Stained Glass Maker Immersed in the Medieval

By Eric Olson

October 28, 2013 Updated Oct 28, 2013 at 11:02 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Indiana--In the shadow of Fort Wayne’s St. Joe Hospital on Broadway, a family run art colony is cranking out masterpieces.

Welcome to William Lupkin Designs, creators of fine stained glass and mosaics. The walls here covered with life size renderings of its stained glass creations. Bill Lupkin is the creative center of the business. Lupkin learned the art of stained glass making from old masters of the art form.

“That is the only way you can learn this art form and this craft,” Lupkin says. “You can go to school and you can read books. Without having the experience of exposure to people who have been doing it for years and know all the old ways.

Using the old ways has earned Bill Lupkin a global reputation for his magnificent windows and other stained glass work. You’ll find them in churches, homes and business around the world. Lupkin produces all the stained glass for the Eddie Merlot restaurant chain. He creates the designs then turns them over to his staff who cut out the pieces and assemble them. Stained glass is just part of this business however. While windows are built downstairs, upstairs, Bill’s son Peter is painting the Stations of the Cross. These will hang in St. Jude’s Catholic Church in South Bend. Over in the next room son Ben is building a mosaic portrait of Pope John Paul the Second, also for St. Jude’s in South Bend. We ask Bill what it’s like working with his sons in the business.

“Well, it has its moments,” he laughs. “Every parent, especially every father, wants his children to be better than what he does.”

That will be a tall order for the sons of William Lupkin, who’s not only a fine artist…but a fine Blues musician as well with numerous cd’s in the record stores. The studio Bill Lupkin has built is the culmination of many years of study and training, long hours of very hard work…creating masterpieces using age-old techniques…kept alive in this corner of 21 Country. Eric Olson reporting.

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