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.
Stained glass is often seen as quite a formal art form especially as there is the association with Churches and formal State buildings. But stained glass can also be witty and funny and make you smile. Recently there were the Hippo’s. Now when you think of a Hippo it might make you think of vast muddy pools in Africa with a large round animal with its mouth open. They have some resemblance to a pig in the short tail, short legs, round tubby form and a distinctive nose. In real life they are a dangerous wild animal that should not be messed with. However, as an image they are round and cuddly and swim very well. When I went to the studio and saw some painted Hippo’s all those images of dancing and swimming images of cartoons and picture books came back to me. These smiling Hippo’s are wonderful and make me laugh. They also made me think of creating my own coat of arms. Perhaps for me it would not be Hippo’s, but I could see a pair of hedgehog’s rampant with a witty motto for the family……something to do with glass, colour and light perhaps?
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.
After weeks of rain and rain and guess what…..more rain at last we have summer and summer light. As we have early summer morning sun the light comes in through a stained glass window with bright jewel like colours. Sometimes we don’t have a large area of glass that can be changed so even a small porthole can still let the light in. Using very light glass and patterned glass can throw great light inside a building giving a little piece of the summer inside.
There are days when you want to walk into you house bringing colour and light and this hall window helps you do this. A glorious splash of bright colours spreading across the wooden floor. Who would not want this in their house especially for those dull days when the morning needs a bit of help.
As we move from rain to more rain and even more rain, I start to think of ways to make the world a bit brighter. I have decided that yellow, orange and gentle reds are the colour of the moment to try and pretend that the world is slightly warmer and brighter than it really is. This is the magic of glass. It is such a simple idea. Plain glass lets the light in and brings the light into our homes and workspaces but a little bit of colour can add a warmth and glow to that light. This can lift our mood, make us more positive and make us nicer to be around. Is it all that simple? Yes it can be. We all now know that we can recover quicker in hospital if we can see out a window and can see trees, fields and animals. So as you walk across the room and you pass through a warm glow of light coming in a stained glass window it can lighten our mood and lift our spirits. It does not need to be a great deal of colour but a small additional pool of light can make so much difference to us all.
Even though I like new modern stained glass it is always great to think that you can restore and reinvigorate stained glass already in a door or window or something you have found thrown out or discarded. You have a much loved window that is now bending with age and this is something that can be restored to former glory. All the lead can be removed, the glass cleaned and then the window is remade to show how it would have looked when first installed. This is such a great recycling system as well. The old lead will be melted down to be used again and you are reusing your glass. Equally is you find some old glass somewhere this can be cut, shaped, added to and installed in you house to live again. Some houses had doors and surrounding panels in stained glass. Over time parts get broken and removed but this could all be recreated in its original form, showing the house as it once looked. You can also give a more modern house a traditional appeal by adding stained glass in a traditional format of your choice. There are also ways of sealing your new window into a double glazed unit, adding extra security to the door and supporting the window in the future.
Restoration can also be done on a greater scale in Churches or Public Buildings to continue the life of a Historic stained glass window. As in your front door, the window can be taken apart, repaired and restored to its former glory, it is just a larger project. Making and restoring windows is a traditional handmade task and this means that we can still work and repair in the same way that artists have for centuries. This makes each window, whatever size, shape or style, very personal to the maker and the owner of the window and can extend the life of the window for many years yet. Stained Glass Studio.
What is a stained glass window? It seems easy to ask this but not so easy to answer. For many people stained glass is in a church and is formal and often the figures of saints with all the symbolism that supports these figures. Although you can use this style in your house, and some people do, many houses can reflect what ever style you want. Stained glass is made out of cut out sections of glass joined together with lead. The lead is a a long strand in an ‘H’ shape with the glass fitting into the ‘H’. It is the coloured glass the gives the name ‘stained glass. The glass has been ‘stained’ with colour to make the many different staines, colours and mixes of colour that makes stained glass so magical. The stronger the stain and the stronger the colour giving you less translucency so making a barrier between you and the outside world. Take a look at some different style and decide what you like. Colours can change and sizes are made to fit. You just need to choose……………….. Stained Glass Studio.