5th January 2016
Ford and I started out on our stained glass oddysey two years ago when we joined a beginners class at the Working Men's College in Camden (see blog 16). Having gained the necessary skills, we set ourselves a stupidly ambitious task: making nine panels to to rise the full four metres of the staircase window at the front of the house, on the warm side of the existing triple-glazing. The panels were completed a couple of weeks ago, so we have been busy over the new year installing them in a chunky frame that I routed out of long lengths of 2x2 oak. The result has cheered us up no end.
The design is abstract but inspired by a simple colour narrative: an arc from a very large circle falling though sky blues towards earth green with a burst of heavenly red-gold appearing in the top corner. The window faces east so lights up in the morning. The changing light across the day, including the effect of the street lamp at the front of the house at night, has kept us enthralled. We even get reflections from the glass of the first-floor greenhouse throwing colours onto the north-facing wall of the stair well.
Although the staircase is not yet in it should add, rather than detract, from the experience of the window as it will curve away from the window rather than being built into the wall. As you walk the 180 degrees down the staircase, every colour and texture of the window will be revealed. Getting out of bed to make the tea in the morning will never be the same again.
I think we can now call the Orchard an Arts and Crafts house with some confidence. This has been an epic work of craft and the outcome will hopefully lift our spirits for the rest of our lives.