Seventy people enjoyed a fascinating talk by stained glass artist Derek Hunt on Saturday, (June 3), about the new window he has made for St Mary’s Church, as part of the ongoing £1.9m Re-ordering Project.
At the Samworth Centre Mr Hunt explained about his work as a stained glass conservator and mentioned he makes traditional stained glass windows in his Limelight Studios in Main Street, Medbourne, Leicestershire, the same way that they’ve been made for centuries.
“We use farriers nails and simple tools which medieval craftsmen would use like a lead knife and an oyster knife, which we use for opening up the hearts of the lead,” he said.
“The only concessions to modern technology are things like glass cutters. Modern glass cutters have a tungsten carbide wheel on them, medieval craftsmen would have run a hot poker down the glass and it would have fractured it. We use computer-controlled kilns whereas medieval craftsmen would have built a bonfire, heated the glass and put the painted glass into the bonfire.
“I don’t know how they knew that it worked but there is still glass made that way in the 12th and 13th century in our churches today so it was a technique which really worked well and it hasn’t really changed a lot.”
The theme for the new window is a Tree of Life. St Mary’s Church is at the roots of the tree and you can see lead lines moving up from the roots symbolising nourishing the community. The window also contains the Melton Mowbray crest of 1549 representing the work of the Melton Town Estate, Melton Borough Council crest, a Leicestershire fox and pheasants.
There is also a stilton cheese and a pork pie in a picnic basket and one of the birds in the window is holding a paintbrush and refers to “painting the town red” which Melton is associated with.
Proceeds from the evening will go towards the Re-ordering Project. The new window is due to be installed in the church around October time.