Tatum on the cutting edge


Dee Tatum opened her studio in Hattiesburg to teach other art lovers the techniques used in stained glass making.

Somewhere over the rainbow is where you will find Dee Tatum, owner of Seraphim Studios.

The colors of the rainbow are reflected in Tatum’s stained glass works of art.

Tatum, a stained glass artist in Hattiesburg, took up the hobby when she took a class to learn the basics.

“In the early 70s I got involved in the hobby simply because I liked the way glass looked and the many many colors,” Tatum said.

She later turned her hobby into a career while she and her husband, Toddy were living in Baton Rouge.

“I was laid off from my job when I took a class at a glass shop in Baton Rouge,” she said.

Tatum took a class under the direction of store owners, Jim and Claudia Simpson.

“I enjoyed being there and because I was hanging around all the time, they hired me,” she laughed.

Tatum worked part time at the store and also managed to work at home in her home studio.

In 1995, Tatum and her husband moved back to Hattiesburg.

“We decided we wanted to come home to Toddy’s hometown,” she noted.

Tatum reopened her home studio and began doing commission work out of her home.

“During that time several people had approached me about teaching a class, but my studio wasn’t conducive to teaching,” she said.

Tatum moved into a commercial building where she began holding classes.

“We quickly outgrew that space.

“As it was, I could only have about four students in a class,” she said.

Last year Tatum moved into her present location on 10th Avenue where she holds classes and does commission work for business and residents in the area.

“We have so much more space, and now I am able to accommodate up to eight students in a class,” she said.

Tatum noted the practical reason for having stained glass as a hobby is that not much direction is needed.

“This is a craft that once you have the basics, you don’t need me,” she said.

Classes are offered in every area of stained glass from the copper foiling technique to the leading technique to panel lamp construction.

“Although students don’t really need me after they get the basics down, they do come back if it is only for the supplies,” she said.

Not only does Tatum offer classes and direction in stained glass cutting and sautering, she also sells supplies needed for the craft.

“This is not an inexpensive hobby.

“The tools and supplies are somewhat expensive, but when you think about how much it costs to buy a finished piece of stained glass it’s not too bad,” she said.

Tatum said she enjoys stained glass work because of the supplies and the finished product.

“I have always enjoyed the wide variety of colors of glass there are to work with. There is a piece of glass for everything,” she said.

“One of my favorite parts about working with glass is the color. There aren’t that many mediums where you get the vibrant colors you do in glasswork. You don’t get that vibrant shine in a true cobalt anywhere but in glasswork,” she said

. Not only is there a wide array of colors to choose from in glasswork, but there is also a wide variety of textures.

“My favorite piece of glass to use is a Kokomo Ripple glass,” said Tatum.

“It’s not necessarily the easiest to work with, but the finished product is amazing,” she continued.

Some of Tatum’s work has included the Historic Hattiesburg Downtown Association; the Saenger Theater Restoration and Walnut Square Pharmacy and Ice Cream Parlor

. “It’s so much fun,” she said.

“As long as people keep coming to us we will be here,” she smiled