I studied in the Glasgow School of Art long time ago.
Almost since the beginning I have produced glass art.
just a few selected examples of work that I have done over the years
this is my longest and most ambitious video project to date. It shows the building of this Cathedral in Kericho, Kenya with a focus of creating the art works.
The video here is simply uploaded to youtube, that is why there is a strange message.
this was a fun window made for a staircase in a private villa in Nairobi. The grid was already there, it is atypical steel frame for security. We made use of the frame in the design process. Made with Bullseye Glass in the Nakshi Glass Studio, in Karen, Nairobi.
This image has something to do with a project I have been developing with the Nakshi Glass Studio in Kenya.
This is, in my view, a stunning image and symbol for conservation. This huge creature, so vulnerable to modern weapons and in danger of extinction.
This was the largest piece for the Queens' Park Synagogue Project. It is a half dome above the Tabernacle
Sadly the synagogue closed down around ten years ago. All of the windows were moved to the Giffnock Synagogue, but there was nowhere to put this work, so it is stored in crates at present.
This is a video I edited about 5 years ago. My friend Wolfgang Groh filmed the windows in the synagogue, and much more of that time, but we never got around to editing the material. At the time, we had no idea that soon afterwards the synagogue would close and all the windows removed and re-located into Giffnock Synagogue. Most poignant here is the removal of the dome. This was the last time it was seen. It is currently in crates with the hope that one day it will be installed in a suitable location.
below are descriptions of some of the methods I use to create works
this is one of the acid etched windows for Domaine Mechtildshausen near Wiesbaden in Germany. I made this project using Lambert's Glass at the Derix Studio
this is one of the most complex windows ever made. It is extensively acid etched using a unique flashed glass from Lamberts. I made this work in the Derix studio.
I was asked here to make windows in the style of the original windows for a church in Shanghai. The clients asked for more visual space to be created. This I did with acid etching.
Basically the same as the last two projects in this line. Flashed Lamberts flashed glass, acid etching, traditional glass painting and silverstaining and all leaded together.
this wonderful joyful design was commissioned for a private house in Nairobi.
It is made of Bullseye Glass
most moulds that I make are made either of clay or of plaster. To keep a permanent record I usually make a white concrete or an artstone mould. This acts as a template I can re-cast
I learned mosaic at Glasgow School of Art.
I have not had so many projects for this method, but in Kenya we made large natural stone mosaics.
Glass relief sculpture is the main method we used in the Cathedral in Kenya. One of the important works I made using this method was the Glenmorangie Window
The Autun Angel and Kings
Following the completion of the Glenmorangie project.
I arranged to meet Lani Macgregor at the distillery to see the window. She was very excited to see Bullseye Glass used in this architectural setting. Lani asked me if I would like to spend some time in the Northlands studio, experimenting with the Bullseye material. As I recall I did this not long after that meeting.
I had taken some fibre board with me to Northlands so that I had something familiar to do there to begin with. As I was working on this, Michael Bullen. the studio leader, asked me if I would like to try casting. I asked if I could cast the piece I was working on. We tried, it worked and a new era began for me.
I had brought a postcard of an image that had always fascinated me. It was the Angel and three kings from the Biblical Story, a beautiful piece of Romanesque design. I had always wanted to do something with this image.
I made a positive mould as a clay, then cast it, made a plaster and finished carving it. Then cast again. We were using the hot re-meltable silicone method, in those days completely new to me, finally I made an investment mould and a wax mould, in the course if the next few days I fired a positive and a negative version of this piece.
It was very exciting to see these pieces. I had never really seen anything like them before.
When left Northlands, I had a meeting with the clients and architects for the Kericho Cathedral project in Kenya. The meeting was in London and I took the pieces I had made in Northlands to show them. On the drive down I had the inspired idea that thus would be a way to do the glass work in Kenya as there is no real tradition of glass work there but a huge tradition of sculptural work. I had been asked to be the lead artist on the project with the intention of creating something new as far as the glass was concerned. I was able to show what I had made in Northlands and how I thought that thus would be a possible method and material for the project.
This casting method became the method for making the glass for the cathedral. I still use this method and am developing new concepts at the time of writing this article.
I have seldom seen this work against the light in the 12 years since I made it. Today, Feb 2023 I set it against daylight in a window in my studio.
I have decided to try something. I have no idea how this works with physical pieces, but I am going to try to sell this work as an NFT.
Any thoughts or suggestions welcome.
I was asked by the client to create a Window using Medieval Symbolism but the use of the material and the subject matter was left in my hands.
On the occasion I was asked to undertake this project, I had spent several days with the client and saw often a copy of a tapestry of the Lady with the Unicorn. This seemed an appropriate theme and I began with this as the main subject for the window. Several of the motifs and qualities that interested me in the tapestry have been used in the window. Musé National du Moyen Age (aka Cluny Museum) in Paris.
Images and concepts drawn from this source.
The woman and Unicorn, The symbol of the Lion. The concept of the carpet of flowers. The presence of the trees. I used one instead of two placing the group directly in the shade of the tree. I made the tree, The Tree of Life as described in the Book of Revelation. The background colour of red also seemed appropriate.
Most of the images and symbolism used in the Medieval period had a religious interpretation. I have used the symbolism in this work for its decorative qualities.
I decided to set this scene in Paradise which in the Middle Ages was assumed to be an unreachable or undiscovered part of the earth. Paradise was typically imagined as an enclosed space or an island. The theme of the Woman and the Unicorn is very old and implies a state and time of innocence. The main group is the Woman and the Unicorn, She has a Lamb in her lap and behind her shoulder is a Lion. They sit beneath the Tree of Life from which descends a Serpent. The tree contains the many fruits and blossoms as described in Revelation, and the group sits on a bed of flowers. (see the symbols list below) As I worked on the designs, the group of figures got pushed further back into the composition and I formed three distinct areas within the space: Heaven, Paradise and Earth. At the top of the window therefore is Heaven where on both sides Angels playing musical instruments swoop into the scene. These I drew from medieval illuminated manuscripts. The area of Heaven is separated from Paradise by the firmament. The Tree of life reaches from Paradise and has a tentative contact to the area of Heaven. The theme of separation of Paradise from Earth is achieved by the other main theme of the window, water. For the foreground I found another symbol that I have frequently used in some form, the fountain. I also found a link with the story of the Unicorn so it seemed doubly relevant here. As can be seen from this illustration, I have adapted and used several of the symbols from this illustration Taken from this source The shape and form of the fountain The pheasant drinking The other birds The water pouring from the mouth of the decorative lion The Unicorn Is Found (detail), ca. 1495-1505 Southern Netherlands The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
I made this astonishing window at the Derix Glasstudio in Taunusstein, Germany. It is made using Lambert's Flashed Glass. It is mutiple acid etched, glasspainted and silverstained. No additional colours were added.