A Moral Issue
Having decided that I’m going to experiment with painted or stained glass, I’ve been disturbed with what I found out about it and it ties in with the past in England and other Western countries where the Church often seemed to spend a lot of collected money on things that just benefited the Church itself.
Many centuries ago glass was a very expensive resource to the general public, this being the case how is it that churches and religious buildings could afford costly stain glass windows? Why did it seem so important when others were blocking up there windows with black sheets to avoid any form of light to be seen, not to become a target and most important of all, to avoid window tax.
Churches/Cathedrals & Abbeys use of stained glass
Churches use stained glass to portray narrative and religious learning to those who worship, Glass used in Cathedrals,Churches & Abbeys offer beauty but are also used to reveal biblical stories. During the middle ages literal rates was low with very few people educated, these religious venues served as educational centres, the illustrated scenes shown in the stained glass educated the less fortunate and gave them a understanding of religion.
Stained glass windows loss popularity for a period both to religious institutes and personal art, people became reliant on artists such as Louis Comfort Tiffany in the 1800’s to create masterpieces once again bringing back stained glass for future generations.
Stained glass exceptional to coverage during world war 2 blackouts, in November 1939 the government agreed churches, market and street stalls could be slightly illuminated.
Effects of ww2 (the blitz) history of stained glass in churches/Cathedral’s
Chartres Cathedral, France
The stained glass was moved to the local countryside for protection, after ww2 the windows was taken out of storage and reinstalled back into the cathedral. A isothermal secondary glaze was gradually installed to prevent further damage preserving the stained glass.
Some of the stained glass windows were borded over however quite a lot of glass was blown out by the blast of the bomb explosion, particularly in 1940.
St.Martins Church, Birmingham UK
The windows was removed from the church and taken for safe keeping, the day before a ww2 bomb dropped beside the church on 10th April 1941 destroying all remaining windows. The west window is a 1954 copy of the Henry Hardman 1875 window destroyed by the blitz.
Five artists/Graphic designers that inspire me to proceed in creating work in the topic of stained glass.
Picasso specialised in a cubist portrait head style to his work.This relates my approach as I’m focusing on abstract shape designs, possible including Picasso’s cubist portraits as influence. Picasso varied between bright,vibrant colours in a selection of his paintings then using toned down earth colours in other work.
Dalaunay is an abstract artist who also specialised in cubism in the form of abstract art to create his work. he uses shapes particularly polygons and rectangles.
Geometric art used in graphic designs-
Kelly is a geometric artist, using a variety of vibrant colours in shape pattern designs.
Is a geometric artist mostly his work is arranged glass panes cut to size placed randomly in a room. The style of Bell’s work varies from bright coloured class to basic clear panes. As my FMP is stained glass Bell is a main influence to my work. In his work Bell uses a bright orange and stable blue.
Malevich is also a geometric artist, arranging pastel style coloured shapes to form a geometric styled piece of work.Geometric abstraction is the field Malevich,Bell &Kelly work in. Malevich’s colour scheme is more mellow using toned down colours like a bronze/ brown shade and a greenish blue (sea green).
Hudson is a abstract, Geometric abstraction artist creating contemporary art. Hudson’s designs I appreciate because it gave me the idea of the type of project I wished to embark on and proceeded to do so , using his skills in shape positioning and layout to relate to my designs.
Mondrian was a geometric style artist, I particularly prefer his designs as he focuses on using squares and rectangles in his designs which then influenced me into stained glass. Piet in his style of Geometric design again uses primary colours, a consistent pallet for geometric artists as its bright and catches the audiences attention.
Theo van Doesburg
Doesburg created a fair few geometric designs, his use of palette colours relates to my work as a chosen scheme of colour, to create similar designs to Doesburg. using contrast between the light (Yellow) and the dark (Blue,Black) mainly primary colours are used in his work so Red,Blue and Yellow.
Charles and Ray Eames
Eames’ were married american designers who created the Eames Game, their main focus was the use of geometry in different forms broadening from furniture construction to an average, geometric related game. The Eames’ used geometric patterns in their designs particularly on a book they written sharing a insight to there duo work entitled ‘Beautiful Details’, geometric patterns can be seen on the books case using bright variations of colours as the pallet, by using this style of patterns it gives the book flavour it looks appealing,bright and fresh attracting a audience to purchase and read.
Bill was a Swiss graphic designer and artist/painter, he uses geometric patterns in his designs between the contrast of colourful and black & white as his colour pallets, combining the two to create a appealing colour scheme. This inspired me as it relates to my designs to concentrate on the effects of contrast between light and dark.
Stained Glass Research
As stourbridge is the home of the glass making I expected it to strive with stained glass displays however now it is limited and signature only to aged or iconic buildings. I located stained glass at the old town hall fitting the style of glass I’m focusing on, Geometric.
The Mitre an aged pub in Stourbridge Lower high street, has many stained glass windows not in the style of geometric but iconic to the pub itself.
Stourbridge has a rich heritage of glass blowing and general glass making in a industrial aspect, with the Red House Glass Cone situated on the high street (Wordsley) in the Glass Quarter.
Stained Glass Designs
Stained Glass Effect
I experimented with some stained glass designs created on Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator, by embedding then into exterior and interior glass windows to see the effect it portrayed in the outside world and how people now have displays of stained glass in their houses.
I have also decided to do a side project involving research of mosaic styled designs as inspiration for stained glass or a other element of designing.
Below are examples of mosaic art I found in Stourbridge (Bus Station) and Kidderminster (Underpass).
I experimented designing strips to show a mosaic themed image, I changed my mind on the white and black strip replacing the white background with a magnolia/cream colour as its more fitting to the design as a whole and more visually appealing.
I then went on and experimented with mosaic style and created a Aztec title related pattern, and fitting to the original purpose of stained glass to portray stories visually through imagery, The designs I created are building up to appear symbolic to connote a certain idea or topic.
I’ve recently embarked on a side project from Stained Glass, to designing mosaic styled tiles and tiles in general my designs were put onto tile shaped cardboard not ceramic tiles themselves. Ive also embedded some of my designs into a dried clay tile.