We are excited to announce the completion of this 6 year project. Congratulations to artist Bruce Buchanan for all of your hard work and the descriptions below. Henninger's owes a special thanks to Helmut Naunheimer and Rev. Charles Klinger of St. Paul the Apostle. Fr. Charlie and Helmut have been wonderful to work with. Their vision and dedication made this project possible.
In June 2010, the church of Saint Paul the Apostle in Westerville, Ohio, celebrated the dedication of its new building. About a year earlier, the artists and craftsmen of Cleveland-based Henningers Inc started work on what would eventually be 164 new and refurbished stained glass windows for the new building. Now, years later, the last of these windows are finally being installed, the end of a long and complicated process.
|Working on a window of Our Lady of Mt Carmel|
|The finished product, along with St Sebastian|
Saint Paul purchased stained glass windows, all between 70 to 100 years old, from three separate closed churches. One set had incredibly colorful geometric patterns and dozens of medallions of saints and religious symbols, another group had large narrative scenes of the New and Old Testament, with ornate painted scrollwork borders. The third set had large round windows with scenes from the life of Christ. All of the windows were beautiful in their own way, but markedly different in style; the challenge would be to synthesize the windows into a cohesive overall scheme.
A decorative zig-zag border pattern was pulled from the geometric windows, then copied and used in
Given that the windows were so old, they all benefited from being taken apart, cleaned, and rebuilt with new lead, a typical procedure with older, time-worn stained glass panels. Once apart, they could be re-arranged to the new specifications. Some parts, like the geometric knot patterns and the painted scenes were rebuilt exactly as they had been. Other decorative painted pieces were too good not to re-purpose and incorporate wherever possible. New glass borders and backgrounds were cut to frame the painted scenes and medallions.
There were dozens of windows to re-arrange and fit into the new church’s design scheme, but one could hardly expect the found treasures to meet all of the needs of the new church. There were Saints and symbols that would need to be made from scratch to match the old glass. In the end, two dozen new medallions were painted to complete the clerestory, confessionals, and shrines. A series of 40 new standing-figure Saint windows were created to line the ambulatory around the perimeter of the church. Working with the parish and the donors to design the medallions and Saint windows was an incredible learning process, which gave us the opportunity to research lesser known Saints and learn more about the ones we thought we knew.
|St Charles Borromeo|
|Preparatory work for a window of St Damian of Molokai, and the final product.|
Over the course of the years, it has been satisfying to see Saint Paul the Apostle Church slowly filled with stained glass. Bit by bit, window by window, patron by patron, the place has been transformed. It will be satisfying to install the last of the remaining windows, but the biggest change came last December when the final windows in the sanctuary itself were installed. The natural light in the church was forever changed. The outside world was obscured, and the sacred space inside felt different, becoming quieter and more serene. Old stained glass windows that had watched over worshipers for 100 years were once again doing their work.