The final art work

I told you some time ago about stained glassthe stained class course my wife was doing. I want to take the opportunity of bringing you up to date with her achievements now she has finished the 11 week (should have been 10 but she got a bonus week) course. Those of you who have been following this blog will know that her course has not been without cost to yours truly – see ‘my dogs’ – but because I’m such a great guy, as I keep telling people, I have not let this affect my pleasure in her completion of the course.

I said in an earlier blog that I felt that my wife’s paintings lent themselves to being translated into stained glass. I also told you about how much we have enjoyed visiting stained glass locations on our previous travels – this in the days when we actually traveled. So here are the results – see above – of the course and her views on this course and what she would like to do next.

I decided I would do something different for this follow-up blog. With an eye on the future I thought I would interview my wife about her course and record her responses on a little tape recorder I bought in New Zealand for another purpose. Furthermore, I would do this while we were driving back up the M1 from my mother’s. Sort of give a purpose to the journey beyond the charity work. Well obviously, God, or whoever it is decides these things, thought no, that’s not the way it will be. We did do the recording but when I came to play it back just now, eh bien, il, n’existe pas. Merde. A lesson here both in my French and trusting to small tape recorders for important interviews. Just imagine if I’d been interviewing somebody really important who would not / could not re-answer my questions as my wife has just done.

These were her responses to my carefully contrived questions:

Tell me about the course

The course was based at The Hive college in Shipley, West Yorkshire. There were ‘about 12’ people on the course, a mixture of complete beginners, people like my wife with some experience (i.e. she had attended the weekend course) and people who ‘had been doing the course for years’. We did not tend to mix, she said. The tutor was excellent as was the work of his he showed us.

What was the interest for you in this course?

It was a skill that was completely different but which built on my previous skills. ( my   landscapes being semi abstract in design would lend themselves to stained glass work). It turned out to be a fascinating skill to learn, very engrossing, time flies when you’re engaged with it, it’s the physicality that’s absorbing. Also you see results straight away. When the glass comes out as you want it it’s magical but glass is expensive so you have to try and avoid mistakes, so you have to concentrate.

How does it compare difficulty-wise with your other art formats?

It’s very difficult. It looks easy, the soldering for example, when the tutor demonstrates but soldering takes some mastering. You have to be exact in your measuring and that’s not easy either. As I say mistakes are expensive. It takes a lot longer to make one piece of work than say a pastel or watercolour.

Where do you see yourself going next with this?

I’m going to continue working at home. I’m going to use the summerhouse initially (yes, that’s ‘my’ summerhouse, talk about lack of gratitude) until we get the garage cleared out (editor’s note, this could be a very long process not least because it probably needs a new roof – I’m meeting a builder this very afternoon – and also because it’s full of our old rubbish and my son’s gardening equipment). Number 1 son has bought me a book – The Complete Stained Glass Course– for Christmas so that will be handy and then I need to buy the equipment – glass cutter (special kind, nothing like the sort apparently I bought her for last Christmas in anticipation of this course); soldering iron; grozer breakers (no I don’t know either); plastic running pliers; horse shoe nails, glass, of course. I told her to stop, oh and a grinder. I have a grinder I nearly shouted, bought from that Aldi middle aisle which has these great things you don’t need but which are ridiculously cheap. So it was with the grinder. I’ve probably had it about 5 years but now it was going to come in. Always assuming it was the right kind of grinder of course. I wish I hadn’t asked this last question.

But of course this is the irony of retirement – more time to spend money on more things and less money to spend.

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  1. […] She has also kept her hand in with the arty stuff and now, in retirement, she has chance to expand her creative empire. With her students she made cushion covers, table cloths, aprons, cards, wreaths, model buildings, a head of Beryl Burton ( a local cyclist), aboriginal art, pencil holders. In retirement, thus far, she’s carried on with her pastels, watercolours, acrylics (she couldn’t get on with oils) and added, as you know, stained glass work. […]

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