Business

Madlon's Stained Glass Studio brings the art to you

'See the hidden treasures'

George Madlon displays a stained glass bicycle rim next to his mobile workshop at his home in Marion on Wednesday, July 25, 2018. Madlon has had a passion for creating stained glass art since his youth. He now sells his artwork online and in NewBo, and he teaches at the Eastern Iowa Arts Academy. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
George Madlon displays a stained glass bicycle rim next to his mobile workshop at his home in Marion on Wednesday, July 25, 2018. Madlon has had a passion for creating stained glass art since his youth. He now sells his artwork online and in NewBo, and he teaches at the Eastern Iowa Arts Academy. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
/

George Madlon didn’t set out to become a teacher, but it’s become a big part of his second career.

“It is my newfound love,” Madlon said. “I am very passionate about teaching, getting people interested in stained glass again. It’s an art that goes away, and to bring it back, as many students as I’ve had, has just been phenomenal.”

Teaching wasn’t on his mind when he set out to renew a youthful enthusiasm. Madlon, now 50, started working in stained glass as a Cedar Rapids Washington High School senior.

“I had a teacher offer to teach me the stained glass if I stuck around and helped her with the special-needs kids,” he said. “She showed me how to do stained glass and I helped the special-needs kids learn what they could do. For years I hadn’t done anything with it.”

Madlon worked as a truck driver after high school, and there wasn’t much time for a hobby.

“Got married, had our first child,” he recalled. “I gave it up for a lot of years because I was a devoted father. I finally said, ‘I’ve got to find out what I need to do to start my own business.’”

That led to a few refresher classes in the late 1990s at a Cedar Rapids stained glass studio, since closed. Madlon found he still liked the craft.

Madlon’s Stained Glass Studio was launched in 2014. Madlon maintains a studio at his Marion home, but works out of his van stocked with supplies and tools.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

“Being mobile gives me added value,” he said. “Brick-and-mortar buildings for stained glass, a lot of them don’t make it very long. I don’t have to pay the rent, just put gas in my van, make sure I’ve got insurance. Going driveway to driveway, the people can look at the glass in natural light and see the hidden treasures.”

Madlon’s niche is art pieces for the home. As a one-man shop, he hasn’t tackled a restoration.

“Some of the older stuff is lead channel,” he said, referring to the frames that surround each piece of glass. “I have not been taught how to do the lead channel. You have to grout it and that makes it heavier.

“Some of the church windows are so old they actually have lead in the glass, so you have to be very careful you’re not ingesting it.”

Madlon’s found a market for his “sun catchers” at NewBo Shops at 208, 208 12th Ave. SE in the New Bohemia neighborhood.

The teaching? That happened after a call from the Eastern Iowa Arts Academy in northeast Cedar Rapids. He started in winter 2016.

“I worked with the students, and they went home and evidently talked to their parents because the parents started calling wanting to see if there was going to be an adult class offered,” he said. “It just blossomed, and my classes have all been a sellout.”

Madlon said he’s helped four or five students make their new interest their main hobby.

“Getting people to set up their own studio at home is really what I try to get them to do,” he said. “Starting your home studio can get be somewhat expensive, and they want to be sure they’re going to stick with it and really enjoy it. This is a good place to try it without putting money into it.”

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

Thank you for signing up for our e-newsletter!

You should start receiving the e-newsletters within a couple days.

Madlon’s next class at the academy begins Aug. 17. More information is at the arts academy website, http://eiaaprogram.com/arts/.

l Know a business in operation for more than a year that would make an intriguing “My Biz”? Contact michaelchevy.castranova@thegazette.com.

AT A GLANCE

l Owner: George Madlon

l Business: Madlon’s Stained Glass Studio

l Address: 1505 Blackhawk Dr., Marion

l Phone: (319) 202-7805

l Facebook: Madlon’s Stained Glass

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

CONTINUE READING

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.