Have you ever wondered how stained glass is made? The process takes a large amount of precision, but the first step is a general drawing. We have some great stained glass preparatory drawings in the shop, but a favorite is our Joan of Arc.

Clayton and Bell was a world-renowned stained glass maker out of London. Founded in 1856, John Richard Clayton and Alfred Bell capitalized on the mass restoration of churches during the mid-victorian era. Soon the duo was expanding to new production facilities and employed over 300 workers. They expanded their stained-glass business outside of the UK and created glass for churches all over Europe. Their preparatory drawings were also used for multiple stained glass projects. Our angel pictured below was used in three UK locations between 1903 and 1907. It was then used for a cathedral in Toronto in 1911. Our Joan of Arc is different because it was only created for one location.

Clayton and Bell’s Joan of Arc preparatory drawing was created for the stained glass in Middlesex hospital’s chapel or The Fitzrovia Chapel. This chapel’s construction started in 1891 under John Loughborough Pearson and took 25 years to complete. Middlesex hospital has a tumultuous history, being torn down and rebuilt many times over hundreds of years. The hospital closed in 2005 and demolished in 2008, but one building still stands, the chapel. This is the only surviving structure and still has Joan of Arc standing tall in beautiful colors on the window. The Fitzrovia Chapel is still open to the public today and you can still see what came from this Clayton and Bell preparatory drawing!

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