsite electrician was pivotal in ensuring the wiring was discreetly hidden. The electrician devised a clever solution, drilling a hole through the wall and connecting the wires to the lights. A conduit was run around the exterior of the building and into the control room, preserving the seamless aesthetic within the church.
A Monumental Installation
With the lighting system and metal framing in place, all that remained was to install the stained glass panels. At our studio, we carefully prepared the panels for transportation to the Battle Creek Tabernacle. Once they arrived at their destination, our team expertly assembled them into the custom-made metal frame, securing each panel one by one.
A Radiant Masterpiece
The completed project left the church community elated. The once-vacant wall had been transformed into a radiant masterpiece, a testament to the faith, artistry, and history that define the Battle Creek Tabernacle. We are deeply honored that the church entrusted us with this extraordinary project, which will undoubtedly shine as a magnificent addition to its storied legacy.
This endeavor was more than a creative journey; it was a dedicated commitment to preserving history, overcoming structural challenges, and infusing beauty into every detail. At Fort Collins Stained Glass, we are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of this transformative project. It’s a testament to what can be achieved when tradition, artistry, and faith intertwine to create something truly extraordinary.
If you’re considering a stained glass project that balances historical preservation and artistic excellence, we would be honored to help bring your vision to life. Contact Fort Collins Stained Glass today to embark on your own journey of creative transformation.