If ever there was a flower most suited to stained glass art it must be the Iris. They work so well together I am inspired beyond words whenever I see them. The starting point for this Moody Iris PDF Pattern design came from a sheet of Youghiogheny Stipple Glass. The beauty of this glass is that it contains variations of color and hues right across the sheet. Looking at this I decided that the best way to capture this was by using Irises.
Drawing the flowers first then arranging them in order, before adding the leaves and background. I used the darker tones for the flowers in the rear, keeping the lighter glass for the flowers in the foreground. It’s best to try and create the composition in layers I find. For example, background, centre-ground and foreground. This would be a simple way of looking at it. This adds depth and perspective to the picture and engages the viewer. The design took me a day to produce which is pretty good for me.
Stained Glass Pattern Information
Downloadable PDF pattern prints actual size 36 inch x 14 inch, ( 916 mm x 356 mm ) across eight pages. Instructions provided for enlarging the pattern to your required size when printing. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to print this pattern.
This is my Autumn Maple stained glass panel size 36 inches x 14.75 inches, ( 915 mm x 375 mm ). Copper foil construction and edged in 12 mm zinc came. It’s pretty obvious where the inspiration for this panel comes from. I have made a few maple designs over the years so an Autumn Maple was always on the cards. Plus I had the right colored glass on hand which makes all things possible. Getting hold of Art Glass here in Ireland can be quite challenging sometimes.
Autumn in Japan
Doing my research I discovered that Japan, as well as New England, is a major Autumnal tourist destination. The Japanese word for Autumn is “Aki” and they use two terms of speech to describe the fall leaves. “Koyo” for yellow and red colors while “Momiji” applies to the intense red maple leaves that appear. Red leaf hunting or “Momijigari” as it is called has been popular in Japan for the last thousand years.
Autumn In New England
“The Fall” starts in northern New England and Maine around mid-September. This is when a large number of trees, produce a pigment known as “Anthocyanin”. This gives rise to the brilliant red and purple shades, particularly in the Sugar Maple Trees. By mid-October, the Autumnal rainbow has reached Northern Connecticut. From this point moving southwards the Sugar Maple Trees decline in numbers with the oak becoming the more dominant species. Thus the rainbow fades.
You know it’s amazing what you can learn by creating stained glass panels. What starts off as an idea or image I have takes me on a journey of discovery of all manner of facts. This panel is all about the beautiful shapes and colors of Autumn. I enjoyed creating it and hope people enjoy looking at it.
This Hook Lighthouse Panel is a commission from a client in the United Kingdom. We live in a small fishing village called Slade, on the Hook Peninsula Co Wexford Ireland. As a result of this, we often receive commissions for the Hook Lighthouse. It is the oldest working lighthouse in the world and well worth a visit if you are in the sunny south-east of Ireland.
Brief Hook Lighthouse History
Built in the early 13th century by William Marshall, a Knights Templar to protect ships and their cargoes. A group of monks who lived on the peninsula helped with the construction before becoming the first keepers of the light. The building itself is a fine example of Irish medieval architecture. Standing four stories high with walls four meters thick, constructed from local limestone. Three rib vaulted chambers make up the lower section, the upper section housing the beacon. Wood, coal, whale oil and paraffin oil were all used as fuel for the light. Electricity finally became the power source in 1972 with light-sensitive switches. In 1996 the lighthouse went automatic and the last lightkeepers departed for good.
The Lighthouse Today
Five years later in 2001, the lighthouse opened to the public as a tourist attraction. The old keeper’s houses forming a cafe, gift shop and visitor centre. 2011 signalled the end of the sounding of the fog horn, a very sad day as I remember. Today the Hook Lighthouse is a major visitor attraction. You can take a guided tour and tread the 115 steps to the tower balcony which takes about 30 minutes. From here you can see the Wexford and Waterford coastlines stretching out for miles. It’s a tour I have done a few times and well worth the time. Allow a couple of hours at least to explore the whole site, it will be time well spent!
