Jim Piercey graduated with a BS in Biology/Chemistry many years ago, then taught at various junior high and high schools in Georgia, Tennessee and Florida. His goal was to bring his grade point average up high enough to be able to apply to medical school. He worked very hard and after many hours of graduate-level courses, almost all of them earning “A’s”, he showed his step-father’s golfing buddy (a doctor who happened to be on the teaching staff and entrance committee to a medical school) his college and postgraduate transcripts. When the doctor stopped laughing, Jim decided that another career path might be in the works.
During that time (1970), Jim had married Mary. Within about 3 weeks of the marriage, Jim was in the Memphis (TN) Public Library and found a book, written in 1933 in England, about stained glass. He was hooked. He started stained glass as a hobby, a hobby that grew. Of course, almost everyone in his family received stained glass for Christmas, for years! He also started doing glass for his fellow teachers, some of whom were actually willing to pay for it. Coincidentally, the Earth Shoe opened a store in one of Orlando’s malls. Jim was asked to design and fabricate its logo as signage. It was a successful project so Jim, not wanting to teach for the rest of his life, thought, “ummm… maybe there is a future in stained glass?”
In 1980, in the middle of the teaching year, Jim saw an announcement about a design class by world-famous German designer, Ludwig Schaffrath. In order to take the two-week class, Jim would have to resign from his teaching position. He did, and didn’t look back.
Jim took the class in 1981, then again in 1982. In 1984 he took a similar class from Johannes Schreiter, another world-famous German artist. Then in 1988, he was an assistant to Schaffrath, at Pilchuck Glass School.
He opened his studio after the first Schaffrath class, and due to a lot of hard work, and a tremendous amount of luck, his studio has remained very viable to date. In 1992, J. Piercey Studios, applied, and was accepted to become an Accredited Member of the Stained Glass Association of America.
Over the years, J. Piercey Studios has completed commissions ranging from California and Alaska, to Saudi Arabia.
We have been very fortunate to have worked with some very talented artists, but for the most part, all of our design work in done in-house. Practically all fabrication is in-house. And almost all installations are done by us.