Mary Kernan demonstrates the process to make a stained glass item. Kernan and her husband, Jack Doebler, opened New Morning Glass in the business district of Mount Carroll, Ill., four years ago. In addition to teaching classes, the glass artist also does stained glass restoration and custom design work. Starting in January, they will be offering glass blowing workshops, and they sell unique glass jewelry and glass doorknobs at their store.
Mary Kernan demonstrates the process to make a stained glass item. Kernan and her husband, Jack Doebler, opened New Morning Glass in the business district of Mount Carroll, Ill., four years ago. In addition to teaching classes, the glass artist also does stained glass restoration and custom design work. Starting in January, they will be offering glass blowing workshops, and they sell unique glass jewelry and glass doorknobs at their store.
MOUNT CARROLL, Ill. — Working with glass is a passion for Mary Kernan that she enjoys sharing with others.

“I started working with stained glass more than 30 years ago when I trained with Alberto Garcia, a master craftsman from Spain,” said Kernan, who together with her husband, Jack Doebler, owns New Morning Glass. “Several years later, I decided I loved glass, so I started looking for a college program to learn more.”

She found a glass blowing program at an Oregon college, and she was able to enroll even though classes already were in progress.

“I needed a partner, so I was teamed up with the teacher’s assistant, Jack,” she recalled. “That assignment to Jack stuck.”

They operated New Morning Glass in Washington state for 20 years.

“I grew up in the Chicago area, and about six years ago, we decided to come back to be close to my dad,” she recalled.

In Washington, the couple lived in the Palouse region, a farming area that produces a large amount of wheat and features a unique terrain.

“We didn’t want to live in the suburbs, so we ended up here, where it is so pretty with the rolling hills and the wooded areas,” Kernan said.

Since she and Doebler had decided they weren’t going to work with glass when they moved to Illinois, they sold all their equipment. However, in just two years after their move to Illinois, they opened New Morning Glass in downtown Mount Carroll.

“We are a working studio, and we’ve been here four years,” the glass artist said. “I do original designs and custom windows.”

Kernan did the restoration work of stained glass windows at three local churches, and she has done windows for lots of residential homes, including entryways, bathrooms and kitchen cabinets.

“We get hand-rolled sheet glass from a Kokomo, Ind., company,” she said. “They make the glass the same way they have for the past 125 years, so I am able to match colors exactly for restoration work at churches.”

In addition, she offers classes to teach her glass skills.

The Beginning Stained Glass Class introduces students to the copperfoil method of making a stained glass window. The six-week class is held from 6 to 9 p.m. on Monday or Wednesday evenings, and the cost is $75 per person for the class and $50 for the supplies.

“We also have advanced stained glass classes, and some of our students call it glass therapy because they just get hooked on it,” Kernan said.

Starting in January, New Morning Glass will offer three-hour glass blowing workshops on Saturdays.

“This will be a neat experience for people to experience glass blowing,” Kernan said. “It will cost $125 per person, and only two people will be able to take the class at once.”

Unique, handmade glass doorknobs and pulls are made at the Mount Carroll studio.

“Our product line has three types of doorknobs — whimsical, craftsmen and coastal,” Kernan said. “The whimsical doorknobs include stars or hearts.”

The doorknobs can be purchased with hardware, and three finishes are available — brass, antique bronze and stainless steel.

One of Kernan’s goals is to create a legacy by making unique knobs.

“You can’t tell the difference between a Jack knob or a Mary knob, but you can tell the difference in our tumblers,” she said. “A Mary drinking tumbler is smaller, and it has a curve to it. We both have our own style.”

Glass jewelry is available at New Morning Glass. The unique pendants are made with dichroic glass and fused with a thick crystal overlay.

During December, holiday workshops to make stained glass Christmas ornaments will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. All the materials will be provided for $25.

New Morning Glass is located at 113 W. Market Street in Mount Carroll. For more information about classes or items for sale, visit www.newmorningglass.com.