During the past 25 years, Mary Lu Bennett has participated in all aspects of the stained glass business. She has worked as a designer, teacher, artist, and conservationist. From 1983 to 2005 she was co-owner of Sledd Winger Glassworks, where she designed and created decorative and functional stained glass for individuals, corporations, and architects. She has exhibited her work in shows from New York to Miami, including the prestigious Smithsonian Craft Show in Washington D.C. Her work has been featured in the Sharper Image catalog, the Art Institute of Chicago gift shop, and fine galleries across the country, and can be found in the collections of novelist Steven King, sausage mogul Jimmy Dean, and on the White House Christmas tree. She has received recognition from the American Craft Council and has been a recipient of the prestigious Niche Award. Throughout her career she has maintained a commitment to teaching her craft, instructing adults in her shop and studio and students in Henrico County schools.
In 2005, Mary Lu expanded her mastery of the craft by working in historic preservation with Scott Taylor Studio in Richmond, Virginia. She has worked on numerous conservation projects including the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., and St. Thomas Cathedral in New York City. She spent almost two years meticulously restoring priceless Tiffany windows for the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, a project she calls one of the highlights of her career.
Originally from San Diego, California, Mary Lu is a graduate of Averett University in Danville, Virginia. She currently works from her woodland studio in western Henrico County, where she creates custom pieces, teaches classes, and does stained glass repair work.