Copper in the Arts

June 2016

Prancing Pony Glass: Copper Foil Takes Shape

By Jennifer Hetrick

Kaleidoscope stained glass with copper foilKaleidoscope stained glass with copper foil by Anita Troisi.
Photograph by Jennifer Hetrick.

Anita Troisi first learned to craft stained glass in 1977 after answering an ad in the local newspaper looking for workers to assemble glass suncatchers at a local wholesale shop.

The suncatchers they made used only lead came, but when Troisi tested out her first piece of stained glass on her own outside of work, she decided to experiment with copper, and became hooked on the process. By 1988 she opened up her own shop, called Prancing Pony Glass, using only copper foil for her stained glass.

“I had no grinder to smooth the edges,” Troisi recalls about her first piece in stained glass, a color-rich peacock, which she recalls spanned around 30 inches by 15 inches.

One aspect Troisi says she loves most about stained glass is the way it always looks different, depending on where the sun is in the sky, filtering through near a window.

Restorations of antique stained glass and new projects make up the majority of Troisi’s work. She specializes in tabletop and hanging lamps, kitchen cabinet door inserts, transoms, jewelry boxes, perfume trays, kaleidoscopes, decorated mirrors and suspended panels.  

She has also had a lot of requests for depictions of pets in stained glass throughout the years, and flowers like roses and orchids show up from time to time in her final pieces.

 Anita Troisi Anita Troisi works with copper foil and a small piece of stained glass.
Photograph by Jennifer Hetrick.

“I try to make flowers look real when I create them in stained glass,” Troisi says.

Troisi sources her stained glass and copper foil from Warner Stained Glass in Whitehall, Pennsylvania, north of where she lives, and Rainbow Art Glass, Inc. in Farmingdale, New Jersey.

She appreciates copper for the versatility and mobility it brings to her work.

“You can move it around and work with it on a tray, so it’s not as confining as lead came, which you can’t leave out for long,” she adds about sitting in more comfortable chairs in her living room, away from her workstation.

Troisi’s art is sold at the Village Flower Shop on the outskirts of Spring City in the county next to her own, and her ornate and labor-intensive kaleidoscopes get a lot of attention from customers.

And even without having a website, Troisi said people have found her, calling her through people she used to work with many years ago, media coverage and Google.

“It feels very good to make something that’s pretty, when you’re finished,” she says about her time with stained glass.


Prancing Pony Glass, Pottstown, PA, (610) 970-5003

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