Installation of the Stained Glass Windows
January 20, 2010; August 4, 2011; and May 23, 2012
On Friday, August 4, 2011, Doug Bayer, with assistance by Kevin O'Connor and Ed Stewart, installed the stained glass windows depicting the Archangel Raphael and the Archangel Michael.
Overview of the Three Altar Windows After Installation,
For a large, high-resolution version (400k) of the main altar window image,
Hint: if the high-resolution image is only as large as the browser's window, try putting the cursor over the image and if it turns into a magnifying glass with a plus sign, then click the image to make it become full size.
Doug Bayer, who designed and created the window, and Josh Martin perform the installation of the main altar window on January 20, 2010. Doug explains the design theme at the bottom of this page.
On May 23, 2012, Doug Bayer, Jerry Lacy, and Josh Martin installed the circular stained glass window on the narthex wall of the nave.
Design Primer for Stained Glass Windows
Designed by Doug Bayer
The overlying theme that encompasses all of the windows for the church is entitled: THE NEW HEAVENLY JERUSALEM. This theme has been directed by the Universal Church for all
churches in the direction of decoration and enhancement. The theme has been
based upon the Scriptural passages encompassed in the Book of Revelation,
In understanding the design of these windows, I would
encourage one to read and contemplate these chapters. They are indeed very
inspiring. Depicted in the theme are the mysteries of our faith.
I will include a very basic description of the windows but
encourage all to look into the theme for a deeper meaning and find what it
means to each of us individually. Please note that every element in the design
is included with a certain purpose and meaning. Even the flowers have meaning.
The New Heavenly Jerusalem is a place of peace and a refuge
from the evils and destruction of the world. It is indeed like a beautiful
garden. Obviously the center of the window is a depiction of the Trinity the
source of all life and goodness. From here is the source of life giving waters
of the river of life. The four diamonds are the voice of God in the four
Gospels. The Star of David belongs to this design as we are the descendents of
The Chosen People and the heirs of His Grace and Mercy. The Triumphant Lamb
stands in peace. The Tree of Life is present in the Garden. Daffodils always
turn their faces to the light. The grape vine represents us, the People of God,
as the Body of Christ. Also in the garden, there is always fruit that is ready
in it's due season. The Rope border is one of the adorning jewels surrounding
the portals of the temple. This jewel is the one of the Precious Blood of the
If anyone would like a personal interpretation, I would be
pleased to accompany anyone. Perhaps we could discuss what these images mean to
each of us. Call the office and I will be happy to meet with anyone.
It is my hope that this artwork will bring many years of
thought and inspiration. There are many more windows to come and will continue
to deepen and enhance the atmosphere of our liturgies and worship. It is an
honor for me to have been given such a rare opportunity to serve our Lord and
our parish family in this way.
Blessings to you, Doug Bayer.
Wet Mountain Tribune, Thursday, November 5, 2012, used with permission
Artist Finds Hope and Inspiration in Stained Glass
In his studio, Doug Bayer is restoring a hundred-year-old stained glass window. Black with buckled lead seams, it hardly resembles a window at all. Bayer will dismantle it, clean each piece and re-lead it back together. He says the window, from a church in Florence, was probably made in Munich, Germany. Unlike the stained glass of today, color was painted onto the window, so Bayer will have to be careful when he cleans it.
A stained glass artist, Bayer is an expert not in just cleaning, but also creating church windows. Step into the new Assumption Catholic Church to see his handiwork: the trio of stained glass panels in the nave behind the altar (see images at top of this page). The windows represent Bayer's conception of the New Heavenly Jerusalem, which shows a garden, replete with flowers, fruit and light. The center window holds the Tree of Life with the Triumphant Lamb that, according to Bayer, depicts that “the battle between good and evil is done and we have arrived in the New Heavenly Jerusalem.”
A triangle in the center of that window represents life itself, with water and light flowing from it. The left side window portrays the Archangel Raphael, a symbol of healing, and while the one on the left portrays the Archangel Michael, the protector.
For Bayer, Raphael, the healer, is a particularly poignant symbol (see detail image to the right). A survivor of aplastic anemia, Bayer underwent a bone marrow transplant two years ago. So far, the treatment' has worked. His ordeal included blood transfusions every eight days and a two-month hospital stay in Denver during the transplant process. He nearly died twice, once from anaphylactic shock caused by medicines and another time from the shingles virus that attacked his intestines. Describing his return to Westcliffe, Bayer's eyes fill with tears. He says, “I never thought I'd see the Valley again and, driving into it, God reached into my heart and said. ‘welcome home, son.’ ”
When he fell ill, Bayer was in the middle of the window project at Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church in Westcliffe and tried to work on it when he could. From idea to installation, the windows took him four years to finish. Designing the windows, he worked closely with Father Vicente Paz en la Casa, developing a deep friendship with him until Father Vicente died of a heart attack in February, 2012. Bayer mentions the project included a total of six windows, with the final three to be completed sometime in the future.
Bayer also donated to the newly-built church two lovely, 150-year-old stained glass windows he salvaged from an abandoned monastery on the Hudson River. In a crumbling prayer chapel, Bayer stumbled upon these relics, “They are a treasure,” he said. “I restored them and donated them to the church since they belong to people for them to see.” Featuring angels in the center of intricate designs, the windows are installed at the back of the nave in the walls of the vesting and reconciliation rooms with spot lights directed on them from behind.
Bayer also blows glass, learning the craft when he worked with master glassblower Jan Erik Ritzman, the foremost Swedish master glassblower. Also, while living in Germany in 1992, Bayer teamed up with world-renowned Russian artist Igor Sacharov Ross; together they constructed large-scale windows installed at Bayeux on the Normandy coast in France, the University of Bonn in Germany, and the Haus der Kunst in Munich Germany. Now based in Westcliffe, Bayer still takes on large-scale commissions.
Besides his stained glass work, Bayer also works as an excavator, welder, and construction worker. “I am an artist even if I am working with dirt, trimming a building, or building a home,” Bayer says. He built his own home, a two-story tan stucco structure that houses his stained glass studio; across the driveway is another smaller stucco building where, he blows glass. He lives there with his wife, Deb, who works as a horse wrangler for a local ranch.
To see Bayer’s work, visit his website at www. bayerglassworks. com. — Cyn Williams