Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Loss of Painted Glass


I was called out to look at a broken door panel by a landlord.  The flat is in one of the currently less wealthy parts of Glasgow. The request was for a repair or replacement.


The painted glass was broken from the lock across the whole glass in several places.  The options were to make a copy or replace with plain glass.  The landlord decided that it was too expensive for a replacement copy and replaced the window with plain laminated glass.

This door shows that the area was once a prosperous area of the city during its industrial flourishing.  It is not a large flat, probably built in the period 1900-1915. The status of the area at the time it was built is also shown by the stair window that remains.



Although some parts of the window show the deterioration of the paint work, it is still in reasonable condition.  These windows are of a quality that deserves to be preserved, but because they are not in the grander parts of the city, they do not receive the grants to assist in their preservation that are available in those other areas.


This failure to recognise the glass heritage that remains in the poorer areas of the city will lead to the decrease in the variety of glass preserved from the great industrial period of Glasgow.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Workmanship

In trying to understand craft better, I have been reading a range of books and articles.  In one of these, David Pye* talks about workmanship instead of craft or craftmanship.

Some elements from this book have a resonance for me, and I trust others: 

"Designers have only been able to exist by exploiting what workmen have evolved or invented." p.17

"Material in the raw is nothing much.  Only worked material has quality and pieces of worked material are made to show their quality by men [and women], or put together so that together they show a quality which singly they had not"  p.18

He talks about the quality of workmanship being judged by the soundeness and aesthetics ("comeliness") of the result. p30

"workmanship is the application of technique to making, by the exercise of care, judgement and dexterity."  p.51




*The Nature and Art of Workmanship, by David Pye, 1968, rev. ed. 1995

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Airdrie Mosque


I’ve been asked to assess a small chapel that has been converted to a place of worship for the local Muslim community.  It is based in a disused chapel that has been partially converted for immediate use. 




Money is now being collected to do a complete renovation of the building and it access to make it more suitable for the current purposes.  The building is listed by Historic Scotland, so an assessment of the work required was needed.  I was asked to provide information on the work required for the windows and some indicative costs for the application to Historic Scotland for grant money.




The central part of the building has been covered at the balcony level.



This area shows some of the worst of the damage caused by weather and lack of maintenance.



The work includes the need to replace much of the timber work behind the stone mullions.



The external view of one of the windows shows the full extent of their height. Although they are protected by a wire mesh, there is visible damage to the upper portions and they are not as secure in the stone as is desirable.




A lot of work will be required to make the windows sound and divide it into two levels appropriate to the needs of the new religious community.  I do hope they will be able to get the funding and support needed.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Gillespie Centre


The community centre in Biggar has several windows in the converted church’s upper hall.  During a storm, the upper portion of one of the windows was blown in.


Inspection showed that the storm had damaged the lower portion too.  It was decided to repair and refurbish the whole window and do a few repairs required to the blue green borders too.  This work was conducted in conjunction with Stephanie Whatley of Biggar Glass Works.

The glass is installed into stone and protected by an external mesh in a steel frame.  To get the outside of the window to remove the protective mesh access to the roof was required.


This required the hire of a cherry picker to get onto the roof and access the window from the outside.  One day to remove; a couple of weeks to clean, repair and re-lead; another day to install.


Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Bearsden Changes


A house from the 1920/30’s was being refurbished and extended and needed its leaded glass at the front installed into new double glazed units.




This was installed into wood in the traditional manner and only needed refurbishment.  There were external storm doors to reduce heat loss.

However, other windows were installed in steel frames, creating a lot of condensation to collect at the bottom of the frames.  The steel hopper was rusted shut.  This needed to be placed in a double-glazed unit and new window frame.


 

The window above the entrance on the first floor also needed double glazing and new frames.





The front door is a good example of how persistent the Arts Noveau designs were even after the Arts Deco style, that is reflected in the rest of the house, was firmly established. It also shows how designers were willing to incorporate various styles into the same building.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Domestic Cupola


I was asked to replace a discoloured and plain cupola in a 1930’s bungalow.



It is lit from above both by a roof light and by internal lighting in the loft space.  This meant that a design could be employed that would be visible both by day and night.

The brief was to bring something of the Arts Nouveau into the design.  The design could have been the repetition of a design element in all eight parts, but I wanted to work with the whole as one piece.  After some discussion on the themes it was settled on a flower and leaves theme.

My first design was developed using a template of one of the triangles forming the cupola.




However, in my enthusiasm for the sinuous curves for the stems and buds, I forgot the need to include the roses that were discussed and agreed upon.
[Anderson 2nd design web]


This one does include the roses.  And I do know that the roses in nature would be open after the other buds, but some artistic license was accepted. And the building of the panels began.

Installation required the removal of the old glass.  As the house had just been completely redecorated, lots of old carpet and dust sheets over them was required to protect against any glass falling and possibly puncturing the new wood flooring.



Already the simple removal of the nicotine stained amber glass transformed the light within the hallway.

The installation began by installing each numbered piece in order, as any misplaced panel would interrupt the flow of the design.  However, it would have been better if templates for each of the eight openings were taken.  The openings were not completely regular. 




When complete, it provided a new interest to the hallway as well as allowing much more light into the space. The straight lines running through the composition are the location of the support bars for the glass.





Best of all, the client was overjoyed at the result, bringing relatives around to see what had been achieved.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Airdrie Town Centre


I have been remiss in letting people know what I have been doing over the past many months.  I will now try to rectify that with more regular postings.

The town centre has a balustrade to separate the walkway from parking below, and to keep people safe.  


This has long incorporated a number of screen printed images related to the activities in the town.  




Vandals had managed to break one of the discs and it was decided to incorporate a image more directly associated with the Airdrie Cross.  It was also to commemorate the local historical society.  The task for me was to incorporate an image from the Airdrie Historical Society. 




This involved deciding how to crop the image, getting a transfer printed, determining where to place the holes and firing the image. All this was completed successfully, although I have not yet been out to photograph the piece in position.