Hands On - Jay DeMauro

Back in October, I was looking for an artist for the “Hands On” brief for my 52 week project, and came across an article on the northjersey.com website about three local artisans.  I reached out to all three, and ended up taking pictures of Joe Nemeth, a woodworker, for that assignment.  I’ve kept in touch with the other two artists, and in late February caught up with one of them, Jay DeMauro.  Jay owns Artique Glass in Glen Rock, NJ. 

Jay grew up in the glass business; his parents owned a commercial glass company.  He worked in their business in his teens, and after attending college at Clark University in Massachusetts, and then Fairleigh Dickinson for a degree in Marketing, he started his own business, which he’s been operating for 30 years.  He started in Franklin Lakes, but he’s been at his present location in Glen Rock, NJ for ten years now.  Unlike his parents’ business, Jay works more with decorative glass, and mostly works with architects, builders and designers.  Jay's daughter, Adiana, a graphic designer, is now getting into the business to help him with his website and digitization of his templates.   

Jay said that despite the amount of time he’s been working in glass, there is always new techniques to learn.  He started out in stained glass, and also antiques mirrors.  Recently he has been focusing on a technique called églomisé, which is a French term meaning gilded glass.  This technique involves gilding the glass with gold or other metal leaf. He has also expanded his business into woodworking, particularly pieces that hold his glass creations - doors, windows, etc.   

Jay applying silver leaf to glass

Jay applying silver leaf to glass

I went to Artique on a Saturday morning, and three members of Jay’s team were working:  David, who started out working for Jay’s parents and has been with Jay for six years, Tom, who has been working for Jay for three years, and Vincenzo, who has two years' tenure.  They are a great group and we had a lot of laughs as I photographed them working through their process. 

From left:  Vincenzo applying the antiquing solvent, David hand cutting the mirror, and Tom sanding the cut edges

From left:  Vincenzo applying the antiquing solvent, David hand cutting the mirror, and Tom sanding the cut edges

All of Jay’s projects start with a design, and Jay spends time designing every day.  The designs are basically made into a paper pattern.  The pattern is then cut into vinyl and the team uses that as a template to sand blast the pattern into the glass.  All the glass at Artique is hand cut.  The final step involves applying colors and finishes.

Jay creating one of his hand drawn designs

Jay creating one of his hand drawn designs

I’d like to thank Jay and his team for providing a warm welcome and some laughs on a winter morning.  I had a great time observing their process and seeing the great work that they do.  Take a look at the Artique website:  www.artiqueglassstudio.com.  The work that the team does is impressive, and I found the pictures of the stained glass domes on their website worthy of a museum!

Jay in front of the display at Artique Glass' office in Glen Rock, NJ

Jay in front of the display at Artique Glass' office in Glen Rock, NJ