Design of the Month · October 2011

  • Thames Barge

    "Thames Barge"

    My home town of Maldon is famous for its Thames barges, as well as Maldon Salt and the annual Maldon Mud Race. I am often commissioned to produce stained glass panels and windows featuring the barges, or a particular barge. On this occasion I was approached by my client after he saw some of my smaller pieces of work at an art exhibition. All he asked was "Can you make a window of a Thames sailing barge approximately three feet by five feet?" I said that was possible and asked what he would want the window to look like, to which he answered, "I'd like it to look like the logo on your business card."

    My first step was to visit his house to get the exact measurements of the window and to talk about the various design options such as what orientation of the barge and sun was preferable; what sort of border did he want, if any; what type of glass did he have in mind; and did he want predominant colours? He then came to my studio where he choose a photo of a barge suitable for the window. We also looked at the various types of glass available.

    This is the photo he chose:

    My next step was to work on the design in Glass Eye 2000 to create a rectangular version of my square logo. Below is my first draft:

    The following stages made much use of the program's copy-and-paste, Subdivide and Sticky command functions. First, I altered the design to lose the clouds, turn the sun from a circle to a quadrant and to include more sun rays. Also, due to the size of individual pieces I put cut lines into the sails to give an impression of curvature:

    The next stage was to design a more "Art Deco" sky with sun rays:

    I then started work on the water and sky:

    At the final design stage I decided to add more colour to brighten the window and to make the water reflect the Art Deco lines from the sky:

    At each of the numerous design stages I used the Export Design function to create a JPEG image to email to my client for approval.

    Once the design was finished all I had to do was build it. This presented no problem until I had to flip the whole panel over to lead, solder and cement the two sides! Here I have to thank Jim Dines, a marine engineer from the boatyard near my workshop, for setting up the block and tackle to lift and turn the whole project over.

    I am pleased to report that my client was delighted with his window which we managed to install safely, despite the size!

    ~ Ian Hughes

    About the artist

    Ian Hughes

    Ian was born and brought up in Maldon Essex England, where he continues to live. He has been producing stained glass art since 1983 and more recently has worked full time in this field. While he is perhaps best known for his maritime work and his Rennie Mackintosh inspired pieces, he also creates in a number of other styles, both abstract and figurative. He primarily employs lead light and copper foil/tiffany style techniques to create windows, panels and three-dimensional pieces. You can see more of Ian's work at his website, or you can contact him by email.

    This pattern may be used to make one or more artworks for sale or personal enjoyment. This pattern may be printed for personal use only and may not be sold or given away in printed or electronic form.

Each month we feature a project designed using Glass Eye 2000. Do you have a project to share with the world? Contact Dragonfly Software and your creation might be our next Design of the Month.