A structural engineer by trade, Mark A. Miller is also a highly accomplished designer of stained glass windows and decorative pieces. His interest in stained glass stems from his passion to integrate color and light using a highly customizable medium. Mr. Miller’s creativity, along with his attention to detail and fine craftsmanship, truly distinguishes him as one of Colorado’s premier artists of stained glass.
Mark A. Miller, married Elaine Sponsler in 1980, when he became interested in creating stained glass projects. The first stained glass work, “Puff, the Magic Dragon” lampshade was made in 1982. It is 10 inches in diameter, 5-1/2 inches tall, has 335 pieces (including 3/4-inch diameter faceted glass balls), and was completed in 100 hours. Mark created this lampshade to fit into a 1930’s era brass floor lamp. This unique and exquisite lighting feature is placed near a window in Mark and Elaine’s home in the foothills west of Golden, Colorado, where its beauty is appreciated indoors or outside.
Creation of a custom stained glass work begins with an idea. We work with you to turn your concept into physical reality. First, the concept needs to be sketched, then a pattern is produced, then the glass is “cut” and fitted, and finally it is soldered and usually framed. We enjoy the interactive process of developing unique designs, and can start from your sketches, photographs, or just the verbal description of your idea. Some design development needs to occur in order to produce a cost estimate, which is based on physical size and number of pieces (see the Pricing section below). When a cost estimate has been mutually agreed upon, we proceed with development of the final pattern, to be approved by you. After the pattern is approved, glass selection takes place. There are myriad choices of colors, textures and opacities, so this can also be a lengthy interactive process. We welcome your input at all stages of the design process. You can have as much or as little involvement as you like. Some people have very specific input, while others have only a vague concept and want us to develop the design without them. It is your choice.
All shapes and sizes of works can be produced, whether they are to hang independently in their own frame, or fit into your own special sized niche or window. Large works may require added reinforcing bars for strength. Very large works may need to be in sections or panels.
All but very small works will require some type of frame for strength and stability. There are many choices, from various sized oak frames to slim metal frames. Oak can be stained to harmonize with your décor. Metal can be left in its natural color of lead, brass, or zinc, or can be chemically patinaed, or painted. We typically build and finish the frame to your specifications, but have had clients who wished to make their own out of a special wood. It is your choice.
Raw art glass is sold by the pound, and ranges from $6/lb to over $25/lb, depending mainly upon color, but also upon texture and thickness. The price of solder varies with market conditions, and has been as much as $30/lb. We use a formula of $85 per square foot to cover material costs, plus $3 to $5 per piece of glass in the pattern, depending upon complexity and difficulty, to cover labor costs. Special frames may add some cost. As noted in the DESIGN section, we will work with you to arrive at a mutually agreed-upon cost for your project.
Some of our works, show in the gallery, are in stock and available for sale, with the price as noted. Most custom work is not for sale, although the retail prices are shown to give you some idea what your project might cost. Custom work may be reproduced only with permission from the owner. Please contact us if you are interested in one.
Repairing cracked or broken glass pieces is difficult, tedious and expensive. We do not repair work by others, but will consider repairs to the works we have produced. Please contact us with details and we will discuss the possibilities.