Marching on with Project 1

Window commission! Its just in the design stages at the moment & is unconfirmed. The door is a big old wooden double door. The idea is to do the central panels and leave the smaller top & bottom squares.  The section itself is pretty big at 44inches long so there a fair bit of room for a exciting design.

This project has been in discussion for at least 2 years I think, after meeting the clients at a craft show and finally I have made the trip up to at least view the door and see if its even going to be possible.

Because of the construction of the door it is possible but not entirely simple.  The plan will be the router out the inside beading around the panel, leaving the outer beading in place and cut out the inner section.  Pop the window in and add a new bead on the inside.

Because of the double door feature I initially thought it might be nice for the design to connect the two doors via a possible circle.   These are some of my initial sketches.

The above design was the clients favourite. So this week I have been drawing up full size versions to send up and they can tac it up on the door and get a feel for how it might look with some glass samples.

The idea is to have a border divided up randomly with various shades of blues and greens.  The inner section is going to be divided up into a lower & upper section. The upper with have a painted pine branch reaching across the 2 sections, maybe this will be a hazel tree.

The angled centeral section I am undecided about, working out a few ideas and the lower section will be blue with fish swiming about.

If I go with the hazel tree I can work in the myths behind this tree into the design.

Hazel – Corylus avallania

Finn McCool, the nine hazel trees, and the Salmon of Knowledge

Perhaps the most significant is in one of the stories of Finn McCool. Finn is a central figure in Irish mythology – he was the giant of the ‘Giants Causeway’ and the origin of the word ‘Fenian’3.

Anyway, the story goes that at the source of the River Boyne there is a sacred pool. The pool is surrounded by 9 hazel trees. The hazelnuts confer wisdom on whoever eats them – the Gaelic word for wisdom ‘cno‘ is similar to the word for hazelnut ‘cnonach4. The hazelnuts fall into the sacred pool, where they are eaten by a salmon. The salmon becomes known for its wisdom – it is sometimes called ‘the salmon of knowledge’.

Fin McCool is apprenticed to a poet who lived by the pool, called Finegas. Finegas has been trying to catch the salmon but has never managed to do so. In the fifth year of Finn’s apprenticeship, Finegas finally manages to land the fish.

Finegas leaves Finn in charge of cooking the salmon, under strict instructions not to eat any of it.

However while cooking the salmon, a blister forms on the skin of the salmon. Finn presses it down with his thumb, and then because he has burnt himself put his thumb in his mouth. Finn instinctively puts his thumb straight into his mouth and inherits the wisdom of the salmon.

Until the end of his life, he sucks on his thumb when he has particular need of wisdom.


There are plenty of other Hazel related legends so I am looking into that.  First things is to get the window drawn out and coloured & see what the clients think about it.  The design stage takes the longest, as I want the client to be happy & I myself want to make something interesting, challenging & something unique.

This is where I am up to, with the basic structure worked out.  The upper area is still very large &  I am not sure about leaving that as a single piece so it might have to be divided up in some way.  I’ll add to this post as work continues.

Thats the general idea for the border, various greens & blues. The Upper central section will have creeping foliage & I’m torn between including the fish. It might be really nice just to have foliage over the whole thing, more hedge row things lower down and tree like from above. That will be up to the clients though….  The glass for the centre is still an issue, going with the white glass like my previous wood framed items would look amazing but somewhat unusual being that you cant look through it, but the glow would be very interesting. Using a possible cinnamon Baroque would give texture but allow limited distorted external viewing…. decisions.


One thought on “Marching on with Project 1

  1. beautiful design, I look forward to the day I can commission something mythical and ethereal for one of my windows – you can never have too much knowledge floating about the place!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s