Allen Backstrom

Rockford business scores big at prestigious art glass festival

April 20, 2010 // 0 Comments

by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL 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!).   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.   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   The above are all highly […]