There are some new tiles at the studio creeping out from the kiln and decorating various areas.
Well I seem to have lost a whole set of posts and I can’t work out why. All the new posts seemed to have disappeared. Is there some vast blog monster creeping around eating up stray lists of words? Were the words I had written so bad that they had to be erased? It is all very strange. Perhaps if I go away and the look back quickly they might have returned! Be prepared, there is something strange going on.
Today I will return covered in the dust and decay of ages as I will be removing a church window. The window will be set in a stone surround and can have been in place for many, many years. Image that the window has been in place since before you were born! It is often true that church windows are not regularly cleaned so there can be dust and cobwebs inside as well as traffic dirt and other residue on the outside of the window. Removing a window is called a ‘hack out’. This suggests a violent attack on the window. It is more like the desperate attack of the stained glass artist attacking the surrounding stone working to remove the window without breaking the glass. It is a delicate job for such a term as ‘hack out’. As you get up close to the glass you can see how the window was made and it is here you make the connection with the original artist. The techniques of cutting, painting and creating the window using lead calms have changed little over the centuries. I will take the window back to the studio to clean and remake as the original artist would have done. Once repaired and restored the window will return and perhaps stay in place for another 100 or so years until the next artist returns to care for the window again.
There are many skills you need and some you develop but the skills for exhibitions are not high on my list. Working with stained glass suggests you have some good art and design skills. Moving this skill into a business means that you have then added a set of commercial skills to you art skills to develop you business. In a large business each of these areas have specialists departments to navigate the difficulties and skills needed. However, in a small business all workers need to have more than one specialism and the owner often needs to have many skills that they didn’t know we’re necessary. So now Stained Glass Studio have done a series of exhibitions and displays we have to be able to put up an exhibition in minutes. Our theories are; don’t rely on what they say they provide, make sure your display or stand can be put up by you alone, make sure you have power cables and extension leads and finally depend on yourself. Make it simple, and make sure you can cope is a small or large space as you don’t know what you will be given. After all this you will be expected, within seconds, to turn around and be happy and cheerful to meet the public. This is a role that learning your art skills and then your business skills did not prepare you for. Sometimes you must think about how comfortable it might be to be a specialist in a larger business. Alternatively, you are the modern explorer, inventor and creator, perhaps even a modern Isambard Kingdom Brunel!
GreenerHOMEevent Belsize/Hampstead. Inspiration and advice. 16 talks,
20+ exhibitors. Thurs 21 Mch, drop in 3pm-9pm, tinyurl.com/auokrcx
Stained glass studios will be taking part in the Greener Home Event in Belsize Park and Hampstead area of London this week. Lots of help and advice about a greener home and ways to make changes and improvements. Always a great event with talks and discussions and lots of helpful advice to think about. We can all make changes that if added together will make a big difference to our world. It can also save you money on bills in your own home. I hope you can visit the event, and if you do come for a chat. Matthew Lloyd-Winder, director of Stained Glass Studios, will be at the event. See you there.
I was watching a documentary about the recent meteor in Russia and after the film of the streaking fireball of light, came the noise and the shattering of glass. This mixed in my mind with a discussion about craft being about ‘handmade’ and not ‘digital’. So how was this all linked? Well at Stained Glass Studio we seal glass in a feature unit, a style of double glazed unit. This seals the stained glass within strengthened glass that can be placed in the front door for added security. Like a car windscreen, this glass breaks but does not shatter into the face of the car driver. In Russia many had been drawn to the window to look at the amazing light shooting through the sky. Thus when the noise and the explosion came, many were standing by the window receiving shatter injuries on their faces. Now the glass used in windscreens looks like glass and acts like glass but it has been treated to make it act differently when hit. Stained glass is a very old craft and we are used to seeing it as church windows of nearly 1000 years ago. We still cut and break glass as they did then. Leaded glass is still joined together as the medieval craft makers put it together. But today we can also use modern technology to protect the glass. We can use modern technology in the creation of new colours and techniques used on the glass. Creative techniques have been developed to extend what we do with glass. Shapes that were impossible to cut in glass can now be done with water-jet techniques. My conclusion is that the craftsman, the artist, adds creativity to the craft and will play and search and develop whatever techniques they can to create exactly what they are seeking to create. For me this is what every craftsman from every age will do. Mixing the craft with technology to create the art.
Glass is such a beautiful medium and at Stained Glass Studio we are working to push the boundaries of stained glass as far as they will glow. With our new designs we are working with modern convention, double glazing, to extend the design possibilities. We have worked for the last ten years sealing leaded stained glass within double glazed units. This allows for beautiful design and artwork to be used in a modern energy efficient building. We can also add security with the type of glass used for the sealed unit. This makes an ancient art form slip perfectly into twenty-first century engineering. Now we have moved this beautiful art form a step forward by using the idea of a double glazed unit, two pieces of glass in a spaced sealed unit, this gives us the opportunity to use two canvases, two pieces of glass. Working with two different complementary images sealed together, exciting three dimensional ideas are being created. The designs can be free flowing, moving and everyday new ideas are bing developed and tried. See some of the new designs below.