By Taylor Boyd
When Amanda Honore Donley had spare time and free space on her worktable, she previously taught classes at community colleges, art centers, and different venues.
Donley, owner of the Rose Window Studio in Woolwine, said she has started holding stained glass classes to teach others how to create custom made one-of-a-kind art pieces.
She is currently offering a stained glass suncatcher workshop on Saturday, Feb. 26 from 1:30-4:30 p.m. for $45, with materials and use of tools included. An Intro to Stained Glass Workshop will be held on Saturday, March 5, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The cost is $145 and includes all tools and supplies.
Donley will also hold other classes on demand if there is enough interest. “You will learn all the skills to start doing stain glass on your own. Or you can just come and take a fun workshop and go home with a finished product,” she said.
“One reason is because of people being so cooped up due to the pandemic. It just seemed like there were so many people interested in learning something new,” she said of the passion instilled in her at an early age.
Donley was inspired to pursue art because of her childhood. Both her father and grandmother were artists. She uses her maiden name (Honore) in her work in deference to her upbringing and “because sometimes people will recognize that name from the past.”
Rose Window first began in 1984 in Martinsville, before relocating to its current Woolwine location in 2009.
The store offers a variety of stained-glass art, primarily for custom work architectural commissions. “People will order something for a front door, entry way, or small decoration. Bathroom windows are popular because you can have privacy but not filter or block out the light,” she said.
Donley also creates large stained-glass windows for churches, which are her favorite thing to create. “I love doing church windows that are unique with a special design that is one-of-a-kind that uses a lot of different types of glass,” she said.
She also likes to create abstract images for windows so that people can look at it in their own way and see different things.
Donley also paints murals and decorative finishes, primarily on-site, and canvas paintings by commission. She recently created a seashore mural for the Southern Virginia Child Advocacy Center in Stuart.
“It’s always something different. Sometimes it’s just a small thing or a special gift for somebody,” she said, adding her current project is for a church window in Franklin County.
Donley said Rose Window includes a studio, workshop area, and a gallery. Her own work, and works by other local artisans, are on display in the gallery. The pieces can be admired and bought.
While she is open to having other artists’ work housed in her store, Donley said she prefers to have pieces that match the theme of the area. “Nature is pretty big for the county. People come here for the Blue Ridge Parkway and Fairy Stone State Park. I like to have pieces that remind people of that,” she said.
Rose Window offers stained glass art in a variety of sizes, glass jewelry, Smith River glass jewelry, woodwork, pottery, repurposed glass and metal items, and stained glass tools. Small furniture pieces, paintings, mosaics, drawings, and locally done artists prints of the covered bridge in Woolwine are also offered.
Since Donley often works on-site, Rose Window does not have set hours. Those interested in stopping by should first call the store at (276) 930-2102 or (276) 340-8445 to see if it is open.
For more information, visit Facebook.com/RoseWindow or www.rosewindowstudio.com.