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Stained Glass to Inspire and Embellish

The stained glass window in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel Window at St. Mary Magdalene was designed by Elizabeth Devereaux of Chico, CA, owner of Elizabeth Devereaux Architectural Glass. The window, installed in 2011, was commissioned by the COR committee over 10 years earlier.

Devereaux spoke to the congregation on her philosophy of stained glass art, design elements of the artwork and method of manufacturing used for the window she designed for St. Mary Magdalene.

Educated during the mid-60’s with an emphasis on art, design, religion with graduate study in Religion and the Arts and Industrial Design, she founded her studio and has been producing public stained glass art since 1969. She designs each commission with an eye to the specific site and the desires of her clients.

After studying the architecture, light sources, the interior and exterior environments of St. Mary Magdalene, she designed windows to the specification of the COR committee and reworked the design.

Specifically, she emphasized the symbolism and design elements in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel Window (phrases within quote marks are actual requests from the SMM community):

  • the half circle draws “the focus of the congregation towards the tabernacle” and links the altar to it as well
  • the stylized wheat element within the circle reminds us of the Bread of Life; the spiritual nourishment of the Eucharist.
  • The plowed and planted fields reflect the idea that “we are a country parish, a plain talking people”, that ”we are all connected to the earth” in spirituality and by the work of our hands.
  • The river or road into the mountains can simultaneously refer to the path to God or the cleansing waters of Baptism and the graces that flow continually from the Source of Life.
  • “Brilliant color so that at night it will be a beacon” from the outside when lit from the inside.
  • The color palette used includes “ the warm tawny color that relates to the tree sculptures in the Sanctuary” which will also “warm up the space during the 7 months of snow and/cloudy weather.
  • The nature of the glass itself will allow some of the shadows of the exterior landscape to show through, but will conceal traffic on the highway.

Devereaux used only the highest quality of materials and workmanship. The vast majority of the glass she uses is hand blown, flashed with layers of colors which are shaded, etched or painted and kiln-fired to her specifications. Glass is beveled by hand and she has perfected techniques by which precious metals, lusters and mirrors can be utilized to allow her windows to have “a nightlife” of their own without the use of artificial light at night. Our window will use a number of these techniques to achieve a beautiful and spiritual work of art.