I am a stained glass artist working with traditional stained glass materials and techniques to produce a range of bespoke sculptures, traditional leaded panels and personalised commissions.
My new workshop named d c glass is located in Kendal, at 11 Allhallows Lane, LA9 4JH
The new workshop offers the chance to purchase or order from my range of bird sculptures as well as see me at work on latest projects and commissions.
I love birds and a lot of my work is inspired by these feathered friends… but not exclusively.
I really adore the challenge of designing stained glass panels and at my workshop you can browse plans and images of past commissions as well as discuss your own projects.
It was a great honour during 2017 for me to be asked to produce a stained glass window for the home of John Ruskin, Brantwood, located adjacent Coniston Water in the Lake District. The panel featuring thrush and blackbirds is located above the entrance doorway to the Terrace Restaurant.
Prior to opening the new d c glass workshop I traded happily as Debbie’s Shed from my old home in Silverdale on the edge of Morecambe Bay for the previous 10 years.
Over the years i have acquired new skills and techniques including using wire and wood and metal. But, it was the purchase of a kiln some years ago now, that really fired me up. A large part of my current practice now includes the traditional art of stained glass painting.
Paint adds a further dimension to your work. It tricks the light. It halts it; diffuses it; intensifies and enhances. I love to paint on glass.
I use the paint to add plumage and markings to my bird sculptures… to add movement and detail and depth to my stained glass panels.
And silver stain…. well. I am only just getting started on that!
My name is Debbie Copley. I am a self employed craftsperson who works predominantly with stained and leaded glass.
My recent passion for making things using stained glass brings together a lifetime of accumulated skills and aspirations.
I use stained glass as a material to produce a desired finish product. I love three dimensional things. I like colour, movement, sometimes drama and sometimes humour, pretty things and originality. I use glass and the associated traditional leading techniques, crafts and skills as the basis for all my work.
Birds and animals feature in my sculptures that reflect my love of the natural form, nature and my surroundings. My copper-foiled work is usually quirkier, more colourful and personal. My glass applique work satisfies my desire for detail and I like that it can be very pictorial.
How did I start using stained glass? A friend suggested ‘stained glass’. We had been doing pottery for a couple of years and were looking for something different. I had produced a burgeoning collection of ‘browny’ coloured ash trays using the infamous ‘cappuccino’ glaze. Now, not only do I dislike superheated frothy cappuccinos but I don’t even smoke. It was time for a change.
And so began our ‘stained and leaded glass’ education. I loved it. The tools, the skills, the sparkly materials – and the danger! Cutting glass in those early days gave you quite an adrenaline rush. All around the room were splintering noises followed by audible sighs of relief, and occasionally the odd expletive. We had loads of cut fingers but progress was made. With the first year under our belt, two friends and I launched ourselves on the public under the banner of ‘The Glass Girls’. We had some very happy events and our local audiences were very appreciative and kept us in beer money. We had great success at the ‘Silverdale and Arnside Art and Craft Trail’ and my support grew to the extent that I am now self-employed and I get to spend as much time in my shed as I like.
So what has influenced me along the way? I’ve always been a bit of a maker. One of five, I was surrounded by a dad that could make ‘anything’ (He really could) And a mam who couldn’t draw, (sorry mam), but could bake and sew and knit and race and help with maths homework. I began making Christmas prezzies for my brother and sisters at about aged 14. (They were relieved when I started earning money at aged 17)
My first ‘making’ passion was sewing. What I couldn’t knock up using a quids worth of fabric off the market and a photo from ‘Honey’ magazine! My love of colour, form and texture stems from this. The skills, the handling of the tools and the technical side of my work are probably helped by my background in engineering. My love of 3D will come from my dabbling in many sculptural techniques over the years such as dress- making, textiles, basket-making, green willow working and ceramics. My love of colour and detail comes from being stimulated by my surroundings. I am lucky. I live in a beautiful part of the world. I have the sea and the mountains at my disposal. What more inspiration could you ask for?
What’s all the fuss about sheds? Not sure where that has come from but I do like the great outdoors. And being from the north with the climate and all, I guess a having a shed is the next best thing to being outside. I like that they have a purpose but don’t have to be tidy. I like that they are quiet. My latest shed is fab. My brother built it and it has a grass roof, lots of light, a workbench and a stool and its waaaaay at the end of my house.
Where do I go from here? Well, I am self employed now so I guess I should have a ‘plan’. I am already content. I have a beautiful family, I love my work, I live in a fantastic place and I have a shed of my own! I just want to carry on making beautiful things that hopefully people will want to buy. And my ‘business plan’?….….Well, I have started this blog…… read on!