Sir George opens Stained Glass Workshop
24 Sep 2003
Sir George cuts the ribbon at Heather McNeilly's new shop
Sir George cuts the ribbon at Heather McNeilly's new shop
Click for a full size picture
Weyhill Fairground
Weyhill Fairground
Click for a full size picture
Sir George opened Heather McNeilly's Stained Glass Workshop at the Weyhill Fairground.

"I saw Heather at a Craft fair in Faccombe last year, when she was running her business from her spare bedroom. She has built up the business to the extent that she can now move into one of the newly-restored units at Weyhill, joining the other craftsmen and women who are already there.
I know she will do well, and I was pleased to hear that she has a full-order book."
"With only three units left, Weyhill Fairground is establsihing its reputation as a centre of excellence for local crafts - something it has been able to do without even advertising."

Extract from Heather's promotional literature

How are stained glass windows made?
In the workshop you may see stained glass windows and panels being made using techniques and tools that have remained virtually unchanged for centuries.
First a full-size pattern is drawn onto paper; the lines of the design representing what will become the lead lines in the finished product. After careful selection, the glass is cut to fit the design using a cutter to score the glass, which is then snapped by hand.
Once all the pieces have been cut, the panel is assembled using 'H'-section lead "came" which is shaped around the glass and held in position with horse-shoe nails. Each joint is then soldered, on both sides, to secureIyj~j~pajiej t9~ether.
To complete the process, a special leaded-light cement is forced under the "leaves" of lead to strengthen and weatherproof the panel.
How are 3-dimensional glass items made?
The copper foil (or "Tiffany") method was invented in the late 19th century by Louis Comfort Tiffany. Instead of holding the glass together with lead, the edges of each piece are wrapped in adhesive-backed copper foil. This allows the glass pieces to be soldered together, and gives it a much finer line than with traditional lead.
Using this technique three-dimensional objects such as lamp shades and decorative boxes can be made. This method also allows windows and panels to be constructed using smaller pieces of glass and much more intricate designs.
How can stained glass be used in a domestic setting?
Although stained glass if often associated with ecclesiastical buildings, contemporary stained glass can add beauty and individuality to any home - modern or traditional.
For example, stained glass can be used:-
* To obscure an unwanted view, or provide privacy
* In both internal and external doors or windows
* In cupboard/dresser doors
* As an internal panel to bring extra light to dark areas
* To replace an unused dining room hatch
* Or just to add interest and style to any existing window.

Stained glass windows are strong and weatherproof. They can easily be installed into
~ front of the existing glass using wooden
a double glazed unit at the time of its construction.

About Weyhill Fairground

The Fair at Weyhill dates back to the 13th century when it served the needs of farmers, landowners and local people. Everything from a thimble to a traction engine was on sale there, in addition to its main trade in sheep. Booths - open fronted stalls with chalk walls and slated roofs - were arranged around the perimeter of the site for traders and buyers to agree their terms within the confines of cob walls.
Thomas Hardy used the fairground as the setting for his novel The Mayor of Casterbridge: the fair was then the location where, as Weydon Priors, the drunken Michael Henchard notoriously sold his wife and child to a sailor. By 1950 the Fair had all but ceased to function, and for some years the site steadily deteriorated.
Latterly, thanks to the drive of the parish council at Penton Grafton, the Fairground site has been imaginatively restored and redeveloped. The appearance of the area today reflects a programme of careful restoration that has returned it to much the way it was previously.
With the injection of new enthusiasm and determination, commercial craft and design has now been introduced to the site and a fresh vitality has returned. Thirteen craft workshops are being created, and a gallery and coffee shop are soon to he added.
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