The Poppies project was for the construction of an internal window; a window to be installed in an inside door.

From the front door of the house, there is a long corridor, at the end of which is a toilet. The door to the toilet has a window in it so that light from a window on the other side can shine directly into the corridor. There was existing plain, frosted glass in the door. The intention was then to retain the frosted glass and to design a new window that would be placed against it. This would ensure that no one using the toilet would feel uncomfortable behind non-frosted glass, but at the same time as much light as possible would shine through to lighten the corridor and show the new stained glass window to good effect.

After considering a number of different designs, the client and I agreed that the poppies design would be most appropriate, with sympathetic colours: a peach background with orange poppies and green stems. The corridor was mainly light-grey walls, a white ceiling and wood-effect flooring.

Here is the original design, which I found on the web. I’m not sure whether the original is copper foil or lead came, but the design just about suited working with lead.

It is quite colourful and bright. I softened the colours a little by making the background peach rather than yellow and added contrast to the orange flowers by choosing a light blue centre instead of brown.

You can see the result below, but first see how the window develops. The first step, and probably the most important, is to draw an accurate template, or cartoon, of the design.

The template:

Drawn by free hand, I started by allowing room around the edge for a 10mm lead came. For the internal lead a finer gauge, 5mm, is used.

With a fine pencil, the design of the flowers, pods and stems is added.

To show clearly where the lead will go and to provide a guide for the cutting and construction stage, the lines are then overwritten with a medium felt tip pen. The thickness of the line corresponds with the centre, or heart, of the lead. The glass, therefore, will be cut as close to the lines as possible to provide a tight fit and neat finish.

Cutting the glass:

Carefully following the design, I cut the glass as accurately as possible.

Following on from that I cut the lead to fit as closely as possible together, with no gaps.

Fitting it all together was very fiddly, as there are no straight lines at all in the design and the flowers are comprised of some very small pieces. It is certainly a difficult design to represent in 5mm lead came.

The finished product:

The result is very pleasing indeed.

In situ:

Here is the window fitted in the door. Being a toilet door there is the original frosted glass pane behind it. It looks great with the sun shining through from the outside window beyond. It makes a huge difference to the ambience in the corridor.