DELAVAN - For 35 years, glass designs have been artist Debbi Lane's passion and also have become quite the career for this Peoria native.
Working in a small shop in downtown Delavan, Lane puts her expertise to work designing stained glass windows for homes, businesses and churches throughout Illinois and other states, and will get to show off her work on Home and Garden Television (HGTV) in January or February.
"I'm not sure what's to come of it when it airs, but people have told me I'd better be ready, because a lot of people are going to be seeing what I can do," said Lane. "This is the blessing I got and is the blessing I'm going to work with."
Lane owns Classy Glass and Gifts in Delavan, where she produces stained glass work that focuses mainly on windows and doors.
The special on HGTV followed her through the home of an attorney in Oak Park, where she designed and installed 41 custom windows, including a front door, back entryway, several cabinet doors, 15 front windows and two French doors.
Attorney Kelly Halsted had seen Lane's work at an art show in Chicago where some of her stained glass cabinet doors were on display.
The project - Lane won't say how much it cost - was done at her shop in Delavan and took about 2Â½ months, she said. Lane then transferred the work up to Chicago in two loads and installed them with just a little help.
Lane was pleased with the finished product at the Oak Park home and is looking forward to seeing how it looks through the lens of a camera.
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"I think they're really happy with the work done, and it was so neat to have the crew follow us around," said Lane.
"It wasn't too nerve wracking; I'm pretty comfortable with that kind of thing. They had a microphone attached to me, though, and sometimes they would ask me to repeat what I just had said, which is difficult because what I say usually comes pretty naturally. I'm definitely anxious to see what will be aired."
Her latest project is work at the Boynton Mennonite Church in Hopedale, where an addition includes eight large side windows, a large 11-foot beveled glass cross window behind the altar and two smaller crosses on each side.
The windows are done and on display in her storefront windows, but they will not be installed in the church until after the wood ceiling is installed in January, said church member Ralph Steiger.
Steiger and his wife, Evelyn, found out about Lane's work and chose to use the local artist and fellow church member for their new pieces.
"She has done such wonderful work, and is just so congenial. We are as pleased as can be with the windows that are already finished," said Steiger,
"They are just gorgeous. She's done such a great service for our church. If we had gone anywhere else, we would have paid at least twice that amount."
For Lane, she said her work is never about the money.
"I'm never going to be rich, but this has all been such a reward for me. It's worth so much more than any dollar amount," said Lane. "I am so blessed, and with the church project, I get to sit around looking at my work while attending church."