And See Light In New Ways

Being part of a thousand-year history of unique, multicolored artistic inventions is more than inspiring. Leading the way regionally in repair, restoration and design creations of stained glass is David Schlueter at Buck Creek Stained Glass.

“As a kid walking home from school, I used to pass a shop a lot like mine now. I thought stained glass was incredible, so I’d stop and watch. I decided when I got to a point in my life that I could do stained glass, I would learn it,” David, who took lessons and honed his glass-working skills 25 years ago, says.

So, after doing stained glass part-time while he served as a chief financial officer in the manufacturing industry, he plunged into the art full-time about eight years ago.

Located at 4114 Helena Road in the heart of historic Old Town Helena, David has clients from the Southeastern United States and Europe. He also hosts classes in stained glass techniques.

Stained glass, as an art and craft, requires the ability to conceive an appropriate and workable design, and the engineering skills to assemble the piece. David navigates the two proficiencies to produce stained glass for doors, mirrors and windows. He also does handblown objects, lamps and architectural pieces.

The former U.S. Marine says about half of his business comes from repairing or restoring items, such as broken windows that people set aside in closets years ago. Many of his restoration projects are items of historical significance whose lead cames have disintegrated. In fact, he recently restored the original front panel of the St. Vincent’s Chapel doors, which now is in private hands.

Stained glass designs may be abstract or figurative. Seeing the original beauty in each piece helps keep David motivated.

“Stained glass is a timeless art, and has universal appeal due to the emotions each piece elicits, often calmness, serenity or peace,” David says. “There aren’t many people who can do stained glass anymore. But it’s a fascinating medium. Our biggest brush is sunlight.”