Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Stained Glass Enthusiasts Develop Spiritual Business

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Stained Glass Enthusiasts Develop Spiritual Business

Article excerpt

Karen Hendrix was providing occupational therapy in nursing homes with arts and crafts back in 1974, when someone gave her a box of stained glass scraps. She knew nothing about them, but she cut and pounded until she learned to make small decorations.

When friends opened a store called Another World Expo in the Will Rogers Plaza, Hendrix rented a 10-foot-by-10-foot booth to sell art items and supplies. Despite sales of $475 for nine months, she opened a small store and started attending seminars.

"After a seminar under Maurice Lorieaux in New Mexico, I became serious about it," she said. "I wanted to express spiritual feelings through stained glass."

She opened a shop in her garage in 1982 and started working with Oklahoma churches. She joined Jim Triffo in 1990. Triffo had developed an award-winning stained glass hobby. They formed Hendrix and Associates.

Now, Hendrix and Triffo have moved Hendrix and Associates into a delightful custom-made studio _ the largest creative glass operation in Oklahoma. They specialize in a variety of religious art forms at 526 NW 30th St., a former apartment building renovated by attorney John Belt in The Paseo district.

Hendrix brings a national reputation to the firm, which they operate on a 50-50 basis. She was a leader in the development of national art glass conferences, and she has been elected the first president of the International Conferences of Creative Glass, which grew out of conferences in Oklahoma City.

The firm reached sales of about $135,000 last year and counts more than 60 churches in Oklahoma and Texas among its clients. Hendrix and Associates also has clients among corporations and theaters, including the classic Poncan Theater now under restoration in Ponca City.

"Karen is the designer and painter, while I do the execution," said Triffo, "but we both do a little of everything. We design, build and install stained glass windows. We also do etched glass, dalle de verre (one-inch glass in poured epoxy) designs, leaded crystal, antique glass, frescos and sculpture."

Beyond that, Hendrix and Triffo envision related arts and crafts firms joining them in the building, where they now occupy 4,000 square feet on two floors. The structure was built around a courtyard, where Belt plans to turn an old swimming pool into a fish pond with pleasant landscaping.

"For example, we want to add a carpenter who can build pews and pulpits for churches," said Hendrix. "We would like art and crafts specialists who can provide tapestry, silver vessels, paintings and all the other items churches need.

"A revival of stained glass started about 20 years ago. Now, churches are going back to original art rather than plastics and stamped-out things. We now have the right kind of space and equipment to keep up with the movement."

The building is located one block from The Paseo, where more than 20 artists already are congregated with studios and stores.

The new shop also is part of the Positively Paseo! pilot project to revive the whole district from NW 30th to NW 23rd streets. That includes a renovation scheduled to begin this month, with 12 apartment buildings to be unified into a complex by Bert Belanger and Paseo Partners.

The plain red brick exterior of the Hendrix and Associates headquarters is deceiving. Inside, the firm has a 25-foot tall window facing the courtyard toward the north. That gives Hendrix a lighted background for painting features on stained glass.

She designs the windows, and Triffo cuts various colors of stained glass to fit the intricate patterns. The pieces of stained glass are mounted on a glass pane with bees wax for Hendrix to do the painting. Then Triffo uses lead to put the pieces together.

These and numerous other skills were developed by Hendrix and Triffo one step at a time. …

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