Director Jonathan Cooke served a four-year apprenticeship at the York Glaziers' Trust, where he learnt the traditional techniques and methods for the creation, conservation and restoration of stained glass, working on the restoration of York Minster following the fire of 1984. Most of our work is ecclesiastical; we also work for the National Trust and other organisations in the heritage sector.
Jonathan has been a regular contributor at conferences in the UK, Europe and the USA. He has established a reputation as one of the leading exponents of restoration glass painting of all periods, and presented a paper in September 2017 on the techniques of late c19 English stained glass workshops at the International CVMA conference in Cambridge, which was also published in a peer- reviewed volume, Art at the Surface: Creation, Recognition, Conservation. He has served on Churchcare's stained glass committee for two terms, and has been adviser to several Anglican dioceses for 25 years.
Ruth is the author of the chapters on stained glass in Windows: History, Repair and Conservation, published by Donhead, and the English Heritage Conservation Basics in their Practical Building Conservation series. She has recently been appointed as stained glass adviser to Blackburn Diocese.
Both are passionate about handing on craft skills.
Jonathan is a mentor for ICON, and for the Livery Companies' pilot apprenticeship scheme. He has taught glass painting at the Architectural Glass Centre in Swansea for more than twenty years, as well as in other venues, including York and our own workshop. Internationally, he has undertaken workshops for the American Glass Guild in New Jersey, and Orlando, Florida, and in Norway for Trondheim Cathedral. He is currently working with colleagues to develop and deliver CPD training in advanced lead-glazing techniques.
Images of a Christopher Whall window at St Mark Woodhouse, Leeds: (now Gateway Church)
This and other windows were restored and conserved by Jonathan and Ruth Cooke as part of a major restoration programme by the Richard Crooks Partnership, winner of
2017 King of Prussia Gold Medal of the National Churches Trust,