Back in the late 1960s, there was a resurgence of interest in stained glass in the US.
I am Jacqueline Helitzer Winch, an accomplished potter in the 1960s, my career in stained glass in 1969, began by exchanging lessons in ceramics for stained glass with a young master glass craftsman’s apprentice from the UK. As a student of art, fresh from UCLA, I already had several years immersed in the arts, especially printmaking, weaving and ceramics before my first hands-on experience with a medium I had long admired.
Immediately after UCLA, I opened my commercial studio, "The Pottery" which was featured in The Egg and The Eye's publication, "The Los Angeles Guide to Craft Instruction" and my work also found its way into the prestigious gallery's collection alongside those of notable names such as Ruth Duckworth, Peter Volkos, John Lewis and Ken Price.
Back in the late 1960s, there was a resurgence of interest in stained glass in the U.S. However, there were few modern tools nor much in the way of raw materials for serious stained glass-making available, and so I actually fashioned many of my own having learned the "Old World" centuries-old techniques. I was also purchasing the majority of my large glass sheets from Europe until some high quality domestic glass became more redily available. Although I continued to work in clay, printmaking, silversmithing and in fiber, my love of glass keeps me rooted there.
For several years, I worked as a studio artist and instructor for the prestigious Meredith Stained Glass Studios, Washington, D.C., where one of my greatest thrills was being selected to repair and restore a rare, antique Louis Comfort Tiffany lampshade for one of Meredith's clients.
In all my works; fitted panels, mosaics, three-dimensional, functional pieces, reproduction Tiffany lampshades, and my ever-evolving collection of Judaica and silver jewelry, I insist upon the highest quality, both in my materials as well as in my own workmanship.
My unique handmade wallpaper is becoming another passion as well. My work can be found in private homes, professional offices, restaurants and other public sites from coast to coast in the U.S., including most recently at the gift and book shop of The Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, California.
As a former student of the Wichita Art Association, Stephens College, UCLA and Cranbrook, I have been working in the arts for over 40 years. When asked about how I feel about myself as an accomplished artist, I respond that my greatest satisfaction is when my work pleases others.
“There will never be enough time to create all the designs I’d like to and each piece I do leads to the next with eager anticipation”.
A recent thrill in the 1990s, was the commission of one of my personalized kaleidoscopes to the art collection of Ringo Starr, London, England.
I have participated in many invitational and juried art exhibits over the the decades including "Art Music and Flowers” at the Cape Cod Conservatory of Music and the annual Barnstable County Daffodil Festival where I took first-place and best of show with my leaded and foiled "functional" Greenhouse. My work has also been sold in many prestigious galleries from coast to coast including each of the four Signature Galleries along the Eastern Massachusetts shores as well as in Connecticut; The Giving Tree, Cape Cod; and A Stone’s Throw, Brookline, Massachusetts. I have shown and sold at other galleries further west such as Gotthelf in Vail, Colorado; The Skirball Jewish Cultural Center's Museum’s gift shop in Los Angeles; Laura Downing Boutique in Laguna Beach; the gift shop in the Long Beach Museum of Art and in Fern's Garden, Long Beach, California.
My work has been featured in several publications throughout the U.S. as well as abroad including newspapers, magazines and in four books. These publications include The Crafters Project Book by Mary Ann Hall and Sandra Salamony; The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine; Better Homes & Gardens magazine; two of the Celebrate the Season series books by Meredith Publications; two Orange County Home magazine articles and as the contracted artist for the book, It’s Never too Late to Plant a Tree, by the late Melvin Helitzer and Morrie Helitzer where the 65 acorn awards I made were presented to the participants/subjects (including former U.S. President, Jimmy Carter) of the book as gifts of appreciation from the Helitzer authors.
Another special honor is to have been selected to show at the highly regarded, invitational, juried Artisan’s Market Show at the Long Beach Museum of Art, for the two years I lived there.
Now finally settled in my year-round, Palm Springs desert home with my author/actor/bookseller husband, Ronnie Winch (with whom I am currently working in porcelain clay), I am most often found working in my private studio on some new creation, where my skills are only surpassed by my endless imagination. So many ideas, so little time...