Elfgift Stained Glass is a trading name of The Typothecary Ltd. The studio is occasionally open to the public and we run workshops in the building. See Upcoming Events for the next date or get in touch for an appointment.
The studio address is:
Bamburgh House, Unit 314
Market Street (East)
Kathleen James, Stained Glass Artist
My aim is to create art that uplifts and inspires hope through the translucent and vivid medium of stained glass. Catalysts for my work are history, mythology and folklore.
For many years my day job was as a technical author working in IT, writing software manuals. Yes, that’s just as dull as it sounds. Needing a bit of colour in life, I went back to university to study graphic design and illustration, earning a BA (Hons) in Visual Communication in 2007.
I became a full-time artist in 2017, using my graphic design and drawing skills to create original patterns. I work mainly in the copper foil technique made popular by L. C. Tiffany, often using salvaged or reclaimed glass.
I’m inspired by history and stories like the Welsh legends in the Mabinogion. I visit places like the British Museum or cathedrals with a sketch book in hand and been spotted lurking on demolition sites in London to scavenge interesting glass from old windows.
Ancient history, or How I Got Started
A long time ago, we moved into a new house where a huge heap of glass was left behind by the previous owners. It was mostly clear, with interesting daisy patterns and ripples, cut into rectangles, circles and funny little arc shapes.
Then in 2004, I saw a stained glass course at the local arts centre and thought – oh, I could use it there. My tutor was Caroline Loveys at South Hill Park Arts Centre in Berkshire. I started with that unexpected windfall of clear glass (which many of my designs are still using, all these years later), but it was the incredible colours that made me fall in love with stained glass. The intensity of Bristol Blue, the gold and red that never fades … it’s like holding a rainbow in your hand. I fell in love with the craft and never looked back.