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COMMUNITY

MEET THE ARTIST Liza Walker

Found in most of the countries churches, some public buildings and even homes, Portugal has a rich heritage of stained glass. From her little studio in Almádena, Liza Walker continues the tradition, making her art from coloured glass. The Glass House Algarve is a hive of activity, busy creating new works, some for fun and others on commission. During October through April Liza shares her passion by teaching the vintage craft of working with stained glass. After taking a class Liza became addicted to creating more and more, mostly self-taught and with the help of many others who choose to create pieces of art from glass. “As anyone who has had to work things out for themselves will know, this can be a time consuming and frustrating, but you come out the other side proud and pleased.” Liza works utilising the same procedures devised by Louis Comfort Tiffany, famous for his glass lamp shades. “Each individual piece of the design is cut out of the chosen glass by hand, the edges are ground smooth then wrapped in a thin strip of copper foil. Then, using flux and solder to adhere the whole design together.” WHERE DOES SHE GET THE IDEAS FOR HER WORK? “One of the main sources of inspiration is the glass itself. When you handle a piece of coloured glass sometimes it tells you what you should be making from it, the light shines differently through each piece, and I spend hours holding any new glass up to the natural light to see what comes through. I am particularly fond of birds and nature, so am always finding a way to add them into my designs.”

one person you know all of the plasters were worth it.” For those who have never tried stained glass Liza offers an informal beginners course of approximately eight hours, split over two consecutive days and held in a comfortable home. Once you have completed the beginners course, or for those who are already familiar with the method and would like to carry on making other pieces, there are weekly or fortnightly drop-in classes. A fun and informal class where you can work at your own speed, chat and discuss your designs. “In the beginners class we will be making sun catchers with all of the materials included to start and complete your first project. A selection of patterns are provided for you to choose from. The class is small and informal with a maximum of four or five people. For those who are concerned, we do not use lead in any of our projects.” Liza's work will be on sale at the Artisans Fair in Almadena, on the 1st of December, and at Vale de Lobo Christmas Market on the 7th.

+INFO:  theglasshouse@outlook.com  +351 914 185 021  www.glasshousealgarve.com   theglasshousealgarve

HOW LONG DOES EACH PIECE TAKE TO CREATE? The length of time depends on many things, often the pattern itself takes the longest to work on, some patterns have taken nearly a month to complete. Once that is done the process of cutting, grinding, foiling, soldering then cleaning can take anything from a few days with small sun-catchers, to weeks and months with larger panels. HOW WOULD YOU LIKE PEOPLE TO RESPOND TO YOUR WORK? “Of course I want people to love it. I like it when people see the same thing in a piece that I did when I made it. It doesn't always happen, but when it does, even if it is just

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L to R: Angel with trumpet; Sunrise art deco style panel; Magnolia window panel

Top: Christmas decorations Bottom: Detail of stained glass window

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