Style Tastemaker

Heart of Glass

Peggy Corcoran crafts one-of-a-kind stained glass windows at her Peace Dale Studio

Posted

When Peggy Corcoran was working in furniture design, she took a class on stained glass. The new medium hooked her, and she immersed herself in the centuries-old craft. After being laid off at a small design firm and wondering what to do next, Corcoran found a space for rent and in 2005 opened up her airy, light-filled studio and workshop. Bosgraaf, which is Corcoran’s maiden name, is named in honor of her parents, especially her father, who always supported her entrepreneurial spirit.

Stained glass has been around since the first century. What makes it special?
The colors of the glass are magical, hypnotic, and beautiful. You need only a small amount of light to bring the glass to life.

Can you share your process? 
The process of building a stained glass window has changed little over time. Pieces of flat glass are cut and assembled edge to edge using copper foil, lead, and solder to create an image. These days, there are new tools and technology to simplify the process. A lot of people say how lucky I am to be able to do what you love. It’s a lot of hard work and long hours, but I wouldn’t change a thing.

Can you tell us about your clientele and why they go to Bosgraaf? 
My clients are homeowners, builders, cabinetmakers, and interior designers. Most are looking for custom work, but I also do a lot of repair and restoration work. I’m an artist, a craftsman, and a perfectionist. I build a window to last 100 years or more – certainly beyond my lifetime.

How is your work inspired by South County?
South County is such a beautiful area. I find inspiration in so many things here – the details of the architecture, stained glass in churches, and the beautiful coastline. Many of my clients are looking for nautical themes and I’m fortunate to be able to drive to the beach, to a lighthouse, or to a marsh for inspiration.

What does stained glass do to a space?
Stained glass can transform a space. It can become a focal point, bathing a room in color. It can be an architectural element in a room, a decorative element in a cabinet door, offer privacy in a bathroom or bedroom, and hide an unpleasant view.

What does one need to think about when adding a custom piece to their home?
There are many elements that go into designing a stained glass window for a client. I want the window to look like it belongs in the space, as if it was always there. That means asking a lot of questions to get a sense of style, what they like and more importantly, what they don’t like. Most times, I visit the location to see the space and how the light will affect the glass. I work closely with my clients to design a window that will stand the test of time. After all, it is an investment.

You offer classes and workshops. How did this come about?

When I opened the studio, I had to offer classes to pay the bills. What surprised me was how much I enjoy teaching stained glass. I currently have eight classes a week with close to 60 students. Openings are usually filled immediately. Two years ago, I decided to give my students an opportunity to sell their work. We now hold an annual Christmas sale the first Saturday in December, which has been an enormous success.

Bosgraaf Studio
1214 Kingstown Road, Wakefield
782-1288