Thursday, August 14, 2008

Stained glass windows

Well, it's my mum's 70th birthday today! Happy birthday mum. Hope you have a fabulous day and good celebrations.

I made her some "stained glass" window earrings as part of her birthday present. She has problems with some earrings ( the sensitive soul that she is :=D ) so these are small and very lightweight - and hopefully she will like them.

About six months ago, I really started getting interested in gothic architecture and not just the designs, but how the great cathedrals were built. It all started with my reading the book
"Pillars of the Earth" by Ken Follett for one of my bookclub books. As it is a large book - quite off-putting for me to see all those pages - I got the audiobook and listened to it as I travelled into the city and then everytime I went in the car. I absolutely loved this book. It's all about the building of a cathedral in England - but fiction with great characters whom I wanted to spend sometime with everyday. The book talks about the gothic cathedral architecture and how it came about and how cathedrals were constructed and the pillars and the arches and the first stained glass windows and.......oh, so much. It was just such a pleasure to listen to. So much so that I found myself driving somewhere for an appointment, getting there early and listening so intently to the book that I eventually was late for my appointment because I didn't want to switch off the story.

I've always loved the great cathedrals in England - and treasure the times I have sung in them...but Ken Follett's book really piqued my interest the architecture and construction of these buildings. Since finishing the book, I've watched numerous DVD's on gothic cathedrals and other cathedrals, read architecture books, spent time gazing up at the windows in Grace cathedral...and even considered taking a class in stone sculpting......and of course listened to the book sequel "World without end".

And so my jewelry also has gone into the cathedral theme. I've like created three dimensional buildings in silver - but one day I was at Grace cathedral for a choir rehearsal and as I was going to be absent for the next Sunday, I didn't rehearse one piece but wandered around instead, gazing at the arches and windows etc. And so the idea came to try and make the rose window into a necklace. I found a picture of the design and carved that into the silver and then for the "glass" in the window, I used coloured resin. I think I need to make the rose windows into earrings too as the light shining through the resin is really cool to see.....Maybe another day.
Anyhow - today is stained glass window day for my mum's 70th birthday and she knows why!

Have a great one mum and keep shining all those colours on the world.


Marian said...

Great fantastic earrings! i love the touch of color!
I read the book..Pillars... and I started but got sidetracked with the following book (it follows the story of Pillars 400 yrs later) World without end. Really good too.
I followed a workshop a couple of years ago to learn to make vitreaux. I always visit churches around the world because Im interested in the architecture and art. not because of religion itself. It is so difficult. I loved it though. I stopped when I became pregnant and since you are handleing lead (god, the dutch name comes ot mind and I dont know if lead is the same as lood ...hahaha sorry, the metal part of vitreaux) which is, I walked away. And now, since I dont have a studio, I cant really do it with a 2yr old kid running around me all the time. But one day......

do you use actual glass in your jewelry?

Ruth said...

I use coloured resin for the "glass" effect. It is a UV resin so you don't need to mix proportions carefully, you just add the colour you want and then expose it to UV light and it is the light that hardens it. It's a neat product - so much easier than regular resin.

Is there any art and craft that you haven't tried!!! Quite amazing!