NATASHA REDINA - 2022 winner of the Stevens Competition
"In October 2020 I travelled up to the Yorkshire Dales, a place I had frequented regularly as a child. On my first night there I settled by the open fire in the cosy Red lion Inn in Burnsall happy and excited to have the opportunity to learn from Jonathan Cooke in his studio in Ilkley. I had originally been booked on his Masterclass workshop at Swansea, but it had been cancelled due to Covid. So he generously agreed to host a workshop with just two, socially distanced participants, in his stained glass studio in Ilkley.
My commute each day was through the beautiful and breathtaking Dales. One night as Ruth Cooke and their son Tom came to visit me, we sat by the fire, they told me tales of the barguest. I could well see how folklore and magic were still close to the surface in this dramatic landscape and this feeling was deepened as I entered Jonathans stained glass studio.
He began by showing us antique pieces of stained glass and explaining to us the techniques that had been used. This piece in particular caught my attention......
"...and I was fascinated to see how sections of the blue flash glass had been etched away and then painted and silver stain applied. I had never had the opportunity to examine antique pieces and work out how they had been made.
Jonathan’s workshop was truly inspiring. He was so generous in sharing his knowledge and it was a real turning point in honing my glass painting technique. He started, as do all great craftspeople, by teaching us about the tools. We were introduced to all the different types of paintbrushes and techniques to use and look after them.
We were then taught how to prepare the glass and the pigment to create layers of delicate work, both water and oil based. The information we received in this few days remains a solid resource which I still refer back to over and over again.
This is the piece I completed on Jonathan’s workshop, based on the work of Samuel Palmer.
When I got back to my studio in London, I applied the knowledge I had gained on the workshop to create this piece, now part of the BSMGP centenary exhibition.
I am so grateful for the generosity of Jonathan’s teaching. He is passing on a knowledge which hopefully will inspire and be passed on to future generations of stained glass painters. I cannot recommend his workshops enough to any aspiring stained glass artist.
The knowledge I gained was invaluable, and this combined with the wonderful hospitality of Ruth, who kept us fed and Tom their son, who took me on a very long (and very rainy) walk, ending in a remote old inn deep in the heart of the Dales, made the my week in the Yorkshire Dales a truly memorable one.
And in addition to this, it was only due to the swift response of both Ruth and Jonathan in signing my application on the morning of the deadline, that I was able to enter the Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass, Stevens 2022 competition!