Lifelong Artists

LAKEWOOD – More than 40 years ago, John and Jean Pearson started Pearson’s Stained Glass in Lakewood.

It all started with a lamp.

“It devolves from my wife wanting a stained-glass lamp when we lived in New Jersey,” said John Pearson, one of the owners of Pearson’s Stained Glass. “We couldn’t afford the prices in that area, so she tried to make one by herself. (She) went to a high school class and had problems, so I stepped in and finally managed to accomplish it.”

From there, the seeds were planted and the Pearsons started to make some stained-glass sun catchers. It didn’t take long for people to offer compensation if the Pearsons would make them something as well.

“I had another job at the time, so this wasn’t anything we were thinking about for a business,” John said. “But when we came here in 1974 and opened up, we decided to give this a try.”

Both John and Jean Pearson were physical education teachers. John was originally from Warren, Pa. and Jean was from Smithfield, Pa. They met at Slippery Rock College in Pennsylvania, and Jean eventually transferred to Indiana University of Pennsylvania. They moved around to different places before finally settling down on Lakewood.

“We always wanted to, I mean this is a house my wife always wanted,” John said. “While I grew up in Warren, I spent a lot of time up in here in Chautauqua when I was little. So, I wanted to come back here, and we finally got a chance.”

In the early years of running Pearson’s Stained Glass, they also ran a miniature shop for 20 years. They sold the miniature business 10 years ago.

When making a stained-glass creation, the Pearsons start with a design. Drawn to scale, the Pearsons work with the clients until they are happy with it. From there, they start to build the commission, cutting the pieces of glass and soldered the pieces of glass the lead, keeping it in place.

In addition to doing new work, Pearson’s Stained Glass also does restorations. These pieces take longer to finish due to the amount of work which needs to be put into them between removing the old glaze off of the glass and replacing broken pieces to adding new lead work to keep the glass in place.

Currently the Pearsons have done or are doing restoration work for the Marvin House, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Jamestown, St. James Church in Jamestown, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Lakewood, Manual Baptist Church in Jamestown, and many others.

Pearson’s Stained Glass can be found at 4 E. Terrace Ave. in Lakewood at the corner of Chautauqua Avenue. It is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 763-1244. Restorations and custom work should call in advance to set up an appointment.