Hydrangeas grow everywhere in Ireland in almost every color. Some years ago my parents bought a small cottage with a view to retirement. Blue and pink hydrangea’s surrounded the property on all sides. They grew in front of whitewashed walls which enhanced the colors even more. These images stayed with me and when I was buying Art Glass I saw these colors again. So I had my glass all ready to go, I had my subject in my head and now all I needed was my design.
The panel started as a thumbnail sketch which I did whilst my son was having a half-hour piano lesson. These rough drawings I find are a great way of getting an idea down on paper. This was then developed into a full-size pattern which took me about four or five days to get right. Figuring out how best to represent the big mop heads was very time-consuming. I left a small amount of space in the upper right-hand corner for some white background glass to represent my wall. This didn’t work out as it was too opaque which sometimes happens with stained glass. So I ended up using a bluey-green Youghiogheny Stipple to give the panel some depth.
Stained Glass Pattern Information
The pattern for this Blue Hydrangea’s panel is available in the pattern store as a PDF file. The original panel size is 36 x 18 inches which can be scaled up or down using the printing instructions included in the PDF download.
Downloadable PDF pattern prints actual size 36 x 18 inches ( 916 mm x 457mm ) across ten pages. Instructions are provided for enlarging the pattern to your required size when printing. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to print this pattern.
Holles Street Maple panel is an adaptation of the framed ” Japanese Maple ” pattern. Commissioned by the National Maternity Hospital at Holles Street in Dublin. Youghiogheny Stipple Glass forms the background and the leaves are Uroboros Granite Glass. The Granite glass has a rough surface texture which helps the leaves to sit in front of the background. This gives the viewer the feeling of looking through the trees and adds depth to the composition. The finished panel was encased in a sealed double – glazed unit size 1320mm x 470mm and installed in June 2014.
These Maple patterns are well suited to art glass as they come in so many different shapes and colors. I have also completed an “Autumn Maple” panel with red, gold and russet colors. The trees grow best in a sheltered environment, protecting them from wind and frost. They like neutral/acidic soil that does not dry out. This is important as they are quite shallow rooting trees. The Japanese Maples are the most decorative but they don’t like direct sunlight.
Holles Street Hospital, first established in 1894 through charitable donations. Was then granted a royal charter in 1903, along with other maternity hospitals in Dublin. It’s part of the history of the Irish Free State thanks to Elizabeth O’Farrell. Elizabeth trained and worked at the hospital as a midwife in the early 20th Century. Also a member of Cumann na mBan she carried the white flag to deliver the surrender at the Easter Rising in 1916. In 1930 the hospital was one of the first to benefit from “The Irish Hospitals Sweepstake”. This enabled expansion and redevelopment followed by a new charter in 1936. Fast forward to the present day and the hospital is due to move to new facility in 2024.
Irises at Slade Upper section showing the flower detail
About the Panel
I loved making this panel right from the initial idea through to applying the final patina. It started off as a bold sketch, I wanted to get movement into the flowers and leaves. At the same time, I had to leave room for the background glass to shine through. This is what I find with stained glass design, the composition is so important to the finished piece. I like doing pieces with lots of flowers in them but too many can be as bad as too few. It’s also important to leave space for the background glass to achieve a balanced look.
The size of this panel is 34.5 inches x 23 inches (880mm x 590mm)
which at the time was the largest copper foil panel I had attempted. Framed with 12mm zinc came which adds strength all around the perimeter it is quite robust.
A Little Piece of History
There are no known drawings for Van Gogh’s original “Irises painting as he considered it more of a study than a masterpiece. It was the first work he produced during his stay at the Saint Paul-de-Mausole in Saint-Remy, France. He painted four studies of Irises in all out of a total of 130 artworks. The other famous picture in this collection is “Starry Night”. Both pictures were exhibited in the Salon des Independants in September of that year. Unfortunately the final year before Van Gogh’s death.
