Dearborn County Circuit Court Stained Glass Window
I participated in SummerFair (Cincinnati’s largest art festival) last year and met Jim Humphrey. I came to find out he is the circuit court judge at the Dearborn County Courthouse.
He inquired about having a stained glass window made for his courtroom, as a contribution for all the great years he had there.
When I first went to the courthouse to determine sizing and space requirements, I was lucky enough to be allowed in the courtroom and see an amazing set of stained glass windows that had been installed over the previous 80 years. Each circuit court judge had donated the window during their tenure and Mr. Humphrey was looking to do the same.
I was fortunate enough to be the stained glass artist chosen by Mr. Humphrey and his wife Heidi to make an additional window for the courtroom. Although all the large window space had been taken by previously made stained glass windows, there was a large open space above the entrance from the lobby into the circuit courtroom. This is where it was decided my stained glass window would go.
When it came to the design, Jim left it up to Heidi. She was a huge help in coordinating the design for the window, and she really wanted the glass I chose to resemble the glass in the other windows. She also wanted a similar theme in the border structure, with the words ‘Circuit Court” in the middle.
Finding the glass was not that difficult, as I recognized 3 of the 4 types looked very similar to some Kokomo glass I had worked with before. Using the glass was another story. Overall it was a very challenging window because of the difficulties working with these types of glass, and I would definitely design it a little differently next time. The glass was much thinner than what I was used to working with, and the red, although stunning and eye-catching, was incredibly hard to cut into long skinny pieces because of its extreme texture patterns.
When we installed the window on January 12th, Jim and Heidi went above and beyond to make me feel like I was as much a part of the contribution as they themselves were. He planned a ceremony of sorts for the window to be revealed, and it couldn’t have gone better. Many of his colleagues and fellow employees at the courthouse were invited to the ceremony. He prepared a beautiful speech honoring the role of his family and colleagues in the success of his tenure as circuit court judge, and mentioned he was retiring at the end of the year. He also mentioned some details about the stained glass window commission, which was really cool. There was even an announcement on the local radio station about it. We had an official “reveal” after his speech, where I pulled a cover off to show the window in the space with ample light for the first time.
I am incredibly honored to have my creation be a permanent part of their courthouse and can’t wait to see what doors this may open. Thanks again to Jim, Heidi, and all the people who participated in the ceremony and helped this project come into fruition.