The Landscape Window Project

Joy of Joys! A call for a window commission!

I don’t really have a favourite as I love the small pieces just as much as creating the larger ones, like the lamps but windows do give you a chance to create something really eye-catching and I am always really pleased when a client asks for one to be designed. Especially so, when they give a free rein on the pattern.

I did have a guideline – This was to create a piece that fitted with their much-loved paintings of English Landscapes.

I began by looking at the paintings that they already have and picked out the style that was prominent in these. The way the trees were depicted and the gentle flow of the hills and sunrise in the background. I also had to take into account the light source as this was for a skylight above a the doorway into their lounge. It’s light source would be indirect and at times, from electric bulbs, for example during the evening. As it was a doorway the view also had to work from both sides and also be strong enough to withstand the occasional slamming or even the strong draughts that can blast through a home when the windows are open.

(Design Stage)

After a lot of scribbling, doodling, and two or three filled waste paper bins (Sorry Eco friends) I finally came up with this design.

I drove over to the client and went through some glass samples with them, to decide which would suit best and this also gave me a chance to test the glass samples for light sources etc. Once we had agreed on these I basically got on with the cutting and to finally decide on the sunrise – As you can see in the following pictures, the sunrise that we went with, does not match the original pattern.

(Glass cutting stage)

I began by working on the trees. The paintings that gave me my theme had trees in them that were more characteristic designs that fine art and I used this in my own pattern. Using different shades of textured glass I was able to show light and shadow to some extent, giving the feeling of depth, as you would find in a natural environment. Having the trees clustered also gave me a design which added strength to the windows structure, which is very important.

(Adding the landscape)

Once I had tackled the trees and was happy with the result, I got to work on the landscape, again thinking about how best I could give it a natural feel, with shading and depth. I did add a sample piece for the sunrise but this was just as an aid as I was already working on another solution to this area.

(Glass Cutting – Including Sun)

Finally , I decided on the best sun design and went for this one as it radiates better from a smaller globe. This was really the first time that the pattern came to life and  I felt that I could now get on with the actual construction.

The main detailed areas of the piece were constructed using the copper foil method, often associated with Tiffany’s lamps. As this was for a window and needed to be strong and stable I use a very wide copper foil, almost like ribbon, so that once I had wrapped the glass it gave a good thickness to solder onto. This, with some added copper wire set into the valleys helped make everything secure. The outside of the window was fully leaded, using the more traditional methods and to this I added cement in the normal way. This means that if ever the client wishes to removed the window and place it elsewhere, ie a house move, then it will come out in one stable and secure piece.

Gradually working across the piece, I wrapped all of the pieces of glass in copper.

With the copper foiling finished, I set on with soldering the pieces together.

All done – soldered and leaded and finished off with a copper patina – This does not show very well in the pic but gives the solder work a rustic but still very slightly shiny look. Roll on next friday when I get to install it in its new home…

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~ by cherishedstainedglass on 18 April, 2010.

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