Prof. Johannes Schreiter is regarded as one of the most influential post-war German glass artists, whose work is received and recognized internationally.

German art historian Dr. Holger Brülls has described the importance of Schreiter’s work:

“No other living artist has embodied modern stained glass as Johannes Schreiter. Schreiter’s style is to some extent the personification of the late modern epoch. His distinctive, individual style, […], has generated an influence over decades, which makes it difficult for the next generation of artists to depart from this archetype.”[1]

Johannes Schreiter has not only had a lasting effect on the genre of modern stained glass, his work has also affected the handicraft. We have been permitted to accompany Schreiter’s artistic development for over 60 years. His designs have repeatedly tested our craftsmanship and challenged the boundaries of our materials.

Johannes Schreiter sees himself as an artist and illustrator, who discovered the medium of glass in the late 1950s. In 1958 he designed his first window for St. Luke’s church, Bonn, which within a year was being executed in stained glass at our former workshop in Rottweil. In his early phase, Schreiter also experimented with the then prominent technique of dalle de verre. He completed several projects with the assistance of the studio in Rottweil, which was specialized in this new technique, including, among others, the window for the Diocesan Chapel in Johanniskreuz (Pfalz) in 1961.[2]

Innenansicht der Lukaskirche in Bonn mit Blick auf das große Buntglasfenster, kunstvoll beleuchtet, Schwarz-Weiß-Fotografie.
Großes Kirchenfenster mit modernem, abstraktem Buntglasdesign, Licht scheint hindurch in einen Innenraum mit einer großen Wand unregelmäßiger Steine

In the following years, a close relationship developed between Schreiter and the workshop team in the subsidiary in Wiesbaden (opened 1955, from 1973 at its current location in Taunusstein-Wehen). In the workshops, a multitude of major projects were created, including the windows for the Church of Our Lady (Notre-Dame) in Douai, France, 1976. Multiple works from this period include complex network and grid structures, as in the windows for St. Mary’s Church (Marienkirche) in Lübeck, 1981. At first sight, the patterns appear organized and predictable, yet there also exists elements of disintegration, deterioration and fragility, symbolized by single lines or configurations which open up. Our craftsmen converted these designs into complex stained glass windows. Each individual piece of glass was selected by Schreiter himself according its hue from the sheets hand-blown of glass.

Bild eines gotischen Kirchenfensters mit kunstvoller Bleiverglasung und deutlich sichtbarem Strebewerk.
Vergilbtes Foto: Drei Personen betrachten Entwurfszeichnungen für Glaskunstfenster in einem Atelier.

Since the beginning of the 1980s, Schreiter had been intensively searching for possibilities to convey his technique of Brandcollage [burnt collage] into glass, which he had developed during the 1950s. One of Schreiter’s most important symbols, the burnt form as a dark, emerging smoke bubble was to be created realistically in glass. As attempts to translate the delicate, homogenous color gradations with paintbrushes did not achieve the desired results, the team experimented with airbrush techniques for the first time in the history of stained glass. Dissolved glass paint would be applied to the glass very thinly and in multiple layers using a spray gun and air pressure. Substantially involved in the development were Andreas Otto, Karl Heinz Traut, Victor Baumgartl and Ingo Enzmann.

Zwei Männer betrachten eine Glaskunstarbeit mit rotem Akzent; einer benutzt einen Pinsel. Es sind 1982 Johannes Schreiter und Mitarbeiter Ingo Enzmann bei der Entwicklung der Brandcollage auf Glas.