Mount Saint Mary Academy is a prestigious Catholic high school in Watchung, NJ. In the late fall of 2014, a committee reached out to me about creating a commemorative plaque to honor their Directress for her 25 years at the Academy and 35 years as a Sister of Mercy. A few members of the committee came for a studio visit and asked me to create some designs. Although the plaque was to be fairly small, the design was intricate, including the logo and name of the Academy. (Some of the glass pieces in the crown are no bigger than my pinkie fingernail!) Additionally, they were on a timeline, budget and wanted it to be a surprise! We discussed construction options-- fusing the glass or using a traditional stained glass technique. I showed them some examples of each and explained how the traditional stained glass technique would have some extra lead lines that are necessary for construction. They decided they liked the traditional stained glass construction method with the name of the Academy painted and fired onto the glass. I think they chose wisely-- the piece looks classic and stately and is a fitting honor for a woman who has loyally served them for so many years.