Sunday, 31 August 2014

Stained Glass - Sarah's Babies

Arriving late morning on Sunday last, I had the pleasure of spending time with stained glass artist, Sarah Bristow. Now, as my friendlies already now, Sarah is the person from whom my long-term carer kindly commissioned the following piece as a gift for my 98th birthday earlier this year. 

Sarah is a highly regarded artist with a well-earned reputation. For instance, see her windows at Reedham Church, that, quite rightfully, earn ample praise from the discerning Simon Knott of Norfolk Churches fame (see HERE).

Here is Sarah's workshop, located in her garden somewhere in England. Upon arrival we sat down and drank strong tea and ate fig rolls as we discussed her work. All the while, her dog, the redoubtable Stanley, dropped a ball at our feet and then bounded off in pursuit every time we threw it. I admired Stanley's focus. His is a ball-centred universe, and he never tires of the pursuit. Anyway, we munched and we sipped tea and we talked stained glass. Then it was time to take a look inside the workshop. 

This is the view that Sarah has as she works. Dotted here and there are examples of her work, including that lovely long dog running full stretch against a cobalt blue background. It caught my eye - as did the blue gable shape of the glass, echoed in the roof-lines in the distance. 

I have a bit of a 'thing' about the light cast by stained glass (see the second photo down in this post for instance - 'Curiosity - and Chickens'), and I stood mesmerised as the colours shimmered on her work bench. And on that bench lay some of her work, included a large commissioned piece that has taken two years to near completion. As Sarah says, "these pieces are my babies." Fascinating, then, to think that so many of her offspring will no doubt survive her and be appreciated for hundreds of years to come (that is, unless there is a catastrophic breakdown of society, as predicted by our very own Aunty Gary, and the spiders take over...).

I smiled as I examined this large and brightly coloured fish, swimming through ribbons of reeds as a string of bubbles emits from its downcast mouth. 

Here you can see a couple of examples of Sarah's smaller work that I photographed against a background of a lightbox. I think they're wonderful!

She also showed me this piece of glass that was a 'first draft' of my 'Daisywheel' piece, pictured above. Alas, such shattering moments go with the territory of the stained glass artist. However, in this instance, all is not lost. Sarah has very kindly offered to teach me how to adapt and 'rescue' this piece at some future date. Having long admired glass-work I relish this opportunity to have a go myself. Will I have the talent to crack it I wonder (!)?

Here is a technically poor photograph of that long-dog of Sarah's I had admired during my visit. Having noted my appreciation, Sarah insisted on me taking it as a gift - a typically generous gesture from an immensely talented woman! 

~ Munro Tweeder-Harris Esq ~


  1. My eye went straight to the palette balanced in the window, by "your" dog, and was delighted to see it again, transposed to the work bench. I started to say reflected, but that is not the correct word, and I've used a second best substitute.She is a very talented artist.

    1. That she is Joanne! I feel very fortunate to get a close-up view of her work, and to own some of it too.

  2. Stunning. Truly stunning. To have worked so hard and been rewarded with such a fulfilling life. Sarah is hard working, talented and lucky!