More About Stained Glass
To the layman, ‘Stained Glass’ is a generic term perhaps evoking images of the glorious colours of an ancient cathedral – Chartres, Canterbury, York – images of a bygone age. However, stained glass is now as likely to be found in offices,banks, hotels, airports and private houses as in ecclesiastical settings.
Members of the British Society of Master Glass Painters (BSMGP) offer invaluable expertise to architects and designers in harnessing the creative possibilities of this most fascinating and mercurial of media. From its foundation in 1921 to the present day, the Society has counted many of the great names in stained and architectural glass amongst its members. In the early twentieth century, founders included the owners and chief designer/makers from many of the large firms of church decorators who owed their existence to the Gothic Revival and the huge demand for stained glass that this generated – companies such as Clayton & Bell, Heaton Butler & Bayne, James Powell & Sons,(Whitefriars), C.E. Kempe & Co. and Burlison & Grylls.
The Society today similarly includes many of the country’s leading stained and architectural glass artists, creating contemporary glass for new buildings as well as many of our foremost stained glass conservators. The contemporary artist has a growing range of techniques to draw on in the manipulation of light and colour. A recent exhibition of glass panels, 30 cm2 held in London, Ely and Birmingham demonstrated the diverse skills of Society members; artistic and technical virtuosity in restoring and conserving ancient glass, the modern interpretation of traditional techniques using acid, paint, stain, enamels and lead and the cutting edge of the craft in sandblasting, fusing, slumping, carving and bonding.