119. Hot and cold glass

More stained glass windows, complemented by our own fired glass
29th April 2019

We're still at it. Ford recently completed two stained glass windows for the lower panels of our bedroom windows, one for spring and one for autumn. I installed them using mitred oak to match the rest of the household joinery.

In front of them sit two paperweights with colours matching the colours of the windows. We achieved this match by making the paperweights ourselves during a fabulous one-day course at Peter Layton's glass-blowing studio in Bermondsey. We had a bit of help but nonetheless produced some rather gorgeous things including Ford's swirling blue-green vase, now perfectly placed in front of the bathroom window, and my own fluted orange vase. The flutes were made by spinning the initial blown cylinder in an incredibly hot kiln so that the glass stretched out like a wheel, then removing it, holding  it downwards vertically on its rod of iron and keeping the spinning going so that the glass folded on itself as it cooled. You only get one shot, so I was pleased that the petals folded so well.

The photos here show how Ford made his yellow and pink paperweight: get a blob of molten glass from the kiln, shape it using a big wooden ladle, add colours, create a small hollow for an internal bubble, then add more glass on top, before finally shaping it and cutting it off the rod. For good measure I've included a photo of me blowing some clear glass - being a trombonist helps!

Since my last blog, almost a year ago, we won best new brick house at the 2019 Built It awards. The photo below was taken by David Miles. Thanks to him and to Northcot Brick, who sponsored the submission and supplied our beautiful hand-thrown bricks.