Rockford business scores big at prestigious art glass festival


The 19th annual Delphi Art Glass Festival, held recently in Lansing at Delphi’s warehouse and sales showroom, found Rockford’s Eric Brown’s Stained Glass Studio well represented. Of the 31 awards in 11 categories of stained glass creativity, Eric Brown and three of his Rockford students and one customer from Cadillac walked off with a grand total of seven ribbons (seven out of 31 isn’t bad!).

Eric Brown wins third place with his Tiffany-style lampshade perched on a custom wrought-iron tree. Not pictured is the tree trunk base. The trunk and tree were created by custom blacksmith Tim Carr of Black Bear Forge in Muskegon. This over-the-top work of art can by yours for a trifling $18,000. Photo by PAT BROWN


Delphi Art Glass annually holds this prestigious event that garners entries from all over the country. Delphi is the largest distributor of art glass and related stained glass supplies in Michigan.

Brown, the consummate stained-glass artisan, took third place in the lampshade category and second place in the specialties category with a sandblasted in glass rendition of an art nouveau woman’s head.

Accomplished Brown student, Allen Backstrom, took second place in the large panel category with a three-dimensional butterfly stained glass window.

Capturing first, second and third places in the stepping stone category were Shirley Howe (first and third) and Reathal Waldron (second).

Sherrie Smith of Cadillac, a regular Eric Brown Stained Glass customer, took third place in the mosaics category. All of the glass in her winning entry came from buckets of scrap stained glass she regularly purchases from Brown.

An exuberant Sherrie Smith
An exuberant Sherrie Smith of Cadillac produces this third-place dragonfly mosaic solely from scrap glass purchased from Eric Brown Stained Glass. Photo by PAT BROWN


Seven years ago, Brown began sharing the skills of his craft to students enrolled in regularly scheduled weeknight classes. Indeed, your reporters are alumni of the first year’s graduates. Many of the students have become highly accomplished stained-glass artisans in their own right. Some have become so highly adept that they create, on order, commissioned works of art for others. Over the past seven years, Brown has unselfishly shared his knowledge and skills to literally hundreds of students.

Eric Brown Stained Glass is not the only Rockford business to offer regularly scheduled instruction in their areas of expertise. Some, but not all, that come to mind are:

• Herman’s Boy Inc.—hardwood charcoal grilling and cooking techniques

• Red’s on the River—cooking school and wine classes

• J.T. Stitchery & Frame Shop—knitting classes and clubs

• Wise Photography—digital camera usage and photography techniques

• Personal Chef Robin Toldo/DreamMaker Bath & Kitchens Design Center—cooking demonstrations and hands-on classes

Allen Backstrom of Rockford wins second place with his 3-D butterfly window panel. Many of the butterflies appear as if they are floating off the glass. Photo by PAT BROWN


The above are all highly skilled tutors in their respective crafts. For more information, contact each individually.

You get the idea. One doesn’t have to look beyond the Rockford community to find a whole new world of multiple creative endeavors that can bring to you a lifetime of pleasure.

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The Squire has been Rockford’s free weekly newspaper since 1871. Our loyal readership includes over fifteen thousand homes in the Rockford area, including the affluent Lakes area of Lake Bella Vista, Bostwick Lake and Silver Lake; Belmont, Blythefield, as well as Algoma, Courtland, Cannon and Plainfield Townships. The Squire is distributed through the U.S. Post Office every Thursday. We also deliver to in-town businesses and homes with paper carriers and news stands in our grocery stores and over thirty local shops.