Richard Macdonald was born in Bronxville, New York in 1939 and grew up in White Plains, a suburb of New York City. His father was a design draftsman and painter and his mother Lillian was a sales manager for a national household products company. As a child of two working parents, Richard developed a number of strategies to entertain himself during the solitary hours and he claims an early fascination with the visual properties of even the common glassware of his childhood. As a young adult, Richard's glasswork started crudely, melting fish weights and leading the pieces together with a gas torch. When he began to incorporate actual stained glass however, he was astounded by the sheer diversity of color and texture available. He brought his first creations to his co-workers at Mass. Clinical Research Center and was surprised and pleased by their reactions and within a few months he assembled a small studio in Cambridge, MA. In the two years that followed his studio expanded and was moved to the suburbs and Richard found himself in the tenuous emergence of craft shows and galleries. Later, (1972) he moved to Maine with his wife, three year-old, and one-month-old twin daughters. Boothbay Harbor has been the home for the Macdonald Stained Glass studio ever since.
The evolution of Richard Macdonald's style and designs stem from a continuous development of technique and from experimentation. He wanted to create designs of a classic nature, that is, he wanted his designs to fit comfortably in a range of settings, and he wanted them to survive changes in fashion that date trendy décor. The hundreds of designs he uses now represent a substantial body of original work and over the years certain trademarks have emerged; 'open' work for example and his use of faceted glass. But perhaps the most prominent and remarkable feature of Macdonald Stained Glass is the vast range of creations the studio produces. Mirrors, lamps, wall sconces, table sconces, hangings, and panels are made to order for shops and galleries around the nation. He enjoys a loyal customer base and also takes on commission projects. Some of these projects include church windows, nautical pieces, oversized lamps, cabinets for jewelry, terrariums and sculpture. Though his work appears in shops and galleries all over the country each piece is produced in Richard's converted barn and is made by hand. The small team of seven employees takes great care in the making of each piece and each person involved has spent time developing his or her expertise. The material used is the best quality available and each piece is designed to last forever.