Taste of the Arts to showcase stained glass maker

PIQUA – After repairing an Iowa church window damaged during a hail storm, Paul Born accepted an invitation to enter his stained glass art in the local county fair.

“At the time I was a plant manager for a company in Iowa,” Born said. “The county fair was coming up and somebody said, ‘Why don’t you build something for the fair?’”

He accepted the challenge.

“It won a blue ribbon,” said Born, who now resides with his wife, Maggie, in Piqua.

The blue ribbon winner was “the first big window I’d ever done. After that, I got charged up,” said the artist, who will be displaying and demonstrating his wares during this year’s Taste of the Arts, set for Friday, May 10, in downtown Piqua.

This will be Born’s first time participating in the annual arts event, hosted by Mainstreet Piqua. Taste of the Arts is free and open to everyone. The event features demonstrating artists, food and live music. More details can be found at Mainstreetpiqua.com.

Born says he plans on offering several of his stained glass creations available for sale. He will be setting up shop at Barclay’s from 5-7 p.m.

“I also will be cutting glass, soldering and demonstrating,” Born explained.

Some of the pieces Born will have available for purchase include candle holders, chimes, planters and, jewelry boxes. He also plans to have that first, blue ribbon stained glass piece available for sale during Taste of the Arts.

“My house is full of stained glass pieces,” Born said with a laugh. “My wife gives me an idea and I’ll put it on paper and try to build it.”

Larger pieces of stained glass Born says he enjoys creating are decorative pieces that fit as overlays on existing windows.

Starting out as a self-taught artist, Born eventually took some classes at Iowa State University. He designs his pieces on graphing paper, purchases sheets of glass from a couple vendors and cuts the pieces necessary for each project.

As for building large projects, Born said he would consider working with homeowners.

“I wouldn’t mind building windows for homes and work with the homeowners. There’s a lot of prep work that goes into it,” Born said.

Since his retirement a year ago from American Trip in Sidney, Born has had more time to devote to his stained glass art, as well as his and his wife’s “lovely old home in Piqua.”