I have just completed 3 panels for Newton St Cyres Manor House. The massive stately home has been converted into generous apartments with huge windows allowing light to flood in…perfect for stained glass windows! My brief was to create panels for 2 doors, the owners enjoy nature and the extensive grounds of the building ; so I started by taking photos of the shared grounds and local landscape. The first panel was a small piece to go into a newly carved oak Arts and Crafts style front door (created by local Master Carpenter Adam Bishop who I have worked with before) and then 2 panels for the large internal hall door (the half panels are over 1 metre long).
I was struck by the history of the house and I wanted this to be reflected in the windows;Newton St Cyres has a wonderful arboretum with a special bridge from the house to the gardens and I wanted this reflected too. Reading the history of the Manor house, which goes back to medieval times, I was struck with the importance of wheat and trees in the rise and decline of the houses fortunes and my theme was chosen!
The front door panel is only small and I wanted to create a piece that would really make a statement, like a small jewel and so I chose vibrant colours for the oak tree motif, using orange and red water glass to give a sense of movement to the branches. I painted the detail with traditional kiln fired glass painted and scraped the paint off to create the texture and detail of the tree trunk.
The internal panels are much larger and the clients liked the idea of grasses bending towards each other, so I created a panel based on the rolling hills of the surrounding countryside. I once more used the paint scraping technique to add the details to the seed heads of the grasses and the finished pieces are very effective!