One of my favourite recent projects was this stained glass window featuring seagulls in flight. It was based loosely on a wallpaper design that the client liked but had been unable to use in her home refurbishment. A part of her home renovation was the addition of a new bathroom extension, which had a large window space above the bathroom door that was perfect for a contemporary stained glass window.
Using my recently acquired (in lockdown) digital drawing skills, I created a first draft design, based on our discussions about style and colours. I wanted to capture a sense of the birds flying free and high in the air above the coast or sea. Upon seeing the design, the client exclaimed, “We love it! It’s wonderful. I can’t believe you got it so right first time!” So that was a rewarding response! Happily, they were also delighted with the finished panel when it was made in stained glass.
As the design had quite a lot of tight curves and details, I decided the best approach would be to use a combination of copper foil technique for the main design with a lead border around the outside. I added thin strips of steel between the glass pieces to provide additional strength and rigidity.
I cut each seagull from grey glass, adding white highlights in a wispy white glass, in line with the design. I thought a solid white glass would have looked too heavy against the grey bodies and the very pale blue glass that the clients had chosen for the background, and was pleased with how the wispy white glass sat in the design. Each piece of glass was carefully wrapped in copper foil, the steel strip was placed between the glass joints, and the background glass was added last. The joints were bead soldered on both sides and then blacked and cleaned up.
This was quite an intricate design to create but I was keen to show that stained glass windows do not always have to be traditional and heavy designs and there is definitely room for contemporary stained glass in modern homes. The lightness of the flying birds was enhanced by the narrow seams created by the copper foil technique and the delicate details on the wings. They really do seem to be soaring free above the clouds.
This particular stained glass window is winging its way down the coast from my Fareham studio, along the Solent, over Portsmouth and Southsea, to settle in its new home on Hayling Island.
It has certainly proved a popular pattern, as I have received many favourable comments about it – and I already have an order for a similar one for another couple who live near to the sea and love the idea of a soaring seagull window in their new home.
Do get in touch if you would like to have your own idea created for you in beautiful stained glass, whether that is a contemporary maritime theme or any other theme you would like! If you don’t want a stained glass window, there are different options available, such as a wall art piece or a free-standing panel that can sit on a window sill or table top.