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Draper Journal

Draper Park Principal Making Stained-Glass Window for School

Apr 07, 2016 01:45PM ● By Julie Slama

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Draper - Being sent to the principal’s office won’t be such a bad thing at Draper Park Middle School. Later this spring, students will be able to admire a hand-crafted stained-glass window of a Viking ship that Principal Mary Anderson is currently making.

Anderson, who thought the window would add to the recently built school that incorporates the Viking mascot throughout the design, started on the project when she was assigned to the school last summer. After a leg injury sidelined her, she resumed cutting out more than 300 pieces of glass for the 6.5-foot-wide by 1.5-foot-high window that will be installed in her office.

Anderson, whose own children attended the school when it was Crescent View in Sandy before it moved to Draper, is familiar with the long-standing traditions, but she wanted to make her own mark on the campus.

“It’s pure joy working on it,” Anderson said. “Greg [Leavitt, former principal] helped to design this beautiful building. This is part of what I can give so others can enjoy it.”

Anderson learned how to make stained-glass windows and projects while serving as Union Middle School principal. She was taught by former art teacher Camie Lloyd. 

“She tried teaching me how to draw first, then do ceramics, but I could only make a real mess out of the clay and never manage to get a mug to be even. So then, as she got to know me better, she taught me stained glass, and I’m a real number person who likes to be exact and precise, and it fit my personality perfectly,” Anderson said.

Lloyd, who now is an assistant principal at Albion Middle School, said that Anderson doesn’t give herself enough credit.

“She really seems to enjoy stained glass and being math-minded. It makes sense to her,” Lloyd said. “She’s made some windows for her home, her mother, donated pieces and made me a Tiffany lamp and holly berry wreath.”

Lloyd visited her in mid-February after Anderson had found images she liked and started enlarging them for the window. 

“She had drawn the ship to scale but wanted to put some dimension in the window,” she said.

Anderson said that Lloyd showed her how to draw the waves around the ship and add the trees and mountains.

After drawing the pattern, Anderson then cut out the pieces and grinded the edges, which took her about one week. She places the pieces together in a frame her husband made. In early spring, she put foil over the edges of all the pieces before soldering them.

“So many days I can’t wait to get home and start working on it,” she said.

Lloyd plans to help Anderson with cutting gems that will work as the boat’s shields.

“She says her background is not at all artsy, but that isn’t the case. She really is multi-talented and really seems to enjoy it,” Lloyd said.

After Anderson finishes the window, Canyons School District will install it in the school.

“The project just kind of takes over the entire house as I’m cutting in one room, grinding in the kitchen, placing the cut glass in the frame in another room and have the pattern stretched across another table,” she said.

Anderson not only shares her passion by giving finished pieces to friends, family and organizations; in October, she gave teachers and staff at the school an informal lesson, showing them how to foil and solder pieces together to create ornaments.

“We didn’t have enough time for them to do it all, but they did walk away with finished projects. If they want to learn how to cut pieces and grind them, I’d be happy to show them how. It’s just something I do for fun that can bring such joy,” Anderson said.