Passion, Talent, Skill And Light Result In Beauty
Laura Goff Parham discovered her life’s work in the castles and cathedrals of Europe. Growing up in Knoxville with a strong Southern Baptist tradition, she’d had little exposure to stained glass. After she completed her art history degree at the University of Tennessee, she embarked on a trip that changed her life. She ventured to Europe with its cornucopia of churches; she was dazzled. “I fell in love,” she says.
On her return to Tennessee, Laura engaged her father, a stained glass hobbyist, to teach her the technique. She infused her artistic talent to this exciting media, first in Knoxville and later in Memphis. Returning to Knoxville, this love affair continued to the present. She has been a professional stained glass artist since 1986 and opened her Lovell Road studio in 2014. Four employees, including her son Eric Parham, engage in creative discovery daily.
Her studio is a tornado of activity. Large work tables dominate the space. One wall is lined with large racks housing sheets of glass, organized by every color, soft pastels to vibrant primaries. The front and side windows have samples of their work, from a four panel motorcycle montage honoring the armed forces to a colorful depiction of a heron. There are even downtown Knoxville scenes painted on glass. On the back wall of the shop is a large line drawing of a peacock she created for a client. To turn it into a work of art will involve choosing glass colors, from coral and teal to deep blue and olive. The individual pieces of glass are then cut and, starting in one corner, she’ll add a piece of glass and then lead, another piece and more lead, until she reaches the far corner. “It’s like a giant glass jigsaw puzzle,” she says.
Laura’s art has evolved from traditional religious themes to contemporary, abstract designs, tranquil scenes, and pop culture renditions. The shop’s primary tools are pencils and paper, glass and lead. “We use the same techniques they did in the 1300s,” she says. To provide clients with timely service, computerization has entered the field; artist PJ Dodez uses digital technology to create proposal drawings able to be quickly personalized for customers.
“We design and fabricate stained glass and leaded glass (which are the same except that leaded glass uses clear panes). We design sandblasted glass which can be used in showers, with requisite privacy panels. We paint and kiln fire glass for very detailed work, especially faces. Beveled glass in leaded glass windows create a prism of light, casting multicolored designs across the room. Mirrored glass, including antique designs, is also available.
“We can transform your dreams to custom glass art, from small pieces to wall-sized projects. Our artists are highly qualified and very talented,” she says. “Our work ranges from very traditional to very contemporary. My favorite projects are those when people say ‘make me something pretty.’ I love the artistic freedom to do that.”
We love that you do that too.
Laura Goff Designs 865-310-7311 519 Lovell Rd, Ste 306 Knoxville TN 37932 www.lauragoffdesigns.com