I’ve been reflecting* on this quite a bit recently, sparked by reading Jane Brocket’s interesting blog posts about stained glass. The colours are gorgeous, and always arresting. There’s something jewel-like that captures my eye.
In fact as I look around my house and garden I see there’s coloured glass everywhere. Some while back we used to have glass shelves across a kitchen window to display some of it. That went years ago, but the glass remained. Mostly things I have picked up in charity shops or been given, and a few painted by oldest son when he was very young.
Until her untimely death last September, we had a very talented and creative friend who for many years worked in glass – first stained glass, then she began making fused glass pieces. She also taught workshops, and one year I arranged a fused glass workshop for me, oldest son and daughter-out-law as a joint birthday present. First she taught us some techniques and we practised cutting glass, then she let us loose to play.And play we did. I made a square platter, and then a few smaller pieces using scrap pieces of glass. Oldest son, who is himself a talented artist, made a number of hanging pieces, including a freehand copy of a Matisse blue woman.
I look up as I type this and see 4 coloured glass pieces pinned to my noticeboard; one of the scrap pieces I made on the window ledge. I’m wearing some colourful glass beads I bought in Italy, and hanging on the noticeboard is another glass necklace bought by that same friend in Venice, and left to me when she died. She’d remembered how much I liked it, with its tiny pieces of millefiori fused into glass beads and so many zingy colours. I wear it often, though not as often as I think of her and miss her.
There’s more coloured glass in the garden, hanging from the tree, in a summerhouse window, a stained glass window salvaged when we replaced it with a double-glazed unit (waiting until the moment is right for it to be transformed into some kind of garden sculpture).
And then I walked into a somber-looking church in a Black Forest town (Oberkirch) and saw these:
The colours flooded the space, and my heart sang.
* I know, the pun just kind of came. As they do.