Get the lead out with this stained glass workshop

Get the lead out with this stained glass workshop
Photo by Joseph Cavalieri

Become a glass act in just a few days.

UrbanGlass is the center of glass art in the city, with workshops in glassblowing, stained glass, jewelry making, and more. Through these, the Fort Greene space has helped innumerable artists develop their craft, from learning the tools of the trade to the ins and outs of the art world.

This month, you can start from the beginning with “Get the Lead Out: Modern Enameled and Layered Stained Glass,” a four-day workshop on the art of glass painting, taught by Joseph Cavalieri.

A veteran of UrbanGlass, Cavalieri was working as an art director as such magazines as GQ and People when he started taking classes at the space 12 years ago. Last spring, he decided to devote himself full time to the work, leading to residencies in Australia and currently at the Museum of Arts and Design in Manhattan, as well as offers to teach the centuries-old stained glass process at UrbanGlass.

“I love how the glass looks when light’s coming through it,” said Cavalieri. “It’s so attractive, it pulls you towards it.”

During the workshop, Cavalieri will teach the basics of stained glass, from cutting the glass to soldering it all together, as well as focus on layering the glass so you have a three-dimensional stained glass piece, fit for a church, or, as in his case, decidedly not. The artist has made a name for himself in the glass art world as of late through his current conceit — juxtaposing edgy comics with the seriousness of stained glass. That started with “The Simpsons,” with the iconic images of Bart and Lisa hung on a crucifix. Currently, he’s borrowing from the subversive work of R. Crumb, known for his “Keep on Truckin’ ” comic of the 1970s, and translating images, such as of his wife, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, onto stained glass.

“I come from a graphic design background, and one thing I learned is if you put opposites together in an interesting way it draws attention to the work,” said Cavalieri. “Comics and stained glass are good opposites.”

All levels and backgrounds are welcome to take the workshop, though Cavalieri is keen on having artists who work in other mediums participate.

“I would love to have them do the same style on glass,” said the artist. “It only takes a day to learn the process, so you have a lot of time to really get into painting. People really have one vision of what stained glass looks like, but I’m planning on getting the word out that you can do any type of painting on stained glass.”

Just remember — opposites attract.

“Get the Lead Out: Modern Enameled and Layered Stained Glass” at UrbanGlass [647 Fulton St. between Rockwell and Ashland places in Fort Greene, (718) 625-3865], July 15-18, 10 am-4 pm. Cost $700. For info, visit www.urbanglass.org or www.cavaglass.com.