Gorgeous Glass with Neile Cooper

We’re currently hosting stained glass artist and jewelry maker Neile Cooper, the creator of the Glass Cabin in Sparta, New Jersey, at Plum Nelli.

Neile made the trek out to Washington to join a group of 10 students on the farm to teach them everything she knows about making stained glass art. It’s been a blast so far! We spent the weekend learning how to cut/break, grind, foil, and solder glass, with the final step being polishing. The results were creations of feathers, crystals, whales (as homage to our giant Washington residents), and 3-dimensional boxes using found objects sourced from our local beaches.

The process is magic. Hot and cold and sharp and wet, and feels alchemic and slightly dangerous to a beginner. Neile guided us gently through the process… and it’s easy to see how one might get hooked.

We also hosted a pop-up shop featuring Neile’s work… beautiful stained glass sun-catchers, and boxes, plus her lovely butterfly jewelry (some pictured below). The butterflies are farmed, living our their winged stage in a protected enclosure, and then collected when they die. Neile turns the fragile beauties into wearable art, by pressing them in hand-cut glass and encasing them with silver alloy. Butterfly farming protects the natural habitat of the butterflies through conservation of the natural vegetation and leaves the wild butterfly population intact. 

I turn these fragile beauties into heirloom pieces, by pressing them in hand-cut glass and encasing them with a silver alloy. This work began over ten years ago when I found a monarch butterfly dead in my yard. It was just so beautiful and so delicate so I wanted a way to preserve and keep it. 

The Intro to Stained Glass will be followed by another weekend of sourcing inspiration from the land and designing a piece of larger scale. Can’t wait to dig into the process again and see all of our students’ results!


If you’re interesting in participating in a Spring Stained Glass workshop with Neile at Plum Nelli, please reach out to get on the list!