Bill Darwin II learned the art of stained glass from his grandfather, the late Roy Darwin of Ann Arbor, nearly 40 years ago,
and has been making his living with it ever since. He handcrafts windows, doors, and lamps for homes, businesses, and churches.
Expert craftsmanship and attention to detail are the hallmarks of his success. Some examples of his work may be seen below.
This is a 1/10 scale prototype Bill created to illustrate the design and colors he used to build the window for the chapel
at the Marywood Nursing Facility in Livonia, Michigan in 2016.
Here is the finished product.
Two side panels were added in 2017:
Each medallion in the center was hand painted and fired by Bill Darwin II.
Griffith United Methodist Church, Eaton Rapids
St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, Chelsea, MI
The following was taken form the church's website:
"Crafted by local artisan, Bill Darwin II, and funded by memorial gifts, the window has surpassed expectations and has been a source of joy for St. Barnabites...
It's true that such projects can often bring much strife as well as much joy, but in this case, the strife was avoided.
Although many had their own ideas of what the window should look like, the committee hit upon a modern design that seemed to express
everyone's thoughts and capture their imaginations.
Darwin commented that the St. Barnabas window is one of the most colorful church windows he's ever built,
ranging from white and bright red and orange, to deep blue and purple...
A cross made of glass that creates a wood-like texture is the centerpiece, with a white dove descending toward it
through a blaze of colored light. At the foot of the cross, people gather and gaze. Those are the disciples.
But also the people of St. Barnabas, and the people of Chelsea.
Chelsea area residents will be invited to join in the dedication service, currently planned for September 2012."
St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, Chelsea, MI
The windows below were created for Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church, a gorgeous new contruction in Michigan Center, Michigan.
The contractors, builders, and church personnel were dedicated to the finest in building materials and committed to local
talent whenever possible.
Bill and Marsi began learning the art of painting on glass for this job - first painting, removing paint with tools and brushes,
and firing the glass in multiple steps.
The "Rose " window (featuring the dove) is 8' in diameter. The Saints windows are almost 6' tall.
Unfortunately, leadership in the church changed after these windows were completed, and discord among parishoners reigned for a while.
We tried to stay out of the politics of the situation, but it became apparent after a committee was formed that our painting was not
up to expectations, and the job was farmed to an out-of-state firm who did a beautiful job on the rest of the saints. We were called in
to make a few remaining windows, and there are no hard feelings on our part and hopefully those of the church and the contractor,
who is truly a saint, in our opinion.
The Holy Spirit window at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church, Michigan Center
Chelsea United Methodist Church
Approx. 13' tall x 10' wide
Shepherdsville United Methodist Church
First Presbyterian Church       St. John the Baptist Catholic Church - both Ypsilanti, Michigan
First Baptist Church - Jackson, Michigan
St. Paul United Church of Christ - Saline, Michigan
Congregational Church - Tecumseh, Michigan
Waterloo Village United Methodist Church - Old and New
Bill made and donated the doors on the left before he married Marsi there in 1990.
He and his mother JoAnne made the panels for the new doors in 2005, and in 2006 the arched window was added.
Zion Lutheran Church - Chelsea, Michigan
Salems Church - Salem Township, Michigan
Salvation Army Chapel, Lansing, Michigan
about 12' wide x 6' tall
Salvation Army Chapel, Detroit, Michigan
about 5' wide x 6' tall
A sweet little country church - Munith Methodist, Munith, MI
Plainwell United Methodist Church
St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church - Ann Arbor, Michigan
Mt. Clemens, Michigan Mausoleum
St. Mary Of Chelsea Bell Tower
Bill and Marsi were Artists-in-Residence at the 2003 Riverfolk Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Michigan.
They taught a group of high school students the fundamentals of stained glass in a 6 week class.
With help, they created three panels depicting local landmarks. This one is of St. Mary's Church.
Whistlestop Train Depot - Grass Lake, Michigan
(one of 14 windows donated to their restoration project)
St. Jacob Lutheran Church - Grass Lake, Michigan
~ The Building of a Church Window ~
Window Design in Color     Pattern Drawn to Size
Glass is cut and leaded     Soldered and Patina Applied
Glass Artisan Bill Darwin II and Master Craftsman Carter Blocksma -
Blocksma drove the finished piece to Pennsylvania where it was installed.
A Cautionary Tale
Several years ago, we donated some windows to a local church. But when a series of windows inside that church were to be made, a firm in Ohio
was hired at far greater expense than if Darwin's had been given a chance to bid the job.
Many churches order windows from out of state and even from Europe at enormous cost.
So if you are on your church's building or gifts committee, please be sure to check the local phone book or ask around for local contractors.
You are not only supporting local craftspeople who are your friends and neighbors, you will probably save a lot of money, too!
Please feel free to give us a call at (734)475-9730, or e-mail us at the address below.
We'd be very happy to meet with you at your convenience to discuss your needs.
You may view more of our work on the web at www.darwinstudio.com