DNG Stained Glass
Published: Tuesday, March 30, 2021
Meticulous work on remarkable buildings.
An expert with over 20 years' experience of working on some of Britain's most highly regarded historic and ecclesiastical buildings. David Green specialises in stained glass and leaded light restoration, repair and conservation, including the associated metal work and traditional glazin.
His company, DNG Stained Glass, also provides surveys and condition reports, on site cleaning, repairs and refurbishment, as well as window protection and wire mesh guards, which he manufactures in his own studio.
Based in Tingewick, Buckinghamshire since 2014, David works for organisations such as the National Trust, leading building restoration companies and established architects on projects nationwide. As well as restoration work, he also does bespoke glazing, new design and private commission work.
A recent project took place at the church of St Mary in Moor Crichel. It was declared redundant in 1973 and now sits within the grounds of a private estate belonging to Crichel House, which is situated in the Dorset countryside.
David Green was brought in by the main contractor and the architect to restore the stained glass and leaded glazing to the east, south and west elevations, which took eight months to complete.
"The windows had been boarded up internally for decades and were in a particularly poor state. Everything apart from the North aisle had to be removed for complete restoration," explains David. "The west window in particular was missing a large section from the centre light, which originally depicted the figure of Mary and the holy child. All that could be salvaged from the panel was a small box of fragments, which gave very little information to work with."
Skill and artistic ability
With the help of a fellow artist, old photographs, research and guess work, he managed to re-create the missing piece. This type of work requires a great deal of skill, attention to detail and artistic ability: "a meticulous process that took many hours to complete, to ensure the replacement panel blended in perfectly with the original glazing," he says.
Before setting up his own business, David studied architectural stained glass at NEWI college of art and design in Wrexham (now called Glyndwr university). Graduating with a HND in the early 1990s, he worked as a freelance artist before going on to become a full time glazier-glass painter, for leading glass conservation studios Linley Stained Glass, the Cathedral Studios at Canterbury Cathedral, Chapel Studio and as a glazing specialist for heritage building company, Owlsworth IJp.
"I've had the great fortune of working alongside some incredibly talented people over the years, in all aspects of heritage skills and specialist glazing," he says. "If I had to choose another profession, it would probably be stonemasonry or medieval carpentry, as I find it fascinating and I’m always keen to learn new skills" His dream job was without doubt working on the medieval stained glass at Canterbury Cathedral and being part of the team of highly skilled craftspeople, who keep it’s building fabric maintained.
David has just finished working at St Peter & St Paul's church in Buckingham, which involved alterations to the Lady Chapel and returning the original stained glass to the east facing window (pictured below). The stained glass, depicting the patron saints of the parish church, was removed in the 1920s and moved to the opposite end of the building. It was replaced with a plain diamond quarry window, which would be hidden by an altar for the best part of a century, until work began in October 2020.
In January, the stained glass was removed from the north west corner (now the kitchen) for cleaning and light restoration work, before being restored to its original location with new wire mesh guards. The diamond quarry window was completely restored and returned to the kitchen area of the church, with the addition of reproduction period casements.
David gets a lot of satisfaction from his work, "handling history and knowing I've left my mark on some remarkable buildings," he explains. "As with my own creations and private commission work, which will hopefully be around for another hundred years or more."
Profile by Olenka Hamilton
|Areas of coverage||Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire|
|Contact name||David Green|
|Telephone||01280 847689 / 07889 439438|