Designing New Glass
In mid-2020, the Chapel of St. Nicholas will undergo much needed refurbishment. Ostensibly this will be no more than a deep clean and re-paint, but it will see the existing vinyl flooring replaced with something more fitting and an attempt to improve the acoustics of this rather dead space (acoustically speaking).
At the West End, below a mezzanine layer, there are three plain glass windows in a rather bleak area of the chapel. Having photographed an number of the stained glass windows within the chapel, I have been approached with regard to producing a series of three windows to replace the plain glass. These would have to fit harmoniously within the chapel and have a design that is contemporaneous with the pre-existing Henry Holiday windows.
Frustratingly, the windows are landscape in nature – indeed, panoramic in aspect ratio, with a width of about 150cm and a height just under 50cm. However, with thirteen other stained glass windows on-site, there is plenty of assorted grisaille and rinceau designs upon which to base the work.
The first vidimus borrows components from the Chapel of St Nicholas as well as Dorneywood House, the country home of the Chancellor of the Exchequer and former home of the 137th pupil at Summerfield (in which the Chapel of St Nicholas is located).
To have three windows produced using traditional methods would be eye-wateringly expensive. However, a sympathetic solution can be achieved using digital ceramic printing onto safety-toughened glass – a rare process with Washington Art Glass being the only UK practitioners.
The Architect has now received the vidimus, and if approved, must supply the precise dimensions of the glass (including the necessary margins). This may result in a minor change in aspect ratio, but my design is such that it can absorb quite significant change (if necessary). I will then start work on a design that will be shared by the other two windows.