Glasspainting full throttle…

…and closing in on the finish line for Trinity Episcopal.

Learn how to paint stained glass in Vermont and Tennessee with Debora Coombs, summer 2013.

Badger hair brushes, glasspainting tools and equipment for summer workshops in Tennessee and Vermont

I’ve been preparing for summer workshops in Vermont and Tennessee and working a rock festival in Massachusetts with my husband and children, Jack and Phyllis.

Coombs Criddle family photographed at MASS MoCA during the Solid Sound Festival 2013

Wilco workers, from left to right: independent filmmaker Jack Criddle; MASS MoCA’s Director of Art Installation and Fabrication, Richard Criddle; a small volunteer (!); and MASS MoCA’s Retail Manager/Buyer, Phyllis Criddle. Photographed on site during the Solid Sound Festival 2013.

Now I’m back to full throttle glasspainting and closing in on the finish line at last.

Today, with the exception of roses, rocks and thimbleberries, every piece of glass has been fired in the kiln at least twice. Five of the seven figures are finished. Two figures have their final mattes applied and are waiting to be brushed back and fired for the last time. The elderly gentleman’s gray hair still needs shadows, and Joseph’s is about to be fired a shade darker. I have lost count of how often each head, hand and little foot has been in and out of the kiln, but it must be around 5 or 6 times by now. Here you can see some final layers of sepia (on Mary), bistre brown (Jesus) and a bistre/black mix (everywhere else) photographed last week whilst still unfired, and almost ready to go back into the kiln. See how dusty the paint looks in reflected light.

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I’m saving the roses and thimbleberries in the foreground for the very end because they are such a delight to paint. When these are done I will wax up all 1,118 pieces of glass back onto easel plates for glasspainting up against natural light. This is how I check for the perfect balance of transparency and opacity, and make final adjustments to the matting/shading to accommodate the strength of real daylight and changing lighting conditions. It will also be a joy to see the real sparkle of the glass once again and the true colours of the window.

We’ve worked out how to make short videos of me glasspainting (thankyou Jack!).

For an even closer zoom into the studio, here’s my latest punch list. Motoring through indeed!

Debora Coombs Stained Glass designer and painter

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