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.