Beginnings of shagbark art glass

bill in the 1990sShagbark Art Glass began in Blairstown, IA. Bill Griffith gave his parents, Karl & Dottie Korff, a gift certificate to a stained glass shop for their wedding anniversary. His parents began working on glass in their home, near Blairstown, IA.

Bill was involved in art since age 13, when his mother enrolled him in a painting class. Whendottie Bill, age 23, saw what his mother Dottie and stepfather Karl were creating, he wanted to get involved. Soon, many people were commissioning the trio to make stained glass windows for their homes.

Then Karl, being an entrepreneur, surprised them with a rented storefront to begin operating a stained glass shop of their own. Karl had a full-time job, but helped in the business and was their marketing guru. Dottie was the master of the craft and worked tirelessly in the business. Bill was the artist and main customer contact.

In the beginning, the business could not have existed in the abscence of one of the three. It was decided that the name of the business would be SHAGBARK, because that was the original name of the acreage where Karl and Dottie resided, and where numerous shagbark hickory trees grew.

Today, Bill carries on the legacy since the retirement of his parents in 2002.

shagbark mom & dad
  Bill's pencil rendition of his parents, Karl & Dottie Korff, 2009

"Nobody has ever influenced me like my mother, nobody has ever had so much enthusiasm for my work and nobody has ever partnered with me the way my mother has. My mother now rests in peace." Bill Griffith.

Dottie Korff 1939-2009