CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF LEBANON, HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA
I finally began the preparatory cartoons for the set of 9 large windows in January 2022. It had already been more than a year awaiting and anticipating the final designs from the Maronite Iconographer, Rita Assaf of Montreal, who was designing them through consultation with the bishop and the donor. The deadline to unveil the windows to the congregation was set at Easter 2023.
The windows tell the Life of Mary in the Lebanese Maronite tradition, the first 4 are her life on earth, the last 4 are her afterlife.
The first piece of glass was cut in April 2022, leaving barely 10 months to create 9 windows!
fabulous mouthblown glass from Lamberts, Germany
I calculated the glass needed and ordered it and lead and solder – supply chains were still poor since Covid. One of the best things that this job allowed, was to be able to have an apprentice, Erin, full-time in studio for the duration!
Cartoons, portraits and patterns
By April, I had completed all nine cartoons, shaded in pencil as they would need to be painted, and received approval from the Iconographer to create them in stained glass. There would be 54 panels, each 5’x2′, 6 per window, installed into custom metal frames with proper ventilation. I’m sure I couldn’t have done it without Hazel’s help. Check for paw prints.
There was a lot of drawing to be done before cutting glass could begin. The windows were 12′ tall and 5′ wide, with 3′ between each. The Iconographer’s designs had rays coming from the middle window, and radiating across all 9 windows. These had to line up across the 70′ length! There were also many faces, hands, angels, cherubs, seraphim, and portraits to render in pencil on the cartoons.
With all the half-scale cartoons complete and approved, I enlarged them, divided them into 6 panels each, and superimposed the architectural frame dimensions onto each panel, then drafted patterns for each panel. They HAD to line up and fill the 12′ window precisely, including the dimension of the metal T-bar that supported each panel, made by Tony and Chris Salah of MacDonnell Welding and Metal Works.
WE made 4 panels and did a test fit. They looked pretty good.
Let’s make these windows!!
It was a really hot summer and I had the kilns firing day and night. After each panel was painted, Erin leaded them up, soldered and puttied, and stored them in the crates she made specifically for this job.
We completed by the deadline! Installation went smoothly with the help of Tony and Chris Salah.
It’s Autumn already!!
I am taking this morning to update my Blog to tell you what about the exciting things I have been working on this year! It may seem that I have slipped under a rock, but far from it. It has been an intense, non-stop stained glass year AND a book I wrote and illustrated has just been published!
I have been working on fabricating 9 large stained glass windows for Church of Our Lady of Lebanon in Halifax. The designs were made by Lebanese Canadian Iconographer, Rita Assaf. Each window is 5’x12′, divided into 6 stacking panels. I have also been bidding on other jobs, and accepting a few so I am not completely off the radar while creating the large windows. I have an apprentice for this year, which is an amazing opportunity to teach these little-understood techniques and skills!
I Wrote a BOOK!
AND I wrote and illustrated a Young Adult graphic novel during Covid, and it has just been published by Conundrum Press’ new imprint Emanata! CALL ME BILL is the true story of the disastrous wreck of the White Star Line SS Atlantic (yes, the same as the Titanic) on April 1, 1873. The memory of this important story was overshadowed by 2 world wars, the Titanic wreck, and not to overlook the fact that the White Star Line deliberately tried to bury the truth! CALL ME BILL also tells the story of the heroic rescue, traumatic recovery of 500 dead bodies by a few Nova Scotian villagers.
So, why is the book called Call Me Bill? Here’s why! From the April 5, 1873 Halifax Morning Chronicle…
Read CALL ME BILL to learn more about this incredible person!! Available at bookstores or order online at Conundrum Press.
What a year!
This year was marked by an abundance of exciting Stained Glass Conservation, Restoration, and repair work. Do you wonder what the difference is between Restoration and Conservation? They have a lot of overlap, but imagine if a beautifully painted, heritage piece of glass is damaged, smashed. Restoration might involve repainting it, duplicating it as close to the original as possible, whereas Conservation would involve methods to keep and utilize the original bits and pieces. There is an ever-growing body of knowledge about this topic, for example, from York Glazier’s Trust, and of course in relation to the fire at Notre Dame.
If you’d like to read more about the Church Stained Glass work we did this year, click over to the Conservation page.
Church Stained Glass 2019
Many times, folks are unaware of the potential to save their aging stained glass, and not aware that there is a process they can enter into to have a professional evaluate the condition, and prepare a Condition Report, and Maintenance Schedule. With timely interventions, major damage and expense can be avoided, deferred, budgeted for. Did you know that stained glass exists that is over 1000 years old?! The glass can go on forever, but the lead has a lifespan of 80-120 years, depending on the stresses the windows endure. Contact us for an evaluation.
