Thursday, 24 March 2016

Happy Birthday William Morris 182!

Googles doodle today reminds me of the excellent William Morris Museum in Walthamstow, London. If you have not visited and have some spare time this weekend it's an award winning, amazing museum which brings the man and his circle of friends to life but never looses sight of them as people, funny, sad, complex. It's very accessible with fun things for both children and adults to do and it has a great tea room overlooking some lovely gardens. Find out whats on this weekend.

I do not want art for a few any more than education for a few, or freedom for a few. William Morris.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

From Gateshead to New Zealand...panels 2 and 3!

These 2 hand painted flower roundels are part of the same set of panels left on top of a building in London Docklands and originally from the grand Victorian house of 'Springfield' in Gateshead owned by Sir John Maccoy. The themes in this once huge panel are varied; armorial, navigation, heraldic, organic / decorative, the seasons, botanical as well as a collection of strange looking insects. It is hard to see how it all came together, perhaps it was one central large panel with a collection of side panels or maybe they came from different parts of the house, doors / upper windows / stairwell etc. The panels must have come from a well established studio with multiple painters as some pieces are of very high quality and others more like apprentice work. It is still unknown which studio got the commission to make the panels for 'Springfield', later panels donated by Sir John Maccoy in Gateshead Old Town Hall were made by the Gateshead firm Thompson and Snee. Sadly according the Gateshead Local History Society no photo of the old house exists.

Rose panel before cleaning.

After cleaning, new border to be added, colour to be decided. 

Daisies panel before cleaning.

Sadly a further crack was starting to run and it is safer to run the crack in a controlled way.

Cleaned pieces waiting for gluing with Araldite 20/20, a conservation glue recommended for not yellowing over time. Border colours to be decided... 

Monday, 14 March 2016

Art Deco Style

The Art Deco sun with it's simple angular style has so much energy and movement.  The panel below uses a mix of new and vintage textured glasses and is based on an original design.

In situ photo courtesy of Thomas Naylor

In situ photo courtesy of Thomas Naylor

Glasses include; Muranese, Starburst, Spotlyte, Stippolyte, old Arctic, small Arctic, old Flemish, Small Hammered, Masterpoint, Muffle, Small Glistre and in the borders half inch reeded.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

“Through darkness diamonds spread their richest light.” John Webster, The White Devil.

I recently completed a job of simple diamond shapes. The inspiration for the customer was a visit to London's famous The Ivy restaurant. In this panel we kept the mix of random colour but surrounded the bright coloured pieces with a mix of vintage and modern textured glass.

Before installation above and below.

In situ photo courtesy of Frank Boggis Rolfe

In situ photo courtesy of Frank Boggis Rolfe

With apologies to John Webster might have to amend his quote to;
"Through lightness diamonds spread their richest light" 

From Gateshead to New Zealand...panel 1

A while ago I blogged about a job I completed restoring some glass that came from the house of Sir John Maccoy of Gatehead; Sir John Maccoy. Not only did I learn that I had spelled his name incorrectly but also through the power of the internet a current relative, living in New Zealand, got in touch and asked me about the pieces. As luck would have it I was given the remaining pieces of painted glass as my original customer had filled up every available window to hang these beautiful little panels adapted from the huge original Victorian window.

There will probably be 4 panels in this new set made from Sir Johns original window. One of these will be the set of quarries below;

The quarries are a mix of elegant painted flowers but incredibly dirty having probably at least 80 years of London grime on them. The paint on some is fragile and unstable.

With strong light their potential starts to emerge.

The only effective safe way to clean the glass is with a glass fibre brush. Unfortunately some of the quarries were left paint side up. This means careful cleaning...

And use of a smaller glass fibre brush to reveal as much detail as possible.

First column cleaned.

Revealing a skilled confident painter with beautiful silver stain work.

The slightly darker pieces which had been left paint side up I have suggested putting in the corners. A double border is planned awaiting customer approval. More to follow...