The Center

16 unique intuitively painted and engraved stained glass designed and crafted for my own home.


An outer layer with a burst of colors and the inner part with four different segments each telling its own story. A story of grief, of rebirth, and most of it a promise; a promise of love. Love is eternal as a circle, the center,  to where we come from and we will return.

The edge - waves of grief

The colors on the edge are symbolizing waves of grief; a combination of sadness, despair, and feeling hopeless.  Yet the closer the colors get to the center, the lighter and more freely becomes the design, and even tiny flowers emerge, a sense of hope.


*There are hidden symbols in the outer layer, these were not planned they intuitively emerged while I was creating. 

Story one - purpose

In the first story,  a girl holding a flower in her hand, holding on to a grasp of eternity. Telling the story of my near-death experience, when I was 5 years old I visited the ‘center’ - heaven. They said it was not yet my time, so I came back here on earth, it learned me something important and that is purpose. Life is not an accident, we are here for a reason.


This image was the drawing I intuitively created many many years ago, it was the first one of many. It has led me to glass art and to my life now in France. I kept it safe for many years, just like my near-death experience, so that one day I can tell my story. When my brother passed, I felt very strongly I wanted to try to bring heaven to earth. I was able to see my brother and know where he was, but my family and his friends just have memories. After 1 year of intense grief, I went back into my atelier and started this difficult project. Because of my experience, I work with light to bring hope and love to others. I’m holding this tiny flower in my hands, a connection to eternity. And with my hands, with my craft, I hope to shed a light into the darkness, into the unknown

Story two - Why ?

In the second story, a girl sitting under the tree of life, she has passed, little hearts growing out of her soul, of all the people who miss her terribly, symbolizing a  childhood friend. And on the right, an angel reaches out to the girl offering her the flower of eternal life. And the girl takes the flower and in this union, a heart appears, the promise of love. And her soul goes up...


In this story I asked the most asked question; why does God allow all the suffering and pain? Why do I live and she passes away?  Young people who pass away too soon, like my childhood friend, my brother, and many more… All the suffering in the world why does God allow it…?


Just after the funeral of my brother, I remember we just visited one of my friends and during the drive, I became so sad I asked to stop. I tumbled out of the car and fell on my knees crying, looking at the dark sky, full of rain, screaming to God why?! Why couldn’t you save him? And then in the middle of the sky, a moon appeared between the clouds, and I hear my brother's voice: “I am saved” 

Story three - The promise of love

The third story, is a reunion with all the people we love, the promise of love. In the year after my brother passed away, I had a vision where I was in the center and my family appeared and we meet again.  And all the people and our animal friends who went before us surround us, we hold each other intensely.


There is a lamp on the right corner of the glass art piece. I had a strong urge to engrave a lampshade on the day my brother passed away, even though I had no idea he had passed. I was creating intuitively a tiny person who seems to enjoy a magical world. And then a phone call that shattered my heart; Stefan has passed… I never finished this lampshade, instead, I engraved it inside here, next to the reunion, connected to a sunrise, the promise of a new day. And any time I relive this moment I go back to the window, and I look upon the reunion, and I remember, we are not lost we are loved, always. 

story four - Victory

The fourth story, is about victory, the battle is over, love has overcome and we are together celebrating, doing what we love under an endless sky: riding butterflies, climbing mountains, singing and dancing, reading, swinging, chilling, smelling flowers… anything that makes us happy.


Despite this part is the happiest one;  the message of love and hope, it was one of the hardest ones to create. 

 In difficult times it's easier to be overcome by the waves of sadness and anger than to float in the midst of them in peace. While I was creating the center there were times I felt a huge wave of sadness hitting my heart, I put on some music and I kept on creating as tears fall on my cheeks. And there were times when I pushed myself too much, I became angry at myself, the loss of loved ones and God, a lot of glass ended up shattered on the ground.  When I finally finished this huge glass art piece ’the center', and the daylight hit through, I smiled and cried, both at the same time. The battle is over, victory; for love has won. 

And even when I write this; I cry, I miss, I fear I long, I hope, I love …

Despite all the darkness, there is light, there is home.

We are so loved in heaven “the center” as on earth. In the end,

love...that’s all there is, as a circle going round and round,

to where we come from and we will return.



Esther Femmigje


15 Rue de l'ancien Marche 

Val-de-Virieu, France



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