Member Profile: Glasswood

With over 40 years’ experience, Glasswood has built an excellent reputation in the field of conservation, restoration and reproduction of historic windows. Their work encompasses all types and styles, from leaded light and stained-glass windows, to mullion and timber windows.

Working on historically important listed and heritage buildings and churches, using traditional methods and materials has enabled them to accrue extensive knowledge in traditional stained-glass windows and glazing. Their understanding of the nature of this highly specialised work has established them as one of the most respected conservation companies in the South-West of England.

The making of stained-glass windows has hardly changed since the 12th century. A stained-glass window consists of pieces of coloured glass held together in a latticed web of lead. The glass had details of faces, hands and drapery painted and fired on to it in black or brown paint. About the year 1300, yellow stain was discovered. This had the ability to turn white glass yellow or blue glass green, and was extremely useful in the highlighting of hair, haloes and crowns.

Although coloured glass continued to be made in the 17th and 18th centuries, the craft declined and skills were lost. Only in the 19th century was there a serious attempt to rediscover the techniques of the medieval glazier. Men like the antiquarian Charles Winston, and the architect A.W.N. Pugin helped to re-establish the scholarly principles for a Gothic Revival of stained glass. As a result of Winston’s technical experiments of the 1850s, the quality of coloured glass approached that of the medieval glaziers.Today, almost all parish churches and cathedrals contain Victorian windows. Their quality and craftsmanship are now widely recognised. Utilising their extensive in-house glass production facility, Glasswood can provide glazing to suit each project.

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