Window commemorating death of Sir Winston Churchill 2015. St Martin's Church, Bladon, Oxfordshire, where Churchill is buried.
Window commemorating the 50th anniversary of the death of Sir Winston Churchill. St Martin's Church, Bladon, Oxfordshire. Unveiled 8th June 2015 by HRH Duchess of Cornwall. The window is 3m high and depicts St Martin and St Alban. Symbols of Churchill's life are in the borders and his crest is at the top.
Right light. St Alban, a 4th or 5th Century Roman soldier and the first British Christian martyr. Beheaded for not recanting his Christian faith. Took shelter in the home of a priest or disguised himself as a priest. A fountain sprang up at the place where his decapitated head fell.
St Alban being beheaded by another Roman soldier.
Churchill on the banks of the Rhine in 1945 with Montgomery and Brooke. Border icons symbolise many aspects of Churchill's life.
Spencer-Churchill coat of arms
St Martin cut his cloak in half and gave half to a begger.
St Martin cutting his cloak in half and giving half to a begger.
Regimental badges for Queens Own Oxfordshire Yeomanry and Royal Scotts Fusiliers.
Orb of fire. One of St Martin's attributes. The other is a goose, which is just below sight outside this image.
Head of right light. Harrow Rifles cap badge. Icons in border show many aspects of Churchill's life. He liked butterflies. He was a celebrated and prolific writer. A gas mask. His polka dotted bow tie...
I designed and made a panel for HRH Camilla Duchess of Cornwall, wife of the future King of England. This was presented to her by Marenka Rollesby when she unveiled the window June 2015.
The gift that St Martin's Church Bladon commissioned me to make for HRH Duchess of Cornwall as a reminder to her of the unveiling of the window. It depicts doves, Winston Churchill's crest and an extract from his own words on the subject of painting; "Light and Colour, Peace and Hope"
Life-sized cartoon template of the window is drawn, then the lead lines put in with felt tip to guide cutting of the glass.
Left light. St Martin's orb of fire, glass being cut and laid on the cartoon template.
Glass easel is laid on the cartoon template and black lead lines are painted onto the glass with poster paint to stop the light coming through between the glassp pieces as if they were in the lead. Then the glass pieces are stuck to the easel using melted bees wax and I paint the pieces with light coming through the easel.
Glass is stuck onto the easel using bees wax, which is melted in the studio.
St Martin and horse, glass on the easel held there with bees wax, outside my studio.
Spencer Churchill glass on the light box.
Jewels from America being laid out with the glass on the light box.
Malcolm and Annie Sydenham and Marenka Roseby, outside St Martin's church the day the window was installed June 2015. They were my extremely supportive points of contact in the commissioning committee and I am very grateful to them for their love and help.
Zoe Angle painted the borders, doing an excellent job.
Elizabeth Sinkova helping with the glass cutting.
Peter Camplin and his team of MC Lead Glaziers in Norfolk put the glass in the lead and installed the panels in the window. They did a wonderful job.
Andrew Taylor FMGP advising me on the glass painting.
Easel is laid on cartoon template and glass laid on the easel and stuck there with bees wax.
Hugh Denis (of Outnumbered TV fame) was making a documentary for Discovery Channel UK called "Churchill and Me" and came into my studio to film. He painted a St George's cross on glass for the the border.
Window commemorating 50th anniversary of the death of Sir Winston Churchill. St Martin’s Church, Bladon, Oxfordshire.
3m high, 1m wide. Unveiled by Camilla Duchess of Cornwall 2015.
This was a huge privilege from start to finish. Finishing with Camilla Duchess of Cornwall unveiling the window in a big church service with the press and all the Churchill family. I got tongue tied when I shook Camilla’s hand, she was very nice. The brief was to make a window that matches an existing Whitefriars window in the church to provide a strong presence that celebrates Winston Churchill and draws people inside the church. Churchill is buried in the graveyard. St Martin is modelled by a Royal Horse Guards officer; that was exciting going to Horse Guards Parade to photograph him, as was all the research I did. Including being allowed to handle the original letters between Winston and Clementine at the Churchill Library archives in Cambridge.
In the window, as well as St Martin and St Alban’s saintly attributes, there are Churchill’s regimental badges, the Harrow Rifles cap badge and each border symbol represents an aspect of Churchill’s life, eg brick laying, the Nobel Prize for Literature and his Liberator aeroplane. The background glass is decorated with portions of Churchill’s speeches and words. I ordered glass jewels from America because Churchill was half American. The original vision for the window was that it would draw people together, and it does, with serendipitous connections happening during the making and continuing to do so. I was invited to pitch for the Churchill commission because the church warden saw me talking about my series of windows at St Nicholas’ church Radford Semele on Songs of Praise BBC1 TV program. I went on to win the Churchill commission which was serendipitous in itself, competing against leading stained glass artists to design and make this window for the Spencer-Churchill family church. I painted all the glass except the borders, which were painted by Zoe Angle.
MC Lead Glaziers helped build the panels and install the window. St Martin’s church further honoured me by commissioning me to make a stained glass gift for Camilla Duchess of Cornwall as a momentum of the day. She smiled a lot when they gave it to her and took it home with her, so there is a piece of my work in Clarence House as far as I know!