Slideshow: Judith Schaechter's Riveting Glass

Slideshow: Judith Schaechter's Riveting Glass

Published on Tuesday, October 7, 2014.

Judith Schaechter is embarrassed to admit this, but she once "considered stained glass to be a trivial footnote to art history, a junk medium for hobbyists and tradespeople. Not even craftspeople," she says. And yet, from the moment she tried her hand at it, a peculiar and powerful affection took hold. "I loved it," she says. "I was so satisfied, so completely fulfilled."

Glass is a good fit for her, she explains. "There are a lot of making tasks with glass, and that suits me fine," she says. She came to appreciate how the investment of time required to manipulated glass also faciliated an emotional investment in the work. And over the years, as her skill grew, so did her respect for the medium. "It took me a long time to appreciate the idea of craft," she says. "It took me a long time to understand what it meant to be a craftsperson."

Today, the new ACC Fellow is a strident advocate for craftsmanship. "I have developed strong feelings about dedication to a single medium and even single processes, which are not only out of fashion in our culture, but denigrated, disrespected," she says. Devoting herself "to one path of making has enlightened me beyond my wildest expectations."

For more on this year’s American Craft Council Awards, check out the American Craft profiles, which include videos of each of the awardees, read their Reflections, view archival Throwback Thursday photos, and browse the artist biographies.