Please get on the Waiting List for Classes! They fill up fast.
2019 Happy New Year!
The skills of Stained Glass Window making developed, ironically, in the Dark Ages in Britain, followed by France, then onward. Have you wondered why? As architecture became sophisticated enough that there could be large openings in the walls without the roofs collapsing, the weather needed to be kept out. There were no big sheets of glass so small pieces of handmade glass were fitted together with lead strips called cames. It didn’t take long for early glaziers to figure out they could make pictures with the pieces just like mosaics. Early pictorial reference materials were mosaics and illuminated manuscripts, themselves heavily influenced by Byzantine Iconography. The second reason this particular craft evolved where it did is the LIGHT! Northern countries like our own spend half the year with the sun travelling low across the horizon. The sun’s oblique angles project the colours of stained glass across the interior architecture. The very movement of the LIGHT became symbolic for the SPIRIT animating the body.
I delivered this Humpback Whale Stained Glass to the delighted winner of the draw held at the Craft NS Winter Show! Thank you to everyone who visited!
Sign up now for the first series of Classes scheduled to start on February 4, 2019. Click here for details. As always you can make whatever you want. I will help you know if your stained glass pattern is appropriate to your skill level, or if a few adjustments will fix it.
What’s happening at Rose Window Stained Glass?
There are a few Church commissions underway as the year kicks off. Philip Doucette and I removed and crated Bethany United Church’s stained glass so they can get the wooden tracery repaired. We will repair the stained glass as needed and reinstall in the Spring. I trekked up to New Brunswick to repair a buckling window in St. Thomas United Church, Black River. What a beautiful province! Philip and I are also removing stained glass from the Atlantic School of Theology as they prepare to renovate the old building. One of the windows may well be going into permanent storage as its depiction of early missionaries is inappropriate as seen with current understanding. The best part of that window is the pink and ruddy plant foliage!
I delivered some interesting stained glass last season, and there are some creative one-of-a-kind custom commissions ongoing!! I have the BEST clients!!
Happy Winter everyone! Enjoy the sunbeams and twinkle and notice already how the days are getting longer! Contact me anytime!
HOT SUMMER 2018!
Exciting New Work!
I recently delivered 3 exciting stained glass windows! Here is a synopsis.
Last December I purchased a set of 3 very old windows circa 1850s, that had been found built in between the walls of the original Sears store in New Glasgow, NS. They were clearly made in the UK and featured painted stained glass Victorian bird stained glass medallions and pastoral scenes in enamels and vitreous paint. They are stunning and though I typically do not buy old stained glass, these were so exceptional that I could not bear the thought that they might be ruined elsewhere. At the time I did not know how I would use them but trusted that the opportunity to allow this precious glass to continue would present itself.
In April I was approached by a customer whose home was the same vintage and who needed a transom. He hoped for a steampunk style or some reiteration of Victorian Arts and Crafts era stained glass. Exactly what I was dreaming of!! Here is what we did.
My second project was a Memory Glass window using a grandmother’s plate, which had the flower motifs of the British Isles, and surrounding it with the names of all the women of 4 generations. In the border I used small pieces of vintage heritage stained glass from the New Glasgow windows.
My third project was a custom designed transom window including a medallion of clockworks surrounded by gold quarries. The customer collects Westclox alarm clocks! I used 2 rondels from the heritage stained glass windows from New Glasgow, and other fine pressed glass, vintage glass, and the coveted cranberry stained glass in the border.
Copper foil stained glass
In the gaps between painting and leading the previous 3 labour intensive stained glass panels I also made some copper foil stained glass for customers.
All my custom stained glass is designed to accommodate customers’ vision, aesthetics, timeline and budget, without compromising my own high standards!
In May my studio Rose Window Stained Glass was featured in the Craft NS Instagram Takeover! Here are some photos from around the studio. Upstairs I have an office with a library of books and a drafting board where most of my design work and stained glass pattern drafting takes place. The working studio with stained glass tools, stained glass supplies and workbenches is on the ground floor.
Upcoming SUMMER SHOWS!
As always my work can be purchased through me or from Made in the Maritimes, or the Designer Craft Shop!
I will be participating in the Peggys Cove Studio Tour on Saturday July 7 and Sunday July 8. Drop by the studio if you’d like.
July 20, 21 and 22 is the Craft NS Summer Show in Victoria Park! Hope to see you there!
CLASSES and WORKSHOPS
No classes or workshops are currently scheduled but that may change! Possibly will book some in late August or early September. If you are interested let me know. Regularly scheduled classes will resume in early October!!
