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Commissioning a new Stained Glass window.


Below is an extract from the British Society of Master Glass Painter's website relating to the commisioning of a new window. To see the full write up, visit their website. (The bracketed italics are our additions).


Before commissioning a new stained glass window, serious thought should be given to the architectural setting for the intended window, the lighting conditions of the location and the relationship of the new window to the existing glazing of the building

(the photo below shows two new windows designed for Haileybury College Chapel and how they were designed to relate to an early 20th century crucifixion window).


The more carefully the initial brief is prepared, the more satisfactory will be the end result. For church windows, the advice of the appropriate authorities should be sought at the outset. An Index of work by Fellows and Associates of the Society is sent to each Diocesan Advisory Committee, which gives details of locations and includes a brief statement by each one about their work.







The BSMGP is opposed to artistic 'competitions' in which several artists are invited to submit designs but are not repaid for the intellectual effort involved in the preparation of a design. Clients are advised to select a 'short list' of stained glass artists whose work most closely matches their requirement; all members of the BSMGP will happily supply slides or photographs of earlier commissions to help in the task of selection. Work of some of our Associates and Fellows appears in the Portfolios section on the BSMGP website. It is also advisable to see examples of an artist's work in situ. 

Additionally two illustrated registers of stained glass artists, one juried and one self-registering, are held at the Crafts Council, 44a Pentonville Rd, London N1 9HF. Many regional Arts Boards also hold details and images of work. For engraved glass, particularly suitable for an internal screen or door panel, the Guild of Glass Engravers can provide a list of glass engravers specializing in architectural commissions. Contact: The Secretary, tel: 020 8446 4050, email: enquiries @ 

Commissioning a stained glass window, screen or lamp involves entering into a contract with the designer/maker. It is therefore important that both client and maker know exactly what is involved. The price of the work should be established. The materials used in the making of a window, especially the glass itself, can be expensive and the possibility of commissioning a well-designed leaded light should not be ignored. The maker will need to know the budget for the work and will provide an estimate, and may require a down payment before beginning work and perhaps payment by instalments, depending upon the cost of the materials involved. 

The designer will prepare a preliminary design, according to the client's brief. The design should indicate the nature of the construction and the position of any ferramenta or physical support. This design should be as detailed as possible. It may be accompanied by samples of the proposed glasses. The client must be prepared to recompense an artist for design(s) prepared according to a brief, whether or not it proceeds to execution. The copyright in all cases remains the property of the artist.

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