Posted by: Glassartist | April 30, 2009


St John’s School in Leatherhead, Surrey, UK.

The studio Sunrise Stained Glass has been working on new commissions for stained glass windows for churches and other religious buildings in the UK for many years, and were pleased to be invited and selected to provide a major work at a school with a long tradition of involvement with the Anglican Church. St John’s School in Leatherhead, Surrey, was established to educate the children of the Anglican Clergy, and this tradition continues into the present day, although now children of both sexes and all religious denominations are welcomed at the school.

The proposed new window was to be the first stained glass window in what had hitherto been a completely clear glazing scheme, and although the chapel space was flooded with light it was felt that a new window would bring warmth and colour and added meaning into the chapel, and which acts as a focus for school life.


The submitted design was accepted and work began on the new window with the drawing up of the full size window cartoon and the ordering of the hand-made glass that would make up a major part of the window. The particular type of glass used would be a ‘flashed’ glass, i.e. a base colour with a thin surface layer of deeper colour. This type of glass is made in France by St Just and in Germany by Lamberts Glass Company, and is available in a range of combinations of base and surface colour, mostly reds and blues. The flashed glass is chosen because the surface layer of colour can be removed by an aciding out technique, or by abrasion by sand-blasting, and can add a whole new dimension of possibility of colour graduation and painterly effects when skillfully treated. All of the glass in the window is made from hand-made traditional methods, and is painted with kiln-fired metallic oxides or pigments and silver-stain. Silver staining is the use of silver nitrate fired to the glass at varying strengths and temperatures to achieve a wide range of yellow/amber colouration on clear glass. This also of course opens up the possibilities of firing silver stain to coloured glasses to get the oranges and greens for example, when fired to reds and blues. This generally is the only actual colour added to the glass (with the exception of some enameled colour), the colour being already in the glass sheet selected and then subtracted by the aciding process. The great Eagle of Saint John which dominates the centre of the window is a good example of how sheets of solid blue glass were etched and silver-stained to achieve the finished image.

The whole large work was finished by the beginning of March 2009. There were 37 No. separate panels making up the total window measuring 6M x 6M to the apex, and we photographed the installation process as the windows went in one by one. So if you would like to see a stained glass window appear before your eyes, please have a look at the slideshow on Youtube of the windows being fitted in place and we hope you enjoy it.

Stained Glass Window - Eagle of Saint John

Stained Glass Window – Eagle of Saint John

And if you would like to see some more photos of the window, including some more close-up shots then please go to our original website page or to the St John’s Chapel commission on our studio glasspainter and designer’s profile at for galleries that do not need Flash support in your browser.

If you would like to contact the studio please telephone on +44 (0)23 9275 0512 or email

Sunrise Stained Glass Ltd, 58-60 Middle Street, Southsea, Hampshire, PO5 4BP, UK.



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