This is the full-size Irises at Slade panel. The inspiration for this piece came from Vincent Van Gogh’s series of Iris paintings. These were produced at the Saint Paul-de-Mausole asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence in France. The “Glowing Irises” sold by Sotheby’s in New York for $53.9 million in 1987. Which was, at the time the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction. Alan Bond an Australian businessman was the purchaser. It later transpired that unfortunately, he didn’t have enough money to pay for it. Two years later it was re-sold to the J Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles where it remains to this day.
Irises at Slade Background Story
No such drama around my panel I’m happy to say. In fact, I still own it and am hoping to find a place for it one day. I had seen a few stained-glass copies of Van Gogh’s painting on various websites and online platforms. I didn’t want to do a straight copy, it was more the color and composition that I thought would work well.
So I set about drawing and believe me this took some time. The thing with stained glass design is you have to think of every line and shape. This involves moving various elements until all the pieces work in harmony. If you get it wrong, and I have done in the past the medium is so unforgiving. The light shines through your work and highlights every imperfection. On a panel this size 34.5 x 23 inches I wanted everything perfectly aligned. I had done previous studies of Irises and they always work well so for me this was the big one.
Irises at Slade Lower section close up photograph showing some of the detail in the lower flowers
The thing that stood out for me in Van Gogh’s painting was the flowers in the lower section. So I included this element in my design. This spreads the beautiful blues and purples throughout the picture and balances the composition.
Irises as I am sure you are aware have tiny flecks of bright yellow stamen within the flower. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t get this feature into my design. The solution I came up with was to use a bright golden yellow between the stork and the flower head. This way I had the yellow against the blues and purples and it also illuminated the lower section of the panel. The background glass is a Youghiogheny Stipple glass titled “Landscape”. Brown glass shown depicting the earth is a Uroboros granite backed Glass. Uroboros Glass also makes up the stems and leaves. Irises are a mixture of Uroboros and Youghiogheny Glasses.
Page 1. A full-colour photograph and description of the original panel.
Page 2. Key and glass codes ( including manufacturers ) of the original glass used, plus a few tips and copyright information.
Page 3. Printing instructions and options.
Page 4. Full-size pattern 34.5 x 23 inches.
Where possible I have included the manufacturers and catalogue codes for glass I used in the original panel although this is only a guide and not a requirement.
Feel free to include the glass of your choice and let your imagination run wild.
IT IS IMPORTANT TO BE SURE OF YOUR PURCHASE AS THERE ARE NO REFUNDS FOR DIGITAL FILES
This is my Two Cockatoos panel in Uroboros Art Glass, size is 36 inches x 26 inches. It is a copy of a mosaic panel entitled ” Two Sulpher Crested Cockatoos ” by Tiffany Studios New York. A similar panel commissioned by Helen Gould and titled “Mosaic of Cockatoos” was the original. Both of these panels are by the artist ” Joseph Briggs” who joined Tiffany in 1893. He worked his way up through the company to head first the mosaics department and finally the studios. His story is a fascinating read in itself and he was a major part of the company which closed its doors in 1932.
Two Sulpher Crested Cockatoos
The panel above is in the Haworth Gallery Accrington in the United Kingdom. They hold the largest collection of original Tiffany Glass outside the USA. When the studios closed down in 1932 Joseph Briggs had the sad task of winding up the company and its contents. So he arranged a large shipment of treasures to his native Lancashire. This collection remained in storage until the 1970s after which it found it’s way to the Haworth Gallery. It remains there to this day on permanent display where it is accessible to the viewing public.
Mr Joseph Briggs
This post would not be complete without a nod to this man. Mr Joseph Briggs left Lancashire for America in 1891 at the age of 17. He spent the first couple of years touring with a” Wild West Show” before joining Tiffany Studios. Here he rose through the ranks to become head of the Mosaic Department. Hats off to you sir for producing such beautiful art.