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Stained glass artist overcomes adversity

Centereach’s Merich Gulsen wasn’t going to let anything get in his way of making a career with stained glass.

After attending an Istanbul interior decoration and visual arts school in 1980, the Turkish native developed a passion for the process.

“When I got involved with stained glass, I really liked it because it was different than other art forms we were learning in school,” Gulsen said. “Every day you do different [work], and every day is different than the one before.”

In 1987, Gulsen learned that lesson firsthand. A large piece of glass broke while he was installing it, and the weight of the sharp shard severed his right arm. Doctors were able to reattach the limb, but to this day he has limited usage of it.

Undaunted, Gulsen came to the United States in 1990 and opened L.I. Custom Stained Glass in Huntington in 1999.

“I take a piece of glass, and I turn it into a piece of art,” Gulsen said. “That’s the best for me.”

Click on the video above to listen to Gulsen talk about his passion for stained glass and the dangers that accompany making it.

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