Five of the lovely windows of St. Francis are the creation of Jeanette Frey Carson, who according to a 2003 article in the Ukiah Daily Journal, grew up attending services at the Episcopal Church in Ukiah. At the time of the article she had already completed about 100 stained glass windows for various churches. The article quotes her as saying, “Designing for the liturgical setting is a very delicate job. For most Christians, the inside of their church is like their second home. It is a sacred place where they are at peace. The design is carefully prepared with the thought that the parishioners shall live with the stained glass throughout their lives.”

Carson uses detailed symbols from the scriptures and religious history and myth. She begins with symbols because symbols transcend what may be the particular style of the day. She designs windows to take people what she calls “beyond and through” the windows. Carson states that she feels a window should include a balance between transparent and opaque glass so as to beautify not only in color but also by the light shining through from the outside. She states that she wishes to create something that is interesting enough to sustain long-term viewing. The article quotes Carson as saying, “The nice thing about stained glass, is that it changes depending on the hour of the day it is and the time of year. That makes it even more interesting.”

Another important part of her process is to study the available light in each church where the windows will be installed and to consider the color scheme and styles already in use in the building. The texture of the glass is even more important than the color of the glass. Mouth blown pieces of glass are the best. That’s where you get the best glass. Carson is working on two more windows for St. Francis’.