Dianne Radford has been doing stained glass work professionally since 1987. Like many craftspeople, she discovered her love for the art as a hobby. She took classes at Buncombe Technical College in Asheville. Through a series of coincidences after moving to Birmingham, Alabama she became an apprentice at Freeman Glass Studio, where she stayed and learned for three years. She opened her own stained glass studio in the mountains of North Carolina in 1990. Dianne uses both the copper foil and lead techniques in her work. The copper foil method was used by Tiffany to create highly detailed, lightweight artistic pieces. After cutting the glass to the proper size and grinding the sharp edges, she wraps each piece in copper and solders the seams to join the glass. The leaded method is stronger and is used mainly for architectural work. The glass is placed in a strip of lead, called “came”, which has a channel that the glass fits into. Each joint of the lead is soldered and then the entire piece is puttied to resist the elements. She has made and installed windows in churches, commercial buildings and private residences. She also makes a large variety of sun catchers and ornaments.
Dianne participates in local and national juried crafts shows and is happy to answer inquiries about special orders. She is known for making one-of-a-kind memorial windows for churches. She also displays and sells her work at Main Street Gallery in Blowing Rock, NC.