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On Monday 3rd February me and my team headed out of Sydney toward Boorowa, a medium-sized country town about 130km west of Goulburn. We were booked to excavate two stained glass windows from St John's Anglican Church. I'd looked at these windows about 12months prior, to make recommendations as they were clearly in need of remedial work. It took some time for the Parish to gain the necessary funding for the work but its very good that they did; when I saw the windows again the other week, they had deteriorated significantly in the intervening time. In the Good Shepherd window the buckling of the lower portion had reached a stage where glass was about to break.

St Johannes Window

External scaffold: commencing workExternal scaffold: commencing work

Top arch removedTop arch removed

Cutting out the sacrificial borderCutting out the sacrificial border

Lifting out the next panelLifting out the next panel

Hacking out putty to free overglazingHacking out putty to free overglazing

Lifting out the overglazingLifting out the overglazing

Removong the last panelRemovong the last panel

Lifting out the inscriptionLifting out the inscription

The Good Shepherd Window

Overglazing removed from the archOverglazing removed from the arch

Removing timber beadRemoving timber bead

Arched panel removedArched panel removed

Removing next panelRemoving next panel

Separating panel 2 from panel 1Separating panel 2 from panel 1

Boarding up the openingBoarding up the opening

Alison at a glass painting workshopAlison at a glass painting workshop

New South Wales lost an enthusiastic and talented practitioner this month. Alison was much loved within the community, always bright and cheerful, full of energy and passion for all things glass.

Discussing her work at a recent exhibitionDiscussing her work at a recent exhibition

Kiln-fired wallpieceKiln-fired wallpiece

An avid collector and intrepid traveller with her partner Michael, who she referred to as the "world's best roadie", Alison attended several Ausglass Conferences and continued to broaden her skills with many workshops, including glass painting in Italy

Kiln-fired wallpieceKiln-fired wallpiece

With Peter Whittaker @ the Leadlighters' Xmas Picnic 2017With Peter Whittaker @ the Leadlighters' Xmas Picnic 2017

With Grace Cochrane & myself @ the Leadlighters' Xmas Picnic 2016With Grace Cochrane & myself @ the Leadlighters' Xmas Picnic 2016

She worked from a home studio in Jilliby, an idyllic bushland community on the NSW Central Coast. Probably Alison's best work is a beautiful commission for St Cecelia's Church, restrained and elegant. An image can be found in the Gallery section of her website Creative Moods Stained Glass

With MichaelWith Michael

Guard of Honour, Saturday 14th September 2019Guard of Honour, Saturday 14th September 2019

Conversion of St PaulConversion of St Paul

The studio has been working on a series of windows for St Peter's Anglican Church in East Maitland, NSW for the past three years. In 2016 we installed two double lancet sets to the clerestory, two in 2017 and two more this year, which completes the set of six windows commemorating the six regional Parish Churches in the mother cathedral. And this year we also produced a third double lancet window, shown above, illustrating the Conversion of St Paul on the road to Damascus

The two new double window sets viewed from the scaffoldThe two new double window sets viewed from the scaffold

St Andrew's at Largs with St Andrew and his crossSt Andrew's at Largs with St Andrew and his cross

Detail of St PeterDetail of St Peter

Detail of St AndrewDetail of St Andrew

St Andrew's Church LargsSt Andrew's Church Largs

Old St Peter's ChurchOld St Peter's Church

View showing relationship of new windows to last year's installView showing relationship of new windows to last year's install

View from the scaffold showing 2nd scaffold towerView from the scaffold showing 2nd scaffold tower

As in the earlier windows of this set, I drew inspiration from historical reference points: for St Peter a Baroque sculpture by Pierre Etienne Monnot found in the Church of San Giovanni Lateranno in Rome and for St Andrew a sculpture by the little known artist Domenico Guido in Sant Andrea della Valle in Rome

Full size charcoal cartoonFull size charcoal cartoon

Charcoal cartoon for St Andrew windowCharcoal cartoon for St Andrew window

S. Pietro by P.E. MonnotS. Pietro by P.E. Monnot

San Andreas by Domenico GuidoSan Andreas by Domenico Guido

For the design of the St Paul window I decided it was necessary to cast the image across both lancets, ignoring the stone mullion between. The Conversion of St Paul on the Road to Damascus has been painted by many different artists; a Google search will reveal hundreds. I drew inspiration from both Caravaggio and Ludovico Carracci., combining elements of each painting. The Sword of Truth in the quatrafoil above represents Paul's instrument of martyrdom.

