Stained Glass:
Michaele preserving luxor.jpg
Orbs, Eggs, Bowls, Sculptures and more! 

"My ideas and forms are influenced by how we as humans interact with Nature."

I began my career as an apprenticeship under the tutelage of Alvin Chalmers Beck who was

a restorer and artist in the Traditional Stained Glass industry in Columbus, Ohio.  Mr. Chalmers retired his studio in New York and relocated to Jupiter, Florida in the mid 1960’s, opening a small studio to keep himself busy throughout his retirement years. I met in Mr. Chalmers in 1978 and convinced him I would be an asset in helping him organize and run the studio if he would agree to take me on as an apprentice. So, from 1978 to 1981 I learned many of the traditional restoration techniques, in the repair of old English leaded stained (colored) glass panels that were finding their way to Florida back then.  Many of them were repaired & restored at Chalmers Stained Glass in Jupiter, Florida.  Mr. Chalmers knew and shared the sources of many of the original glass factories, enabling us to match glass required to replace and restore these early panels.  When we were not restoring broken panels, I focused on ecclesiastical, commercial & residential commissions.


In 1982, I opened my own studio, The Crystal Lady, and continued to restore, repair, and create commission work for the ecclesiastical, commercial & residential marketplace. 


In 1992, met my partner, John Watson and took a long break to live and travel on our Motor Yacht until we discovered New Bern, North Carolina.


In 1994, I relocated The Crystal Lady Custom Stained Glass Studio to the Historic District of New Bern, North Carolina where I purchased a 100 year old building which we restored and moved into on the second floor. Once the word got out that I had this knowledge, I was immediately back in business teaching classes, restoring, repairing and taking commissions for the commercial & residential community.  Much of my work can be seen on Middle Street in downtown today.


I sold my studio in 2001 and changed directions after receiving my BFA in ceramics at East Carolina University.  Now in mid-2019, I have come full circle as there is no one in eastern North Carolina that can restore the old historic Luxfer/prism transom tile panels that grace many of New Bern’s and other historic districts downtown. We have experience restoring these transoms and look forward to continuing that work here and throughout the State.


Earlier this year I went back to teaching glass classes and as the word got out, the residential commission work began to flourish. I currently have a substantial commission for a Luxfer transom restoration in downtown New Bern. 

Here we go again.

I continue to work in mixed media but now from a conceptual point of view.  My ideas and forms are influenced by how we as humans interact with Nature. Observing Nature and how humans change Nature, taking it apart and rebuilding to serve human needs.  Humans have an innate need to custom tailor all things to their benefit, pleasure and comfort.  As humans, we value life on a scale of importance according to our rules, not Nature’s rules, one example is the Tree.  We do not live with the tree as it lives in Nature, we cut it down, make planks and recreate the tree into structures and shapes we prefer.  All creatures existing and living on Earth coexist in a shared ecosystem environment.  Humans mostly feel everything on Earth exists to be re-created for a human dominated ecosystem.  Considering a point of view other than ours to the variety of species we share this planet with, we choose to redefine the planet as our numbers increase verses working with the natural ecosystems that existed before humans were part of it.  We expect Nature to adapt and evolve to human requirements, what if it were the reverse?

  • What if we considered other animal species as equals? 

  • What would collaboration with other species look like?

  • How could be change our ecosystem to work the natural ecosystems that already exist on the planet?

  • Re-thinking the Tree, how would we do it differently?