Tuesday, 31 May 2011


In the autumn I was asked to provide a chandelier for a large hallway. The principle was to have repeating features that would break up the light from the central hanging.

I made a drawing and a few samples of the pieces to be incorporated. This was approved.

Before Christmas I delivered the finished piece. It consists of two polished stainless steel rings suspended by chains from a central lighting point and several hundred pieces of cast glass of different sizes.

Recently I was able to see the piece installed. It is not immediately obvious upon entry to the house, as there is a landing immediately above the entry. But it is revealed as you move into the house and happen to look upwards.

And as you move up the stairway, the chandelier becomes more obvious both in size and appearance.

It stands out - although only of clear glass - whether against the daylight or as here within the stairwell.

The individually cast pieces of glass break up the light from the light source as can be seen from the above photo.

Each piece is cast with linking wires to attach all the pieces together. Each column of glass ends with a piece having only one link. The inner ring of glass pieces are of a smaller diameter (ca. 35mm dia.) than the outer ones (ca. 50mm dia.) to help fill the spaces that would otherwise be left if all pieces were of the same size.

It is not a surprise - with glass of 6mm thickness and diameters up to 50mm - that this is a heavy piece. Bolts fasten the central hanging point to the beams in the ceiling as is advisable for any large chandelier.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Westercraigs Nursery

After a number of months, some changes at the timber yard and fitting volunteers around the job, the tree slices are in place. They range from 1220 to 1900mm tall and are 50mm thick.
The openings were cut by Andy from the Milnbank Housing Association. I am pleased with the result, so here is a kind of photo diary.

This shows the South West corner of the nursery playground

This is the South East corner of the playground

North East corner before glass installation

South East corner with glass installed

South West with glass and the washing line

North East corner with glass

North side with glass

North West with (most of the) Glass

Too often there is a problem in installation. And in this case the problem was a hammer that missed the nail and hit the glass. This is being remade and will be installed soon.

A general view of the playground facing South East

I'm not sure if the children will notice the coloured light, but I hope their parents will

A view from the outside facing East

Earlier posts about this project are here:

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Repair of Broken Panes

I received a call out to Helensburgh, a nearby town, to look at repairing some old glass panes that had been broken by snowballs. When I arrived I was shown the broken panes in astragals for repair. This was not difficult, I only needed to find the seedy glass that would match.

The clients then showed me other earlier repairs in leaded glass panels with inappropriate glass and asked me if I could replace these with similar glass to the originals. This was possible once I obtained the glass and I explained that only one glass manufacturer in the UK still makes the appropriate glass, so I had to wait for supplies.

When the glass arrived, I arranged a time and proceeded to install them. Then I came to a window where it was difficult to fit the glass into the leads by simply opening them and inserting an appropriately shaped piece of glass. These pieces were the ones shown in the upper left and right and the two next to the central astragal. After numerous attempts, I admitted that I was not going to get a good in situ repair for this window and proposed to take them out and repair them on the bench where I knew I could do a good job.

I came back and removed the leaded glass, filling the opening with float glass. I took the panels back to the studio and of course found more breaks than noticed while the window was in place. I repaired these and added new lead where the old had become too delicate to last, or had its flanges broken away. Then I cleaned and re-cemented the whole of each panel.

I am pleased with the result. They look as though without repairs and they are sound for some time to come.

The irregular lines visible on the lower two panels come from the external iron work. I found it interesting with its formal curves and the solid three-dimensional thistle on top.

Helensburgh might be a good place to conduct a stained glass survey, as there is a lot of expensive housing built in the 19th and early 20th centuries.