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Sunrise Stained Glass Studio

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The Bollin Primary School is located in Bowdon, South Manchester. To commemorate the construction of the school’s new stylish extension completed in 2011, a stained glass window was commissioned by the school.


You may be surprised to learn that you don’t actually have to have a window to introduce the beauty, colour and light of stained glass into a space. In the case of Bollin Primary School the intended internal area for the stained glass did not have a suitable opening to outdoor light. The solution: a simple wall mounted light box. This neat solution not only brings more light into an otherwise dim area but the light-box installation also has the advantage that the window can still be enjoyed without the need for sunlight, such as those dark winter days.


Unveiled by The Worshipful Mayor of Trafford, Councillor Jane Baugh on the 30th of September this window was designed with full involvement of the children and symbolises worldwide peace and ecology, and as an ‘Eco-school’ this is a key ethos of Bollin Primary School. The stained glass window incorporates an image of the Eco-school flag flying above the allotments tended by the children in part of the school grounds. The children’s vibrant and colourful drawings of the vegetables, flowers and wildlife of the gardens even include a jolly red rooster carefully watering the plants. The four school ‘Houses’ are Oak, Ash, Beech and Rowan and are included as trees in the four house colours.  The school name is held by children standing on stepping stones in the River Bollin, after which the school is named.

primary school window


One such example of the school ethos is the school’s ‘peace pole’ in the school grounds -a flag pole with the words ‘May Peace Prevail on Earth’ written on it in the many languages that are spoken in the school community, and bearing a flag which represents world peace. The new window border is composed of the four ‘House’ colours in red, green, blue and yellow, and the word ‘peace’ in these many different languages. School activities of sport, art, music and ecology are also hand painted on the border of the window and taken from designs produced by the children.


As previously mentioned this stained glass window design was based as closely as possible to original drawings of the children, as can be seen in the photo. To achieve an accurate representation of the children’s vibrant and colourful paintings needed some rather creative thinking from the Sunrise Stained Glass team. Traditional techniques of painting and enamelling alone would not have produced the vibrancy of colour needed while leading up many separate pieces of coloured glass would have made the window too dark, clumsy and over complicated. The solution was to combine some painting and leading with a third technique very rarely used in stained glass windows; fusing.

Glass Fusing Technique

Stained glass fusing involved cutting shapes of compatible fusible glass and placing them on top of each other. The glass is then fired in a kiln to a temperature which melts the glass just enough for the pieces to fuse together nicely, but not too hot or definition is lost between pieces. The end result is one piece of glass with strong, sharp, vivid colour change which can then be leaded in to the rest of the stained glass composition. By repeating this technique for the many elements of the window such as the figures, butterflies, flag, carrots etc. an end result has been achieved which is remarkably close to the children’s original vision of the window.


It is rather pleasing to think that these children’s paintings which are usually such ephemeral, short lived things, have now been immortalised in this way and bound with a very uplifting message which will continue to delight future teachers, parents and pupils alike for many years to come.      

Bollin Primary School stained glass window