Artful illumination at Stubborn Cow Glass

One of the shop’s best-selling panels is of multicolored lobster buoys. PHOTO BY RACHEL TAYLOR

A bell jingles when the door opens to Stubborn Cow Glass. Inside, the daylight illuminates a majestic peacock, spreading its iridescent train, created in stained glass. Blue, orange and yellow lobster buoys light up in another window panel.

Across the shop’s show room, room, sun-catchers of cardinals, blue jays and chickadees glint from their perch in arched windows. The numerous stained glass windows inject a burst of color in this dreary, gray day.

Dave and Lisa Roy are the force behind Stubborn Cow Glass located at 55 Main St. in a handsome brick building that once housed a Merrill Trust Co. branch. The Roys sell original stained glass works, but they also do commissions and teach classes.

Six years ago, the couple picked Stubborn Cow Glass as their enterprise’s name because it is their term of endearment for each other.

“It’s what we call each other because we’re both very determined and persistent,” Dave said.

Roy’s favorite piece to have in his home is the three-sided lantern. “It just lets the glass be what it is,” he says.

An electrical engineer by profession, Dave initially did stained glass as a hobby. It was Lisa who introduced him to the artform when she took a class. She enjoyed it so much that they built a studio in their home.

“I never saw her because she was always in the studio. So I said OK I’ll take a class, and I fell in love with it just like she did,” Dave recalled. “It’s a really good way to spend time together relaxing, unwinding, staying busy.”

Honing their skills over 15 years, the Roys eventually opened Stubborn Cow in 2012. Looking back on his working life as an electrical engineer, Dave has enjoys the change of pace the studio has brought.

“The two careers are probably as diametrically opposed as they could be,” he said with a chuckle. “Much less stress now, there are no stained-glass emergencies.

This day, the two shop cats, Ozzie and Romeo, are lazily lounging under spotlights on the workbench scattered with unfinished projects. Holding a scoring tool in his hand etched with small cuts, Dave demonstrates the cutting process, breaking the surface tension on a piece of clear glass.

“You always get in the way Ozzie,” he said, nudging the feline’s nose away from his project.

At Stubborn Cow Glass, shop cat Romeo supervises as stained-glass artist Dave Roy prepares to cut a piece of glass.

Even beginners, Dave says, can create works of art. His and Lisa’s first projects hang in the studio. His was a sun-catcher of a pencil and red apple while Lisa’s was a honey pot and bee.

“As long as you pay attention to detail and you’re patient, you can actually do some fairly good work even as a beginner,” he related. “We were happy with the first projects we did together.”

Besides window panels, Dave enjoys exploring and fashioning other forms of stained-glass from lamps to three-sided lanterns.

The latter are “just three pieces of really pretty art glass,” he said. “Put a bulb in the middle of it, solder it all together, and it just lets the glass be what it is rather than trying to manipulate it. I like the way they glow at night.”

Dave find it especially rewarding when a customer asks him to create a piece to remind them of their family, their dog or something else meaningful.

“They come in and buy it and I think, ‘Wow, I can’t believe somebody actually paid me for my thoughts, my craft and what I do,’” he said.

For more info, call 1-(207)-433-7505 or visit www.stubborncowglass.com.