Friday Field Trip: Visiting Kara and Frank at Franklin Art Glass Studios

Pleasant Corner is getting a new kitchen soon, but the first big improvement has already arrived.

If you’ve been to Pleasant Corner, you know that it lives up to its billing as a Cape Cod-style home. A door knocker looks like a Nantucket basket, sailors’ Valentines and seascapes are painted on the stair risers, and Claire Murray hooked rugs fill almost every room. Now, in the west window of the kitchen, there’s a stained glass window of a sailboat, a signal flag for the first letter of our last name atop its mast.

Franklin Art Glass Studios in German Village made the window for Nails and CLF. It turns out that Kara, its designer, also had made two other floral stained glass windows that Nails gave CLF for their 25th wedding anniversary. CLF’s first Franklin Art Glass purchase was in 1967, when William Kielblock painted a picture on glass of Peter Rabbit, his mother and sisters for her. A native of Germany, Kielblock settled in Columbus to work for stained-glass craftsmen Ludwig and Theodore Von Gerichten; by the mid-1920s, he had helped to found Franklin Art Glass.

I’ve heard so many nice things about Kara and her colleagues in the past couple of weeks that I took a field trip to Franklin Art Glass today. Kara couldn’t have been nicer, taking me in back rooms, showing me a beautiful angel window attributed to the Von Gerichtens, and sharing interesting information about her craft with me.

After drawing their design on paper, Kara and her fellow artists choose from a palette of about 2,000 different colors and styles of glass. The walls behind their long work tables are decorated with an abundance of detailed drawings, including one of Kielblock’s designs for a window at Trinity Episcopal Church in Columbus.

This window is one of my favorite things about Downtown. Its five lancets illustrate several well-known Columbus landmarks, including Main Library, City Hall, Battelle Memorial Institute’s Auditorium, the old Center of Science and Industry, Ohio State University Stadium, Veterans’ Memorial, and the Columbus Museum of Art. The window also includes John Glenn’s space capsule, symbols of sports and the arts, a typical Ohio farm, and those well-known symbols of Ohio – the carnation, the buckeye and the cardinal.

Kara also benefits from the company of a special helper named Frank. The business’s resident cat has a posh setup; next to his bed is one of the original lamps that Franklin Art Glass made for Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers.

Kara’s stained glass sailboat is a lovely thing. When the sun hits it, the glass in the sky changes colors, from pink to blue to yellow. It’s also a sharp way to block an unsightly view!

This entry was posted in Art, Columbus, Miscellanea. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Friday Field Trip: Visiting Kara and Frank at Franklin Art Glass Studios

  1. Cindy Spikowski says:

    What a beautiful sailboat window! I really enjoyed reading about Franklin Art Glass Studios. All your photographs are great and certainly add to each posting.


  3. Beverly Kipphan says:

    What a pleasure to see this article and the talented artists at Franklin
    art Glass. Kara is an amazing woman and her creations are awesome. Franklin Art Glass is fortunate to have such a gifted artist! May her creative talent and gifts continue to grace us!

  4. Jenni says:

    I recently came across some glass art from William Kielblock…I have 2 pieces from him now – one is a wizard like man, and the other is a gnome reading under a mushroom. I have a 3rd piece but believe its done by someone else, although i cant make out the signature, it looks like a different timepiece. I absolutely love these pieces and am so glad to read a lil history of the artist in your article. Thank you for sharing!

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