I have been interested in stained glass for almost half my life, starting with a fascination for viewing beautiful church and other architectural glass. I was drawn to the colours of the glass and the techniques behind producing such wonderful works.
I started my stained glass career by attending an evening class and learning the basic skills.
One of my first projects was to produce a small round window for our Victorian house. My friends and family were fascinated by the idea that this could be done at home by an ordinary person using just a few, inexpensive materials.
Over the years the hobby has kept going. Work, family and other commitments would intervene and I would leave stained glass behind for a while, then up it would come again and I would produce a few more items.
Newly retired with more time to spare I have reached the stage in my life where I would love to pass on these skills to others in a relaxed, informal setting. You can find more information on courses in the applicable pages of the web site.
In addition I am always looking forward to taking on larger commissions using the leading technique and developing window and panel designs.
I have in the past 4 years began to make fused glass items. This is so exciting as I am learning new techniques all the time and attending classes myself to learn about the possibilities that come with working in fused glass.
The History of Stained Glass:
The phrase stained-glass usually relates to coloured glass as a material or to the creations derived from it. During its long, thousand-year history the description stained-glass has mainly referred to the windows of churches and other important buildings. When people talk about stained glass they typically mean the glass made into flat panels for windows. More recently however, the art work of modern stained glass artists also includes beautiful and intricate 3D structures and sculptures.
Stained glass is simply glass that has been coloured by the controlled addition of metallic salts during the manufacturing process. The now coloured glass will be formed into windows by taking smaller sections of glass crafted to make up patterns and pictures. These are traditionally kept together in place by strips of malleable lead supported within a solid frame. The designs are often enhanced through painting and staining. The term stained-glass can also refer to glass that has been painted directly onto, then heated and fused within a kiln.
The best exponents of the craft will often combine the skills and expertise of both artist and engineer: artistic skills are always needed to create an eye-catching yet workable design and engineering skills are needed to construct and finish the final object. This combination means stained-glass crafting as a hobby appeals to both those with an artistic bent as well as those of a more practical nature.
The design of a window can incorporate many themes and figures: inside a church you will often find scenes fom the life and times of Jesus, within a political or parliamentary building you might see constituency shields, a university hall could have representations from both the arts and sciences, a residential building might contain memories from the owner themselves, for example a fondly remembered landscape. Unlike standard windows the use of stained glass is not so much about letting light in but rather controlling and directing the light without to form illuminated pictures and decorations.
In churches and other historical buildings stained glass windows have to stand up to everything the elements of sun, wind and rain can throw at them as well as support their weight without flexing or failing. Given that many larger windows have stood this test since the Middle Ages in many countries the stained glass window is considered a prominent, historical form of visual art.
When you take-up stained glass crafting you aren’t just partcipating in a hobby that could last a life time, you are joining a craft with a history that has illuminated many lives over hundreds of years.
Please enjoy stainedglasscourseslondon.co.uk and I hope to hear from you soon.