Visit from Lucy Frazer, MP for South-East Cambs and Culture Secretary
(9 Aug. 2023)
In May 2023 traditional stained glass making was put on the Heritage Crafts’ ‘red list’ of critically endangered crafts.
Over the last few decades, there has been a significant decline in dedicated courses for traditional stained glass making at universities and art colleges, alongside the closure of many established studios. Although the traditional skills needed to make stained glass windows are still very much alive, there are fewer training and employment opportunities for stained glass artists in the sector. As the industry has declined so has the production of raw materials needed for making stained glass windows, and mouthblown flat coloured sheet glass is now no longer made in the UK.
On Friday 4 August 2023 the Rt Hon Lucy Frazer KC MP visited The Stained Glass Museum on invitation of the museum Director Jasmine Allen to learn more about this unique art form, and even had a go at painting on glass with professional stained glass artist Derek Hunt.
A variety of activities took place throughout the day and visitors were treated to glass painting demonstrations, spotlight and behind-the-scenes tours, museum trails and crafts for children.
Lucy Frazer, MP for South-East Cambs and Culture Secretary said: “The Stained Glass Museum is a national museum which offers a beautiful collection of intricate art and opportunities for visitors to get involved. Friday’s ‘Family Fun Day’ really epitomised this, with behind-the-scenes tours, painting and other crafts all on offer. A big thank you to the curator, Jasmine Allen, for inviting me and for all her ongoing work”.
Artist Derek Hunt, who runs his own stained glass studio in Leicestershire and teaches glass painting workshops at the museum, said “Providing the opportunities for the next generation to learn how to make stained glass is key to its survival in the modern age. Investment in these opportunities is vital and much needed.”
Director of the museum, Jasmine Allen said “The news that stained glass is now officially classed as a ‘critically endangered’ craft and the reduced opportunities for artists to study stained glass within educational settings highlights the importance of The Stained Glass Museum – as a place of inspiration and learning. Our mission is to share with everyone the cultural and artistic importance of stained glass. Our permanent gallery shines a light on a national heritage – from the 13th century to present day. The power and beauty of this illuminating art form is timeless, but sadly commissions for stained glass windows made using traditional techniques are few and far between today, and the art is little understood. It’s our job at The Stained Glass Museum to demonstrate the relevance of the medium to visitors today, through our diverse and growing collection, and learning and engagement programmes.”
It's not all bad news though, and the recent announcement that a new dedicated apprenticeship for stained glass craftspeople will soon be delivered by the Swansea Glass School (University of Wales Trinity St David), with end point assessment provided by ICON is welcomed. This new qualification has been brought about through a joint effort by the British Society of Master Glass Painters, the Worshipful Company of Glaziers, volunteer senior professionals and the Institute of Conservation (ICON).
Fri, 08 Mar Glass Painting Workshop
Create your own stained glass with expert tuition in the historic art of glass paintingdetails...
Sat, 09 Mar Copper Foiling Workshop
A copper foiling workshop with Claire Hart and Tracy Chamberlindetails...
Wed, 13 Mar A Spotlight on our Glass Heritage
– with the National Glass Centre, Sunderland, St Helen’s World of Glass and Stourbridge Glass Museum.details...
Wed, 20 Mar The Art of Glassblowing
‘Glass is just like the human spirit attempting to break free, creating areas of resistance, while still being overcome by the boundaries that confine it.’ – Chris Daydetails...
Tuesday -Saturday 10:00am – 5:00pm (last admission 4:30pm)
Winter (1 November – 31 March)
Tuesday -Saturday 10:00am – 4:00pm (last admission 3:30pm)