2014 was the year of stained glass and corrugated iron. It's not as though I've never seen glass and iron before, more that I've never really looked closely at them. I've always associated stained glass (lazily) with religious scenes, men in robes, and stories from the Bible, and I'd never really given corrugated iron much thought except when I've listened to rain falling on it (and I did once say I'd like to go inside the tin church which we pass on the way to visiting Tom Stuart-Smith's garden and now I wish we had).
(Christ Church, Oxford)
This year, though, I've discovered so much beautiful stained glass with secular and abstract themes, as well as several 'patchwork' windows made up of fragments of old glass, that I am now looking for more wherever I go. I've come across fine examples in house, offices, schools, swimming baths, town halls and pubs (here and here), as well as churches and cathedrals, and always it makes me think that someone (architect, client, developer, council) cared enough to commission glass to beautify and add interest to both sacred and ordinary buildings, something that rarely happens these days.
I love the colours, the patterns, the craftsmanship, and I particularly like any everyday subject (flowers, plants, clothes, animals, hairstyles, interiors) which is made even more special when the sun shines filters through and lights up a window, making it look like an old-fashioned version of a modern computer screen.
(Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral)
(St Mary's Redcliife, Bristol)
(Marc Chagall window, Chichester Cathedral)
What I would really like to find now is a building made out of corrugated iron (which I've written about here and here after appreciating it properly for the first time on a visit to Skye) with lots of colourful, thoughtful, detailed stained glass. It would be the perfect haven for day with changeable weather so I could have the cosy sound of pattering raindrops alternating with the glow of brilliant, sun-filled windows.
2015 will have more glass and iron, because I've only just discovered their worth, and it's not too late to make up for lost looking time.