Oxford-based painter, sculptor, and glass designer Nicholas Mynheer works almost exclusively on religious themes and is currently fulfilling a commission by Regent’s Park College to replace an initial three (of six) plain glass chapel windows with stained glass. Today I had the chance to discuss his work with him.
It was a pleasure to spend time with Nicholas in his busy studio: festooned with stained glass designs, etched glass cartoons, glass mosaics, assorted sculptures and sculpture scale models. I would have spent many hours discussing the merits of different rock types in his production of statues, or simply looking through the vast array of work, but we keen to maintain some focus on pertinent stained glass facts.
It was interesting to learn that he limits his glasswork to the design, relying upon professional glass makers to realise the completed windows – using one company for stained glass and another for etched glass.
His project for Regent’s Park College is currently on hiatus following a planning permission objection that stated that the work was not in keeping with the building. However, a solution is being worked upon that would see the windows installed a little like a double glazing panel.One of the more time consuming parts of the post production work on my photography of stained glass is the removal of tie bars that I try to achieve whenever possible. These I see as a distraction to the art work itself. I was interested to learn from Nicholas whether tie bars are a consideration when designing windows. He has always conducted his work without worrying about their impact, believing that the transmission of light through the glass should minimise their negative impact on the overall design. In his case, the placement of the metal within the window is decided by the stained glass manufacturers themselves (in consultation with the artist).