Wild, wonderful, poetic … the New River Gorge is a living masterpiece. And if you’re like Stephanie Danz, the region inspires equally impressive artwork.
Mountain Art Glass
It was love at first sight. When Stephanie Danz arrived in the New River Gorge in 1974 for whitewater rafting, she was smitten. The region’s wild beauty captivated her. After that, the Pennsylvania native swore she would return.
Danz now lives and works in Fayetteville, where she owns a studio: Mountain Art Glass. The skilled artist creates jeweled depictions of rivers, rhododendrons, and mountains— her tribute to the gorge.
Stained-glass panels are one of Danz’s specialties. These can be set into windows, doors, or even cabinets. In fact, Lafayette Flats in Fayetteville has one such piece. If you book the “Nuttall” suite, you’ll see an eye-catching rhododendron panel by Danz herself! The New River Gorge CVB has a fantastic piece, too: “Evening in the New River Gorge.” Please visit and see it in person!
The gifted artist doesn’t stop there. She is also known for her geometric necklaces, lamps, and fanciful kaleidoscopes. Danz isn’t afraid to experiment, either. At one point, she took an old bike wheel and used the spokes as frames for colored glass.
Reflections of you
If making stained glass sounds fascinating, join Danz for lessons. She’s an award-winning artist with experience at juried shows, so imagine the skills you can learn! What’s more, stained glass is an ancient and increasingly rare artform. This is a great opportunity.
Danz teaches beginner and intermediate lessons throughout the year. Classes are small and everybody gets focused attention. Best of all, you’ll make projects along the way: suncatchers, fan lamps, and possibly a panel.
Most classes last several weeks. If you can’t commit to anything long term, call Mountain Art Studio. In the past, Danz has arranged single-day lessons.
The next best thing to creating art is buying some. Here’s where you can take home original Danz stained glass:
- Twisted Gypsy’s (Fayetteville): this playful boutique has stylish accessories, fashions, and local artwork.
- Studio B Art Boutique (Fayetteville): stop by for handmade jewelry, knit scarves, stained glass, craft beer, and wine.
- Tamarack (Beckley): this enormous art center has outstanding (and affordable) West Virginia handiwork for sale: pottery, quilts, sculptures, and— you got it— glass!
Have you ever made stained glass before? If so, share your experience here! If not, go ahead— it’s a new year!