While Others Make, We Create.

The Freedom We, Glass Painters, Enjoy

Hello every one, my stained glass painting teacher Mr. Stephen wrote this nice post, so I’am sharing it with all of you. I hope every one get something nice out of it because what Stephen or partner Mr. David writes are very useful and nice to read, they present real things we faced or will face in our life as glass artits in easy funy way so every one can understand it. ENJOY 😎

Here in the studio, in one of our so many books, I came across agreat quote the other day. Something Wassily Kandinsky said a few years before World War 1 broke out.
And it’s absolutely relevant to you as a glass painter.

But before I get there, I just want to prepare the way. Give it acontext.

How much?

See, I’m always getting phone calls from people asking me about how much this-or-that stained glass is worth. Now I’m not talking about things which you or I have painted and made.

No, I’m talking here about historic stained glass. Old stuff. Like, some one’s living in aconverted church (it happens in this country), and they want to know if their 19th century stained glass windows are worth a lot. Or some Vicarringsme, say she’s found a box of windows in his cellar (it happens here): how much money could he get for them?

My answer always is:

There’s not really amarket for architectural stained glass.

No, there’s no “market” -no rough and ready “market price”. It all depends. Unlike- say- Impressionist oil paintings (for example). With Impressionist oil paintings, sure, you might not know if this one will sell for 6 million or 19 million… But you know it will sell.
And you know it will sell for at least 4 million. And one reason is, people collect these paintings.

Yes, people collect Impressionist works of art in away that only afew people collect historic stained glass. Indeed, so few people collect historic stained glass, there are not enough of them to “make a market”.

Exceptions: Tiffany, Harry Clarkeetc. etc. This is just the way things are, so maybe there’s not much point in wondering whether this is a Bad Thing or a Good Thing.

All the same, you won’t be surprised to hear I have my own opinion!

But first, I must tell you something I absolutely do not like …

Ready for it?

I can’t stand going to exhibitions and finding notices beside each painting, telling me what to think.

Excuse me? Can’t I just (like) look? Can’t I form my own (imperfect) opinion, then think about it a while, and maybe change it, or ask around? And maybe you’ve seen this too: Have you seen people just read the notices and then move on? (I know I have.They don’t even look at the picture.) That’s what happens when there is a market in a particular form of art: oh yes, the curators and the fine art historians get to stick their noses in. The “experts” take over.

And their opinion counts. (Or it counts to those too lazy or frightened to develop their own views.) Well, this made me think: true, we might never know (not even roughly) how much money a piece of historic stained glass will “fetch” at auction or else where on the market.

But does that really matter?
No it does not!
In fact it’s absolutely wonderful.
The thing is, most of the time, in our field, we don’t have so-called experts or curators telling us what to think.

And of course the big joke about these experts and curators is that most of them can’t paint. When you think about it, this is probably why they are so vehement in defending their expert-status: their position is actually rather fragile, and they have an awful lot of “status” they can very easily lose. No, it doesn’t take much to topple them and show them up. But we can look at stained glass and…just decide for ourselves. Barely any one tells us what to think. We can just look and enjoy.

Now let’s hear that quote I found. Here’s what Kandinsky wrote in1910: “Lend your ears to music, open your eyes to painting, and stop thinking. Just ask yourself whether the work has enabled you to walk ‘about’ into a hither to unknown world. If the answer is yes, what more do you want?”

It shouldn’t have needed saying, but it did. And this was 101 years ago. It was shocking then-Open your eyes. Stop thinking- it’s even worse today.

So, maybe the curators and art historians will tell you
You’re aphilistine.
But you’re not.

You’re simply going into a church and- how radical and out rageous!- looking and feeling for yourself. Yes,what more could any one want!

O thank goodness for the fresh air and freedom we glass painters enjoy!
Have a happy weekend.

4 Responses to The Freedom We, Glass Painters, Enjoy

  1. Adelina says:

    nice website. very cool content. thank you!!!http://www.honely.com

  2. Svzpn says:

    Well, the main reason for stiaend glass in churches in history was that a great percentage of the population could not read. In this way the churches could tell the stories without words.In this day and age, I would think you should go for the beauty angle, in that a church will look better with them, you know, more churchlike. I’m sure you can google the production costs and such. Of course, you want to advertise to religious communities, church builders or architects that specialize in this area, and perhaps also historic preservation societies, since old houses and businesses also have stiaend glass windows.Good luck!

    • Hassan Al-Saffar says:

      I thank you for your comments and your nice wishes, about what you’ve mentioned in your comment, I can’t comment but I have to look this issue first. What I know so far is that the stained glass windows in Churches do add a different atmosphere and more relaxing environment. Needles to say that beauty is a major factor in any stained glass work and will add more to any place.
      All the best

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