1714 Acme Street
J. Piercey Studios, located in Orlando, Florida, is a small, but aggressive glass studio specializing in new, contemporary/architectural/not-so-architectural stained and leaded glass windows used in religious, educational, corporate, health -care institutions, etc. We work in other media as well including, glass and stone mosaics, sculpture, fused glass, and quite a few other things.
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.
Our primary focus is the design and fabrication of new stained glass windows and glass and stone mosaics. We do some stained glass restoration. We are currently working on a major mosaic replacement. A new and exciting direction for us is fused glass used as a window. Other items include sculpture, liturgical design and fabrication of devotional items; tabernacles, and many other things.
Of course, most of our work is found in the southeast US. However, if the project is interesting enough, and a committee/owner/designer/architect/ dealer, likes our work, we are certainly willing to travel. We have no preferred or set territory – if you like our work enough to consider us for your project, then we are certainly willing to travel.
- Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (BNSIC), Washington, DC.
A 5’ x 12” Byzantine style Venetian glass mosaic, “The Weeping Lady” designed by us and fabricated by our associates in Italy for Missionaries of LaSalette. By far our most prestigious location. 2001
- St. Patrick Catholic Church, Louisville, KY
This is a large stained glass commission featuring several large and many smaller windows. The project started in 2006 and is ongoing. Working with this church is an example of how a stained glass project can develop. Initially, we were engaged to design all of the windows in the church designated by the committee to receive stained glass. Then, as funds became available, the fabrication of individual windows occurred. 2006 - ?
- Queen of Peace Catholic Church, Gainesville, FL
Again, this is a good example of a glass design strategy. Design, or at least plan all of the windows that will receive stained glass – perhaps do the main one for dedication, then complete the PLAN as funds become available. For this church we have done stained glass, mosaics, altar, tabernacle, ambry, fonts, and most of the sanctuary furniture (in granite).
- St Michael’s Episcopal Church, Orlando, FL
A favorite of ours, it is situated between my home and the studio. This makes it a convenient location to take visitors. It has one very large faceted glass window, a number of smaller stained glass windows done in a contemporary/figurative style. Our last project there was a 14’ x 20’ rose window done in a purely gothic style – definitely one of my favorite styles.
- Everything else!
This sounds trite but let me explain – life is just too short to make a living doing something you just don’t absolutely love doing. 95% of our projects fall into this category (the remainder were things we felt we were just obligated to do for various, and some unknown, reasons). We do not especially like marketing, but from there on everything is great; meeting with committees to discuss the possibilities of what we can do as a studio to help them make their space more beautiful and meaningful; working with them to develop design ideas; the actual designing itself; then, every phase of fabrication and yes, even installations to us are rewarding (well, some are not so much fun as they are just fulfilling). For most projects, taking down the scaffolding to reveal what we just spent months and months fabricating, is one of our most exciting times. Life is just too short to spend time doing something that is not fun!
It took us a couple of years, but we finally completed, on schedule I might add, the repair/partial restoration of a very large number of 120 yr. old windows for the new convent for the Sisters of St. Thomas Aquinas, in Brooksville, FL. Part of this project includes 85 panels (very traditional style) done by Mayer Studios in Munich Germany, considered by many to be one of the pinnacles of all stained glass studios. As soon as this project was finished, we began fabricating, then installing a 24” x 25”, very contemporary, window for St. Patrick Catholic Church in Louisville, KY. And, in addition, we along with the artist Tim Jaeger, complete 354 fused glass panels (42 windows in total) for the chapel at Berkeley Preparatory School, Tampa, FL. Every exterior window in the chapel is filled with fused glass - there is no lead involved at all in this project except some that might be incorporated into the glass itself. As far as we know, this is the largest project of its kind in the US.
OTHER AFFILIATIONS, DESIGNATIONS, SPECIAL CERTIFICATIONS
Anyone who has been in the same business for almost 40 years should have a long list of these. Yes, I have been on boards and committees, studied and worked with important artists, won awards, been published, been on TV. Most all of us have. My greatest achievements however are:
- that I have been married to the same lady for almost 50 years
- I am on the Board of Directors of the Stained Glass Association of America.
- I have been entrusted by many, many clients in providing work that will affect the lives, in a meaningful and peaceful way, even if only for a short time, of literally thousands of people that view it. Most of that work will last a lot longer than I will, so I have been privileged to provide very long lasting gifts.