Designing and executing a new stained glass window

Are you thinking of having a new stained glass window in your home? Atelier Mestdagh can help! The workshop gladly executes stained glass following designs by the in-house designer, by an external designer or by an architect.

The art of stained glass in a contemporary context.

Creating and executing new stained glass is equally important to the conservation and restoration part of the workshop. Atelier Mestdagh is a stained glass centre where Ingrid Meyvaert is working as the in-house designer, and where Katrien Mestdagh and Laura ten Zeldam are creating new projects for their brainchild Lumi & co. Architects and guest designers are also welcome to have their glass designs executed at the studio.

For years Ingrid Meyvaert has been creating new, contemporary stained glass designs that demonstrate how alive the craft of stained glass can really be. Atelier Mestdagh is keen to break out of the cliché that stained glass is old fashioned, and that it does not belong anywhere else but in a church. The craft itself has not changed to a great extent over the course of history. Mouth-blown glass is still the essence of a stained glass window, however in the design the artist tries to be innovative and contemporary.

In designing or executing a new stained glass window, Atelier Mestdagh strives to have the perfect mix between craftsmanship and artistic talent.

Atelier Mestdagh, your partner for new glass projects

If you are looking for a reliable partner to make, design or install a new stained glass window, Atelier Mestdagh is the perfect choice. The glass studio is an established, reputable source for stained glass expertise in Belgium and abroad.

The craft of stained glass has a future, as long as contemporary artists use stained glass as an art medium.

  • Ingrid Meyvaert
  • Guest Designers
  • Wim Delvoye
  • Lumi & Co
  • Geert De Groote Architects
  • Philippe Depotter
  • Stéphane Boens
  • Production process

Ingrid Meyvaert

Ingrid Meyvaert studied plastic arts at St Luke’s Institute in Ghent. In 1978 she married Luc Mestdagh from the famous glass studio Mestdagh. Their marriage was the start of a perfect fusion between artistic talent and traditional craftsmanship.

Ingrid taught plastic arts at St Luke’s secondary school until 1994. Afterwards her artistic career blossomed, something that continues to this day. She familiarised herself with designing religious-figurative, as well as decorative and lyric-abstract stained glass.

Ingrid Meyvaert is a known glass artist. Ingrid’s work can be found in churches, public buildings, corporate headquarters and private houses. Although she creates windows as autonomous works of art, she believes that stained glass windows work best as an integral part of an architectural setting. In her glass creations she tries to combine modernity with respect for the rich traditional craft.

Her creations demonstrate an exceptional feeling for colours and lines, which melt together in a unique harmony of stained glass and lead. In her figurative work she combines lyricism and spirituality with monumentality. In her abstract windows the natural beauty of mouth-blown glass is emphasised.

Although Ingrid is commissioned by her clients to create new work, she has also created some beautiful autonomous works. ‘The Cross’ is the best example; a beautiful piece of art that was designed for her successful exhibition in the St. Nicholas Church (2006). The stations of the Cross have been showcased in several locations, however we are still looking for a permanent location for the artwork.

Muziek prive ingrid meyvaert
 Ingrid Meyvaert

Guest Designers

Atelier Mestdagh is open to external designers/artists or architects from both home and abroad. In the design stage, the studio supports the designers technically and artistically. The Mestdagh team thinks, researches and experiments together with architects and artists to work out ideas and designs to achieve the desired result. The glass windows are finally executed by the Mestdagh team, but in close collaboration with the designer.

As long as contemporary artists continue to choose stained glass as an art medium, the craft has a future.

Below we give a short introduction to the architects and artists that we have had the pleasure of working with.

Delvoye Atelier Mestdagh

Wim Delvoye

Atelier Mestdagh has been working together with the conceptual artist Wim Delvoye, one of Europe’s most acclaimed contemporary artists. The first project in coordination with Delvoye was the production of three soccer goals made from stained glass. Since 2000 the studio executed chapel windows for Delvoye, which were not made of traditional painted glass, but which largely consisted of collaged pieces of glass with an X-ray film sandwiched between them. In MUDAM, Luxembourg, we made twelve new windows with X-ray films.

In the meantime we have slightly altered our technique, and are now working with a screen printing process using our own glass paint. In 2012 we developed a large window containing Christ figures for Delvoye’s solo exhibition in the Louvre, Paris.

