Seascape stained glass window for Warsash in Hampshire

by | 6th May, 2022 | 0 comments

Yes you can have a real stained glass window in a modern home! This commission for a couple in Warsash, Hampshire, proves the point. They asked me to design a large, contemporary, abstract stained glass window, inspired by the sun and sea near their house, for their new extension. It would be positioned on the landing and needed to block the view over the neighbours’ garden.

They were having a major remodel of their house, which included replacing the windows with new, double glazed sealed units. I explained that my traditionally-made stained glass windows could be successfully sealed within double glazed units. This would mean their new stained glass feature window would show off the rich colours and textures only found in real coloured glass, while also having the practicality of protection within a toughened glass sealed unit. This stained glass double glazing is also known as stained glass encapsulation, as the stained glass is effectively a third panel in the unit, held in place in the centre of the sealed unit.

The new encapsulated stained glass sealed unit would be provided to the fitter who was supplying all the other new windows for the project. He would fit the unit into his frames, which matched all the other window frames for the house.

Aside from these practical considerations, the design for this stained glass window itself was paramount. The clients had a few ideas they had found online that they liked. These, and our subsequent discussion, formed the basis of the new design. They wanted a colourful and abstract design, which would suggest all the tones of a sunset over the sea. An abstract design fits perfectly with a contemporary home.

I created a design which featured over 100 pieces of beautiful glass, in colours across the spectrum, from purple and grey to red, orange and yellow. Textured glasses were the best choice as the view needed to be obscured. I ensured that each of the individual pieces would not be too big, to increase the structural integrity of the window, as there would not be any supporting bar within the sealed unit.

The clients loved the design, so I set about making it. I had drawn it on my computer, which meant I could send it to be printed at full size. This printout, known as a cartoon, was the plan on which the design was built.

The first stage in making a stained glass window is to position two edge leads in an L shape and join them in the corner. A special Y-profile lead came is used for stained glass encapsulation. The open side of the Y fits around the glass sheet, while the thin ‘fin’ side secures the panel in the middle of the sealed unit in due course.

For this project each piece of stained glass was carefully measured and cut before being placed on the cartoon. Lead came was bent around each piece and held in place by a flat-sided horse shoe nail. These were used because they don’t dent the soft lead. As you can imagine, it was a slow and careful process.

Another part of the process was to add steel strips within the heart of the leads to help support this large window. These were not visible, but they were necessary when working at this scale.

Once all the glass and lead were cut and soldered, the panel was filled with lead light cement on both sides. This is always a messy process. Then it all had to be thoroughly cleaned and the leads were blacked to make a nice contrast with the stained glass.

When the filler had had time to dry, the stained glass window was ready for encapsulation in toughened glass.

Then the stained glass sealed unit was delivered to its new home near the sea in Warsash, ready for fitting.

I am pleased to report that the couple are thrilled with their new window. The lady said, “It looks fabulous. I keep popping upstairs just to see how the light changes through the day.”

It is an added bonus to see all the colours reflected on the wall and window sill. It makes a true statement and is sure to be a talking point with visitors.

If you have an idea for a stained glass window in your home, do get in touch.


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