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The Battle of Britain in Stained Glass

August 31, 2009 at 12:22 pm

Well, Bubonicon is over for another year. And I already wish I didn't have to wait so long for next year. Mike Cassutt was a fantastic Guest of Honor (he also makes a good Pope), and Carrie Vaughn displayed her wicked skills as a Toastmistress. Richard seemed to enjoy himself -- though he especially enjoyed taunting his wife about all the cool people he got to meet -- and I know that after spending a couple of days with him, many (most?) of my friends would rather hang out with Richard than with me. (That's the fickle tide of popularity for you, I guess.)

Several new faces showed up to my reading, for which I am deeply grateful.  Poor Serge ended up sitting through the same reading I gave at the ASFS last May, but he was a perfect gentleman about it.

Speaking of Bubonicon, and World War II (which I frequently do, as in this post), I saw something wonderful at last year's convention that I haven't posted until now. I wanted to wait until a blog upgrade made it possible to do this justice!

A local artist from Albuquerque by the name of Joe Wexler works, among other things, in the medium of stained glass. He's also a history lover. And so he's made a stained glass window that commemorates the Battle of Britain.

Last year, he showed me photographs of his work. I was blown away by what he had crafted. Joe kindly agreed to email a few of the photos so that I could post them here on my blog.

Check this out:

Joe Wexler's Battle of Britain stained glass window

I love the colors. Here's the window from a slightly different angle:

Joe Wexler's Battle of Britain stained glass window (2)

Joe even went to the effort of evoking the details of several different aircraft that fought in the battle (notice the different fuselage and wing profiles!). Spitfires and Messerschmitts, I think? When I look at this I also see clouds and search lights.

But here's the really amazing part, which jumps out at when the lighting is right:

Joe Wexler's Battle of Britain stained glass window (3)

Yep -- those are photographs. Joe took some old photographs from the Battle of Britain and embedded the images into the glass itself.


If you'd like to share your appreciation for his work, Joe's email address is

joewexler178 AT yahoo DOT com

I also owe the mother of all apologies to Joe. He was kind enough to come to my reading on Friday night, and we got to chat briefly a couple of times throughout the weekend. Jow showed me photos of a few of his other pieces, including a stained glass window commemorating the Battle of Guadalcanal. And he even went to the trouble of bringing the Battle of Britain stained glass window to the convention on Sunday so that I could see it in person-- and we never connected. I'm truly sorry, Joe!


Richard September 3, 2009 at 10:32 am
Ian, I don't know if I properly gushed about your reading, but it was by far the best one I've ever attended. I love the Prologue and though I'd read it before you brought it to life with your performance. Bubicon now rivals Boskone for my favorite con ever. Next year I'll bring the wife so I don't have to sleep on the couch when I get home.
Ian September 3, 2009 at 10:38 am
Thanks, man. You are far too kind, but I like that. I'm glad the reading went OK. Since I'd given readings of that prologue at least twice before, I was getting a little tired of it. So I didn't practice for my Bubonicon reading as extensively as I have for the other readings I've done in the past. To me it seemed like the reading on Friday night was pretty flat. I will say for myself that I generally give pretty good readings, probably because I practice the hell out of them. I had several people tell me after my very first reading it was one of the best they'd ever attended. Definitely bring C. next year!
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