ABOUT CURRAN GLASS- Specialty Glass Services.
Flash back to the years of Woodstock, the Chicago Seven trial, Apollo 11, Kent State and the Summer of Love. It wasn’t long after these events that John Curran, age 19, opened his first studio. He’s been working with stained glass, in different places and with different names, ever since.
Sunrise Art Glass (1972–85)
John learned the basics of stained glass in the late 1960s in San Francisco, during a hiatus from his Oak Park, Illinois, high school. When he returned to the Chicago area, John thought the local stained glass scene needed a youthful shake-up. And he needed a job. So in 1972 John opened Sunrise Art Glass in Oak Park. It’s a village famous around the world for its architectural treasures—many of which feature breathtaking stained glass—but Sunrise was the first-ever stained glass studio with an Oak Park address.
Curran Art Glass (1985-92)
In the late 1970s, as John learned how to bend and bevel glass, he acquired the various kilns and wheels these operations demand. He also acquired the remaining glass inventory of some old studios that had gone out of business. His own studio needed larger quarters, so he moved it to Chicago. Eventually John added glass fabricating to his list of services. The machinery for that forced him to move again, this time to a 42,000-sq-ft dairy that had been vacant for years.
Affinity Art Glass (1992-2001)
In the early 1990s John decided that running a large business was not for him, especially after the stress of rehabbing the dairy building. So he sold the fabricating business and scaled back his own work to custom stained glass, bending and beveling. John continued to work out of the “back side” of old dairy, but eventually got tired of trying to give people directions to this hard-to-find spot. After searching high and low for the right building, he finally found it, back in Oak Park. It included a 50-foot storefront in a retail area, so he added a retail glass gift shop to his custom studio business.
Curran Glass Studio (2001-2015)
The turn of the millennium brought lots of changes. John sold his retail operation and expanded his hand beveling and bending glass work, which meant more kilns, more molds, more wheels and a need for more space. He found it in a great building in Berwyn, Illinois, where you can see him giving some insights to. But in time, Cook County property taxes sent him packing…again.