Through a glass, brightly

I did think about calling this post Chicken Oblivious. But you know how it is. The cyclist would have been offended. If he’d known.

I’d spent the afternoon engrossed in watching a kind of ballet. Two people, dancing a pas de deux, ceaselessly moving around each other, with fluid, choreographed steps. Except I suspect they’d deny the choreographing bit – and they’d probably be right.

But choreographed sounds better than ‘managing to avoid each other’ or ‘without colliding or tripping up.’

Which is all quite important if you’re holding something that’s heated to over 1000 degrees C.

Say, what?



I was in Mawdesley, Lancashire. Escaping the house.

Our kitchen is a scene of much banging and clattering. Its infrastructure has already been consigned to kitchen afterlife. Some to the Sally Army, some to other forms of recycling. Some – I’m afraid – to the tip. Or landfill, I suppose I should admit.

Those ceramic tiles (many cracked) are going too… aaargh

I’m sorry. I would have liked to keep it, but its twenty-seven (or so) years of service weren’t just showing, but demonstrating.

So, we’re soon to be the, ‘yeah it’s ok, it’s a kitchen, it works, but why is it so expensive?’ owners of a new, tame, sober, pale kitchen.

Which is why we’re buying the lights.

Not these – white flexes and three not four – but similar



Such a puny word.

They are – I now know, having watched the making of them – a work of art.

Clear glass, the starting point


One form the colour comes in for adding to the clear glass

The other way of adding colour – chop a bit off this and heat (a lot)

Couple at work: Léona and Stephen Lindars , in between bouts of calm pirouetting around each other

In the furnace – apparently called the ‘glory hole’ (I know)

Stephen shaping the glass with a pad of wet … newspaper! Yes, 1065 degrees C meets paper

About to be removed from the rod and put in the heated cabinet next to this to cool down overnight

Over the years we have accidentally subscribed to William Morris’s view on stuff. Wanting nothing in our house that is neither useful nor beautiful. These – Mr Morris might be thrilled to know – are both.

So, perhaps you can see why I adapted the quotation, ‘For now we see, through a glass, darkly,’ which comes from St Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. But I can’t honestly say it was that version rattling round my brain. Nor was it the Bergman film of 1961.

I resorted to Google. My random choice – from a long list of possibilities – introduced me to Arthur Hugh Clough. And the Liverpool-born-poet’s poem, ‘Through a glass darkly,’ contained these lines:

Ah yet, when all is thought and said,
The heart still overrules the head;

Which is appropriate, given the context.

We didn’t need the lights.

We could have bought an off-the-shelf fitting.

But we saw these and our hearts said, yes!

Bland, safe, though the kitchen shall be, dull the lights shall not.

Hmm. I’ve gone a bit purple. It’s that Victorian poet. Let’s get back to my afternoon.

It was fascinating, watching the performance.

The movement never stops, rolling, swinging, blowing – can never stop till the piece is complete.

And now I have three unique pieces of glass – pieces I find it hard to describe as mere lightshades –  sitting, waiting for the day when they can be installed. Hung in our sleek kitchen. Switched on to illuminate our messy table.

There was one disappointing thing about my voyeuristic afternoon: I spent too long taking pictures and filming. Not enough time watching, absorbing, enjoying.

Or admiring. So much to admire.

But at least I saw more than the chicken did. Or the cyclist. Both of whom passed the open door without so much as a glance inside.





Find Slyglass here, but not over Easter 2018






This entry was posted in Art, jaunts & going out, Lancashire & the golf coast and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Through a glass, brightly

  1. Liz says:

    Thy are beautiful ,will make the kitchen !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ardys says:

    We, too, replaced a very ill fitting, dysfunctional kitchen that was twenty-something years old. Fortunately, it was still useable and I was able to donate it to the local Art Society for their new shed. After 7 years it is still serving them well. Lights were the main point of inspiration for the new kitchen which I spend around 100 hours designing and researching… only because it meant so much and I knew it would be the only kitchen I was likely to ever get to design. Our lights are ‘off the shelf’ but nice, and RED, to which I matched a red splash-back. People nearly always comment how nice it looks, and I think so too. Possibly you didn’t need the hand made works of art, but then maybe your kitchen just wanted some jewellery. Look forward to the finished kitchen photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, you designed it? I wish… got to the point I was shrugging and saying – go on then – to anything bland. We once had a glossy red kitchen in an Edwardian house and it was fab – perhaps my favourite ever. Very easy to mend scratches on the doors with red nail varnish! The units are all bland ivory, though end pieces a different shade – and counters, blah and tiles, yeah well, but walls and light fittings… hmm. Scope for fun! And yes, excellent analogy – our new lights are kitchen jewellery and I do love statement jewellery!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Miz B says:

    Your new lights will be beautiful as well as useful. I have a weakness for art glass, so I admit to being envious. I love that the glass and light together make dynamic art.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oooh the lights are lovely. You have touched something on my I Would Love To Do One Day list… art glass blowing classes, creating beautiful objects via alchemy, with which I have an ongoing fascination in many forms, a kind of magic, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

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