In the late-middle years of his working life, there was once a man who visited our studio. He knocked and walked in with a package, and here is what he told us concerning his apprenticeship and the problem he now had.
Stained Glass Design
For ourselves – and you may be completely different, which of course is absolutely fine – we’ve never had a rigid ‘house style’. There are keen limits to our skills, but all the same we’ve always tried to push these limits further into the distance so that the design is appropriate to the building and the client. So for ourselves, we’re not keen on the idea of designing in a particular style just because that’s what we can do: that would be all about us, whereas the design should be about the building.
Therefore the designs are fairly varied; as are their background stories as you’ll see.
You’ll also find references to designs by other stained glass painters.
OK, your stained glass design - what must it show?
Which is not the best question … -
Rather, who is the design for?
Who must the design instruct, guide or persuade?
A committee? A patron? A priest? A businesswoman or man? Their secretary?
A journalist maybe?
Or is it “just” for you, the glass painter?
Yes, the design must be “fit for purpose”, we can all agree on that.
But this means you must first decide which purpose – or purposes – it must be fit for.
So if you have several important purposes which can’t all be met by one version of the design, then you maybe will need several different versions of the design.
Don’t get upset at this – don’t “shoot the messenger” …
I’m just telling you how things are.
Anyway, here’s what we often do. And even if you decide to do things differently yourself, I’ve got a really useful tip for you – just read through to the end. And enjoy the pictures along the way!
Today a selection of topics. Two of them are provocative (me and my big mouth). So let’s start where the seas are calm.
Today you’ll see the power of using stained glass silhouettes in your design.
Yes, this is our glass you’ll see here.
But remember this is not so much about us as about what you can do with a bold and talented design, some very good glass, plus a careful use of silhouettes.
Note: there are a lot of gorgeous photos coming up, so please give this page the time it needs to load. [click to continue…]
When someone visits us to learn, we always start with silhouettes. It’s never yet mattered how experienced they were, silhouettes always make a good place from which to start. [click to continue…]
Stained glass design and its greatest risk
Before I tell you about the greatest risk I face today, let me remind you of this obvious truth …
For ourselves (our egos)? Or for the client?
(As promised last time, a return to objective points of interest! Thank you so much for your good wishes. I am reminded how a Japanese journalist once asked us why we taught and shared. Our reply was, “Open doors will keep the studio … fresh“. And you, dear readers, are like fresh air to us: thank you!)
OK, so imagine you come up with a wonderful idea for your client, and now you also worked it up into a gorgeous full-sized – maybe even full-colour – design …
And the last thing you (you, a designer, an artist, a maker, a glass painter, a student – or however you see yourself) will want to do with this wonderful design is … muck it up and kick the !>@?! out of it, right?
Yes, right, but also wrong. Because of course, it all depends.
Goodness me, yes, it’s hard to “wreck” a design. But sometimes that’s what you just must do to show you understand what’s needed. [click to continue…]