Judson Studios Advances Stained Glass Manufacturing

Nestled in a rambling two-story, shingle and stone structure in an upland park is the 125-year-old Judson Studios, the oldest family-owned, family-run stained glass studio in America. Five generations of Judsons have worked with artists, architects and designers to create stained glass whose quality and craftsmanship are admired around the world. David Judson shared his story with LA Times Today.

“Stained glass has this kind of very human analog spiritual connotation, just because it’s natural light and its color. And it’s all of those things that I think reach your soul in a way that other mediums can’t. No. Things that are technological or electrical don’t have the same sensitivity as natural light,” Judson said.

Judson explained how he creates the colors and designs for his stained glass windows.

“Glass is basically sand, silica, ash, and different elements,” he explained. “And then the mineral oxides that work give it the color. The most expensive color we have is pink because it is gold. These blues here are almost all cobalt. There are two kinds of reds. We have a copper red, which is usually the darkest reds, and then a selenium red. Greens are usually copper too.

Judson’s great-great-grandfather founded Judson Studios. Over the company’s 125-year history, Judson Studios has created thousands of works, from the US Capitol Prayer Chapel to the homes of Frank Lloyd Wright. Now Judson is moving his studio into the future.

“We kind of really nailed traditional stained glass, and I think it’s still kind of our bread and butter to some extent,” he shared. “And I don’t think that’s going to go away. I think coming in as the fifth generation, you really have to find yourself inside of that. And I had to find my own identity to really think about how to continue without being somehow attached or boxed in by what had come before me.

One artist Judson draws inspiration from is Narcissus Quagliata, who is the chief innovation officer at Judson Studios. Quagliata’s processes will allow Judson to revolutionize the way his studio creates art and can reach audiences.

Judson Studios recently released a book celebrating the studio’s history and evolution. Visit their website to get a copy and learn more about new and upcoming projects.

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