Stained Glass 101: Retired teacher shares new artistic passion
A group of teachers by day become students on a Thursday evening while learning the art of stained glass.
Two of the students currently work in area schools, and the third is retired. The artist guiding them on their venture is Cherie Brothers, of Spring Garden Township. Brothers was an elementary teacher for 33½ years, of which 32½ were spent teaching third, fourth and fifth grade for the Southern York County School District.
“When I was teaching elementary school, I always enjoyed doing a lot of projects with my students,” Brothers said. “I never thought of myself as an artist. I never thought I could paint a picture or do anything like that, but I discovered with stained glass lessons that I could do art. I could do the art of stained glass.”
When Brothers retired in 2004 from teaching third grade at Shrewsbury Elementary School, she and her husband began making extended winter trips to Florida. It was there that she took her first class at D and L Stained Glass in Melbourne, Florida. Her instructor and first mentor was Dolly Wolf.
Brothers quickly became immersed in her new art. She began volunteering, waiting on customers and eventually helped Wolf teach classes. Brothers also ran the shop when the owner couldn’t be there.
As her love for her art grew, she and her husband, Michael Brothers Sr., an artist who works in a variety of mediums, including watercolor, encaustic, acrylic, mixed media, collage and abstract, pursued a third-floor studio space above The Handsome Cab, at 106 N. George St. in York City. They moved into their studios in February.
“I have a Stained Glass 101 (a beginners class), garden totem class (which is something that can be put outside) and I have a vintage window class,” said Brothers while teaching a class the studio. “I’ll be adding other class ideas as we go.”
The beginner classes are four sessions of three to four hours each, and Brothers emphasizes that she likes to be flexible with the class times.
"I'm accommodating people's schedules as adults. I've had people say to me, 'Well, you should just set the dates and if people want to do it, they'll come.' I'm not going to do that. We're all adults, and we have busy lives," she said.
One of the students in the class is retired teacher Jan Ruman, of West Manchester Township, who was working on grinding the edges of each piece of glass in her project, a 13-by-19-inch stained-glass panel.
“I am hanging this in my home,” Ruman said. “I’ll be hanging it in the breakfast nook area. That’s an area (where) my whole family is all of the time. I’m very excited! It’s got the colors that go with my kitchen and my family room area. I can’t wait to get it done and see what it looks like.”
Ruman says that going forward, she will be taking the garden totem class.
“I’m drawn more to the abstract art. (The garden totem) is completely different than the panel that we’re doing here now,” Ruman added, “I’m excited to try that too!”
Brothers adds that she also enjoys making custom orders and working with customers to bring their ideas "to light" with stained-glass art.
For more information, contact Brothers on Facebook at Cherie Brothers, by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 717-880-0223.