Stonegate Glass Studio and Gallery brings stained glass revival in Low Bentham

A young Lancashire couple are bringing a splash of colour into our lives and our homes

Stained glass windows grace our cathedrals and castles and, perhaps, the occasional cracked pane is found in a Victorian terrace. But they don’t often spring to mind when you are planning changes to your household interiors.

However, contemporary, colourful glass is starting to become more and more popular as home owners discover it’s not necessary going to break the bank.

Leading lights in this growing trend are Annette and Gary McMillan, who met while studying glass design at university. They now run the Stonegate Glass Studio and gallery at Low Bentham on the wild north east frontier where Lancashire meets Yorkshire.

Gary spent eight years as a glass blower in Ambleside while Annette worked in metal forging and sculpture before starting their own business.

From their converted barn they design and make stained glass windows, fused glass art works and strikingly colourful splashbacks for kitchens and bathrooms. So who needs tiles?

‘We do a little restoration work but we specialise in more abstract, colourful colours in contemporary shapes,’ says Gary. ‘We can work in all types of interiors and spaces and, after discussing preferences, we’ll usually prepare three designs for people to choose from.

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‘Every job is very different - you never know what’s coming next. For instance, we did three stained glass panels for a dentist in Grange-over-Sands which features big faces with teeth sticking out.’

Most of the sheet glass is bought in and then cut it to match the agreed design. The intricacy of the job will dictate the price but a relatively straightforward two panel glass front door could be as little as �350.

The multi-coloured glass splashbacks have become increasingly popular. ‘We are getting inquiries almost every day,’ says Gary. ‘By the time you’ve bought expensive tiles and hired someone to put them up, the splashbacks seem reasonable.’

Their gallery showcases other artists as well as displaying their unique fused glass creations which highlight the beauty of glass and the way the light catches bubbles, texture and iridescent surfaces.

Previous clients have included Thurland Castle, Nokia, Lakeland Ltd, Heathcote’s Restaurants, Aquarium of the Lakes and Liverpool Hope University, which was a major commission.

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