It’s another major accomplishment and milestone for a city that’s used to them, ranking up there with its top-notch schools, an endorsement by Sunset magazine as one of the best in the west communities, host of the prestigious Amgen bike tour and, recently, the launching point for the 626 Golden Streets event that took outdoor enthusiasts along a 19-mile route on bike, foot, skateboard and more from South Pasadena to Azusa.
In recognition of its lofty achievement, Judson Studios was honored last week by the South Pasadena City Council for creating the largest single composition stained glass window in the world.
Judson Studios recently expanded from their workspace in nearby Highland Park to a new addition in South Pasadena. The new space provides more than 5,000 square feet of modern factory and kiln capabilities, enabling the company to complete their grandest stained glass creation to date, “The Resurrection Window” for the Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas.
Completely installed, it stands a colossal 37 feet tall and 94 feet wide. “It’s pretty spectacular,” said the studio’s director, David Judson, noting that church received the massive project in three different phases, the final 52 panels going to the Midwest three weeks ago for the installation.
“I still can’t fathom the scale of it,” said Judson, noting that the church’s congregation “is blown away” by the site of the glass mural. “They love it. It has been well received by everyone. We’ve heard nothing but compliments.”
South Pasadena City Councilwoman Diana Mahmud told Judson, “That while we aspire to be a world-class city, you have truly made us a world-class city. The artwork is just incredible.”
Councilman Robert Joe thanked Judson for not only coming to South Pasadena to set up shop, but for teaming with the Bullseye Glass Company, the local firm responsible for manufacturing the glass for the project nextdoor in the city’s Ostrich Farm area in the 100 block of Pasadena Avenue.
“We want to recognize the city which has truly been supportive of us,” added Judson after accepting a certificate of recognition from Mayor Michael Cacciotti and the council. “We are very happy to be here. This wouldn’t have been possible without your support and help. We look forward to a long, successful future.”
For the ambitious project, Judson Studios collaborated with the internationally-famed Narcissus Quagliata, a glass artist whose 50-year resume includes work for “The Dome of Light” in Taiwan and “The Last Basilica of Michelangelo” in Rome.
“The Resurrection Window” commission was awarded to Judson Studios in 2014 after a competition with 60 other stained glass firms from around the world. It was the first time a notable stained glass window was created entirely from fused glass. The painstaking process involved multiple layers of colored glass heated to a molten state and cooled to form a single piece, which could contain dozens of colors in a single square foot.
The artistic director of Judson Studio, Tim Carey, has lived in South Pasadena since attending the Art Center College of Design in the 90s. When he heard Judson was hiring, he visited the studio and was hired as a part-time painter. Thirteen years down the road, he’s helping to keep Judson Studio on the cutting edge of what stained glass can do.
And according to Carey, they couldn’t be happier about expanding into South Pasadena because of its lively arts culture. “Having lived in South Pas for 20 years, I know how supportive the city is of the arts,” he said. “We hope to be making beautiful stained glass in South Pasadena for many years to come.”