We decided to invite our family to make a small piece each by way of a thank you for their part in supporting us through this project, my daughter, Ruby, painted a fragment for the window, a design of bees taken from a medieval manuscript.
We have had a busy week in the studio getting the glass finished, besides having the visits from Maenclochog Primary School, and filming an item for Welsh language TV programme, Wedi Saith (the item is 14 minutes into the clip here). About 30 local people came to our open studio hour on Sunday afternoon, it was an opportunity for people in the village to see what has been going on in here for the last six months. Then the kilns were in full use over weekend in a bid to meet our deadline and have the glass ready to be leaded by Tuesday.
Rachel put the final piece of glass was put into the design late on Monday, it was an emotional moment, to have actually finished the painting part of the work. We are exhausted but very pleased with the way it has gone and looking forward to installing it in 3 weeks time!
The panels were dismantled and taken to Swansea yesterday to the Architectural Glass Centre, where they are in the capable hands of Alun, Owen and Stacey who are going to do the leading in the next three weeks.
I have left the strangely empty studio and headed off to London to see the Grayson Perry, Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman show at the British Museum. On Friday Rachel and I have booked to attend a study day on Royal Manuscripts at the British Museum – Wow, do these girls really know how to celebrate!!!
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.
I spent the afternoon yesterday filming an interview in my studio for S4C’s Llwybyr Arfordir Sir Benfro series to be screened (in Welsh with sub-titles) this autumn. It was great to have the chance to chat with the interviewer, Damian Walford Davies, (a poet and writer based in Aberystwyth), who has a lot of similar interests in his work…islands, maps, archaeology, aerial perspectives, Bardsey……it was fantastic to share ideas and talk over ideas for our work – who knows where these conversations might lead?!
Special thanks to Ruby for helping me in preparing my Welsh!