Sparkling With Color and Creativity

An Artist Who Thrives On Crafting One-Of-A-Kind Stained Glass Treasures

Growing up, Laura Goff Parham didn’t have many opportunities to see stained glass. It wasn’t until a backpacking trip through Europe during her senior year of college that she was exposed to the wonders of the craft. “It really changed the course of my life,” she says. “I loved the colors and the way they sparkled.”

After learning all she could through college and mastering the craft at various art studios, she founded Laura Goff Designs in Knoxville. She and her staff create beautiful, high-quality stained glass pieces for homes and businesses that often contain symbolic images or words. Over the past few decades, she has completed over 30,000 works of art.

Laura is always looking for design inspiration and finds it mostly through nature, especially trees. Clients also provide her with a lot of great ideas when they describe what they’re looking for in their custom-made pieces. 

Her style is often described as traditional stained glass with a modern twist. “My finished products tend to be contemporary, but not so contemporary that people will look at them and wonder what they are,” says Laura. “Also my borders are very unusual and unique. I’ll paint designs or write words on them.”

For a music-themed piece she’s currently crafting, she’s writing various musical artists’ names in color with a black background. In between each artist's name is a little musical note, so it’s kind of fun and funky.

Another one of her works involved using a stump that was dug out of the Tennessee River. “We shaped the stump and cut a piece of glass that was pushed down onto it so the stump protruded through a hole in the glass. Since the top wasn’t secure with just the stump, I had an ironworker make leaves around the stump to support the glass, and then we sandblasted fish onto the glass. It was a real labor of love, but very cool.”

Laura’s works can be found all over the state, including in the American Museum of Science and Energy in Oak Ridge and at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, where she completed a COVID-19 memorial that is loaded with symbols reflecting how the virus affected people’s lives.

Although she lives and works in Knoxville, many of her clients are from Franklin. She also works with designers in the area to create stained glass windows and leaded glass door kitchen cabinets in private homes. “Everything I do represents professionalism, and I thrive on creating,” she says.

“I loved the colors and the way they sparkled.”

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