In northwest Missouri, one business is retaining the age-old art of stained glass and giving it their own twist. Tobiason Studio, located in downtown St. Joseph, MO, captures attention easily when driving by with its large clear windows that showcase the handcrafted pieces. Some are classic or traditional; many echo the glass found in some of the city’s finest mansions and turn of the century homes. Other pieces are trendy and sized to spice up newer homes.
Recently the business has been expanding into other gift areas, just in time for winter shopping and area downtown events. The Glass Eye Art Gallery is located inside the studio and features local art alongside pieces from local authors, musicians and more. A sample of the creative energy and the artists who make the pieces is available through an online gallery on the Tobiason site. Signed photo books that feature grand stained glass windows from area homes and churches are also available as unique options with local flare.
Owners Rick & Terri Rader showcase some of their talent and eye for artistic color on the business website, which provides stopping power with a bright stained glass-inspired backdrop. Experienced glass artists who work at Tobiason are ready to answer questions and provide recommendations on everything from design to repair to installation. It’s a community affair, as there are also many “volunteer” employees, which include parents, friends, and other glass enthusiasts who take part. Because a picture tells a thousand words, especially in stained glass, the website offers several photo views of various aspects of the work. For artists who need tools and supplies for their own projects, Tobiason is definitely the go-to.
The shop can create custom pieces for homes or businesses, but can also restore and repair older stained glass to its original glory. Like many contemporary studios, Tobiason offers classes in subjects like flat glass, lampworking and sandblasting. Across the community, the Tobiason team is active in sharing their passion and the quality of their brand through volunteer arts committees and projects.
Businesses like Tobiason Studio remind us that there’s still room for classic arts like stained glass, especially when the owners are innovative enough to expand into classes, materials and an on-site gallery. We can all appreciate a new twist on an ancient art … and we all enjoy pretty, shiny things. Visit Tobiason Studio if you’re in the St. Joseph area to see what sparkles for you.