‘You can’t hurry or you’ll make a mis­take’

Woman's Weekly (UK) - - Real Life -

Gil­lian wing, 65, Lin­colnshire

Break­ing the glass and se­lect­ing the per­fect piece to com­plete my sun-catcher, I am com­pletely im­mersed. Work­ing with glass has a pace of its own – if you’re in a hurry you’ll make a mis­take or even cut your­self! I love cre­at­ing beau­ti­ful framed mir­rors, win­dows and man­dalas, or help­ing my pupils – who range in age from 16 to their 80s – make some­thing lovely.

I haven’t al­ways done this – un­til I re­tired in 2008, I had a man­age­rial role in the health ser­vice! But I learned to make stained glass as a hobby in the 70s, af­ter at­tend­ing a work­shop and meet­ing a friend who had her own stu­dio. Over the next 40 years, work­ing and rais­ing a fam­ily, I had lit­tle time for stained-glass mak­ing. But in 2008, as I planned for re­tire­ment, I found a new com­plex of stu­dios were open­ing up three miles from my home in Spald­ing. The tim­ing seemed serendip­i­tous and I rented a stu­dio with thoughts of set­ting up a stained-glass work­shop.

Be­fore open­ing, I went on cour­ses to re­new my

skills – find­ing how the tech­niques and tools had de­vel­oped since my train­ing, and grad­u­ally

find­ing my feet again. Since then I’ve worked on be­spoke pieces, which I sell at my stu­dio; but

I’ve also started to run work­shops both for hob­by­ists and art and de­sign stu­dents. I teach for the Stained Glass Mu­seum at Eli, at Lam­port Hall in Northamp­ton­shire and on com­mu­nity projects in churches and chapels.

Of course, work­ing with such a frag­ile ma­te­rial can be pre­car­i­ous. One year at the San­dring­ham Flower Show, a rogue gust of wind dashed one of my roundels to

the floor. But in spite of the odd smash, it’s sat­is­fy­ing work.

Stained glass may seem a relic from the past, but its beauty is time­less; whether in an an­cient chapel or em­bed­ded in mod­ern ar­chi­tec­ture, for me it will never get old.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit straw­ber­ry­glass.co.uk

Gil­lian with be­spoke pieces for sale in her stu­dio

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.