We all grew up hearing: be careful not to break the glass.
But it can be dealt with, said David Kittrell.
“There are several voices in your head that tell you: don’t touch the glass, you will break it.”
Kittrell is the co-owner of Kittrell Riffkind, a stained glass company with a studio in Richardson and a gallery in North Dallas.
“You have to overcome these obstacles, these little things. And then, okay, I’ll break the glass. God. We trade highs and trade lows.”
Kittrell also teaches classes, and he says he’s noticed more people showing an interest in the arts.
“Our classes are filling up and what’s nice is that these are not people who are looking for a hobby in retirement. Some of them are new to their careers, or they are just established enough to see that they have a hole in their week. that they can fill with whatever they like.”
Diane Flynn got into stained glass in the 70s. There was no TikTok back then. She learned about the craft from a magazine.
“And it had a little tiny pattern in it, and it showed how to do it, and talked about it, and had some nice pictures, I thought I’d try that, which I did.”
Today she teaches at the Creative Arts Center in East Dallas.
There she was found by Emma Ahmad. Ahmad is 25 years old and lives in Dallas. She attended one of Flynn’s six-week stained glass workshops. She said she got caught. This is different from other artistic disciplines she studied.
“I felt like it was a lot more hardcore, like there was a lot more broken and broken glass and it was pretty dangerous, but I really liked that aspect and my fingers got really calloused from rubbing the glass and that and I was a bit it hurts to do it, which was exciting because it was almost like this weight training, but then I was also creating something.”
Ahmad said social media videos helped her find the class.
“I just appreciate how TikTok and Instagram kind of open those doors for people who like to learn about crafts,” she said. “Because I really don’t think if I hadn’t seen these videos they would have stood out to me when I watched the classes.”
She says that the video with modern stained glass windows, such as cartoon characters and mushrooms, intrigued her a lot. In the spring, Ahmad plans to go to the next lesson with Diane Flynn.
As for Flynn, she said that one of the things she really likes about stained glass is how it changes with light.
“Glass has beautiful reflective properties, but glass also has transmitted light, so you can see through the glass and see all the beautiful colors,” she said. “But at night, if there is no light behind it, then you have to understand that you have to rely on the transmitted light that can be on it … stained glass windows take on a life of their own.”
Flynn said that after over 40 years in the craft, she is still so passionate about the art of glass.
And with apps like TikTok introducing new people to stained glass, teachers like her and Kittrell hope to pass the craft on to new generations.
Here are a few places in North Texas where you can buy glassware and enroll in courses to learn how to make your own:
1. SiNaCa Studios, Fort Worth
2. Dallas Center for the Creative Arts
3. Unlimited stained glass, Colony
4. Kittrell Riffkind, Richardson
5. Art Glass City, Lewisville