Transition Year

Creative Engagement 
Stained Glass Project

Manor House School began a stained glass project in 2007 with a group of transition year students, Ann-Marie Costello, Dolores Burke, the schools art teachers, and Mr Liam McConkey of Glasshaus Studios. It was funded by the Poor Servant of the Mother of God and the Association of Principals and Deputy Principals to celebrate the schools jubilee. The project's aim was to design and create a stained glass window reflecting the students' journey in Manor House school. Liam our, stained glass artist, was an integral part of the project without whom the project could not have happened.
 A group of students went to Glasshaus Studios in Navan to visit the Stained Glass workshop in early 2007. Here they got an understanding of how stained glass is made. After this they started to do drawings and work out ideas for the design with their art teachers. Students then began to draw symbols and images that reminded them of school and their whole journey through their education. There are many symbols in the window, for example; blue striped border = school tie, elephant = mission, lilly = SMG. The Students then worked with Liam to develop their ideas so they would work on a stained glass window. He was a great help and showed them lots of other stained glass windows including the school convent chapel and All Saints Church in Raheny. These experiences helped the students to design their part of the window. Liam then took the designs and put them together to form the final window. Another visit to the studio was organized to discuss the design and pick out the glass. The final window was unveiled on the school open evening by Derek West, Chairperson of the Association of Principals and Deputy Principals.
Students and teachers alike gained a huge amount from this project. Working with a professional artist gave students scope to view art as a valid career option when leaving school. As this project was done with a group of Transition Year Students, we were not limited by curriculum constraints, which was refreshing. Stained glass creates an opportunity to explore shape, colour, texture and line in a unique way. The students' input into this project was immense. From initial inspiration to beginning sketches, to developing overall design and material choice, the project was of their making from beginning to end. Liam, Dolores and I were merely facilitators in this creative process.