St Michael’s Restoration Project Part II – Working with TCS Mill Lane

My last post documented the start of my Heritage Lottery Fund Project with St Michael the Archangel Church, Teignmouth. 
Please click here to see the last post explaining the restoration 

For the second part of my project, I took my stained glass window templates to Teignmouth Community School, Mill Lane and worked with Miss Radford and Miss Goodwin’s year 4/5 classes over two afternoons. 

After a brief history and explanation of stained glass – I got the children working on their task, to design a stained glass window with a message to the world about something they cared about. As stained glass windows were the picture books of their time, conveying messages, to support the bible stories of the Vicar sermons. The pupils of Mill Lane were ALL about saving the planet, the windows reflect their frustrations and fears about plastic pollution and endangered animals. Some were about commemorating war and some were to do with commemorating dead relatives and promoting charities like cancer care charities. 

Thank you so much to the pupils and staff at Mill Lane for their hard work and enthusiasm. I hope you agree their pictures are delightful.  Here is a selection of them. 

I will begin hanging them all at St Michaels church in the next week and then all the children and their families can come and see their art exhibition. Several of the designs will be turned into larger banners for the church to display into the future. 

 

 

Internal window with the wow factor: floral stained glass window

This large stained glass window has left for its new home today; it is an internal window between two rooms and has added a great feature to their renovation. The iridescent clear glass allows lots of light to flood into the other room and allowed me to use strong rich red, green and blue glass without compromising the light.  Continue reading “Internal window with the wow factor: floral stained glass window”

Fragile Knowledge, Exeter Library Rare Book Commission for Art Week Exeter

I have been working away on this cabinet of curiosity for Exeter Library, as part of  Art Week Exeter. Exeter Library has a a fantastic collection of early and rare books and they have a new scheme to get people to adopt a book from the collection to pay for the restoration of these ancient books.  Continue reading “Fragile Knowledge, Exeter Library Rare Book Commission for Art Week Exeter”

New Work for Edge Sculpture Trail

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Went to install my new panel in the woods at the P1010568annual sculpture trail at High Heathercombe Centre

EDGE is an outdoor sculpture trail on Dartmoor and is set in a woodland with a stream running through. The theme this year is Renewal.

I haven’t tried to hang a stained glass window in the woods before and I really like how it looks suspended in the trees. Stained glass is usually in such solid stone and brick built openings and its quite different looking at it just suspended in the air. face portrait woodland ed

The panel mixes fused glass and traditional stained glass painting and leading. Its in a very sturdyWoodland Education work shopy frame, so lets hope it survives the Dartmoor Weather! Heavy rain and thunderstorms are forecast this week, so fingers crossed.

I don’t usually add textwoodland ed detail to my own work, but I have written a little bit of text that goes around the edge. No idea where this new found poetic streak has come from!

The panel is called Woodland Education and the words say

Gazing up, at the lacework sky of leaves,

‘Is that all?’, she sighed.

‘Oh no’, hushed the trees in wolfish reply.

‘You Can Always Try Again’.

 

 

 

A sad day for Art Glass

This is not my normal kind of post. I have not just finished a big commission, though I have plenty of them to be getting on with. It’s also very early in the morning, so my family know there is something up today! Indeed there is. I have got up early to day to (slight plooking up at Mountain Ash 2anic) bulk buy essential materials of my trade! Why? Well…..

Spectrum Glass Company announced the sad news that after 40 years of art glass production they are set to close. I use a lot of Spectrum glass, that clever texture that makes the glass look like ripples on water- that is their glass. Glass with a perfect flat finish to print onto – that’s their glass. Affordable, reliable, easy to cut and constantly pushing forward the science of glass for enhanced compatibility and new effects in warm glass techniques; I have come to take their products for granted. For example I start a major public commission in September and I was planning to use their glass for its fabrication. The main reason for their demise seems to be a dramatic drop in sales since ‘the c
rash’ they say around 40%. Now Spectrum are not a small, artisan company they are one of a handful of international glass manufacturers who specialise in art glass and this is a major disruption in the force for us glass artists. Even glass artists who do not use their products will feel the effects as it is bound to have a knock on effect to the pricing of other companies glass (especially warm glass supplies), as glass becomes a rarer commodity – that’s just supply and demand.

But how can this be happening? My studio is not in decline! I am busy, too busy, I cannot keep up with demand for my work from galleries, I have a 3 month lead time with commissioTeasels at sunsetns.  At gallery openings and Private Views people always enquire if I am busy, I can always honestly say, ‘Yes, I am so busy I struggle to keep up with it. Stained glass is a declining industry and their are fewer people with my skills with working studios every year – I get busier all the time.’

But I guess Spectrum’s closure is the reality of my slightly flippant words, this is the first time I am faced with the flip side of this supply and demand situation, as our skills become scarce so do the materials we work with and the people who make them for us. RIP Spectrum Glass, I will miss you very much.

Images of work made entirely from Spectrum – a little homage to my favourite supplier. becoming autumn up closeP1010511 P1010496