The Goddard & Gibbs Exhibitionists
Glass Tile Demonstration – 24.11.18 – 13:00 to 15:00
Private View Opening event – 24.11.18 – 16:00 to 18:00
In November 2017, GreatArt hosted the Goddard & Gibbs Exhibitionists as part of a celebration of the history of our stores building and the stunning glass artworks created here. We’re very pleased to welcome back once again Zoe Angle, Sophie Lister Hussain, Chris Madlin, Sharon McMullin, Laura Perry, Caroline Swash ATD FMPG, and Louise Watson MA (RCA), for a winter show of new glass artworks. These works will be available to view in our windows until January 2019.
Glass Tile demonstration
24.11.18 – 13:00 to 15:00
As part of the exhibition opening, Louise Watson MA (RCA) will be holding a demonstration in cutting and fusing glass to create decorative tile artworks. This will take place in our front of house area. Please feel free to drop in and ask Louise any questions you may have about her processes. This demonstration provides a wonderful insight into the skills of working with glass.
Private View Opening
24.11.18 – 16:00 to 18:00 – with complimentary light refreshments
A chance to meet the artists behind the work, most of whom trained, and all of whom worked, within the Goddard & Gibbs studio at 41 Kingsland Road.
About Goddard & Gibbs
Did you know the GreatArt store used to be one of the UK’s largest stained and decorative glass studios? 41-49 Kingsland Road was once the home of Goddard & Gibbs, founded in 1868, who carried out prestigious glass work for commissions all over the UK and internationally.
“Back in the 1960’s when I first heard of them, Goddard and Gibbs were always spoken of as a very active and impressive stained glass studio, up there with the best and rivalled in the UK only by Powells, Whitefriars.
My first visit to their premises on Kingsland Road occurred in the 1970s shortly after I had been elected Hon Secretary of The British Society of Master Glass Painters. Looking back, I seem to remember a dark ground floor area where the ‘leading up’ happened and a gloomy back area where the ‘cementing’ took place. Walls were lined with racks for glass of every hue, texture, thickness and weight. Boxes of heavy lead ‘came’ were stacked on the floor.
Upstairs the designer had been given a room of his own while the glass painters had a curtained off area of their own on the first floor. Here they brought life and definition to cut but unpainted glass pieces stuck onto enormous glass frames known as ‘plates’. Painting freehand, the painters would gradually bring the ‘cartoon’ drawing to life on glass. The painted glass would then be fired for permanence in one of the kilns, checked, repainted, refired and finally sent on to be glazed downstairs.”
The Walter Gibbs family firm, founded in 1868, joined Goddard’s Glass Works in 1900 with Gibbs as senior partner. Under their auspices ‘Goddard and Gibbs Studio’ was established at 41-49 Kingsland Road on the edge of the City.
Chris Madlin (left), Sharon McMullin (right)
With the demand for new stained glass memorials, the firm’s fame grew after the Second World War. Arthur Buss was chief designer at this time and orders came from all over the world. Goddard and Gibbs windows from this era can be found in Nigeria, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Canada, New Zealand, and USA as well as the UK.
When Buss retired in 1970, John Lawson joined the firm to be faced with the challenging task of designing new stained glass for airports, mosques, villas and palaces. These commissions were obtained through the salesmanship of the firm’s new owner Charles Clark whose company ‘Clark Eaton’ was already working in the Middle East.
With so many demanding commissions in progress, more skills were needed. Designers Alan Younger and Harry Cardross joined the team, Philip Broome supervised the creation and installation of the windows and the general expansion inevitably brought new ideas, techniques and young, lively, people.
In 1999 opportunities came to Goddard and Gibbs from an entirely different quarter. Following Charles Clark’s retirement, Neil Maurer and his team,Malcolm Hord, Mike Snow, and Christopher Borst continued to seek overseas commissions. With the help of their USA representative, Goddard and Gibbs were invited to submit designs for one of their 100 Temples for the year 2000.
Harry Cardross’ designs were chosen, the first of several Mormon Temple commissions for which new techniques and skilled artists and artisans were needed. Accordingly specialist kilns were bought, new fabricating techniques learnt and different kinds of glass brought into use. More space was needed. The Kingsland Road building was sold and the firm moved to Bow before closure in 2006.
Unquestionably this was an enormous loss to the glass community as well as to architects and designers who love this material and admired the work of the firm.
It is good to note that so many of those who worked at Goddard and Gibbs are still very active in the world of glass; including Harry Cardross, Debora Coombs, Elaine Bell, Annie Ross Davies, Michelle Anjou, Amanda Winfield, Jon Mahoney, Chris Madlin, Greville Thorne, Mike Wiley, Rob and John Kirwin, Peter Young, Rachel Williams, Gail McCarthy, Matthew Potts, John Edwardes, Louise Watson, Sophie Lister-Hussain, Zoe Angle, Laura Perry, Sharon McMullin and Ginger Ferrell. Most are creating new work in their own studios or are helping to conserve the nation’s historic heritage. In one way or another, they have all been inspired by their experience of working with Goddard and Gibbs.”
Caroline Swash ATD FMGP
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