Saturday, July 21, 2007
Stained Glass and Cathedral Roofs
Today a friend and I took a train out to Ely, a little town nearby- only £3.50 ticket. There is a Cathedral there built in 1081 and it is extra-ordinary! The only Stained Glass Museum in the world is there and it was so neat. I learned all about how stained glass is made and the history of it. It turned out that they were supposed to teach a workshop to some school kids there today but they canceled at the last minute, so since they already had all the supplies set up they just let us use it. So I made a sheet of stain glass! For free. They are going to fire it in the kiln tonight and then I am going back to pick it up later. They give you a sheet of glass and you use a razor blade to push very fine lead shavings into the outline you want them in (that's the modern way of doing it) then use fill it in with crushed-powder coloured glass. They sent the die through the glass when they were making it and then pulverized it and you just use a table spoon and the razor to place it. It was an amazing experience! The lady who was leading the workshop also is a big photographer so she talked for a long time about photography- I learned a bit. So we were sitting on the second floor balcony in an 11th century huge cathedral looking down and up all surrounded by beautiful and then an amazing Boys Choir started singing downstairs and the sounds reverberated all over the room. Oh wow! It was like all my senses were triggered- I see the most beautiful cathedral I have ever seen, I hear a choir in it, I am tactile-working on a stained glass sheet, and eating a plum! Wayne got me into plums. I eat one everyday. So then okay this is like the second best part! I got to climb on top of the cathedral! I have always wanted to go through all those secret stairways and such but never get to! This church is famous for its "lantern." Its an octagonal shaped tower with windows and all around it 140 feet up! SO a tour guide took us up there- we climbed up this incredibly narrow, steep passage all the way to the top and walked around the banisters right next to the stained glass windows and then up more- through a no joke- 4 foot door that some of the men barely got through across the roof and back into the rafters and he opened up these wooden shutters and we look down from the ceiling into the cathedral room from 140 feet up! I'll post pictures later. And we went back onto the tip top of the roof and could see for 24 miles! It was so nasty high! And wondered around this round rooftop next to gargoyles for a little while and stairstepped it back down. What a day! And totally spontaneous. I only spent £14 all together.