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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Glance at Glass: Abbeydorney

Recently I was taken to St Bernard's Church
Abbeydorney by a good friend.
She was keen on showing me the
stained glass window that in more than one way
brightens up this grand space.

This futuristic building of 1968 must have made
heads turn in those days. The design, well ahead
of its time, can still very much intrigue today.

The stained glass is well matched to the building.
In the interest of displaying the stained glass
here properly we have taken the liberty to digitally
remove some obstructing church artifacts which
unfortunately are placed permanently right in front
of this lovely window.

During research for this Glance at Glass article I came
across a story about the electrification of Abbeydorney
This humorous collection of anecdotes, which gives an
idea of Ireland in the 40ties and 50ties, is well
worth a read and can be found by clicking here.


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Glance at Glass: Ballyheigue.

St Mary's Church in Ballyheigue
is well tucked away from the village.

The absolutely stunning glass in
this church might not be expected
arriving, at first glance, but is
more than worth a visit.

The image shown here are the
two centre panels of the four
front windows above the altar.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Glance at Glass: Glenflesk.

If one would sneeze at the wrong time, driving from Killarney to Cork, the village
of Glenflesk could be easily missed.
It nearly happened to myself and this was while specifically looking for the place !
Only because I was in desperate need of a Snicker and came walking out of the petrol
station after buying one, I noticed the church across the road, the very
one I was looking for all along.

The significance of the glorious stuff in this church can hardly be over stated.
Apart from the mosaics around the altar which very much reminded me of the ones in the Franciscan Friary in Killarney, it is really the six grand windows of the Harry Clarke studios that immediately attract the eye.

Now, how did a village like Glenflesk gain possession of something like this I wonder.
Wait till I tell you..., without boring you with a whole pile of history, here's the short version:
Collis-Sandes House in Tralee, formerly known as Oak Park House was build in about 1857/1860.
In 1923 the Presentation Order of Nuns bought the place and gave it a bit of a face lift I'd imagine.
In the process acquiring some hip stained glass from Dublin, which looked kind of all right in the brochure, so to say.
When the Nuns left Collis Sandes house in the early seventies one of the more prominent nuns had very close
links with guess what...., Glenflesk. So that's how it went!

On a more serious note, have a very close look at the stained glass and the way things are done.
The figures are their usual high and tall. Colours are just something else. One piece of glass can have four different colours because of the superb combination between choice of glass, shading, etching and silver staining, as shown in the example given here. Also take note of the six toed feet. Two feet with six toes each
is not completely unusual when it comes to depiction of figures in ecclesiastical art work.
But the question of why this is, can better be posed to the lovely Fr. Bill Radley of Glenflesk.
He most certainly is better able to explain than I would.

Thanks go to:
Fr. Bill Radley of Glenflesk.
Writer and historian Turtle Bunbury.
Author Bernadette Walsh, book: A history of Collis-Sandes House.
And the anonymous nun who brought the glass to Glenflesk.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Glance at Glass: Churchill.

The German company Mayer & Co. was founded in Germany in 1847.
By 1865 a London branch was opened and it would be a fair
assumption that from then on more of the Mayer stained glass
was coming to Ireland.

Commonly known as 'Mayer of Munich stained glass', it is the
painting on the glass which makes it so distinctive.
Very soft shading on rich colours. But most importantly the
light is used in a nearly Rembrandtesque way, so to say.
Noticeable is also the very inventive ways in which
silver stain (yellow) is used.

Churchill church, County Kerry has some lovely examples of it.

The detail shown here is facing North and is throwing some
mighty colour onto the surrounding plastering when the July
evening sun is on it under an angle.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Glance at Glass: Ballybunion.

Earley & Company started in Dublin in 1864.
They were not only concentrating on making stained glass.
As ecclesiastical decorators they produced sculptures, painted decoration and metal work as well.
However, their glass department must have had a good look at what Harry Clarke was making around the 1920s.

A lot of the stained glass in St.John's church in Ballybunion is of the same style made by Earley & Co. And it is sometimes a bit confusing to see a traditionally painted head or hand in an otherwise completely Clarke-ish reproduction.

I love this stuff though! Very much a pleasure to explore and research.
Designed with great creativity and endless detail.
Probably the most hidden feature in these panels is the choice of glass.
Many pieces are multi coloured and give the whole thing a richness which
otherwise could not be achieved.

A big WELL DONE for the unnamed artists at Earley & Co.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Glance at Glass: Cloghane

Sometimes less is more!

And in this particular piece, bold brush strokes still work
to make for a lovely soft end result.
At such close range it's easy to see, someone must have had
fun creating this.

The Cloghane church which is towering over the main road
of this well-tucked away village on the Dingle peninsula
is a lovely example of village churches in Kerry.

T-shaped, it very much reminds you of the one in
Castlegregory, only...different.

The stained glass shown here is a detail of one of two
windows above the choir loft in the back of Cloghane church.


Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Glance at Glass: Tralee.

With a population of approximately 25.000 Tralee has at least five
churches and a big number of people that attend mass daily.

From an architectural point of view it might be difficult to choose
a favourite church, but Glance at Glass is about stained glass.

St. Johns church in Castle Street is one of the three bigger ones.
The stained glass is of varying styles, a lot of it truly stunning.

The photo here is a detail of the centre piece of the main window.

Thanks for a well shot photo must go to: ThQ Vink.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Glance at Glass: Waterville.

In our series: Glance at Glass, the following in particular is very close to our hearts.

With daring "fireworks" around the head and body and the intense blue, red and purples in these windows it makes for a very warm display.

Having been involved with extracting, releading and finally placing the three windows in to the then new church of Waterville, Co.Kerry in 1990, I grew very fond of the left angle in the bottom part of the main centre window.

In 1994, our own panel called Waterville Angle was heavily influenced by the above mentioned. With her out stretched arm I felt it was a perfect place to perch a Peregrine.

The lovely old Waterville church from which the windows were taken was tucked away under the fuchsia bushes. Well, that is how I remember it anyway.
It was a bit up the mountain slightly closer to the village than the new church. I wonder if it is still there?

The two side panels of St.Patrick and St.Joseph, flanking the centre piece are not shown here.
When in Waterville, these windows are worth a visit.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Invitation to a weekly feast for the eyes.

It seems like a good idea to present to you some
"hidden" Kerry stained glass treasures.

In a series of bite size snippets we intent to feature some of the
most remarkable pieces of stained glass dotted all over our
beautiful County of Kerry.

As such I just have to start in Dingle.

Harry Clarke's unique style stained glass windows in de convent chapel of Díseart Institute of Education and Celtic Culture are well-known.

The photo above is a detail of one of the windows in Dingle.

Please turn off your mobile phone when going there.