From left to right, Kevin Shaw, Cindy Whitworth, Jack Whitworth and Sophia Lind create custom stained glass windows in their New Braunfels studio. (Lauren Canterberry / Community Impact Journal)
For Jack Whitworth, creating stained glass began as a hobby and has grown into a passion that allows him to share his abilities and faith with others.
“I love creating stained glass because it allows me to be creative to give back some of the talent that has been given to me over the decades,” said Whitworth.
He founded Whitworth Stained Glass in 1970 in Panama City, Florida while serving in the Air Force.
In 1988, Whitworth became a member of the Stained Glass Association of America and began to broaden his skills and improve his craft, he said.
Years later, Whitworth and his wife, Cindy, opened their New Braunfels studio and gallery in 2007. Cindy designs and creates windows alongside staff members Kevin Shaw and Sophia Lind.
Since starting his stained glass career over 50 years ago, Whitworth has said he has designed windows for more than 175 churches and countless homes and galleries across the country.
Whitworth said he and his team consult with each new customer to create a design and select colors for their windows, making sure no two pieces are the same.
The beauty conveyed by the windows, the meaning behind the designs and the possibility of creating something lasting are what drives Whitworth’s passion, he said.
“How stained glass can speak to you and everyone else is just a very personal experience,” Whitworth said.
Through the SGAA, Whitworth said he had the opportunity to help educate artists across the country and served as the organization’s president from 2009-2011.
In 2016, Whitworth completed a training program to become one of two locals certified to assess stained glass through the Appraisers Association of America, according to the association.
Whitworth said he has evaluated stained glass windows across the country, including some pieces over 100 years old.
In addition to creating bespoke pieces and evaluating historic windows, Whitworth also restores antique works in hopes of preserving the creations for future generations.
“I want these things to be fantastic because they’re going to touch the lives of a lot of people,” Whitworth said. “I really feel blessed to have the opportunity to do what I do because it will affect years, generations … it makes a difference in people’s lives.”
Whitworth Stained Glass and Art Gallery
104 Melody Lane, New Braunfels
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9 am-5pm, closed Sat-Sun