Poppy templeton aka duck ragu


Describe your work in a sentence. An exploratio­n of colour and light using geometric forms, with shades and transparen­cies that elicit a warm familiarit­y.

What first drew you to working with stained glass? My mother learnt leadlighti­ng in the ’80s and a few of her pieces sat in the windows of our home growing up. I always thought it was a wild medium, but only considered learning it myself when a friend suggested I do it with her in 2021. I fell in love with it pretty immediatel­y, most of all because of the way glass interacts with light. I still think it’s all pretty special.

How old is this art form, and has much changed about the process over the years? Stained glass is ancient! In my work I use both the original leadlight technique that is thousands of years old and the modern Tiffany technique which was founded in the 19th century. Which technique I use or what my process entails for each piece depends on many factors. I like to involve new steps or types of glass in every large piece I make, so my work is always changing and evolving.

What’s involved in putting together a panel? The glass is scored, then broken and ground down to fit the design. It’s kind of like putting together a puzzle. If it’s going in a leadlight, the pieces will be fitted together with lead came. For more detailed work, I use copper foil instead, which wraps around and sticks to each individual piece of glass. Then either the lead or foil is soldered together to make the final solid piece.

What’s the most challengin­g part about working with stained glass? Stained glass involves a multi-step process and a steep learning curve, meaning there’s always more to learn and I make mistakes often, if not daily. It can be frustratin­g since accidents are often either expensive or painful, but I love the process.

What’s something people would be surprised to learn about your medium? Some people think choosing colours is like mixing paint. But the colour of glass comes from adding metal oxides and powders when it’s in its molten stage, long before I get my hands on it. Rubyred shades, for example, have gold in small concentrat­ions! So while it’s not always possible to find exact colours, it can be exciting when I do come across a perfect shade of pink in a stash of vintage glass.

What’s your dream commission and what would you make? It’d be to make some huge architectu­ral windows, maybe for a library or university. I’d make something to completely transform the interior space in terms of light and colour. Something that creates an overwhelmi­ng warmth!

Who are some of your favourite artists in the field of stained glass? Timo Fahler, Nadine Keegan and Fin Simonetti. As well as Frank Lloyd Wright and Josef Albers, who inspire many of my pieces.

See more from Poppy at and on Instagram at @duckragu.

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