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Stained Glass Window Progress for the Chapel of Unrest

Last week, Rockaway visited the workshop of Edgar Phillips, the maestro of the stained glass at Wells Cathedral. Mark had a few technical questions with regards to how we fabricate the frames for the Chapel of Unrest’s multi-louvered windows, along with how to support the weight of glass, amongst other things. It was fascinating, and Edgar is really keen to join us and help with making the panels when the time comes.

It’s always been Mark’s plan that these windows should fully open to represent the part that ventilation has played in our recent history. They'll eventually carry stained/etched/cut glass windows and Mark asked Edgar about painting images on glass to represent aspects such as the Greenham Common women and the poll tax riots. Edgar suggested putting the images in 'bubbles.’ At which point, Mark pulled out a sketch he’d done the previous evening featuring 'bubbles'… synchronicity can be a wonderful thing sometimes!

Above, you can see Tim making a start on the windows. It's a tricky business because they have to rotate in an arched frame without fouling the frame. If there’s any great engineering brains reading this with a clue how to achieve that gracefully, we’d love to hear from you. They will be about 500 mm wide each and rotate on a central axis. There will probably be 12 windows in total and Mark is hoping we can make them all open at once, which will probably involve some complicated winding mechanism. The bearings in the photos are what we hope will carry the multi-louvred windows. Apparently each one can carry 1,000 kg of weight! It seems unbelievable, but they’re definitely capable of doing what we need them to do.

Finally, all of this work is being funded by the people that have joined, and who will join, the Chapel of Unrest. It means the finished result will be something we've ALL made between us. The above pictures demonstrate what a £10 membership pays for, and it turns out that’s 400 mm of steel. There will be 30 metres in the two window frames, and then more to form the windows themselves. The other photos show Marta's badge making machine and her relentless work at packing all the memberships - 700 now! It's really growing at a fantastic rate and we’re very grateful to everyone who's joined in so far.

If you want to become a member of the ‘Congregation of Agitation’ and join us in building the Chapel of Unrest, just click below:

If you have any engineering skills that you think would help with the windows, then feel free to get in touch below, and thanks!

1 Comment

Feb 21, 2023

Cant' wait to see the finished windows. I love the idea of the Poll Tax Riot and the Greenham Women. I was a Greenham Woman and lived at the common and I was at the poll tax riot (it was my birthday that day!). It will be like coming home!


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