I have been building my own house over a number of years and had a long term plan to incorporate at least one and possibly three stained glass pieces into internal doorways. Since I enjoy making everything myself, I contacted Andrea to enrol in one of her craft courses since I’d been impressed by some of her pieces in the locality and she lives quite close by.
The course spanned several weeks and involved making a leaded glass panel and a soldered, hinged glass trinket box. Both items were greatly appreciated as gifts later that year. The course was very hands-on, enjoyable, informal, informative and made for great entertainment since a close friend was also in the workshop at the same time making pieces for herself. During the course I realised that making my own door panels would involve setting up a special flat working area, acquiring an array of tools, sourcing and storing many different types of coloured glass and lead beading and, of course, a box of plasters to patch the inevitable small cuts to finger tips. In short, this was not a path I wished to follow. The obvious solution was to ask Andrea if she would undertake a commission – this would not only avoid all the hassle for myself but would definitely culminate with a much more professional result.
As a result, Andrea called to the house and measured the doorway and surrounds very carefully since the whole project consisted of the door itself plus five fixed surrounding panels. The door opens into a porchway and a south facing window provides a good source of back lighting. In addition, the stained glass can also be seen clearly from outside – a very pleasant aspect. Because of the fixed side panels, it was desirable to avoid regular patterns in the glass since the overall effect would become rather fussy and cluttered. In short, a decision was made to design a single pattern that would flow freely through all the panels. Finally, my wife and I are both fond of flowers and an abstract design that portrayed a floral theme was agreed.
As a result, Andrea got to work and put her skill and experience to good effect. She began by producing several coloured sketches of various ideas. Following a consultation we made our choice of design. This was followed by the production of a full-size drawing illustrating the overall effect and samples of coloured and patterned glass for each part of overall scheme. A final choice of glass was made and it was agreed that Andrea would add some glass painting to provide a leaf-like effect in some areas.
Some time later a phone call announced that the fixed panels were ready for collection. I fixed them in place and then ordered a sheet of clear reinforced glass that would be fitted in the door with a small gap between it and the leaded glass panel to avoid any condensation. Some time later still, a phone call announced that the door panel was ready. Together, Andrea and I fitted this in the door just to make sure there was no damage to the panel and that everyone was happy with the final result.
The photographs tell the whole story. We are extremely pleased with the overall effect and quality of the work. Furthermore, all visitors – without exception – comment favourably on it.
As a footnote, I would note that my house construction project is almost at the point of fitting another two doors that will possibly incorporate Andrea-designed stained glass.
Ivan Gibson, 22nd November 2020