Posts Tagged 'window decoration'



A special commemorative piece

I have just finished a very special piece for a family who have had to cope with the horrible loss of 4 babies. If I am honest I found it quite hard to get started on the panel as I am a mother myself and the reality of such loss is quite overwhelming. However, meeting the clients to discuss the options really helped and I hope they are pleased with the finished design. 

The brief was to incorporate the children’s names and the motifs of tear drops and butterflies. The clients chose the glass and we tried to incorporate the children’s birth stone colours.

I decided on a free flowing shape edged with bubbles and with a sense of movement. The clients decided on a flow of stars and butterflies running through the panel and they love colour (I understand their house is very colourful and original!)

Firstly I cut the glass, then painted the design, I initially wanted the paint work to be subtle but it was getting lost in the streaky cathedral glass so I went for strong, simple lines so the design would work at a distance. Once fired I leaded up the panel, as I didn’t use the traditional right angle straight line template I had to use a lot of nails and a bit of ingenuity to create the shape.

I really hope that the family like the piece and that it honours the memory of the children and helps them move into the future.

Happily the family includes children who are very much alive and well and doing their bit for charity; have a look here if you would like to help him raise money for charity www.justgiving.com/Charlie-Millard

Please excuse my photographs, my camera seems to be loosing the ability to focus!     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fishy sky lights

I have just got back from installing 2 sky light panels to a wonderful apartment over looking the sea in Sidmouth

. My client’s dislike of their dull velux windows in the kitchen of their open plan living area

led them to contact me. The apartment is a large, light modern

building and I took inspiration for the designs from the artwork and pottery around the home. I did a range of designs, from beach huts reflecting some paintings in the lounge to fish inspired by some fabulous pottery.

I have used a very limited pallet of colours in the panel, but there are 10 different types of glass used in the panel in total as I have used a wide range of textures and translucencies. Some of the glass is almost opaque and uses lovely hand drawn yellow/orange and light blue glass and some has quite a deep textured pattern (glass makers call this a hammered surface) the range of textures will make wonderful coloured reflections on the floor and walls. Each fish has an eye made of white/black flashed glass which I have etched with an etching pen and acid etching creme which I have then stuck to the surface of the glass with glass adhesive to give an extra sense of depth and a playful touch.  The panels are fixed to the inside of velux windows with special stained glass fixing clips especially designed for this job and the windows have really lifted and brightened the space without overwhelming the room. Special thanks to my Dad (as usual), who very kindly fitted them for me!

Getting stuck into something big!

Way back in Autumn 2010 I started discussing a large window commission to be fitted into a double glazed unit for a family in Cambridgeshire, first the glazer was busy, so they missed their slot with me and since then I have been flat out with other projects. They have been very patient and finally I have made a decent start on their piece!

The brief was for a design based on their favourite spot, Crackington on the North Devon coast to fill a large window looking onto a large porch/conservatory from the dining area of their home and bring some colour into their house.  As soon as I saw the place sketching out designs was very straightforward, it is a gorgeous spot and I hope I can capture the mood of the scenery there. I always try to capture the spirit of a location, photo-realism is not my aim. The design was agreed last year and then put on the back burner, which gave me a little bit of an artist block when I came to start cutting the glass, I knew the landscape needed a border but what that border should be has been alluding me for sometime! However, whilst looking into the shell framed mirror in my bathroom today inspiration finally came and I rushed off to my workshop to get going. The border is to be made entirely of different textured clear glass with lots of acid etched shells, seaweed and other sea life and today I painted all the PVA glue onto these pieces to act as a resist to the acid and acid etched in the flowers and grasses to the hillside in the foreground of the landscape.

It is a big panel and I have a small workshop, so I had to stand on a bar stool to get a shot of the whole panel! The colours of the glass do not show up well or true on the white background of the cartoon, but you can get a rough idea. Anyway, there are some photos of the panel so far, painting on the designs and acid etching them.

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A very English Mermaid

I have just finished a front door transom light for a lovely family in Exmouth. They have been renovating their Victorian terrace and my design is one of the finishing touches. The brief was to create a mermaid panel with some turquoise and to blend with the decor of the house. The mermaid was to reflect the British coast, with cool colours and also still let light into the hall way.

