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Stained glass evening classes offered at Lehigh Acres Senior Center

June 13, 2018
By MEGHAN McCOY ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

The Lehigh Acres Senior Center began offering an evening class for the community after its members asked for night options.

Lehigh Acres Senior Center Manager Melissa Berry said the class became a reality when the logistics of having people there during the night hours took shape.

Berry said with only two paid employees, herself and a custodian, all of the instructors are purely volunteers.

Article Photos

The Lehigh Acres Senior Center now offers an evening stained glass class. Pictured: Inke Schirrmacher, Ruth Schroder, Roger Matteau and Irene Matteau.


"If we want the community to support us, we need to support them with evening classes," she said. "We chose the stained glass because I had someone willing to do it. It's a very unique wonderful art. It is a lot of fun."

Every Tuesday Ruth Schroder offers a stained glass course from 6 to 9:30 p.m.

"When you are a beginner, you start with two easy projects. You have to cut your glass with a pattern," she explained.

The steps following include grinding the glass to fit the pattern, foiling it before soldering it and framing the piece.

"Depending on how big it is depends on how long it will take," Schroder said.

Eight years ago she decided to take a stained glass class and fell in love with the art, becoming hooked, which transpired into teaching four years ago.

"When I started out, I got hooked on it. I love the creation and the stuff that you can do. People don't realize how much you can make out of stained glass," she said.

Some of the things that Schroder has created include a terrarium for growing herbs, a baby grand piano music box and jewelry boxes.

"It's just not a picture all of the time. You can make items too out of stained glass," she said. "Once you learn it you can choose whatever you want to make."

Schroder said she encourages her students to do easy projects to start off with, so they do not get too deep into the art and become discouraged.

"It's making a jigsaw puzzle out of glass . . . make it fit to stay together," she said.

The stained glass night class, the only evening class being offered right now, began four months ago. Schroder also teaches a stained glass class every Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Berry said the class is free with a $30 annual membership for individuals 50 or older, or $4 for nonmembers of the center.

Schroder said the first two projects are free for students. Any projects done afterwards, the student is responsible to purchase the supplies.



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