My name is Lesley Green, and I make stained glass and glass tile in Brooklyn, New York. My shop is called Bespoke Glass.
I started my business a few years ago after noticing a more widespread interest in good design, along with a huge resurgence and reexamining of craft and craftsmanship. I had just moved to Brooklyn after some time in Central Europe and the UK, and it was really becoming a center for small, studio-based businesses. With some vague ideas for a custom glass tile business and experience in the glass industry, I felt like my work had a place in the mix.
I want to push the technical boundaries of stained glass, and love the challenge of figuring out how to solve problems, such as creating open spaces in a pattern. Pattern and color are very important to me. I’m most often inspired by textiles in that respect. I also love Art Deco, elements of architecture, the illustrations of Charley Harper and books like The Grammar of Ornament by Owen Jones. Living in New York also generally feels like there is a limitless amount of easily accessible things to be inspired by.
One of my business’ main focuses is customization, and most of the products I produce are made to be hung in different ways. I want to give the client a lot of options. This approach allows stained glass to become a decorative element for people who don’t necessarily own a house or don’t want to make a huge commitment. I’m excited about taking stained glass beyond sun catchers and that broken window in your aunt’s attic (though those things are nice, too).
Etsy was really instrumental in helping so many artisans and craftspeople launch careers. It’s also a common thread between a lot of us who are friends, colleagues, and collaborators in real life: one of my studio mates is Annie Raife of Raife & Singer; I’ve worked with Woodknot Design on lots of collaborations, and I’m currently working with Sheepshead Design on some future projects.
My business has definitely made me more pragmatic. It’s helped me define what I am and am not good at: monotonous work and having my photo taken, respectively. I also can’t overstate the value of having a constant creative outlet and a great studio space (shout out to The Bakery!).