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Window a labor of her faith

Most artists never see their works once they are sold. Louanna Richards will be looking at hers for years to come.

Over the past several weeks the Brooksville artist painstakingly created the large stained-glass window at Faith Presbyterian Church, which inaugurates its new home today after three years of waiting.

"I love the idea of being able to sit back and look at what I've done," she said. "Doing a church window has got to be the ultimate in stained glass."

Not to mention the bonus of doing it for your own church.

"I'm going to enjoy every Sunday I'm in here," said Richards, who created the pastel-colored window in her South Main Street studio and donated her time on the project.

She has been making stained-glass windows for seven years, learning the trade after she saw and fell in love with somebody else's stained-glass creation and couldn't afford to buy it.

She usually makes transoms, glass partitions for doors and the occasional stained-glass lamp. Last week, she was working on some side door panels for a chiropractor, gingerly cutting the glass with a small rolling blade into a shape that resembled a human being.

Faith Presbyterian's 6-foot-by-9-foot window has dozens of different pieces of red, cranberry, green and pink glass, all from Cocoa. The glass is connected by grooved lead strips glued in place. Putting it together was painstaking work.

"There were a few late hours at night," Richards said.