Tom Holdman's interest in stained glass began in high school when a teacher saw his potential and acted as a sort of mentor to Holdman's interests. At 21, after returning from Texas, he started a stained-glass studio out of his parents' garage and found patrons by traveling door-to-door. Using funds he received, he traveled to Europe where he studied stained glass and other artistic masterpieces. Holdman describes his introduction to glass-art as "It’s a partnership of three — the artist, the glass and the light. You are only one-third of that partnership. I loved how the light interacted with the glass. It’s hundreds of pieces of art as it is affected by the sun. That captivated me."
Tom began Holdman Studios in 1988 in Lehi, UT. Since its creation, the studio has taken on about 1,000 commissioned works, some as large as 10' high by 200' long, consisting of over 60,000 individual art-glass pieces soldered together. A second Holdman Studios exists in Ensenada, Mexico. Some of Holdman Studios' most notable clients include The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Roman Catholic Church, many Protestant churches, Thanksgiving Point, Wadsworth Brothers Construction, St. George City, the Clyde Companies, Utah Valley University and Brigham Young University.
One of the first stained-glass works Holdman spearheaded was for the Orem Public Library in Orem, UT. This project, funded by Karen and Alan Ashton, depicts classic children's fairytales and stories. The panels caught the eye of a designer for the LDS Church, who asked Holdman to sketch his ideas for a glass-art depiction of the First Vision for the Palmyra New York LDS Temple. Holdman's ideas were eventually approved and the Palmyra Temple became the first of 80 temples where his breathtaking art-glass would capture the awe of worshippers and visitors alike. Since Palmyra, Tom, his wife, and Holdman Studios have been responsible for creating and restoring stained glass windows for LDS temples around the world. Regarding his work in LDS temples, Holdman states, "As we work through the design elements—like in Fiji we worked with the palm leaves that overlap with each other and in Paris we show a lily and other flowers of the country of France—we look for those impressions of the home around the local Saints. This is a worldwide church, and one design doesn’t fit all."
Most recently, Holdman designed, created, and installed a glass-art wonder in Rome, Italy in the Rome LDS Temple visitor's center. This work, a four-panel depiction of Jesus Christ's life, miracles, parables, and mission, measures 20' by 7'. A book titled "Come Unto Me" written in part by Holdman and his wife, Gayle, details the images present in the windows.
To learn more about Holdman Studios, click here to go to the website.