Peggy Pulling’s introduction to stained glass began in the 1970s. “I was introduced to stained glass when a friend opened a wholesale business in the late 70s,” she says. “She asked me to come to work for her and that was that. Love at first sight.” Peggy’s stained glass starts with a design idea.
“Nature mostly is what inspires me. It could be from photographs, the real thing, greeting cards, magazines, you name it,” she says. “Animals and flowers tend to be what I do. I have done abstract work and the blend of colors is what inspires me there.” Many of Peggy’s customers love the glass she choose, “which really is beautiful on its own.”
She uses large sheets of glass and cuts the pieces to match the design. “They fit together like a jigsaw puzzle,” she says. She cuts out the design, choosing areas of the glass that best fit what she is working on: a swirl of color, for instance, for an interesting accent. Next, each piece of glass is ground on a motorized grinder that smooths the edges. Once smooth, the edges of the glass pieces are covered with copper foil. (Copper foil is a metal strip of tape, sticky on one side, that sticks to the glass so the design can be soldered together. “Solder will only adhere to metal [the copper foil] and solder is what holds it all together,” she says.) The artwork is not only in the design and seeking out the right piece of glass for each design but also in the skill of soldering. It is tricky to make a nice, smooth line of solder and only comes with patience and practice. Glass is an unforgiving medium and the bumps and bubbles of stained glass can be quite fussy to cut.
Peggy has had a few favorite pieces over the years that have included a giraffe, which was purchased by a customer who moved to Australia, and other one-of-a-kind pieces like a mountain lion and a black bear. They were quite complicated, which is why she only made one! Her biggest artistic mishap was when she was making a pair of sidelights. “The first one was fine,” she says. “When I laid the glass on the pattern for the second one the pattern had shifted slightly. I ended up with a curved window that would not fit in the opening. I had to take it apart and rebuild. Yikes!”
Peggy is our newest member, and we are so thrilled to welcome her and her work to the market!