Monday, 25 April 2016


Almost nine months ago while travelling through showers and sunny intervals, I came over the top of the hill from Berridale to see some of the bays surrounded by cliffs highlighted in the sun.  

I have since been doing a few experiments to try to represent the view. Now I have produced the first two of the Headlands series that I am happy with. 

HeadlandsI from the left

HeadlandsI from the front

HeadlandsI from the right
 The multiple processes of cutting, grinding, shaping and the kiln time used to realise these pieces are not the important elements, it is the attempt to give a feel of the place on a small scale.

HeadlandsII from the right

HeadlandsII from the left
I now need to decide which of these two is to be entered for an exhibition this Autumn.

Monday, 18 April 2016

Caledonian Road Church

I was out looking at an old church during the week.  The east window remains in place.  I was unable to find out the artist.  It was dedicated after 1872.

This is done in a traditional style and is just before the flourishing of the arts nouveau in Scotland.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Secondary Glazing

I have had the opportunity to work on a stained glass window in a cottage located in Carstairs.  The lintel over the door has the date 1762*.  A lot has been done to the building since then, but it is good to see it standing.

My task was to repair four broken panes in the bathroom and establish secondary glazing on the outside.  This is the only window that is not double glazed at the back.  It is in a steel frame, so that probably puts the window in the 1920's  

The repairs required are at the bottom corners, next to the right lower rose and the pane covered with black tape.

The repaired and cleaned window now has this appearance:

Meanwhile, the establishment of a timber frame for the secondary glazing was going ahead.  The frame needed to accommodate the hinges on the left outside and the slope of the base of the window.  The frame was attached to the sides of the opening and sealed at the top to prevent water entering there.

The frame was made square so that there is ventilation at the bottom of the frame to prevent condensation building up between the two panes.

The picture below shows the trial of the glass pane into the new opening.

The final picture shows the secondary glazed window in place among the double glazed windows.

This was a satisfying project to complete, as removing the steel framed window would have presented a completely different appearance to the stained glass that was made to fit its present setting.

* The lintel is a copy of the original, and I did not want to identify the location, so I have not taken a photograph of the front of the building.

Monday, 28 March 2016

Bedroom Panels

This commission was for a boy's bedroom in an old building which has been completely refurbished while keeping as much of the original as possible.

The brief was to provide a lighting feature that would form part of the partition between the bedroom and the bathroom.  It needed to reflect sporting life, especially including tennis and football.  Other than that, we were given freedom to choose colours and specific figures, once the design concept was agreed.

This is the set of five panels installed over an almost 5 metre span.  The design was a collaboration between Dorte Pape and me.  It consists of football players, cyclists, swimmers, runners, tennis players and gymnasts.  The forms and shapes they make while playing are graphically represented.  We were pleased to note the blue of the glass was complimentary with the blue chosen for the walls.

This view from the window shows how the LED lighting throws colour onto the ceiling adding a third colour to the scheme of the room.

The figures are sandblasted onto both sides of the fused glass panels.  This gives some depth and variation in appearance depending on which side the light shines.  These panels show gymnasts, tennis players, runners and some swimmers.

These panels show more of the swimmers, cyclists and footballers.  Both these bathroom side panels show the different effect of where the light falls as to which side is emphasised.

Monday, 21 March 2016


Recently, I had the privilege to handle an original Lalique bowl.

This bowl had a chip in the rim.  Removing the chip would return the value of the bowl to the original state price.  There was a bit of pressure to get the chip ground and polished out without further damaging the item.

As you can see, I managed it to the owner's satisfaction.

The delight of this bowl is the use of the thickness of the tinted glass to bring out the form of the figures.  Where the glass is thicker the milky white shows more distinctly.  The weight of the bowl indicates that it probably is made from leaded glass.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Glass Bends for Lights

Among the interesting things that I get to do are custom bends for interior decoration.

This bend was custom in the sense that the glass needed to protrude from the apertures to form a rectangular protrusion that is most apparent when the light is off.

This is the finished and installed set of lights by the designer Martin MacGuire.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

New York, New York

This piece is going on its travels to its new home.

"Pregnant"  40x20x80cm wood and glass

The client came to the studio earlier this week and selected this piece for her New York City home.  I now need to pack it well and get the freight forwarder to deliver it safely.  I intend to use a lot of firm packing and a wooden box to help ensure its safe arrival.

This is a strip constructed piece.  The strips were cut and then formed.  These were then assembled and fused together.  Finally the piece was slumped over a special ceramic form created from a plow share.  This makes a connection for me between the growing of seed and the curves of a pregnant woman.  Both contain the developing form which will later appear.