It was great to see the windows in place, free of scaffolding and looking part of the fabric of the place. We are pretty chuffed, to be honest! It has been a fabulous collaboration on every level, and, most importantly, we are still speaking!
March 11, 2012
March 10, 2012
We installed the windows yesterday. It is amazing to work with a 700 year old building, and I can safely say we have improved it! We are very pleased with ourselves and with our excellent team of installers, scaffolders and lead workers.
This morning we are going back to see the work in the space without the scaffolding. Biggest compliment so far…”it looks like it has always been there”.
March 1, 2012
The windows are pin the capable hands of Stacey Poultney and Owen Leutchford, under the watchful eye of Alun Adams, at the Architectural Glass Centre in Swansea Metropolitan University. They are all leaded now and are being cemented as I write so that they will be ready for us to install next Friday!
February 10, 2012
Whilst making these windows I have been coming to realise the power of making to move people. I have always made things, but somehow the making aspect of this project is more accessible to people than it is in my painting, where the “art” appears to get in the way. People have often asked me how long it takes me to do a painting (that old question that Whistler answered so perfectly – a lifetime!), but here, in the glass, the time, effort and skill we are spending on it is plain to see. That, combined with the beauty of the glass and the complex stories and referencing within the piece, are proving to be very popular.
This week I have made an item for the Welsh language TV programme, Wedi Saith (which will go out on S4C at 7pm on monday 13th February) and hosted visits from Maenclochog primary school and various friends and neighbours. In response to this interest, Rachel and I have decided to open the studio for an hour on Sunday (4-5pm) in an attempt to give people a chance to see the work before it goes to Swansea on Tuesday to be leaded.
Meanwhile we have plenty to do getting the final firings in the kiln, doing the calligraphy and balancing out the colour and tone of the whole piece.
January 23, 2012
Painting is progressing well on the windows. We are working flat-out to meet our deadline for installation on March 8th. I am really enjoying experimenting with etching and sandblasting as well as painting pieces, the fragmentary nature of the piece gives lots of scope to be spontaneous within a structure.
All these pieces will be cut up and included as fragments. Meanwhile, the painting is fabulous to do, so different to my usual approach to using colour, thinking all the time about the light! I am learning a lot about traditional techniques from Rachel. Hardly any time to blog!!
January 7, 2012
The gallery has been converted back into a stained glass workshop and the wonderful Carwyn has constructed fantastic easel light boxes to enable us to work on all three panels together. We have been ailing with seasonal bugs but have been enjoying painting up some glass and preparing pieces for sand blasting. It is great to have the templates and cut lines up in the studio and to actually begin to assess light and colour.
I went to a fantastic gig at Cuffern Manor this week, Julie Murphy and Ceri Owen Jones performed new pieces from their upcoming album, ably supported by Fiddlebox. Julie’s songs are tender and poignant and their collaboration embodies the best of traditional and contemporary work, poetry and music, and, amazingly, Ceri played a piece from the medieval ap Huw manuscript – one of the manuscript sources I have been consulting for my windows project…synchronicity at its best!…dreaming of a harp in the chapel..!
December 23, 2011
Setting out some glass on the cartoons we can get an idea of the size of the work and the scale we need to work to. We want the windows to have an instant impact but also to reward concentrated looking. It is great to have it all mapped out and to have some defined boundaries to work within.
December 8, 2011
Things are going well with our Conwy Castle commission. Rachel and I are busy finalising the cartoons before we can begin cutting the glass for our windows. This involves drawing up more details and deciding on final positions. It is great to be collaborating with another artist, I am sure that the work will be all the richer for it. We have taken over my gallery as our studio and will be installing light boxes as soon as my New Year Exhibition is over.
We are incorporating details from medieval sources, such as the horse above from stained glass from Llangwstenin Church in Gwynedd, and the portrait of Edward 1st from stained glass in York Minster. Meanwhile its going back to basics, doing painstaking colour and firing tests on my new enamels – I can’t wait to get started with the painting!
November 22, 2011
Rachel and I are busy preparing designs for the Conwy windows this week. We’ve taken over the gallery to draw up full size cartoons, it’s great to see it coming together.
Also I have launched my Winter Studio Sale with 50 unframed sketches and studies for sale online at prices from £45, see examples below:
November 2, 2011
Rachel Phillips and I just found out that we were successful in getting the commission at Conwy Castle to make 3 stained glass windows for the Royal Chapel!
This is a major commission for a World Heritage Site and we are looking forward to getting started on some in-depth research and design work. The panels will tell the stories of the Princes of Gwynedd, Owain Glyndwr and Edward 1st, and will reference medieval and contemporary life and the landscape of North Wales. Since my visit to Conwy last month I have been looking at lots of Medieval stained glass and gathering ideas and inspiration for this project – I can’t wait to get started!