Stained Glass Classes in Ocala

Daniel Yerdon takes broken pieces of glass and turns them into one-of-a kind works of art. 

Written By Karin Fabry-Cushenbery

The small stained-glass shop tucked inside Chelsea Square is filled with colorful pieces of artwork, some finished, some in varying stages of completion. The sun shines through the windows, casting colorful shadows on the wall.

Daniel Yerdon, owner of Design by Daniel, grew up a crafty kid.

“I was always doing paint by numbers, craft kits, string arts, crocheting and more,” says Daniel. “When I was older and out of high school, I became a butler for a woman in upstate New York. I lived in the boat house and did grounds work, yard work and meal prep. One of her dinner guests shared how they completed a stained-glass course in Syracuse. I found the place, make the trip to take the class and bought a beginner’s kit and book on stained glass.”

That was more than 30 years ago, and Daniel’s passion for glass artwork is more evident than ever. A crafter turned small business owner, Daniel is thankful for the opportunities his craft his given him through commissioned pieces, glass repair and more. 

“As a crafter, one of the biggest problems you can have is having too much craft stuff,” he says. “You want to make more, but you have to get rid of some of the supplies you already have first so you can produce more.”

A technology teacher by day at Dr. NH Jones Elementary School, Daniel spends his evenings, weekends and summers at his shop. One of his favorite things to do is share his craft with others, and he offers a variety of classes for those interested in glass art.

“Two popular classes are the beginning stained-glass class, which focuses on the Tiffany method using copper foil, and the beginning fusing class, which covers glass layering and firing in a kiln.”

Daniel says these make-and-take classes are typically one-on-one or very small groups. The stained-glass class is three separate meetings where students create a dragonfly, an iris and a mirror with a stained-glass frame. The fused-glass students typically create a votive candle holder and a frit picture that showcases poppies in a field. Because glass and heat are used during classes, Daniel only opens the class to those ages 16 and up. 

Although these are his two beginner level classes, Daniel is open to helping potential students create whatever they wish. He has students working on dichroic jewelry, 3-D stained-glass flowers, lamps, wire wrapping and more.

“There is a newer generation of stained-glass workers who are creating more modern pieces,” Daniel says. “Stained glass isn’t just the typical panels that may have been in your grandparent’s house. There’s so much more to it.”

Daniel found that most of the students who completed his classes were interested in continuing with stained glass on their own, so he also offers a complete kit (minus the glass) that includes all the tools needed to get going.

“There’s something special about making your own stuff and being creative,” Daniel says. “And making a gift for someone else is giving of your heart. Plus, the whole process is very stress relieving! You may say you’re not creative or artistic, and that’s OK. Stained glass is more technical than artistic. If you can cut a piece of paper, you can create stained glass.”

Design By Daniel

For class information, call Daniel at (352) 622-6004

3315 E Silver Springs Blvd, Ocala

Summer hours are Monday-Friday, 12-6pm

Saturday, 10am-2pm