Bob Frazier is passionate about stained glass. It all started when he needed to repair leaded glass transom windows in the historical home he shared with his wife, Fran Riddle, in Dover, Delaware. The windows in the vestibule were showing their age, and needed attention. He started to look into how to get the glass repaired, and found classes through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Lewes, DE, and that led to a whole new passion. “I fell in love- I loved the process, the way the glass plays with the light,” he said.
Moving to Crosslands- Finding a Passionate Community
Bob and his wife Fran moved to Crosslands in the fall of 2022, from Dover. While they looked seriously at about 5 different communities, and did a lot of online research, they kept coming back to Crosslands- the more they learned, the more they liked.
While both Fran and Bob loved Kendal at Longwood, they really fell in love with the way Crosslands homes are set into the landscape. Fran had been on her own and lived in apartments a good portion of her life, so living in an apartment was attractive, and Crosslands offered both apartments and nature- convenience and beauty- combined. Bob and Fran had been on the priority list for a few years, and when they were offered an apartment in the new construction on Crosslands campus, they decided it was time.
Becoming A Part of- and Creating- Community
Bob and Fran have really embraced life at Crosslands. Both are part of the Cycling club, and both are exploring their interests- Fran is helping with the Teaching and Learning Committee, and Bob set up a stained glass studio in the Art studio.
When he began to set up his studio, the staff had found tubs of old art glass in the basement of Ellerslie, and wondered if Bob had any use for it. He’s been sorting it and using it in different projects, including these beautiful stained glass flowers, which catch and refract the light , making them glow! He has the glass sorted so others can use it for projects, turning what could have been discarded into something really wonderful.
Bob has been working on projects for the annual Arts sale at Crosslands, where the funds go to help support the Art Studios on campus. We are sure that his wonderful “Grinch Hands”, Bonsai tree and other pieces will be a hit.
Stained Glass- What’s Involved?
Bob, and one of his students, Lynn
Bob uses the Tiffany method for stained glass, developed at the turn of the last century. Artists fit cut glass into flexible strips of lead shaped like construction “I-beams.” The glass pieces are placed on either side of the “I” and soldered and mitered at the joints. Finally, the window is glazed with putty in order to solidify the overall panel.
Louis Comfort Tiffany had seen ancient Roman and Syrian stained glass while visiting the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and developed a special Favrile glass, which has a similar iridescent quality to it. He used his glass foundry and studio to create decorative windows, lamps and other objects. Each piece was handcrafted and never mass produced and they have become highly collectible.
In this tradition, Bob uses all different types of glass and plays with different methods to get the results he’s looking for. It’s the interplay of the light and glass that fascinates Bob the most.
Now Bob is sharing his passion with others, and is mentoring several residents as they work on their own projects in the Art Studio at Crosslands. It’s this sense of joining a community, but also creating community around your individual interests and passions that sets Kendal-Crosslands Communities apart from others. Every resident is encouraged to try new things and share their passions in an environment that’s open to curiosity and exploration. It’s not unusual for people to discover their creative side, even when it’s been dormant for years after coming to Crosslands- there’s now time, and community to let that side of you truly shine.