Sparrows Point glass artisans create unique works
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 13:00

Sue and Ray Binetti create stained glass works of art at their Sparrows Point studio.
photos courtesy Sue and Ray Binetti

Binettis to appear at area craft festival

by Nicole Rodman

    Many people find stained glass to be a warm, inviting addition to any decor.
    For Sparrows  Point residents Sue and Ray Binetti, stained glass is a longtime passion — and now, a business.
    Since 1975, the Binettis have created art glass masterpieces from a studio in their home.
    This month, they will take their wares on the road, appearing at the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival at the Timonium Fairgrounds.
    Held April 26 through 28, the event brings together more than 250 artisans from across the U.S. to display their works for shoppers from around the area.
    This year will mark the Binettis’ 36th year participating in the festival.
    Married in 1967, Sue and Ray Binetti both worked as teachers for many years before their retirement.
    Ray taught drafting and woodshop in Baltimore County public schools. Sue also taught in Baltimore County.
    The couple first got their start in glass crafting after taking a course.
    “Instead of taking courses for teaching, we decided to take a course for pleasure,” the Binettis told The Eagle last week, noting,  “We initially took a course at Essex [Community College] in 1974.”
    Falling in love with the art of glass crafting, the Binetti’s made their first piece — a lamp — soon after.
    The next year they took their work to the Dundalk Heritage Fair and, by 1977, had started appearing at the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival.
    Both Sue and Ray had a strong background in handiwork and crafts prior to their discovery of glass crafting.
    Ray learned woodworking from his father as a child, while Sue had been crafting since she was very young.
    Prior to discovering glasswork, she had dabbled in such mediums as pottery, silk-screen printing and needlework.
    Summers off together gave the couple the chance to work on their art and participate in craft shows around the region.
    In retirement, they took their glass crafting to the next level. What began as a hobby turned into a business.
    They began to travel to craft shows in North Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. At each show, the Binettis offer a variety of wares, including lamps, boxes, suncatchers, panels and nightlights.
    Today, the Binettis still practice their craft, though they prefer to stick closer to home.
    “As we have gotten older we only do Sugarloaf shows within 1-1/2 hours from home,” they explained.
    While they work hard on designs to sell at craft shows in Maryland and Virginia, the Binettis also do custom pieces by order.
    Their business focuses on creating panels and lamps for both commercial and residential use.
    Customers interested in  ordering a piece from the Binettis can make an appointment by calling 410-477-3249.
    Stained glass artwork by Sue and Ray Binetti can also be found at the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival at the Timonium Fairgrounds, 2200 York Road in Timonium.
    The event will be held on Friday, April 26 and Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Sunday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    Admission, which is good for all three days of the festival, is $8 if purchased online and $10 at the door. Children under 12 are free.
    For more information, visit www.sugarloafcrafts.com or call 800-210-9900.