Stanley Klopfenstine, a master of kiln work, is no longer with us. He provided hand painted and fired bits to studios all over during his life as a stained glass artist. He was noted for pioneering work in designing and making his own kilns, which enabled him to do multiple firings in a single day. He produced a video showing his techniques named "The Stanley K Way." Stanley was recognized by the AGG at the conference held in Kokomo, Indiania, which featured some of his early works at Kokomo Glass.
For over 30 years he provided important details to Preston Studios, among others, in Florida (and beyond). A celebration of his life and works will be held at Preston Studios starting at 4pm Saturday June 30th at 4pm in Melbourne, Florida.
Photo shows John Emery (left) of Preston Studios with Stanley in his Cocoa Beach studio some years ago.
One of my favorite stories about him was that for about 6 years or so I would cut glass out, take it up to his studio in Cocoa Beach, and pick up the work he did within a few days. This might be a few medallions, or a whole border system for several doors, or whatever. Didn't seem to matter whatever else was going on in his studio otherwise, it just went like clockwork.
Can't remember what triggered the conversation exactly (it might have been his wanting to teach me how to do this stuff, which I knew was well over my head), but something came up and he told me, "...oh no, other studios would never be able to deliver like that - they only fire once an evening - usually over night. I fire several times a day because I made my own kilns and have my own system." It was a rather startling moment to realize I had had a "secret weapon" in my arsenal for so long without even knowing it.
Anyways, for over 30 years Stanley provided Preston Studios with an ability to deliver QUICKLY super custom fabulous works....like this commission we completed for a major patron in 2013 (which involved three 7 foot tall by 4 foot wide windows....all executed/assembled in the Preston Studios traditional copper foil technique) in less than 5 months: