HUNDREDS of Tamworth children have been learning the art of stained glass window making as part of a special project which will see their designs being incorporated into a new commemorative window at Tamworth Library.
Artist Ester Naylor is working with primary school pupils on the theme of ‘heroes’, inspired by those who fought for the country’s freedom during World War One and to mark 100 years since the start of the conflict.
The project is called I Am Hero and is another strand of the 12-month I Am Tamworth programme of events being organised by Tamworth Borough Council’s Arts & Events team to inspire people to get creative.
As part of I Am Hero, Ester has been visiting primary schools to teach children about the processes involved in stained glass window making and to explore the theme of heroes.
Inspiration was taken from the WW1 stained glass memorial windows in St Editha’s Church which will be complemented by the new window being prepared for the adjacent library.
Ester, who has over 30 years of experience in stained glass window making, said: “We looked at WW1 and how those who fought in the conflict made the country a better place for future generations; giving children of today the opportunity to become heroes in their own lives.
“We also explored the theme on a personal level, with the children considering who their heroes are and the sort of people they want to become.”
More than 200 pupils took part in interactive sessions at Coton Green, St Gabriel’s, Birds Bush and Two Gates primary schools. Youngsters came up with designs which Ester then mapped out on individual 16cm by 13cm pieces of acrylic for them to paint.
Children were then asked to think about heroes on a bigger scale, in terms of what they can do to make the country a better place for future generations, and to interpret this in drawings and paintings. Ester will use these designs as the basis of a new 4ft by 2ft stained glass window she is making for Tamworth Library.
Cllr Steve Claymore, Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Economy, said: “This is a great project because it has enabled children to explore a new skill with a professional artist while thinking about the sacrifices made on their behalf by the men and women of World War One. The stained glass window they are helping to produce is a perfect way to mark the 100-year anniversary and will act as a permanent reminder to future generations.
“We are hoping the project will also raise some awareness of the amazing stained glass windows we have in St Editha’s Church, which include work by William Morris, and encourage more people to go and look at them.”
Ester will spend the next few months designing and making the new window ready to be placed in one of the recesses on the front of the Corporation Street library this autumn.