Colorful Bits Make a Stunning Piece of Art

Scarab Glass Works was created in 1976 by Susanne and Brad Clarke in Fresno, Ca. and presently occupies a historic 6,500 square foot building in downtown Fresno. Located on the cusp of the first Griffith proposal of 1880, the first neighborhood north of Downtown, the building Scarab occupies dates to pre 1920 and is kept in impeccable condition.
Scarab offers a variety of clear architectural glass, with varied textures and visual qualities. All production work at Scarab Glass Works is designed by Susanne, a highly skilled crafts person, she oversees the projects to the last patina. “The client’s vision of what they wish to view is assiduously respected, and color drawings with glass samples are presented for approval before production begins.” Susanne tells us.
A UC trained artist originally from Fresno, Susanne moved to Monterey and began teaching. They soon found it expensive to have a studio there and began thinking of Fresno as a possible location. They relocated and eventually found the historic 6,500 square foot building in downtown Fresno once home to a grocery store … where former patrons still stop to visit.

On a recent visit to the studio we saw a new window as it was being designed. “Windows designed for religious settings must transcend architectural constraints, aesthetics, and beauty” Susanne shares. “We strive to create inspirational panels to beautify a sanctuary regardless of technique.” Design and vision combine to create works that challenge stained glass norms so spiritual significance, belief, and hope can be conveyed.
“Professional glass artists need to be skilled in visual communication, working with color to set mood, character, and spirit. Preliminary sketches are the ground work for most stained glass projects. When they are translated into finished glass works, the special alliance with light and color create a beautiful environmental transformation.” In this case, drawings of the concept, along with photos of existing windows in the same location, were used to create a new design for Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Once approved, it was then drawn to scale and glass is selected or even created to bring to life the drawn concept. It it may take more than a month from concept to hanging. Laic stained glass, usually seen in churches, became popular for the first time in the 19th century, and until recently traditional Victorian style patterns were synonymous with stained glass. The beauty of this craft is timeless and in Susanne’s hands it is a work of art.
Join About Town Taste Saturday as we set out into the cultural arts district and stop by Scarab Glass Works for a visit.
April 9th @10a.Art, history and food…..just $25pp Please call so we can reserve with the restaurants too! or 559.392.4471