This morning I went into my bathroom and was inspired again by the light coming through the window. We have a stained glass window in the bathroom, that’s an advantage of working in glass, and the sun was catching the colours and making them shine. It does cheer you up in the morning, all those colours and shape and light flowing into the room. So often a bathroom window in obscured glass, well we don’t want to flash at the neighbour, but the introduction of colour is so great. So I wandered in and out this morning and felt better as I washed that colour was flowing into my life and making my day have a better start.
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!
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?
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.
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.
How can you describe how light coming through a stained glass window is changed, coloured and moved. We use all those phrases of, ‘out of darkness into light’, ‘the light of our life’, ‘bringing light into our lives’. Each of these phrases suggests that light is good, positive, special and even magical. We also use the term ‘light’ in a spiritual or revelatory way. In the Christian church turning to the light is see as turning to God as this is from where all light emanates. The way of the light is linked with the way of truth as in the true religion. However, we also talk about someone, ‘seeing the light’ when they finally can see the truth. They can finally see what others have seen for weeks, months or years. So we see light as good but we also describe light as soft or harsh. Soft is the light of the candle, a moving dancing light that is not strong. Harsh light is the fluorescent tube that reveals us all in our bare angles, wrinkles and creases. Sometimes the early morning light can be clear and sharp and harsh, especially in the winter when the angle of the rising sun is low. So what happens to light when it comes through a stained glass window. We use the colour and texture of the glass to create different patterns and forms of light. I wanted my window in the front door to accentuate the feeling of sun coming through the window. The sun comes in the front windows in the morning and I wanted the hall to continue to glow with warm light. I therefore chose colours that would help with glowing yellow and red colours. We also have a line of small cut glass shapes that send small shafts of light into the hall. At night the light comes from within the house and shines out from the door. Again having warm colours in the door makes the house look warm and welcoming. This house and it’s occupants welcome you into its warm comfortable interior. Stained Glass Studio.
You know that new year feeling of wanting a change and doing something new, well I have got it bad! I have decided I hate my bathroom window. It is not stained glass and somehow I have not nagged to get it sorted but now the time has come. Stained glass in the bathroom is such a wonderful solution. All the beauty of light and colour and also being able to make sure no-one can see in. You can have such fun with the bathroom window. I remember a client having a classical Greek scene featuring a warrior with a spear, for their bathroom window. There was also the shower screen that was made of two full size images depicting St George and St Margaret richly painted in the Pre-Raphaelite style of Victorian Church windows, I always thought it was slightly spooky that you would be showering next to Saint George and his Dragon. You can have any image you want and it can reflect what style you have in your bathroom. A lighthouse or the sea is always good but you could just go for pattern and colour. My bathroom is blue so I do like the idea of blue and white squares in a chessboard pattern. The blue and white might be quite cold on its own so a thin border in a dark red would bring warmth to the window and to the room. I am lucky that I don’t have a neighbours house very close to the window and that I get a lot of sun in the window in the morning. This means I can have quite a simple window. Once it is made I can have it sealed into a double glazed unit, so the bathroom is kept warm and secure. Now all I need to do is get it sorted and get some designs done. Once I have made the decision it all seems very exciting and a good start to my stained glass new year. 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.