A Reflection of his Life: Stained Glass Artist Robert Rathman

November 12, 2016

Solmate-by-Robert-RathmanHis creations take lots of patience and skill.

Otherwise, weeks of work can be lost in an instant.

South Shore artist, Robert Rathman, has been working with stained glass since the 70’s.

Many of his pieces grace houses and even boats in Tahoe, Southern California and Mexico, like this one of Solmate. One of his proudest works of art is the entire ceiling of Rojo’s basement located in South Shore.

Working with glass definitely puts Robert in the moment. Finesse is the key.

Before he starts a new piece, Robert likes to know where it will hang so he can understand how the lighting will affect it. Next, each piece of glass is hand selected by Robert.


For instance, one client did not want the glass to clash with her decor. The final result (pictured here) was a beautifully composed piece with several complementary patterns of clear glass.

Robert chose a variety of glasses with different textures and patterns to represent the water of Lake Tahoe, mountains, sky, and the trees and rocks in the foreground.

This meticulous attention to detail helps him to translate the desired mood using the right pieces of glass with just the right colors – or not! – to bring his work to light. And to make very happy clients.

boat1.JPG(Yes. She loved it.)

Rathman is an avid sailor which is a major theme of many of his creations.

Recently he finished a very large commissioned piece (pictured on top) for a local sailor who just purchased his dream boat. It captures the essence of Solmate anchored near shore in the San Blas Islands of Panama.

A lover of the arts and a guitarist, Robert also completed a clear piece of the Grand Hall at Valhalla for Candy who retired in 2008. He often volunteers at the historic site in South Shore during the summer, as well as building sets for the LTCC drama department.


A very quiet, humble man with a keen sense of humor, Rathman’s talents were finally recognized in 2006.

His Tropical Stillness piece on the left won the Panel Category of the Glastar national art show.

Robert recently survived a brain aneurysm eliminating his ability to do heavy construction any more. When asked what he does for therapy, he chuckles “just living in Paradise”. His income is now derived from his stained glass art.

We’re so glad Robert is still around.

Not only for his art, but for his gentle and loving approach to life that teaches us it’s the moment and people that count.

To have a commissioned piece created for you, please contact Robert in South Lake Tahoe at (530) 543-3289.