Have a wonderful SUMMER!
Winter 2018 came in like a LION at Rose Window Stained Glass!
I spent much of January living with the Sisters of St. Martha removing their beautiful stained glass from the Bethany Chapel and moving it to new locations. I also designed, cut, laminated and installed Stained Glass Art on my front lawn. For this project I used optically clear 2 part silicone that is designed to withstand re entry into the earth’s atmosphere! Let’s see if it can stand up to Terence Bay Nova Scotia!
Just before Christmas I created a commemorative window using gorgeous mouth-blown in Germany Lamberts graduated blue flashed glass, engraved and painted. Here are 3 views of the process of engraving, painting, and multiple firings, prior to leading and puttying.
The Sisters of St Martha, Antigonish
The Sisters are moving from their current Motherhouse to their new Shannex retirement home across the field. The new building will allow the sisters to continue their good work without the stress of caring for a large old building. Their beautiful Bethany Chapel had 40 lancet windows, made in 1963 at Rambausch Studios, NY. Each lancet was 40 ft tall, comprised of 10 panels. I was hired last summer to consult regarding relocation of the stained glass. Ultimately the Sisters asked me to organize and orchestrate the whole process, which I did with the help of 2 fine local men who could operate a scissor lift and follow the procedure I had laid out. All the panels had to be removed and crated, labelled according to their new destination, including a Heritage Gallery, a Chapel, and a Resource Centre. There were also 100 panels in the narthex to be removed and crated. In all, we handled 500 window panels. As they were removed, they were inspected for repairs, which I did on site before reinstalling into their new locations.
The windows are largely abstract with symbols of water drops and leaves throughout. There are 8 figurative windows. 8 Female Saints, 4 contemplative and 4 active. Here are some pictures.
Back in the studio
Classes have been ongoing throughout the winter. Here are some of the projects! 🙂 The final series of weekly classes before the Summer begins soon. If you and some friends of family would like a Half-day or Full-day Workshop in Stained Glass or Mosaic, pick a Saturday and I will arrange everything! Click here for ideas!
There have also been some very nice repairs and restorations brought into the studio this season! One china cabinet, passed down through the generations, originally from France and owned by Jesuits in Montreal, received damage by movers’ knees. What seemed like a disaster to the owners was fixed as good as new. After all, that’s what our profession is trained to do!! In the picture you can see my colleague Philip Doucette inside the china cabinet!! Another lovely Victorian transom needed a rebuild and the wooden frame stripped of its layers of paint – as expected, the frame is the original old growth oak. They don’t grow trees like that anymore! Click here to learn more about Stained Glass Repair. Free estimates! Click here for contact information!
There is a lot going on at Rose Window Stained Glass. Two original designs are on the drafting board. Did you know I draw and draft my patterns using pencil and paper? Oh, and an eraser! Such joy and a great intimacy develops with the work. Clearly computers have their place but honing skills the old fashioned way connects me with my predecessors and a long noble history I can only aspire to be worthy of. I almost forgot to say that I am thrilled to bits to be going to France for the first time this Fall!! I will finally get to experience the great stained glass cathedrals of that country!! I will keep you posted! Until then, I have exciting stained glass things on the horizon I look forward to telling you about. Come by and visit if you’re in the area!
In many ways September is the beginning of the New Year. The crisp nights foretell Autumn, though the days are still hot after the dew burns off. Summer holidays end and classes begin, marking a return to predictable schedules. Classes will resume at Rose Window Stained Glass too, which led me to revisit my own first stained glass class in 1994. A mom with 3 young kids, my career in the graphics/printing industry had just been eliminated by computers. I knew I wanted to use my ability to draw. At a Quaker Meeting one Sunday morning I was entranced by the light cast on the floor through the 1860s clear glass. Its undulating dance struck me profoundly. I understood like an epiphany that glass is like people. We all have unique Light inside us that, when expressed, enriches everyone’s experience. Light moving through glass took on a metaphoric spiritual significance that has guided me for decades. I signed up for a beginner class at Sunrise Stained Glass in which everyone made a hummingbird the first night. I remember how challenging it was to cut out those 7 little pieces! I gave the hummingbird to my mother, who especially loved the cranberry stained glass throat – she had expensive taste, as anyone who has ever purchased that glass knows! It’s made with real gold, did you know? As an Artist and Designer, I design my own patterns. Here is one of the first.
You may wonder if it’s ok to copy stained glass from the internet, and the answer is typically no, unless you have permission. There are lots of free patterns available, and some for sale. At Rose Window Stained Glass, students are encouraged to work from public domain patterns, stained glass patterns available in studio, or design their own with guidance.
