What’s with the random red glass??

This piece is called Decision Tree – you can see photographs of the whole piece in my Mosaics gallery. Did you spot the seemingly random piece of red glass?


I am starting to use this single piece of red glass as a makers mark or signature. It was inspired by glass at the Church of Our Lady of Fatima, Harlow. It has dalle de verre (big blocks of faceted glass, shaped by hammer and set in concrete) designed and made by Dom Charles Norris OSB of Buckfast Abbey, assisted by Paulinus Angold and Jerome Gladman. The whole church is adorned by these amazing dalle windows. Being inside is a fabulous experience. Everywhere you look is glorious light and colour. I absolutely loved it. The church itself was designed by Gerald Goalen in 1953 and built between 1958 and 1960. Perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea but I think its fantastic.

What I quickly noticed were all the random pieces of red glass set in amongst the design. I thought it was a bold way to use colour – and how, when you’d expect it to jar, it really didn’t. It lifts the design, giving it extra sparkle and life.

I’ve always wanted to make dalle de verre but at £20 a piece of glass, I have yet to indulge. In the meantime I make glass mosaics inspired by this brilliant process. And – I use my random piece of red glass as a tribute to Dom Charles Norris.

You can see more images of the church on Flickr here. They are much better than mine – the user is called Church Mouse and has lots of fantastic sets of stained glass images – well worth a leisurely peruse.