Stained-glass windows have been admired for centuries. The art form reached its height in the Middle Ages when magnificent windows were created for great cathedrals. The art lives in NEPA at Baut Studios in Luzerne.
Baut Studios has a rich and fascinating history dating back to 1927. Founder Stanley H. Baut and a few workers produced beautiful stained-glass works of art. Notably, his father worked with the craft in Austria prior to immigrating to America.
Stanley’s son, Eugene, maintained the family tradition as a young boy and learned to become an accomplished craftsman. Educated at Bucknell Junior College, he received an honorary degree from Westmoreland Institute of Applied Sciences. Gene earned a number of patents during his career, including a Structural Stained Glass Window System. When Gene needed a machine, he would invent and create what was needed to get the job done, such as a kiln to fire painted glass and a saw for cutting glass. His sons were also inventive with machines, such as adapting the saw to cut marble.
Harriett H. Baut, Gene’s widow, was at her husband’s side throughout his career, helping in the office and learning the many aspects of the business. She continues to provide guidance and leadership.
Their son, Gerhard, got first-hand training from his family and earned a BFA from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and Rome, Italy. Gerhard has crafted in all mediums of Baut products, including painting of traditional stained glass. His knowledge of the science of glass and staining provides him the ability to duplicate priceless stained-glass windows. Gerhard takes an active role in all restoration and duplication efforts, from initial paint formulation to fired paint samples and finished product.
His sister, Karen Louise Baut Klemm, became involved in the office end of the business after attending Wilkes University. She continues to oversee the office and human resources.
Another sister, Heide Marie Baut Cebrick, became involved in the artistry at an early age and took as many art classes as she could at school. She became a skilled color selector and glasscutter and now oversees and coordinates the many activities of the design department, including hand drawing and computer graphics. She, like her brother, earned a BFA at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and Rome, Italy; Computer Network Training; AutoCAD; and CADD/CAM - Cybernation, MasterCAM Training.
Another sibling, Conrad D. Baut, also began when very young and apprenticed in all aspects, from initial manufacture to installation of the finished products. Conrad oversees operations and is responsible for estimates and specifications. He has a BS, Magna Cum Laude, in Business and Marketing from King’s College and Supply Member of Construction Specifications Institute.
Two grandsons of Eugene and Harriet, Grant Cebrick and Jacob Baut, are also now getting involved in the art and business of stained glass, carrying the craft into the 5th generation.
The work done at Baut Studios includes projects for numerous cathedrals, churches, shrines, museums, public buildings, hospitals, and educational institutions. The work is found across the United States and in local churches and colleges such as Kings, Marywood, Misericordia, the University of Scranton, and Wilkes. In addition, the work can be found internationally, such as in the Vatican embassies in Rabat, Morocco, and Bucharest, Romania, and in churches in Guam, St. Thomas, and Bosnia.
The valet entrance at the Mohegan Sun holds a breathtaking sculpture created by Gerhard and Conrad and the talented craftsmen of Baut. They used coal found near their Swoyersville studio to create epoxy resin impressions that became part of this one-of-a-kind tribute to the coal mining industry.
The Bauts also helped with the historic preservation of the Osterhout Library stained- glass windows, made up of 170 individual pieces.
Stained glass, as an art and a craft, requires the artistic skill to conceive an appropriate and workable design and the engineering skills to assemble the piece. The Bauts are skilled at making extremely strong and sturdy windows and doors that can withstand the test of time.
Heide pointed out that their father taught them “the importance of using the best materials, doing the finest techniques, and paying attention to details.” The richness and beauty of ever-changing light streaming through the texture and color of stained glass makes it a wonderfully satisfying medium in which to work and create. And, with the Baut family members’ extensive training and family tradition, they truly are the experts.
For more information about the projects of Baut Studio, log onto www.baut.com.