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GALLERY: Pizza Not Satchel Raye’s Only Passion

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He is known as the owner of a pizza place that’s won over the hearts of Gainesville with its character, flair and taste. But the décor of his restaurant—with endless detail and picturesque arrangements—reveals his true passion.

Satchel Raye, also known as Satch, has owned Satchel’s Pizza for 11 years. But more accurately, he is an artist.

Although he makes a living with his restaurant, he lives for the moments when he’s creating art.

“People know me as a pizza guy and that’s true,” Raye said, “but really, I’m just an artist who can make good pizza.”

For about six months, Raye has been working on a stained glass project. Raye is in the process of covering the outside of a greenhouse behind his home with stained glass.

“I am a painter, and my paintings are similar to the stained glass I like to do,” Raye said. “So it’s an easy transition.”

In addition to his stained glass work, Raye draws, writes, collages and paints — his favorite medium. He also frames his own paintings, and his work can be seen at annual art shows his restaurant hosts throughout December and January.

Raye created 23 paintings in 2013. This year, he has been more focused on completing his stained glass greenhouse project, but he plans to continue pursing painting and collaging once it’s completed.

“I love having a restaurant, but mostly because it’s a place [where] I can make all sorts of art,” he said.

Satchel Raye, owner of Satchel’s Pizza, works on his latest project, a stain glass greenhouse.

Raye assembles the wooden frames, the first step of his stained glass greenhouse project.

After cutting the glass into patterns and wrapping the pieces in copper foil, Raye solders the glass pieces together.

Raye said he purchases the colored glass and other supplies he needs from McIntyre Stained Glass Studio and Art Gallery in the Thornebrook Village shopping plaza.

Raye finishes soldering the stained glass piece in his art studio at his home in east Gainesville.

Satchel finishes assembling a stained glass piece, which is now ready to be installed into the wooden frame. Behind him are stained glass windows he made before starting his greenhouse project.

Raye inserts the wooden window frame into the side of his greenhouse before attaching the stained glass piece.

Raye completes the last step in the assembling process as he installs the glass into the wooden frames.

Using a brad nailer gun, Raye tacks wooden strips of trim that hold the stained glass in place.

“It’s always been something I wanted to do, but it always seemed a bit overwhelming to tackle,” Raye said. “But once I got started, I got obsessed.”

Raye’s display of art doesn’t stop at his restaurant. Both his workplace and house are interesting and unique places to visit.

Raye said he doesn’t have any expectation for a time of completion for the project. He has another side to complete that is about 30 feet long, so it’s a project he will continue for years to come.

About Natanya Spies

Natanya is a reporter who can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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