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Glass Artistry

Nov. 19, 2013

There is a wonderful duo of extremely talented stained glass artists located right in Shorewood, Wisconsin.

The first is Michael J. Hecker, and his studio is Oxford Art Glass Studios. This is a smaller business that has accomplished huge things. An architect, he began this business on his own about 15 years ago – a true entrepreneur – and has created pieces that are second to none. His artistry is amazing; sketching/designing custom pieces to the client’s specifications. The fact that it is a hometown business, with the capability of doing very large commissions, just makes it that much more interesting. Obviously with the economy the way it is, the fact that he has been able to remain a viable business speaks for itself.

Some of the commercial projects include all of the stained glass work at Trinity Three Irish Pubs (you can see his work on their website), the huge stained glass window commissioned by a benefactor of St. Joseph Hospital in West Bend, 18 windows at the historic Milwaukee Club and extraordinary work now displayed at many homes from Cedarburg to Milwaukee’s East side and lake front, to Brookfield, to Racine and Kenosha, to Lake Forest, IL – including the home of former Milwaukee Symphony Director Andreas Delfs. This just scratches the surface.

He and the second artist, Melanie Brotz, recently created one of the largest residential windows they have ever done – a huge window of yellow iris – installed as one single window. This was installed in a home in Dousman. These two talented people are also masterful at repair and restoration of existing pieces, and recently completed the restoration of windows taken from a former convent on National Avenue, along with a number of residential restorations on Lake Drive and the surrounding area.

Melanie is a gifted stained glass artist specializing in very intricate pieces – windows, panels, collectible pieces. She is a perfectionist, and it is reflected in her work. Creative one-of-a-kind pieces of all types. She creates amazing kaleidoscopes with her own designs – not a kit – that are just beautiful. She is also a photographer, and earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree, with a major in Photography from Cardinal Stritch University. She is very talented in many genres of art – from drawing and painting to pottery, silk screening, fabric dying, graphic art and just about anything else. And the beautiful part of this story is that through their work together, they are now also a couple – not just colleagues. This is their life and their work.

You can see more of their work if you click on “gallery” and “large scale commissions” at the website: www.oxfordstudios.com. One note – this website is currently being totally redone. A more up-to-date view of current pieces can be found at the Oxford Art Glass Studio Facebook – just google that.

I think with all of the large businesses featured in so many magazines and newspapers, it's nice to get the word out about these two extremely skilled artists that offer a real personal touch. The attention to detail is unmatched – no quick turnaround work being done at this fine studio – and all is custom-designed.

As a lover of art, and particularly stained glass – (I work at Saint Francis de Sales Seminary which boasts a beautiful chapel with stained glass windows) – I wanted to pass the word about this wonderful studio.

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