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FASSLER, Stephanie



Stephanie Fassler is an artist and designer whose career began with a degree in Fine Arts at the University of the Witwatersrand. Upon completion of this degree her father, the late John FASSLER (a former Professor of Architecture at Wits), suggested that she applied her talent to working with glass, having been fascinated with the quality of light through coloured glass windows, throughout her childhood.

Soon afterwards she left for England where she studied the ancient craft and refined her design abilities in the studio of a master craftsman, Patrick Reyntiens, in the Mediaeval Art of Stained Glass, and John Piper, famous artist of international renown.

On her arrival the two artists had just completed the largest window in Coventry Cathedral in the Baptistry. During her apprenticeship, Stephanie assisted with the construction of stained glass windows for the Eton School Chapel and many more new churches and buildings in England, as well as the Liverpool Cathedral Lantern.

In launching her own career, Stephanie opened her own studio in Johannesburg, where she perfected various techniques of working with coloured glass. These include leaded stained glass windows, lampshades using the master, Tiffany as an inspiration, and the modern technique of 'dalles-de-verres' (slabs of glass) in which slabs are set in concrete or resin. Later on a more three dimensional approach, lead to more sculptural pieces, and very unusual light fittings.

Among her most important window commissions are the following buildings.

St. Columba's, St. Francis, both in Parkview, St Frances in the Forest, The Senate Chamber at the University of the Witwatersrand, The Rand Water Board Building, Saheti School, Roedean School Chapel, the Bishop's Private Chapel, St. George's Church in Parktown, The Hospital Chapel in Kimberley, (a National Monument), the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Pretoria, the Gereformeerde Kerk in Fochville, the Oxford Synagogue, Christ Church in Constantia, (her first three dimensional window), the All Saints Church in Vanderbijl Park, The Everard Read Gallery, The Institure of South African Architects, Price Forbes, the Professional Provident Society, St. Mary's School Chapel, Parktown Girls School Library, a chapel at Raandjeslaagte, and St. Catherine's in Bramley.

She also produces lamps, and windows for private commissions and her work is to be found adding richness, and elegance in many private homes as far afield as England, Germany, Australia, Portugal, Austria and Canada.

Stephanie has participated in many exhibitions in public galleries, among them being the Everard Read Gallery on two occasions, the University of Johannesburg, and The Johannesburg Art Gallery, and many more.

Her largest stained glass window of 12 square metres, was made for the private home of the Chairman of one of the Mining Companies.

The Savoy Cabbage Restaurant houses several of her light fittings.

Stephanie is the sister of architect Mira FASSLER KAMSTRA.

List of projects

With photographs
With notes

McIntosh Memorial Window: 1983. Tshwane (Pretoria), Gauteng - Artist

Books citing FASSLER

Berman, Esmé. 1983. Art and artists of South Africa: An illustrated biographical dictionary and historical survey of painters, sculptors and graphic artists since 1875. Cape Town : Balkema. pp 41

Oxley, John. 1994. Stained Glass in South Africa. Johannesburg: William Waterman Publications. pp 60-64