Sarah Burgess PSG :: Tony Sandles

Sarah Burgess

Tony Sandles and I have collaborated previously on several stained glass commissions for churches. I found the opportunity of working as designer with a maker from another discipline was fascinating. I had to come to terms with the concept of trust, handing over final control of my design to another maker for them to interpret in their own medium.

The idea of the Creative Dialogues Exhibition raised the possibility of working together again, this time to integrate textiles and glass, exploring the potential of textile structures layered with glass. I am drawn to the colour and translucency of glass combined with the opacity of the techniques that we have developed. Visiting Tony’s workshop and working with him gave us the chance to develop ideas together, bouncing ideas around and trying test pieces. The floating quality of the textile images is very exciting – there seem to be many possible applications in both decorative and architectural glass.

Tony Sandles

As a stained glass designer working on my own designs I am aware that it is easy to limit myself to what is practical rather than pushing at the boundaries of what is possible. So it is refreshing to collaborate with another artist – especially when that artist practises in another medium.

Sarah and I have worked together on stained glass commissions where she has brought her designs for me to interpret into glass. This has always been an enjoyable challenge as Sarah’s ideas have been largely free from the restriction of the technical considerations involved in stained glass construction.

I was delighted when Sarah invited me to collaborate again, this time incorporating textiles and glass together. From our experiments I believe we have successfully managed to soften the very brittle nature of the glass with the delicacy of the fabrics.

We tried various ways of decorating the surface of the glass with a textile feel, but by etching into the glass through an actual fabric resist we have been able to fuse the two materials together in a way that is truly exciting.

I’m sure we will have fun exploring further the fusion of the glass and textile mediums!

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