Work in Progress.
This is the beginning of the transom that will go over my front door, replacing the ordinary clear glass pane that has always been there, crying out through the years for a bit of stained glass. Tricia made the neighbouring transom many years ago, and we have always wanted to put one in my house.
Tricia insists that we will get it finished by the time she goes to London, and although I have my doubts, I don't argue, because she is a very determined and disciplined person who knows what she's doing. And I am not. So not that I'm relegated to going up and down 4 flights of stairs many times, to fetch things we forgot, put the kettle on, get lunch ready, hang washing out, and generally pander to the skilled craftswoman who is doing all the work. It's a good arrangement.
Tricia is very experienced in stained glass work, and very pernickety about measuring accurately; she also swears horribly under her breath as she works. Ex-convent girl too....
It started off like this: after rough sketches and some discussion, a little design was taped to the kitchen table. It will be very simple, and not too colourful. This is a plain house, not suited to a curly-wurly style of glass, and time is short.
And the sketch metamorphosed into this:
Work began. I'm on the camera end of this piece of lead, gripping pliers and pulling with all my might while trying not to fall backwards down the attic stairs.The limp and twisted lead must be taut and straight, or the glass will fall out of it later on. The dog looks on from a safe distance behind Tricia.
Bit by bit, it gets put together.
The glass cutting starts. Always an exciting thing to do - score a line, grip firmly and snap it in two like a crisp biscuit. Magic!
Meticulously, Tricia matches everything.
The tools are so lovely in themselves. Horse shoe nails to hold all the bits firmly in place.
A lead knife, with a weighted handle for tapping in the nails. It sits perfectly in the hand, and I wonder if the design has changed much since medieval times.
A glass cutting tool, with oil in its handle, and a brass knob at the end to tap along cuts in the glass when they won't break. Simple and efficient.
And the colours! You might not wear them together or want your house painted in them, but in glass they take on a new beauty. There will be two of these roundels, to break up the plainness of the clear glass.
Every piece will be numbered, to ensure an accurate match with the template.
Slowly, it begins to take shape. Victorian colours, red, blue, dark green to come. Some clear textured glass, so that light will still come into the lobby.
That's all for today; Tricia has gone to meet old friends and eat Vietnamese food. I walk the dog and text my son, who is cycling through Suffolk.
Tomorrow we do it all again.