Stained Glass Window Description
1. The top of the front two windows was a surprise to us, as we had not foreseen it! Of course we had reserved the most brilliant, strong and beautiful piece of mouth-blown antique yellow glass for the heavenly light at the top of the windows. Our intention was that we would show the bottom half of a semi-circle, implying that if we could look up outside the window we would see the full circle of heavenly golden light – the Holy Spirit.
What we had not expected was that the semi-circle would reflect off the shiny ceiling, and complete the circle in a misty sort of way.
2. The next lower bands of background glass are double rolled machined glass which have a textured surface and which controls the amount of light entering the chapel. The colours morph from amber, echoing the heavenly light above, to cerulean sky blues, to turquoise, then to emerald grassy green, then bright fresh grass greens, and then towards earthy olive greens. These colours symbolise the transition, from top to bottom, from heaven, to sky, to earth.
3. Swirling through the background are curved rays of vibrant colours centred on the golden semi-circle at the top of the middle window, and made from mouth-blown antique glass. The rays not only encompass the angels – they also weave in and out between them confirming that the rays are three dimensional.
4. All the angels’ garments are also made from mouth-blown antique glass.
- The slightly lemon yellow glass of the two angels in the front windows is intended to make them look almost as golden as the heavenly light, and to saturate the chapel in yellow light.
- Michael the Archangel’s garment in the right window is made of “Signal glass” which was originally invented to be the brightest possible amber colour for lighthouses and beacons, and train and traffic signals.
- Three years ago we were hand choosing mouth blown antique glass from the glass blowing studio in Germany when we saw this fabulous emerald green which we just had to have – little realising it would become the perfect colour for the garments of the three angels in the left window.
5. All of the angels’ wings are made of a glass called “streaky” and which is designed for use in Tiffany lamps, but we found a better use for it! The colours in the glass have been highlighted by painting cobalt, cadmium and gold based kiln fired enamels to accentuate the vanes of the feathers. The inspiration for the colours of the feathers in the angels’ wings was taken from bird books on Australian parrots, and those feeding in our front yard.
6. The lines on the faces, hands, legs, feet, costumes and wings were designed and painted by Gerry using glass paints kiln fired at 600°C. The inspiration for the fine line work in the hair of the six angels came from a visit last year to see the Art Nouveau windows in Fribourg Cathedral in Switzerland, where we saw some extraordinarily good and skilled painted line work. Why shouldn’t Jindalee have some too?!
7. The angels’ feet are not touching the ground. To accomplish this Gerry had to draw something he had never been taught at art school – drawing a foot from underneath viewed from the little toe side. Interesting! The feet are on what we call “Angels’ paths”. These paths are made of the three amber colours next to the heavenly golden glass at the top of the front windows. They symbolise the path of angels through the grass greens of the earth.
Where the angels’ paths intersect each other, or rays of vibrant colours, their colour intensifies.
8. The drawing and painting of the three female guardian angels in the left window was particularly challenging and rewarding. We chose fair, dark and brown glass for the hair to represent all people on earth. The angel with the chestnut hair at the back is leaning slightly forward so she can see into the church past the two angels in front of her. The flaxen haired blue eyed angel at the front of the window was specifically designed to be looking down to a person who is praying at the left kneeler.
As you can tell, we thoroughly enjoyed designing and making this window for Jindalee.
Gerry and Jill.