Studio Visit: Sunlite Stained Glass

A look inside Patrick Clark’s studio where traditional stained glass is restored and recreated.

Glass artist Patrick Clark lives in a historic beach cottage that boasts stained glass original to the house, salvaged, and new. Since 1987, Clark has been restoring and re-creating stained-glass works in his high-ceilinged workshop, which has membership in the New York Landmarks Conservancy

patrick clark stained glass artist
Patrick Clark at work in his studio, restoring an original Louis Comfort  Tiffany skylight window.

Professional Circle. Clark’s studio, in Rockaway Beach, is Sunlites Stained Glass, specializing in custom design and fabrication of art glass, both residential and ecclesiastical. A visionary who has won accolades for his work in this ancient art form, Clark has completed restoration projects for more than 100 religious houses of worship; he has made new stained glass for St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Sunlite Stained Glass Studio
Clark’s Sunlites Stained Glass studio is in Rockaway Beach, Queens, New York.

If he isn’t on site, atop a scaffold, Clark is on any given day in his studio, perhaps restoring an original Tiffany skylight for a rectory, or the windows from a Victorian-era mansion. He also creates new glass art for homeowners, who might ask him to translate their personal-favorite artwork by Chagall or Picasso into windows.

stained glass studio
Shelves hold an inventory of sheet glass, which Clark uses in constructing windows.

Clark incorporates many different types of glass, in dazzling colors, the work painstakingly assembled with meticulous handcrafting: “I might have six or eight different types in one window.”  

When Clark was commissioned to design a memorial at Tribute Park for the 57 Rockaway Beach residents who died in the September 11th attacks, he chose to create a gazebo with a unique curved dome of hand-chipped faceted glass, with a star and engraved name for each of the deceased. 

stained glass gazebo Rockaway Beach 9/11 victims
A commission in memory of Rockway residents who died on September 11th, the glass-domed gazebo is in Tribute Park, in Rockaway.

Clark uses everything from traditional “antique glass” from Germany, France, and England to bits of sea-polished beach glass he picks up along the shore. Sometimes he adds in shards from his collection of extremely valuable Louis Comfort Tiffany glass. In the early 1900s, L. C. Tiffany’s glass factory was nearby in Corona, Queens, where Tiffany manufactured his patented, iridescent “Favrile” glass. Here artisans including  Clara Driscoll designed and
made the famed Tiffany lamps, before the factory shut down, in 1932.


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