Preserving History and Faith: Stained Glass for the Battle Creek TabernacleMartin Faith
At Stained Glass Denver, we recently had the privilege of embarking on a truly extraordinary project, one that touched the depths of history and faith. This project was more than just crafting beautiful stained glass; it was a profound collaboration and a testament to the enduring legacy of the Battle Creek Tabernacle.
Honoring the Tabernacle’s Legacy with Stained Glass
The Battle Creek Tabernacle, a historic landmark situated in northwest Calhoun County, which sits at the confluence of the Kalamazoo and Battle Creek rivers, carries a rich history dating back to its establishment in 1852. Over its 150-year history, the church has witnessed multiple transitions and transformations, becoming a sanctuary for those who sought solace and spiritual guidance.
A Remarkable Journey of Faith
Our recent project involved the creation of a magnificent stained glass window for the Tabernacle. This endeavor was more than just a creative journey; it was a heartfelt commitment to preserving history and enhancing the spiritual ambiance of the church. As we delved into this project, we understood the profound significance it held for the Battle Creek community.
The Decision to Add a New Stained Glass Window
The church leadership had a vision of enhancing the interior of the Tabernacle with a new breathtaking stained glass masterpiece, adding to their current collection. This decision was rooted in a deep understanding of the role stained glass has played in the church’s history, as well as the desire to carry this tradition forward. We were deeply honored that they entrusted us with such an important task.
A Testament to Artistry and Faith
Our journey began with an in-depth discussion with the church to understand their vision and the historical significance of the Tabernacle. The church shared with us its commitment to keeping the existing structures and materials intact, paying homage to its nearly century-old history.
Crafting a Stained Glass Masterpiece
Creating the stained glass window became an artistic odyssey, guided by a profound sense of respect for the church’s history. We meticulously designed, produced, and installed this ambitious work of art. Spanning approximately fifteen feet in height and fourteen feet in width, it was a labor of love that weighed around 1,000 pounds. Each panel was meticulously created by our master artisans, who employed their exceptional talents to bring a moving Biblical scene to life.
Bridging the Past and the Present
One of the most important considerations was how to install this new stained glass window without compromising the Tabernacle’s structural integrity. We devised an ingenious solution, ensuring that the stained glass was mounted on the interior of the church and illuminated it with a backlit lighting system to replicate the effect of sunlight streaming through the glass.
The scale of the project presented unique structural challenges. To distribute the weight evenly, we divided the window into ten individually framed panels. A custom metal frame was crafted to hold these panels in place. We collaborated with structural engineers to guarantee the safe installation of these panels. To support the metal frame, we installed eight-inch steel plates on the exterior of the church.
Artistry and Tradition Preserved
For the window’s design, the church selected a moving composition titled “The Rescue” by acclaimed painter Nathan Greene. Our artisans carefully translated the nuanced imagery and colors of the original into stained glass while preserving its beauty and spirit. We paid particular attention to color calibration, ensuring that the hues resonated perfectly when illuminated.
Before the stained glass could be inserted into the metal frame, we integrated a backlit lighting system. This design choice was crucial to illuminate the beautiful stained glass without creating hotspots or overly intense areas of light. We created a system of ten low-voltage LED panels that could be replaced individually if necessary. The wiring was thoughtfully concealed to maintain a seamless and immaculate aesthetic.
A Stunning Transformation
Upon completion, the Tabernacle witnessed the transformation of its once-blank wall into a mesmerizing work of art. The radiant colors were beautifully illuminated, unveiling the intricate details and stunning artistry of the design. It was a project that bridged the past and the present, combining history, artistry, and faith in a harmonious masterpiece.
Gratitude and Meaning
We are profoundly grateful to the Battle Creek Tabernacle for entrusting us with this project. It’s a testament to their faith and commitment to preserving the legacy of their church. As we look at the new stained glass window, we see not just a work of art but a piece of history that will undoubtedly be cherished for generations to come.
In conclusion, our collaboration with the Battle Creek Tabernacle has been a remarkable journey that transcends the creation of stained glass. It’s a journey of faith, history, and the enduring beauty of art. This stained glass window now stands as a luminous testament to the church’s legacy and commitment to the preservation of its history. At Stained Glass Denver, we couldn’t be prouder to have played a part in this beautiful chapter of the Tabernacle’s history.