Paul Martinez, a California native, received his early creative education in art and drafting.  He began his career working in art glass at the Judson Studios, a Southern California institution with over a 100-year history of providing quality stained glass windows in United States and around the world.  This part time job evolved into a career in glass.

Always interested in the contemporary expression of glass, fused glass became Paul’s most recent endeavor, combining his technical abilities with his eye for color and design

I haven’t considered myself to be an artist.  I thought of myself as more a craftsman. I developed the skill and learned the techniques of working with glass and this, along with developing an eye for color and design, enables me to create art glass. 

I began my education by working with leaded glass or stained glass.  I started as an apprentice working at Judson Studios over 40 years ago.  Judson Studios was, and still is, a stained glass studio with a national and even international reputation.  Judson Studios has a history of over 140 years in designing and constructing leaded glass windows all across the United States.  It is located a short distance from here in Highland Park.  It’s founder, William Lees Judson, was also a painter and part of the Arroyo School of art.  The studio itself is in a building that was formally the USC School of architecture.  Where William Lees Judson was a teacher.  They now have a second studio in South Pasadena.

As an apprentice it was my job to soak up as much as I could about every aspect of the process of making of stained glass windows … and I loved it.  At Judson’s, I was surrounded by artist and craftsman with many talents, people who had honed their skills through decades of working with glass.  I was exposed to many different techniques and styles of glasswork; traditional art glass designs as well a modern.  And, perhaps most importantly, I learned about different types of glass.

I fell in love with the art and the glass.  I wanted to learn as much as I could.  And because I was cheap labor, I found myself working nights and weekends at other small studios in the area, which exposed me to more different kinds of glass projects.  I worked on churches and temples, restaurants and many beautiful homes. 

 Window repairs were well above half of this work.  Many of the windows I repaired were decades old, sometimes over a hundred years old. I felt it an honor to work on some excellent stained glass windows that came from Europe during the mid to late 1800’s.  I also was privileged to work on some windows and lamps by Louis Comfort Tiffany studios, probably the most famous art glass studio.

Fortunately I was able to make a career out of what I learned.  I became a foreman at another studio, and then a few years later I started my own business.  Then, about 23 years ago, I began seriously pursuing fusing glass.  Although I am now retired from making leaded glass windows.  I still feel the same love of glass and fortunately I get to keep doing what has been my passion for many years.  Any day I get to work in my glass shop is a good day. 

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