When I’m Gone … Or: The Tiny Details which Tell You ‘Who Painted the Glass?’

“When I’m gone …”

Well, I won’t be gone any day soon, because there’s still a whole lot of hair in my blender, even though it’s been getting a lot of  punishing use these last three months …

See this picture here:

Stained glass work in progress

Work in progress on the tycoon’s skylights

And that’s just a small part of it (unfired at the front; fired at the back). Right now, all five workbenches are stacked with painted sections from the tycoon’s 16 stained glass skylights.

Nearly all painted and stained. Nearly all fired.

Very soon, we’ll be leading the windows. (No cementing, thank goodness.)

And then it’s “job done”.

I’ll come back to these skylights in a moment.

For now, remember how, a while back, Stephen showed you a gorgeous face of Saint Peter, which our colleague, Fábio Fonseca, was restoring in Brazil? Well, Fábio has just finished the restoration he was doing on these windows:

Restoration by Fábio Fonseca in Brazil

Restoration by Fábio Fonseca in Brazil

Now while he was doing this – and this will also happen to you when you get to see a window really close up – he discovered the studio which made the windows:

Mayer of Munich

Mayer of Munich

It’s thrilling when this happens – a living, private and strangely intimate connection with the past …

And I remember how, a few years back, Stephen and I restored these windows by Burne-Jones’s studio:

The east window, Saint Mary's, Whitton - made by Edward Burne-Jones' studio

The east window, Saint Mary’s, Whitton, made by Edward Burne-Jones’ studio

We lovingly took them apart, and did our business, when all of a sudden, this is what we found inscribed upon one small piece of glass:

The painter's name

The painter’s name

The painter’s name. This was so small, I don’t think anyone had ever seen it between the painter (when he scratched his name in 1893) and us (when we restored the glass in 2007).

Which returns me to the tycoon’s stained glass skylights, and this pile here:

At the front, corner-squares awaiting firing

At the front, corner-squares awaiting firing

At the back, inscriptions which we’ve painted, stained and fired. At the front, corner-squares waiting to be fired. And I’d like to draw your attention to those ones in particular. Here’s the design:

The design for the corner-squares

The design for the corner-squares

Well, examine the glass closely – like someone will do at the end of the 21st century – and this is what you’ll find on just one of them:

Corner-squares from the tycoon's stained glass skylights

Example corner-square from the tycoon’s stained glass skylights

It’s our maker’s mark.

Close-up

Close-up

So, when I in another place – not that I’m morbid or anything! – our mark will still be staring down from high above.

Which is, when you think about it, a large part about what making things is all about.

The tycoon's  broken square

The tycoon’s broken square

And speaking of making things, Stephen just told me he’ll soon be writing to those of you who get our newsletter about something useful he saw last week.

(He was working in London for a few days, and I know he made time to visit the exhibition there which is all about craft and making things by hand.)

He also said he’s finished making a short film about a restoration job we did (read about the project here – see picture, left, for one re-paint that we did), which he’ll also tell you about. So look out for his message. I’ve seen the trailer, and the film looks really useful: quick and simple, which is how we like it.

Happy glass painting!

David

P.S. Of course, Stephen can only write to you if you get the newsletter.

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10 thoughts on “When I’m Gone … Or: The Tiny Details which Tell You ‘Who Painted the Glass?’

  1. I am currently restoring two large panels that came from one of the first Presbyterian churches established here in Austin, TX. One of the broken pieces that I’m reproducing has the artist’s fingerprint fired into the paint. Not only was it thrilling to find this, but I could tell by the slight smear of the print that the artist had used an oil-based painting medium rather than gum arabic.

  2. What a nice glimpse to the past! Did you know much about G. Campfield or their studio?

    The photo with the caption, “The design for the corner-squares”, is that front-lit piece? Fired or unfired? The color is interesting!

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Bonnie,

      Sorry if I wasn’t clear.

      Where you see the caption, “The design for the corner-squares” – that’s my water colour: it’s admittedly orange (whereas the glass below is red), but that’s how things need to be.

      Where you see the caption, “Example corner-square from the tycoon’s stained glass skylights”: you see one square, on a light box, not yet fired. It’s flashed red-on-white, then sand-blasted to create the floral shape, then undercoated and traced/flooded, and finally distressed.

      All the best,
      Stephen

      P.S. We haven’t discovered anything further about the painter, G. Campfield, but we’d like to – one day!

  3. Hello David,

    It’s nice to know that your blender still got hair – I am sure you will be around for a long time yet! 🙂

    Regarding your post, it reminded me about how I always scratch my name and the date I finished working with any painting work. I hope that one day after a long time that some of my glass painting work will show when some studio restores my work ;-).

    Like always your post is always helping us to build more knowladge in glass painting and other related issues.

    All the best to you and yours, and my regards to Stephen,
    Hassan

  4. I love your makers mark so inconspicuously placed in the centre of the design. The scrolls in your mark actually add a very pleasing a-symmetry. What type of red is that in the corner square? I would love to try some of that, it is so vibrant! It’s great to see you back and writing more posts again! Looking forward to seeing the short film! Rhyce.

  5. Dear Stephen – David?

    This will bother me all day! Could you please explain why you have hair in a blender? Is this what the US calls a blender? (primarily a food preparation tool).

    ????

    Thank you!