King Center shows off Preston Studios works in April


Preston Studios created a master bedroom window as part of the 2018 International Builders Show in Orlando.

Viera Voice photo

<i>VIERA VOICE PHOTO<i/>  Dr Phillips Hospital, near Disney World, has nine stained glass windows designed by Preston Studios.The stained and art glass works of the Preston Studios of Melbourne will enhance the lobby of the Maxwell King Center during April.

Jerry Preston and John Emery, creators and designers of art glass images and windows, are enjoying their 42nd year in business.

“About 80 percent of our work is residential,” said Emery, the spokesman for the artists. “We do home entrances and their bathroom windows, stained-glass windows in a number of hospital chapels in Central Florida and Tiffany-like lamps and art.”

Their work has been created for the owners of California’s Hearst Castle, for Allen Neuharth, USA Today and Florida Today founder, writer George Plimpton and the Melbourne Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, to name a few. Interior designers from Brevard County to Canada, across the USA and on to Denmark and Scotland use Preston Studio creations.

“It takes four to six weeks of construction for a residential entrance, not including design,” Emery said. “It is custom and one-of-a-kind, and the design is intended to last forever. It is intended to enhance the value of the home, so we match the architecture as much as possible. Jerry is the practical person and the one who cuts most of the glass.”

“John likes to say that he does the design and I do the trees,” said Preston with a chuckle. “John is the primary designer and he is very good at it. He checks out the setting and the design.”

Emery calls himself a radical in the field using copper foil technique, not lead channeling. All the work is done in copper foil just like Tiffany originals then soldering over it with a 50-50 combination of tin and lead. The solder is what holds it together. They don’t use all lead channeling because that sags over time. Essentially the projects are double glazed.

Both Emery and Preston taught themselves as hobbyists in stained glass, creating new and original designs in lamps from the very start before what Emery says the Odyssey and Worden systems (creators of Tiffany-like designs made easy for craftspeople) became available.

Preston, who holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Texas Tech, spent 14 years as a field director in the American Red Cross. Emery studied history, completing his bachelor’s degree at Rollins College and graduate work at the University of South Florida. He also studied history and art in Europe. He was exposed to Tiffany art glass at a young age through Rollins College and friends who had a Tiffany collection. Preston and Emery met at Patrick Air Force Base.

The King Center presentation will include large detailed photographs of windows and entrances the two have created, including a photograph of a window from the Melbourne Trinity Church. A small graphic under each photograph will explain what it is and the year it was completed. Three Tiffany-like Preston Studio lamps also will be on display. However, the only way the exhibit may be viewed is by those holding tickets for center performances.