“Stained glass transforms everyday light into the light of paradise."
Christina Amri fell in love with stained glass when she was just 15. On a visit to San Francisco's Legion of Honor, she was profoundly touched and inspired by the work of well-known stained glass and tapestry artist Mark Adams.
At age 23, after a yearlong apprenticeship in Paris with a fourth-generation stained glass studio, which included restoration work on the celebrated windows at Chartres cathedral, she designed and installed stained glass and dalle de verre slab glass for the new chapel at Lafayette-Orinda (CA) United Presbyterian Church. Synchronistically, this chapel is attached to the sanctuary filled with beautiful Mark Adams-designed stained glass.
Amri went on to restore celebrated 17th century museum glass at the De Young Museum and Legion of Honor in San Francisco. She also created elegant and intricate stained glass domes and murals for high-end restaurants and casinos in Las Vegas and for Victorian mansions in San Francisco.
Today she takes a special interest in designing and fabricating stained glass for liturgical spaces, chapels, meditation rooms and other places of reflection. She continues to be inspired by the example of the exquisite artisanal craftsmanship and deep devotion that marks the ancient artisanal works of architecture and stained glass with heart, soul, timeless beauty.
Creation Window, Oakland
First Presbyterian Church — Oakland, California
Christina Amri’s soaring Creation Window rises nearly four stories in the sanctuary at this elegant neo-gothic-style church. This design, a collaborative vision between Amri and church leaders to portray a version of God's garments, or the fabric of the Universe. It draws on the Bible, Hayden's Creation Symphony, modern science, and this excerpt from poet Annie Dillard's Tinker at Pilgrim Creek.
"It could be that God has not absconded but spread, as our vision and understanding of the universe have spread, to a fabric of spirit and sense so grand and subtle, so powerful in a new way, that we can only feel blindly of its hem."
The soaring window's central visual motif is the unfurling fabric of God (or the universe) uniting, revealing, and expressing the complexity of creation.
Installed in 1994, this magnificent work is what the distinguished theologian and author Matthew Fox calls “the face of 21st century religious art.”
Other examples of Christina's stained glass work are below.