Todmorden stained glass artist Deborah Lowe got her first ever Royal commission when she was asked to design a stained glass window fit for a prince.
Just over a week before HRH the Prince of Wales was due to visit Ely Cathedral, Deborah got an unexpected request from the Cathedral’s Stained Glass Museum.
Deborah, who has been selling miniature stained glass panels at the Museum for several years, was asked to make one specially for the Prince and created it in her workshop at The Old Fire Station in Todmorden.
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The Royal visit this winter was part of the 40th anniversary of the Museum, of which Prince Charles is a patron
The Museum, inside Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire, displays over 800 years of stained glass.
Deborah, who is a member of the Worshipful Company of Glaziers, which was established in the 14th century, said: “I did some research to find out what Prince Charles would like to see in his own stained glass panel.
“I created something to show his love of the British native red squirrel.
“And the panel also features rowan, hawthorn, hazel and oak as the Prince champions the protection of hedgerows and woodlands,” she explained.
Deborah used centuries old techniques for the panel which was hand painted, kiln fired and leaded.
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“I used handmade glass including some very special glass from the UK manufacturer of mouth blown glass, English Antique Glass,” she said.
Deborah was among over 300 guests including other stained glass artists, Friends of the Museum and supporters of the art and craft of stained glass from all over the country at the recent 40th birthday celebration.
The Prince was given a tour of the Museum by Jasmine Allen, the Curator and was then presented with Deborah’s stained glass panel.
Deborah was introduced to the Prince who spoke of how touched he was by his own individual panel and talked with her about the need to protect our red squirrels.
Deborah said: “I told him that I’d been very moved by his 70th birthday letter as a guest editor of Country Life Magazine where he’d described how much he loved the red squirrels that live around the royal estate at Balmoral in Scotland.”
“It was also lovely to read his son Prince William’s account of how his father has given the squirrels names and allows them into the house,” she said.
Larger stained glass windows by Deborah Lowe can be seen at Wortham Church in Suffolk, Glasbury Church in Herefordshire and St Hilda's High School, Liverpool and she’s currently working on a design for a west window for a church in Manchester.