Artists create stained glass at Geary studio

by Judith Kahn


John Lenox has been a stained glass artist for more than 30 years, finding work in his

field for that long because of the varying ways glass can be used. Today, he runs the

Lenox Stained Glass Studio on Geary Boulevard.



 The glass artists at the Lenox Stained Glass Studio and Shop have worked on numerous local landmarks, including St. John’s Presbyterian Church and the library at the University of San Francisco. Pictured (left to right) are John Lenox, Roxy the mutt, Mollie Johnson, Spencer Chopp, John McCowen and Wendy Wilson. The Lenox team is standing in front of the Geary Boulevard
studio. Photos: John Oppenheimer.


Lenox loves how light interacts with glass and how the hard, brittle and unforgiving

medium can be light and airy. In addition, he enjoys the fact that one could give the same

materials and instructions to several artists and the results would be very different.


For the last 30 years, Lenox has worked on various projects, including restoring windows

in private homes and larger projects, such as renovating windows at St. John’s

Presbyterian Church and the library windows at the University of San Francisco. He also

enjoys being part of a team and working with various designers, architects and

contractors to build a house.


Lenox says San Francisco is a great city for stained glass.


“I have been in some remarkable buildings and homes with wonderful windows,”

he said. “I hope I have added a few of my own over the years since I have been

working here.”


The artist likes what the Tiffany Studios in New York has contributed to

colored glass use.


“I like what Tiffany and his people did to the art. He was one of the first to use glass color

and texture to replace painted glass and he had his own people making glass for his

works,” Lenox said.


LenoxGlass2 copy

 John Lenox works in his stained glass studio on Geary Boulevard.


Lenox attended the University of Minnesota and earned a bachelor of arts degree, with

an emphasis in “recreation and park administration.” Upon earning his degree, Lenox

interned in Norway at a ski resort in Geilo. But, after one and a half years, he came to the

realization that this was not the work he enjoyed doing, so he moved to the City, in 1992.

He got some experience working with glass in Minneapolis 10 years earlier, and

continued the craft as a hobby. But what started as a hobby became his passion and



Lenox is a member of the guild group Artistic License, which is a varied group of artisans

who work together to restore architecture around the Bay Area.


About 15 years ago, Lenox started designing everything on the computer.

Doing this allows him to easily share designs with clients, interior designers and

contractors. He now uses a cutter-plotter to output the designs. Technology has allowed

him to be more accurate and make needed design changes faster.


Lenox said one of the challenges of getting good employees is being able to pay them

enough to live in the Bay Area.


Personally, he has many interests, including sailing, skiing and biking, and for

more than 20 years he has worked to be a good family man. Lenox said he looks forward

to many more years working with the art form he enjoys and to continue to explore the

many new forms he can create using colored glass.


For more information about John Lenox or the Lenox Stained Glass Studio,

which is located at 2955 Geary Blvd., go to the websi te at or call (415) 752-1365.

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