Time seems to move so fast and I cannot believe that we are weeks away from the Grand Designs Live at the Excel centre and I am still catching up. Meeting people all day every day for ten days is quite amazing for someone who spends 50% of their working life alone in a studio. The time you are at the exhibition is fast and hectic and great fun, but it is also very different. While you are there the normal life of the studio is on hold, waiting, pausing and then you return and the river of studio life is flowing again but there are new interests and enquiries from the show as well. This weekend is a good time to review and catch up and sort out the next few weeks but also to reflect on a great show and some great new clients.
This is a beautiful piece of glass that has been created at the studio for a new project. The colours seem to float across the surface folding and melting into one another. In recent years most people working in glass have been dependent on manufacturers for the colours and textures of the glass they use. Now we can create the colours that we want and need. Looking at this piece of glass I particularly like that right hand side with the blue and magenta floating into one another and then dropping down into the heavy scarlet below.
Glass has such great qualities and can be used in many different ways. Used in windows it lets light in but with colour this light can be diffused. Colour can hide what is behind the glass. Now you can light the glass from behind creating a window where no window exits. This is why this piece of coloured glass is so exciting. Lit from behind, in a room with no windows, we can now create the illusion of a window and the room becomes more open and somehow airy. You know there is now window but somehow it better with the false window rather than no window at all.
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.
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.
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.
So we are off to the Surface DesignShow in London, at the Islington Business Design Centre, from 5th to 7th February. Lots of preparations in hand, new windows for display being completed. It is surprising but when you think of an exhibition you suddenly realise you don’t have lots of spare windows sitting around. Most windows are made to measure for clients. As a studio we don’t do lots of exhibitions but Matthew has a new technique that he is excited about and so it was decided to launch it at the Surface Design Show. There will be lots to see and if you register for the show beforehand you can get great reductions, its free! It would be great to see people at the exhibition so come in and have a chat. Take a look around and go home inspired.
Stained glass windows come in many shapes and sizes colours and forms. Each can be made for you to celebrate where you want to put a window. Sealed into a double glazed unit, stained glass can now be as warm and safe as any other window in your house. This is all before you have the pleasure of a beautiful piece of stained glass in your house. At this time of year, when it cold outside, stained glass can bring some warm glowing colours into your house or office. It is definitly time for a new window!
As Christmas gets nearer and nearer so all projects at the studio become more urgent but it is also a time when sometimes presents are made. This year the studio are selling some of those things that are made in the studio as presents for family and friends. Bowls, lamps and small windows suddenly appear and time is spent experimenting with new ideas and techniques. We hope you like what we make so take some time and look around.
We all use colour all the time but do we know what we are talking about? Two people can look at the same colour and see it in totally different ways. Red is just red except when it is crimson. Red can be a brick red, which is almost orange, to a dark red that has blue shades. And we all know the madness that is white or white with a hit of ……… We prefix colour to try and identify what we mean, as in lemon yellow, pale yellow, buttercup yellow. Blue is even more extreme as in indigo blue, royal blue, navy blue and midnight blue. This is all before we start to mix the colours together. For me lilac, violet and purple are quite blue colours while maroon is much more red moving towards the pink colours. All this is fine until someone says they like red and you choose a brick red and they want a dark almost maroon red. Then the words we use become very important. This is also before you lay one colour against another and change how the colour looks. Colour is in the eye of the beholder and we all see colour differently, but colour is also something that can bring joy and happiness to the viewer, changing how we feel and think.