2011 drew to a close at the studio with a two-week intensive course in stained glass. Manolo came all the way from the extreme north of Italy, on the boarder with Switzerland. This was his first time working with glass and he was determined to master the various techniques used in stained glass.
Influenced by his recent experiences in Brazil, Manolo came with the idea of creating a stained glass panel of a parrot. He chose a design that was predominantly a glass mosaic, but for the plumage we decided to include some touches of shading and painting as well as painted white opalescent glass surrounding the eye. The final window was beautiful.
Because this was a two week course it afforded Manolo the possibility to work on a second window, and this time Manolo opted for a Mayan design of an killer whale that he was going to gift to his son for Christmas. This design was considerably more complex than the first and the use of paint and enamels was essential. By now Manolo had become a dab-hand and drawing cut-lines into the design and cutting the glass, this time however he had to master brush work.
As with all artists, things don’t aways go according to plan and the first time he used the semi-transparent red enamel it reacted badly with the glass and created an effect that didn’t work well with the design. There is no compromise with perfection and so he went back to work re-cutting and re enameling a new piece of glass. This time we fired it in the kiln at a slightly lower temperature and the red enamel came out perfectly this time.
Now with two perfect stained glass panels under his belt the stained glass course turned to leading and cementing techniques. In no time at all the parrot and the killer whale were complete. Finally we created a special box to protect the two glass panels from the rigors of a return journey with Trenitalia. Manolo’s fortnight of creativity had paid off, he produced two admirable works of art and came away with considerable experience. Well done Manolo, it was a pleasure working with you! Happy New Year!