collaboration & Interpretation
Windows created from designs by other artists and designers
I love developing designs that embrace the painterly possibilities of stained glass, and I have become something of a specialist in interpreting the designs of other artists into this technically demanding medium. Interpreting the work of another artist is not just a case of simply making a glass copy of a drawing — creating a successful window is a lengthy process requiring both artistry and craftsmanship. My background as an artist helps me interpret the initial design sympathetically and create a window that captures the spirit of the original drawing.
To make images and brushstrokes appear immediate and spontaneous requires a laborious process of etching and layering of stains and paint. I use both traditional and modern techniques, sometimes pushing the technical possibilities of the medium to their limit in the pursuit of spontaneity and truth to the original concept of the design.
If you are an artist or designer and would like to see your work realised in stained glass contact me to discuss your project.
"THE DAMSON TREE"
Canterbury Cathedral, North Cloister (2018)
This window was commissioned by The Friends of Canterbury Cathedral and designed by Hughie O’Donoghue RA. I translated his richly painted, full-sized cartoons into glass at The Cathedral Studios in Canterbury.
The window was a close collaborative venture. Hughie produced full sized cartoons for the windows with his characteristic use of lush colour and energetic brushwork, building up layers of paint to create a vibrant ‘living’ design. I was careful to capture the movement and depth in Hughie’s original designs, and to create an equivalence in glass for his process of building up the surface of a painting. The illusion of spontaneity ironically takes far longer than making a traditional glass panel and is achieved by using layers of acid etched glass which coalesce to create a depth and richness of colour.
The window was installed and dedicated in 2018.
"It was a close collaborative venture between us. I didn’t want it to be a case of handing over a design. It was a process. Grace went with it, developed it, but I feel it looks like my work. The window is a very physical thing. A lot of layers of glass coalesce to make one image. It’s the glass equivalent of a very painterly painting."
-Hughie O'Donoghue RA
An artistic Collaboration with Christopher Day, 2022
‘Belongings’ was a collaboration set of pieces made with Christopher Day, reflecting issues of identity, displacement, restriction and migration. My response to the physical properties of the glass and tightly bound metal in Christopher Day’s work was influenced by events happening around the world, especially the conflicts which force the migration of people to unfamiliar lands and cultures, bringing with it the loss of a sense of belonging and the loss of identity as a life is displaced.
As a glass painter I make marks onto the surface of glass, and everyone has a personal mark, their fingerprint. In ‘Belongings’ the layers of fingerprints depict the movement of people, migratory patterns and trails left by people like a murmuration of birds, travelling in crowds, and stray fingerprints where some lose their way. The use of fingerprints reflects human touch, the act of caring - the strength we find in others and empathy for those in misfortune.
The fingerprints we make are like ghosts, traces of ourselves that we leave behind us. The act of painting these prints evoked the process of forensic fingerprint identification, with soft sweeps of a brush applying the paint, and laying a finger over it to capture the imprint of the skin.
Canterbury Cathedral, North Cloister (2014)
This window was commissioned by the Garfield Weston Foundation and designed by glass-artist, Emma Lindsay. I translated her full-sized drawings into stained glass at The Cathedral Studios in Canterbury.
Keeping closely to the rhythm and structure of the original drawing, I used traditional etching and painting techniques to bring vibrancy to the colours of the design. The colour within the gold pink glass were carefully planned and acid etched and layers of paint and stain were built up. Similarly, while the lead lines appear simple, they were carefully worked out to balance their practical function and enhance the movement and energy of the scheme.
The window was installed and dedicated in 2014.