Carracci's prone figure of St Paul Carracci's prone figure of St Paul

Caravaggio's vision of St PaulCaravaggio's vision of St Paul

Installing the panelsInstalling the panels

The Sword of TruthThe Sword of Truth

New Installations

19 Nov 2016

St Luke Anglican BuchananSt Luke Anglican Buchanan

St Barnabas East MaitlandSt Barnabas East Maitland

Over the past 6 months my major commission has been two double window sets for St Peter's Anglican Church in East Maitland. With the assistance of Ron Jensen of Heritage Stained Glass, New Lambton, his off-sider Anthony and my assistant Hannah, we got these four windows and their quatrafoils installed over four days last week.

Excavating the old glassExcavating the old glass

Scaffold tower at St Peter'sScaffold tower at St Peter's

Knuckle boom hoist for the external workKnuckle boom hoist for the external work

Two weeks prior to this installation, I completed the installation of a pair of stained glass door panels to a family vault in Frenchs Forrest Cemetery.

Facade of the Bartalotta cryptFacade of the Bartalotta crypt

The bronze & stained glass doorsThe bronze & stained glass doors

Left hand panel: LombardoLeft hand panel: Lombardo

CMS added image

Right hand panel: AloysiusRight hand panel: Aloysius

The brief for this project called for renderings of the Coat of Arms of the City of Lombardo, Italy and St Aloysius School in North Sydney. I took as my lead the bold deco design of the facade, echoing the bronze, brass and black granite.

Camp Creative 2015

01 Feb 2015

On Thursday 8th January I loaded up the station wagon with glass, lead and tools from Australian Stained Glass Supplies in Leichhardt and headed North the next day toward Bellingen. I was booked to teach a group of 7x students the basic craft of leadlighting, aiming to instill a passion for stained glass; by the end of 5x days solid work I think I achieved that aim. Everyone enjoyed themselves and seemed to be pleasantly surprised by what they made during the week.

Our Classroom (Morning of Day Four)Our Classroom (Morning of Day Four)

Cutting underwayCutting underway

Glass all cutGlass all cut

Cutting underwayCutting underway

Glass all cut & laid outGlass all cut & laid out

Cutting in progressCutting in progress

Finalising designFinalising design

Leading upLeading up

Leading upLeading up


Checking for accuracyChecking for accuracy

Selecting glassSelecting glass

Cutting in progressCutting in progress

Laying out the glassLaying out the glass

Morning of the Final DayMorning of the Final Day

Completed workCompleted work

Completed workCompleted work

Completed workCompleted work

Completed workCompleted work

Completed workCompleted work

Completed workCompleted work

Camp Creative is held in Bellingen every year, with the whole town getting behind it. Around 1,000 students participate in everything from Chinese Calligraphy through Saxaphone and Drumming to making a fountain out of bamboo cut from the surrounding bush. Many students come back year after year, taking on different skills each time or pushing their previous course to new heights.

Vale Mark Galton

25 May 2014

I learned this week from my friend and colleague Maureen Cahill, Director of the Glass Artists Gallery in Glebe, of Mark Galton's tragic death on Wednesday 25th May at a coal mining site in Boggabri (near Narrabri) NSW.

He was crushed by the collapse of an overhead metal structure while working from a cherry picker 15 metres above ground, about 8.50am. He was kept alive by work mates until paramedics arrived, but went into cardiac arrest.

Mark Galton was a very active member of his local Surf Life Saving Club at Ulladulla, becoming president from 2004. Ulladulla Boardriders Club president Kurt Nyholm speaks glowingly of Mark in a news item in the local press

A highly skilled glassblower, Mark was instrumental in developing the career of his partner Tina Cooper many years ago.

Mark recently closed down his glass studio in Burrill Lake that he ran with his wife Dominica on the South Coast of NSW. Claudine Thornton, a local photographer has produced a photo essay on the studio/gallery

I remember Mark as real character, always in good humour, full of energy and enthusiasm and passionate about glass-making. He was one of those laconic Australians they call "the salt of the earth".