What’s new in the Studio?
Lynette Richards participated in the Craft Nova Scotia (formerly NSDCC) Summer Show in Victoria Park and the Peggy’s Cove Studio Tour. Thank you to all the visitors who came and brightened my time!!
Rose Window Stained Glass has been busy caring for our heritage stained glass! Call for inspection and estimates.
Church Stained Glass Care, Repair and Restoration
Christ Knocking is a familiar image, originally a painting by William Holman Hunt, also called the Light of the World. This is the most reproduced new world image requested by churches. This version required full restoration of all panels, and reproduction of some painted pieces, to replace smashed glass and fragile lead came. The picture below is shown before puttying, which darkens the lead and makes the stained glass waterproof and air tight.
Philip Doucette and Lynette Richards have removed, repaired and reinstalled stained glass in several churches this season! Philip let me wear his vintage hardhat in this photo!
Custom Order Stained Glass
When this church was sold, the new owner commissioned me to create a commemorative stained glass window of it to hang inside the renovated church, now cottage, forever.
A local artist, Kathy Kaulbach, asked if she could hire me to instruct her to adapt her (already formidable) skills to glass to make a wedding gift! She spent a dozen hours in studio with me and created a wonderful painted fused glass gift. It recalls bonfires on Parrsboro Beach. She mounted the finished fused glass to a hardwood base. What a special gift!
Spring Green and Peepers Singing!
The studio has been busy this season. Classes are finished but there will be 2 Summer Workshops announced soon.
Here is a peek at what has been happening inside Rose Window Stained Glass these last couple of months.
Lynette delivered and installed the Poppy Lily of the Valley window and it looks great!
A massive 8 foot diameter Victorian lamp made the journey from a Hamilton Ontario bar, where it had hung for 125 years, to a renovated church in Fox Point NS. It needed to be completely rebuilt before its next era. The client will send a photo once the panels are installed into the iron frame! Can’t wait!
This little copper foil lampshade got grabbed by the dog and dragged around a bit in Antigonish. It survived pretty well but needed some TLC! The dog is in the dog house!
Philip and Lynette returned the stained glass window to Kings College Chapel after repairing the buckling lower panel. The window was made in England at J Wippel Co, c1955.
Students made some great stained glass this Winter season! Classes resume in the Fall but there will be 2 One Day Workshops offered during the summer. Stay tuned for the dates. Make sure you are on the mailing list!
Three hundred bucks crashed to the cold hard floor. This window had been purchased from a crafter but common construction mistakes secured its early demise. It would cost as much or more to repair this than to remake it from scratch. Hopefully she’ll take a class and make it herself! This is a good beginner project!!
Spring is in the Air
We had a few snow days but now you can smell Spring on the breeze. The days are getting noticeably longer and this next series of classes includes the switch to Daylight Saving Time!
Classes begin soon! March 13 is less than 2 weeks away! Please sign up NOW to get a spot. 6 Mondays, 9:30-11:30 OR 7-9pm. $150
Monday MORNINGS Click Here
Monday EVENINGS Click Here
To get on the Mailing List Click Here
What’s new in the Studio?
This custom Poppy Lily of the Valley window is almost complete!
Also finished restoring this lovely turn of the century stained glass window!
As always, please call or come by!
Winter is a wonderful time for stained glass. The twinkling snow is a perfect background, and the long angles of the winter sun make colours dance across rooms. You can really notice the length of daylight increasing by paying attention to where the light falls each day.
Rose Window Stained Glass has had its busiest January ever!
Full classes are well under way. If you’e like to take the next set of classes, they begin on March 13, 2017.
We have several restoration projects currently underway in local churches. Philip Doucette and Lynette Richards collaborate on restoration and repair of sacred stained glass. Together we have over 50 years experience. We are both Master Artisans with the NSDCC. Contact Lynette for a free estimate and appraisal of damage. Lynette and Philip are also able to provide you with the probable age and origin of your windows.
Also on the bench in Lynette’s studio is this great Victorian lamp! And I do mean GREAT! Once reassembled, it will span 8 feet! It comes from a strip club in Hamilton Ontario and is coated in nicotine!! Not all fun and games, eh! It will be hung in a renovated heritage building in Fox Point NS!
Custom Stained Glass
In early January, Lynette replaced a plain glass window with a custom made leaded beveled glass window in the interior vestibule door in Halifax’s south end.
Lynette has 2 private commissions on the go. One is a painted panel with poppies and lily of the valley. The design is approved, and enlaged to size and glass cutting will begin soon. The second is still a secret. Stay tuned!
As always, contact Lynette for inquiries or free estimates!