Stained Glass Artist
00:00:03 My name’s Delia S, and I’m a Stained Glass Artist, and make panels for front doors, for restaurants, for churches, for a whole range of situations. I do a lot of repairs work as well, that’s quite a large body of my work, and something I specialise in.
00:00:26 The favourite part of my job is – I’m very keen on history and I love, you know, finding out how things were made in the past. So when I take an old panel apart, I look at how it was leaded, the glasses that were chosen, and you learn a lot from the way that things were constructed previously.
00:00:53 When I was at school, I didn’t really think very much about what I wanted to do. I followed an academic path, because that was a bit how it had gone in my family, but I was always more practical than academic. I always enjoyed making things, building things, and that kind of thing.
00:01:16 I’ve worked in a lot of offices. And I had quite a long career path to stained glass. I took a degree in Geography and History, and I followed a very academic route, but I was never really an academic person, I just thought that was where you made money, and that was how you’d earn an independent living. But it doesn’t always work like that in life, you can be doing a desk job and you can be desperately unhappy, and I saw many people that were desperately unhappy. It just seemed to me that, you know, arty stuff was great, but you couldn’t make a living from it. And it’s just really, over time, that I realised that it was something that I really wanted to do.
00:02:07 I’d been doing glass work as a hobby, and I just thought, well this is an area where a hobby becomes a trade, and there’s a sort of fine line between art and, you know, a proper trade. And stained glass is one of those weird kind of cross-over jobs, because it is very much a technical trade as well as an artistic one.
00:02:35 The moment which I’d say was a high point, which really was a turning point in my life, was when I was offered the trade of skills at a stained glass shop in London. And I walked through the door and I just saw everything there in the workshop, all the panels being made, it was a very busy commercial workshop, very pressurised, the jobs came in on a treadmill, they went out the door, you barely got a chance to look at them. And I just thought, this is a really exciting world to work in.
00:03:14 I have some regrets about how I came into this. I came into this quite late in life, I’m getting on a bit now, I’m sort of middle-aged, and you have to think about – it’s a trade where you need to be very fit, so I would have had a longer working career if I’d come to it earlier. And I wish really that I’d had better careers advice at an earlier stage. I wish there’d been more encouragement for girls to do more physical, practical trades. You know even for boys that they weren’t seen as, you know ,a kind of a thick alternative to academic routes.
Delia S is a Stained Glass Artist based at Cockpit Arts. She came to this relatively late in life, after many years of office work. “I wish really that I’d had better careers advice at an earlier stage. I wish there’d been more encouragement for girls to do more physical, practical trades.”
More information about Artists
The UK average salary is £28,758
There are 37.5 hours in the average working week
The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male
- Conceives and develops ideas and ways of working for artistic composition;
- Selects appropriate materials, medium and method;
- Prepares sketches, scale drawings or colour schemes;
- Builds up composition into finished work by carving, sculpting, etching, painting, engraving, drawing, etc.;
- Approaches managers of galleries and exhibitions in order to get finished work displayed;
- Uses artistic skills to restore damaged artworks;
- Liaises with writers and publishers to produce book illustrations;
- Markets and sells finished work directly to customers;
- Produces works on commission basis for clients.
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