Chapel windows, LHSChapel windows, LHS

Chapel windows RHSChapel windows RHS

Earlier last year I had the opportunity to visit the Scallabrini Village @ Austral in Sydney's south west. The village is a retirement centre catering in particular to the Italian community. The chapel appears to have been built in the 1960s or '70s and has some very fine stained glass by Anzolo Fuga, who it seems was a glass designer for Arte Vetraria Muranese, Italy. The windows are very distinctive and unlike anything I have seen in Australia- perhaps the closest would be the work of Jean Orval in Victoria. Like much of Orval's work, Anzolo's windows still have a freshness today

Detail from the LHSDetail from the LHS

Detail from the LHSDetail from the LHS

Detail from the LHSDetail from the LHS

Detail from the RHSDetail from the RHS

Detail from the RHSDetail from the RHS

Artist's signatureArtist's signature

Detail from the RHSDetail from the RHS

Wamboin Entryway

05 May 2013

As well as window to the guest bathroom, fronting the approach to the new house, Ruth and Steve Lambert also commissioned me to design a three-light door and sidelights to the entrance. Ruth wanted soemthing with high impact, providing a real 'wow' factor, nd chose Lambert's mouthblown glass to fill the sidelights.

Top panelTop panel

Centre panelCentre panel

Bottom panelBottom panel

Thanks to Greg Piper for the beaut photos: I asked him to stop by on the return journey from the Ausglass Conference in Wagga Wagga where he delivered a paper on the merits of good photography. Wamboin is located between Canberra and Bungendore: from Wagga you can drive across country through Queanbeyan. Greg has been photographing my installations for many years now; I'm extremely happy with his professional approach and his attention to detail. He's prepared to go the extra distance to produce the best results.

View from kitchenView from kitchen

Close upClose up

Detail of sidelightDetail of sidelight

Overall shotOverall shot

While this is very much an abstract work there is substantial reference to landscape, in particular the bush surrounding the house and the wider environment. The interesting angles of the architecture and the architectural finishes were also considered in the design of the glass for the door.

view of the houseview of the house

Thanks to a referral by Seraphina Martin, a regular teacher at Camp Creative, I took a class of beginners in leadlighting this January. We were in one of the woodwork rooms at Bellingen High School and I had 15x very keen students, most of whom had never cut a piece of glass before. The results by week's end were nothing short of amazing.

Day 2: designingDay 2: designing

Day 2: cutting glassDay 2: cutting glass

A re-lead underwayA re-lead underway

Day 3: leadingDay 3: leading

It was pretty warm most of the week and for me very exhausting: with 15x students I was on the go constantly. But I did manage to enjoy the ambience of Bellingen, heading down to swim in the waterhole at beautiful Gleniffer late in the afternoon or chilling out in the excellent cafes and restaurants. And my gracious host made me breakfast each morning which was very welcome and a great start to each day.


Day 5: solderingDay 5: soldering

A free-form underwayA free-form underway

Soldering 2nd sideSoldering 2nd side

There is lots of interaction at Camp Creative between the various courses being run and the whole town gets behind it. The wife of one of my students was learning ukulele; my billet was studying solar printing with Seraphina; there were concerts at lunchtime and evenings and on the Friday students are encouraged to wander through all the classes to see the results on display. The whole shebang finishes with a huge concert on the last night

A free-form finishedA free-form finished

Finished workFinished work

Finished workFinished work

Completed ovalCompleted oval

Rather than dash back to Sydney in one hit I drove as far as Forster/Tuncurry and stayed the night there. Enjoyed a stroll along the sea wall Sunday morning, watching fishermen, pelicans and dolphins play, followed by pancakes overlooking the lake: heaven! The cool, rainy weather was no doubt a God-send for all the firies battling blazes around the State but it put a damper on my plans for a surf along the way back home. But I did take time to explore Cape Hawk in Booti Booti National Park (under an umbrella) and enjoyed the drive through the forest to Bulladelah.

Sculpture by the SeaSculpture by the Sea

Breakfast overlooking the lakeBreakfast overlooking the lake

Since I was passing Newcastle anyway I decided to detour and drive along the foreshore to Merewether, a short distance inland from Bars Beach. Now that the Wamboin window is complete I'm ready to launch into "Holy Orders", third in a series of 5x small windows for the side chapel of St Augustines Anglican Church at Merewether. This was actually the first time I'd seen the two windows together, since it was dark and I was exhausted by the time I'd finished installing Baptism and Confirmation, the left hand window.

Windows no.2 and no.1, Merewether Anglican ChurchWindows no.2 and no.1, Merewether Anglican Church


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The Latest Happenings in my World

This blog is where you will find my latest news. It can range from posting images of progress of the current commission to art crit to political or social commentary, both national and international. Anything, basically, that's commanding my attention and I feel is worth sharing with you, my reader. Enjoy. My previous blog can be found at