The Creation Process

What does it take to hand craft a 200-foot wall of stained glass? Take a look at the steps from creation to engaged-learning process, from ideation to installation.



Prior to physically creating a window, Holdman Studio artists collaborated with professors and students to incorporate the most meaningful representations of knowledge and history. Scholars shared insights and students conducted research that helped inspire the Holdman studio teams.


Each pane is first mapped out on a storyboard and then sent to Photoshop, where it is refined. Once the layout and images are approved by Tom Holdman and lead artist Cameron Oscarson, technical lead line drawers convert the drawings into thousands of pieces of glass, which will eventually be connected by lead borders.

Design Phase

From there, glass pickers and cutters find the ideal texture, form, and shape of glass for each individual piece of the project. The glass is cut by hand or a water jet machine before it is transferred to the glass painters, who paint the pieces with a mixture of powdered glass and liquid (primarily clove oil, as well as other oils, water, and vinegar).

Finishing Work

Assemblers solder and cement the lead lines, add a patina finish, and reinforce the glass with steel. The window is then insulated with plate glass on the outside and tempered glass on the inside, ensuring that no moisture gets inside.