Wim Delvoye - glasraam Louvre - Atelier Mestdagh

Lumi & Co

Katrien Mestdagh and Laura ten Zeldam share a passion for the craft of stained glass and both have the urge to adapt these traditional techniques to the needs of contemporary designs. They are currently working on two projects:

The Lumi is a wondrous, artistic lamp made for babies, children, adolescents and adults…everyone who wants to be amazed by beauty and their imagination! The Lumi is a lightbox which is made from a coloured plate of glass and a silk-screened drawing. The movement of the LED-lights makes sure that the drawing tells a story. Every different algorithm creates different stories or frames, so that everyone can lose themselves in their imagination. It’s art for children! The idea of the Lumi was created for a contest Be Creative in November 2014. The creative duo became one of the ten laureates and consequently presented their project film on the World Expo in Milan (2015). Since then the first prototypes have been produced and the duo are looking for funds to produce their first series of lamps.

Stained Stories is an art project, where new stained glass will be designed and executed to redecorate an old call box or pay booth of 1958, the year of the World Expo. Laura and Katrien were assigned to this project by Belgacom/Proximus in order to make the idea a reality. However this is still the beginning.

Katrien Mestdagh Laura Ten Zeldam Lumi
Telefooncel Lumi Belgacom

Geert De Groote Architects

Geert De Groote is an architect who designed a chapel made completely of stained glass, which was then executed by Katrien Mestdagh. The structure is made from steel discs, in which the stained glass is placed. The entire structure is therefore easy to disassemble and replace. The chapel is designed to be placed in a public space and to be accessible to everyone. People are encouraged to organise a wedding ceremony or baptism inside the chapel or to simply reflect within it.

The chapel has moved around to various different settings and exhibitions, but we are still looking for a permanent location for the structure.

Kapel Geert De Groote

Philippe Depotter

In 2006-2007 the Mestdagh studio collaborated with Philippe Depotter of the architectural firm Bressers. Together they created five stained glass windows in the northern side aisle of the St. Nicholas church in Ghent. Already at the design stage, the studio offered technical support without interfering artistically. The studio developed various potential methods of realisation, one of which was selected by an authorised commission. By July 2007, the fifth window was ready.

Sint-Niklaaskerk Potter Atelier Mestdagh

Stéphane Boens

Architects or clients may request designs to be made or adapted to a particular style. In 2007, the Mestdagh studio worked in coordination with the architect Stéphane Boens on a project in a Victorian villa in Hamburg. The architect set out the initial drafts of his stained glass ideas, after which Ingrid Meyvaert produced the final designs and determined the colour choice. Finally, Luc Mestdagh and his team were responsible for the production and the installation of the stained glass windows.

boens Hamburg Atelier Mestdagh

Production process

Stained glass is an art form where pieces of cut, coloured glass are fixed together with H-shaped lead profiles. When the glass has been painted and fired in the oven, it is referred to as painted or enamelled stained glass. Atelier Mestdagh works mostly with mouth-blown, coloured cylinder or Antique glass as the base. It is a high quality, creative material. We are able to work with a range of 650 colours of mouth-blown glass.

The making of a stained glass window has hardly changed in a thousand years. Atelier Mestdagh makes the conscious decision to use the traditional stained glass techniques and to excel in them.

Design

A design is made to scale 1/10, and illustrates what the finished window will look like. The design visualises the structure and the colours of the glass window.

Cartoon and colours

Next, a full-sized drawing called the cartoon is made. From the cartoon, the cutline (the guide for the subsequent placing and binding with lead of the many pieces of glass) and pattern drawing (a carbon copy of the cutline drawing) are made. Coloured glass is then selected by the designer.

Glass cutting, assembling, puttying

After the glass is selected, the pattern is placed on a piece of glass of the desired colour, and with a diamond or steel wheel, the glass is cut to the shape of the pattern. The window is then assembled using lead profiles (with an H-shaped cross section) to hold the composition together. The lead joints are soldered together. When the panel is complete, putty is inserted between the glass and the lead for waterproofing.

Glass painting

When the glass has been painted and fired in the oven, it is referred to as painted or enamelled stained glass. The glass is painted before being assembled. The painting happens in two stages. First the main outlines of the cartoon are painted on the glass pieces with trace paint. Then matt paint is used for adding shadows. Two firings are required, one for the tracing paint and a second for the matt paint.

Atelier Mestdagh still uses the traditional glass painting techniques on a daily basis, in the same way that they were used in the Neo-Gothic period. But also more modern techniques, such as silk screening, are used when required by the design.

Ingrid Meyvaert Atelier Mestdagh
loodzetten Atelier Mestdagh