St. Mark's Lutheran Church

The Windows tell a story - click on an image:

      Jesus Christ

We Prepare       

      We Praise

We Proclaim      

     We Present

We Receive    


   Creative Expression




The Nave Windows

The color in St. Mark’s Church will be the first thing to catch the eye. Stained Glass colors have beautified houses of worship and created beautiful gifts for God since the early medieval era. The beautiful glasses developed in those times have been enhanced by modern technology which makes possible the use of glasses up to two inches in thickness, cut and faceted with carbide tipped hammers unknown to the medieval craftsmen, held strongly in place by a matrix of epoxy, a synthetic resin of great strength. The stained glass artist derives inspiration from the beautiful windows of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries without slavishly copying them. For it is more than a pretty truth that the stained glass must serve as the handmaid of the architecture.

Besides beautifying buildings, stained glass has always had an added function: to teach the lessons of faith. These windows have been planned to illustrate the divisions of the liturgy: preparation, praise, proclamation, presentation and receiving as well as aspects of Christian living. Besides scenes and symbols, the predominant color of each window has a related meaning.


Mosaic is produced by forming a surface by placing small pieces of marble, glass, tiles, semi-precious stones called tesserae very close together. Its historical beginnings are very remote. It was in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, where many examples of it are found varying in size from jewelry to walls. It was widely used in classic Greece and Rome, but rose to its highest form in Byzantine flat architectural design. The Byzantine School developed gold tessarae made by compressing 24 karat gold leaf between two layers of glass. At first, gold was used sparingly, but at its height became the whole background for the figures. The Mohammedan mosques of that era followed the Christian churches in the use of this decorative material although not in subject matter. Their use of mosaics in geometric patterns was in keeping with their religious edicts against portraying the human form.

After preliminary research and experimentation, the Willet Studios began the fabrication of faceted glass windows in 1954. Brilliantly colored glass, usually an inch in thickness is cut to the desired size. The inner surface of certain pieces is then chipped or faceted conchoidally (curved elevations and depressions) to enhance the design and add a jewel-like quality. The glasses used are breath-taking in radiance and purity of color.

Because the west window for St. Mark’s Lutheran Church is a unique combination of the two techniques, a full size color cartoon was first painted. There is a small ratio of glass to matrix, for the matrix is completely overlaid on the exterior with the mosaic.

There are approximately three hundred glass tesserae of varying sizes in a square foot. The window was made in sections, the largest of which is sixty-six inches by forty-seven inches. The tesserae were glued face down on a heavy paper. This was placed in the bottom of the mold. The glass was carefully arranged and the matrix of epoxy resin was poured around the whole to form a structural unit of great strength. Two pourings were used, the first to cover the tesserae and the second to bring the section up to the thickness of an inch. After the epoxy was thoroughly hardened, the paper was carefully removed from the face of the panels with water and a brisk scrubbing. When installed in the church, the effulgence of light pouring through the glass into the interior will spread over the opaque matrix. The principle of this halation or spread of light over dark areas is well known to stained glass designers.