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!
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!