I used a range of Spectrum and cathedral glass for the window, using the textures and patterns of the glass to add a sense of movement to the piece and I acid etched tiny sea life into the mermaids hair and the rocks at the bottom of the sea. The mermaids limbs were cut from opalescent glass with an iridescent sheen, which gives her an extra magical glow.

The main challenge with the panel was fitting the detail into a very long, thin panel and I kept the lines as simple as possible.

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Rip it up and start again

This poor old window landed in my workshop just after Christmas, it is over a meter long, but not that wide and is the dinning room door to a house in Chagford. I dont think the panel is as old as the Art Noveau design suggests, as the glass is quite thick modern machine rolled glass. However, it has badly buckled and as a result some of the glass has cracked and fallen out!  The damage to the window is partly because it is in a high traffic area of the house, but mostly because it has been made without internal reinforcement, this is where thin steel rods are hidden inside the lead work and help keep windows straight and strong. These are used because large windows are heavy and lead is very soft and bendy, so over time if not properly reinforced the panel will bow and sag……needless to say I will be adding them when I put the window back together!

Taking a window apart is a dangerous activity, old windows used all sorts of  nasty compounds and chemicals in the cement and lead starts degrading after 93 years, so it is important that you damp down the lead to stop dust and wear a protective mask to prevent breathing it in.

Before I dismantled the window I took a rubbing of it to use as a template and I managed to take this window apart without breaking any of the intact glass and as you can see I have numbered each piece so I know where they all go. Now I am just trying to match the blue glass in the border of the window, so I am waiting for a delivery of glass. All the old lead gets recycled, the larger pieces of broken glass get reused in my recycled suncatchers and the small bits of glass I use for mosaics and appliqué glass sculptures, nothing is wasted!

Whilst I wait for the right shade of blue I have a mermaid window to start and the drawings for a very large seascape to scale up, so I wont be bored!

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A Moorland Scene for a Peak District Home

I was contacted recently by a customer on Folksy who wished me to adapt a previous Dartmoor design she liked to fit an internal window in her Peak District home. Having had a bit of time off over Christmas it has been great to get back into the studio and get on with a new project. As this is adapted from an existing design it has been a straight forward process. I have used Spectrum wispy amethyst and a range of cathedral glass, 10 mm lead came for the border and 5 and 6 mm for the internal lead work.

First of all I cut the glass using a glass cutter and ensure all the pieces fit within the lines of the cutting pattern.

I then build up the window by cutting the lead came to size and building up the panel, using horse shoe nails to hold it all tightly in place.

Once I have soldered all the lead joins together with solder I cement the panel by pushing lead cement into all the gaps in the lead came, this is quite messy work and my least favourate part of the process. The white powder is plaster of  Paris, used to soak up the liquid in the cement and act as an abrasive to remove the cement from the lead came.

Once the cement has dried and all the excess cement has been removed I wash an acid patina over the panel to darken the solder joints and once this has been washed off I give the panel a good polish with grate polish.

Then the finished panel is ready to pack up and send off to its new home.

Another finished window!

A lovely couple from near Hereford came to pick up their finished panel today, they were on holiday in Devon for the weekend, so I had to get it done by lunchtime today!
I enjoyed making this 28×74 cm panel to replace the window in an internal hallway. The lady who commissioned the piece wanted the elements of an angel motif and peacock feathers. Her partners name is angel in German and her mothers maiden name was Peacock, This is what I came up with!
The panel has an etched glass face, acid etched feathers in the right bottom corner and uses a range of cathedral and water glass in rich blues and yellows. I think that this design has worked very well and I cant wait to see the photos of it when it is fitted into its window frame!

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Now I can get straight on with the next commission, I have several commissions on my list at the moment, this time for a front door and of a seascape! Its coming into busy craft fair season and I am doing lots of fairs in the run up to Christmas, starting at the weekend with a full weekend of craft fairs!
I have a stall at the Contemporary Home Handmade Fair Saturday 30th October at Victory Hall, Exminster from 10 am -4 pm
Sunday 31st October I will be at the PrettyPoshLocal Craft Fair at the Pavilion, Exmouth from 10-4pm


I am a stained glass artist working in Exeter and a busy mum of 2; trying to carve a path through the tide of washing and children's toys that stands between me and making beautiful things.

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