Diamond Rock Glass Studio donates stained glass windows to Tomahawk band department
By Jalen Maki
Tomahawk Leader Editor
TOMAHAWK – The School District of Tomahawk last week thanked Michelle Arnott of Diamond Rock Glass Studio for donating stained glass windows to the Band Department.
Michelle Arnott, owner of Diamond Rock, said the project began just over two years ago when School District of Tomahawk Band Director Jon Marin stopped by the studio to introduce himself and float an idea to put stained glass windows in the band room.
“He wanted to brighten up his room for the kids,” Arnott explained.
Arnott and Marin discussed what the windows would look like, and eventually decided to go with bright colors and floating music notes.
Arnott then asked Tomahawk student Courtney Cecil to draw a rough draft of a design, and after some tweaking, Arnott created the pattern for the stained glass windows.
After Marin gave Arnott the thumbs-up on the pattern and colors, Arnott began cutting glass for the windows.
“When I got to the point where all the colored glass was cut, I had hired a friend and student of mine, Gina Hensel, and she took them home, one by one, on large homasote boards to help with cutting the black music notes and grinding,” Arnott stated. “She then brought them back to me at the studio and I soldered the pieces together.”
Arnott noted that due to the size of the windows, they needed strong framing and reinforcement.
“I have a friend in Chicago who does framing, and so I ordered 12-foot long black oak framing, and she drove the frames up,” Arnott said. Arnott’s husband Brian helped with cutting the framing.
“By then, I was so ready to get them hung in the band room,” Arnott stated. “I wanted to see them up with light shining through them and in their new home, where they belong.”
In all, it took two years and more than 400 hours to create the windows, with each roughly five-square-foot window taking about 80 hours to complete. Arnott values the whole project at about $6,000.
After a few more hours of work by Michelle, Brian and a few of Brian’s employees, the windows were finally installed in the band room.
Arnott said she loves how the windows look in their new home and added that she was “so happy” to donate them.
“I hope they bring lots of inspiration to the kids and a lively place where music is made,” she stated. “These stained glass windows represent three of my greatest loves: Music, art and kids. I’m grateful to Jon and the school for the opportunity to share my work.”