Vermont Stained glass artist Fred Varney was born in 1947 in Springfield, Mass., which is known as the “city of homes”. Many of Springfield’s fine dwellings featured stained or leaded glass windows. Fred remembers noticing and looking for stained glass from an early age.
Fred attended Clarkson College in Potsdam, N.Y. from 1966-1969, then moved to South Woodbury, Vt. where he bought land. Just prior to moving to Vermont in 1970 Fred began working with glass. Restoration of some damaged windows for his future Vermont home, and constructing a lamp from leftover pieces of glass were his first experiences working with glass.
After building his own home and barn in Woodbury, Fred worked as a designer /builder of custom homes for a few years before turning to glass full time. His present barn, studio/ residence is also self-built. Fred took up life drawing in the mid 80’s when he was commissioned to produce several figurative windows for the United Church of Hardwick, Vt. He has studied with artist’s groups and individuals including Pat Degorgoza and Jim Gahagen, Adele Dawson, Marie La Prie Grabon, and Bill Brauer. Fred took up pastels in 1985 and his works have been widely exhibited since his first show in 1986.
Over the years, Fred has completed hundreds of commissions and autonomous works: free standing glass clocks with curved ” slumped glass” sides, original design “Tiffany” type lamps, skylights and numerous windows. A love of drawing and designing, fascination with the beauty of the glass itself, and the desire to work with his hands made Stained-Glass a natural career choice.