Stained Glass

The SG pages are being reorganised. The original page, here, covered the course we took in August 2010 (and a fused glass course in November), during which I knocked out a number of Mondrians in glass then rambled on into examples of pleasing pieces. The Mondrian content can stay where it is and this section will probably turn into another blog/diary/jottings page.

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PM Fused Glass

[15th July 2011+] Now on to the smaller, final pieces. The choice of images for the Mondrian fused glass window is B117 (1921), B152 (1925), B166 (1925, B217 (1930), B241 (1933). The purpose of this entry is to make sure they are in date order and the right way up.

B318 & B108 B318 fusd glass

[15th July 2011] B318 is complete and installed. As noted below, although B318 (left) was completed in 1942 and B108 (right) in 1920, they complement each other nicely and give little hint of the gradual and prolonged stylistic simplification and then the sudden expansion which occurred between those dates.

B318 signature

Two addition features of the new piece are the sections which had to be made in fused glass (leading of single colours would not have worked) and a signature panel - it's the wrong colour and in the wrong place, but there was a pot of black frit available at the fused glass class and the opportunity was taken.

stained glass

[14th July 2011] Here are the snaps. They have all worked pretty well and I am particularly pleased with the Cow. The Mondrian B318 will be finished in a few days and then the window of Mondrian fused pieces should not take long. The TvD pieces deserve a showing and so I'll either create a second window for the Mondrian space and swap them at will or seek a final window to lead.

last window

Thereafter, there will be little glass action until we move next year and I rework all the pieces for the windows of the new house.

Cow TvD SCC 1929

[1st July 2011] I have finished the two planned pieces. It will be interesting to see how the cow turns out. I've been having some problems with bubbles and, as a larger piece, the Cow might be susceptible. The suspected causes are using too much glue (the tutor's suggestion) and not using paper under the pieces (mine).

I'll drop them off tomorrow when I hope to collect Tuesday's six TvDs, but I'm not sure when I'll be able to pick up.the last two.

[The TvDs turned out really well. I'll add snaps when back from hols.].

Cow TvD SCC 1929

[28th June 2011] Six TvDs in the oven tonight and a quorum of Mondrians with edges now available for the next window.

I have one more crack at the oven (5-week course) but we'll be in France, so I hope to drop off two more TvDs to be fired next week, the 1917 Cow and Simultaneous Counter-Composition, 1929 .

SG candidates

[22nd June 2011] The Composition with Green worked quite well, albeit with a rather large bubble. With all these large Mondrians taking up the window space, I am ending up with a pile of small fused glass pieces and so have decided to work these into a leaded window. That requires adding 'edges' to the pieces so that the structure doesn't disappear into the lead: the first experiment with this, fusing an extra 5mm of clear glass worked quite well with B217 and there's another three due in the kiln tomorrow. Liking this notion for Mondrians, I intend to try the same with some van Doesburgs and I'll try up to six examples, as shown right.

B318 is progressing nicely.

B215SG B215SG

[16th June 2011] Having attended one week of the fusing course and one week of a fusing jewellery course, I think I am securely on the latter, subject to confirmation next Tuesday. The tutor is excellent and has worked hard to get me on an oversubscribed set of courses. I have made the fused components needed for B318 and I'm waiting for the results of a small B215, (sometimes known as) Composition with Green [image added later, together with a B166].

I am reconsidering the one remaining window intended for the current house, and may try to lead a batch of the small PM pieces already created.

B108 B108

[4th June 2011] B108 is done. In some ways its intricacy is more pleasing than the large slabs of colour downstairs. I'm very pleased with it. The snaps show it with and without the curtain.

I am probably on a local fusing course starting this month which will allow me to build the components for the last big window's B318.

Another �29 spent on lead yesterday, plus a couple of small pieces of fusing glass for the course.


[17th May 2011] And here is B235.

At my son's suggestion I have gone for a real yellow rather than an orange for intensity.

Work has started on B108. I hope to get back to Lead & Light on Friday for some more glass.

[15th May 2011] Large amounts of glass (£83.58) and lead (£39.60) now in stock and work has started on B235. I sensibly took the car to Lead & Light this time (no Congestion Charge on Saturdays) and brought the lead home in a box (rather like a snake's coffin) which makes life much easier - my least favourite aspect of glassing is getting the kinks out of lead coils.


[12th May 2011] I have redrawn the three designs to fit the windows (all 57x78cm) and will now start work on the full scale drawings.

There are remarkable parallels between the B108 of 1920, and the B318 of 1940, especially when you take out the grey:the block of adjacent areas of colour, yellow in B108, both yellow and blue in B318; the overall structure and edge detail contrast with the relative simplicity of the intervening designs. There is a small paper to be written there - I'm sure it won't be particularly original, but it will be fascinating to work on.

The greys I have encountered in stained glass are not plentiful or particularly grey (see the front door piece below) and so there will be four areas of light grey and the rest clear. This is not a bad thing as it will 1. emphasise the similarities between B108 and B308; and 2. let more light in.


