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.
Love your collection!😍
Lovely pieces (and post).
Oh, I like those windows! And the glass you and your son made, and the beads, and the collections of glass. In fact, I like all of it!
Thank you! The windows were so unexpected. It was a shame that there didn’t seem to be any information about who made them or when or why. Certainly they look very modern, and of course most churches in the area (only about 20 miles from the border with France) were badly damaged in the war.
The millefiori beads in your picture are lovely. You know that these beads are typical of the Venetian isle of Murano. Skilled beadmakers manufacture exquisite works of art.
I recently wrote a comprehensive history of Murano glass beads. Check it out and see if might interest you:
Just skimmed through your history – really fascinating, thank you Marco.
I have great memories of a couple of days spent walking around Murano, a beautiful part of a beautiful city. I envy you if that’s where you live!
Hi , love your post . Just wondered if you were THE Deborah Godshaw from Hertfordshire ? regars Nigel Fereday.
Hi Nigel, no I’m not Deborah Godshaw, but yes the glass is by that Deborah from Hertfordshire. Were you a friend of hers?