[11th May 2011] A decision has been reached. It will be B235 downstairs, B318 and B108 upstairs.

I'll start drawing up the designs tomorrow and we might make it to Lead & Light on Saturday to buy the glass.

There is probably a local fused glass course soon which will allow me to make the components for the left side of B318. The image shows the four in their eventual positions.

[1st April 2011] A slight lengthening delay in getting myself organised with the glass for the second piece. I might repeat the exercise upstairs with B318 and one of the early 1920s pieces such as B105 or perhaps Yves Saint Laurent's B108.

B217SG TvD

[5th March 2011] Here's the B217, and rather magnificent it is too. The piece is just sitting inside the double glazing.

I used another length of 12mm lead left over from earlier projects and so the cost was £57.16 for glass plus £13.20 for lead, then small amounts of solder, cement and chalk already in stock, a total of just under £75.

The other side will almost certainly be the B235 and I hope to get the glass next week.

I still intend to make a van Doesburg piece based on the examples right. These were on display at the recent Mondrian / De Stijl exhibition at the Pompidou.


[20th February 2011] I bought the glass for the first piece at Lead & Light. The glass was £57.16 (£32.39 for the large red piece) plus 2 lengths of 12mm lead for £8.80.

We are having second thoughts about the second piece and might go for a 'real' Mondrian design, B235.

I won't be able to make a start for a week as we're off to Paris for the Mondrian show at the Pompidou.

B217 B217

[16th February 2011] I'm still intending to make the Theo van Doesburg piece for the garden door, but before that I'll try two large pieces for the front of the house to fit against the double glazing in the upper left and right panes of the bay window.

The current idea is to adapt B217 on the left and reverse the design and the colours (i.e. swap the blue and red) on the right.

I failed to buy a glass kiln (the vendor raised the original price by 80%) so there is a reasonably-sized wad in the glass fund to finance the project. I'll try to keep a note of the cost as it progresses.


[25th November 2010] That's got it. I cannot tell a lie, it is reversed in reality (would not have fitted the space, otherwise) and I retwisted the door number.
My first installed window and something of a triumph.

Now available commercially.

B152 B152

[19th November 2010] Assembly is now complete and I'm awaiting delivery of a soldering iron as my electronics device lacks sufficient grunt.


[12th November 2010] Work has now begun on the B152. And authorisation looks likely for the TvD over the french window. The clear glass is from a local regular glazier and blue and yellow are from existing stock, but we'll have to wait a few days before getting some red, black and grey from Lead and Light.

PM B152

[28th October 2010] We have decided (almost certainly) on the diagonal B152. That gives a bundle of colour in the middle but, of course, four clear corners. These corners might be occupied, somewhat like the Trafalgar Square Plinths by small representations of various Mondrian pieces rendered in fused glass, following a forthcoming new course.

PM B216

[22nd August 2010] A likely candidate for the front door is Mondrian's B216, suitably reproportioned. This was chosen on the bases of having the largest areas of primary colours, combined with its useful simplicity.

No, spoke to soon, that has been rejected by the committee.


[17th August 2010] There are two planned projects for the current house, the plain windows over the front door and over the French window to the garden. The original plan was a Mondrian variant, but then we visited Tudeley and might go for something vaguely similar in addition so that we can swap between the two as whim dictates. The French window piece is letterbox shaped (77x20cm) and so no authentic Mondrian design would fit. I have come up with something suitably red, blue and yellow, but, as I am reading around De Stijl at the moment, happened upon van Doesburg's stained glass (TvD from now on). A subset of one of these looks like it will be fun.

Theo van Doesburg
Stained glass Composition IX for housing in the Spangen district, Rotterdam, 1918-19
Theo van Doesburg
Theo van Doesburg
Stained glass window for the Scholl of Agriculture, Drachten, 1921

Now at the Wellesley College Museum.
Theo van Doesburg

Here's the piece on 'glass I like', originally posted on 7th August

Shirazeh Houshiary's east window for St Martin-in-the-Fields Shirazeh Houshiary
This is a fused glass piece from Rover V. Thomas called Heisenberg's Icarus, 1997, which I found in one of the books on the technique in Lead & Light. The book states that the wheeled and lighted framework is part of the installation.
It is clear from his web site that Thomas is taking the form where few others would venture.
text text
The third piece I would like to show is Gaylene Allan Richardson's Journey to the East.
It features in Lynettte Wrigley's Stained Glass (Design Sourcebook) but I have not yet found an available image. [I bought the book, jolly good it is too.]
Gaylene Allan Richardson
Added November 2010, two of several SG pieces by Wim Delvoye. These introduce the (with hindsight) obvious and stunning notion of x-ray images in stained glass. The details are,

Calliope, 2001 - 2002, steel, x-ray photographs, glass, lead, 200 x 80 cm

Euterpe, 2001 - 2002, steel, x-ray photographs, glass, lead, 200 x 80 cm.

Delvoye's pieces are shown here.
Wim Delvoye Wim Delvoye

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