Stained glass windows conservation – a staff excursion.

Earlier this month, a convoy of cars with Abbey staff made its way to visit our most recent stained glass windows conservation project at the Master Craftsman’s workshop in Buderim. Stained glass artists, Gerry Cummins and Jill Stehn, have been our conservators of choice for over ten years. Their original artworks can be found in many Australian churches and buildings as well as examples of their conservation projects.

We were welcomed at the door with huge grins of delight. Greetings over, we made our way into their workshop. This is a remarkable large room filled with long light boxes set in rows and forming aisles between. On those boxes lay stained glass windows at various stages of development or repair.

Creating a Stained Glass window

Gerry took us through the wonders of creating a stained glass window. It is always an intense pleasure to watch someone who seriously knows what they are doing, making it all look so very easy. The creation of any artwork begins with an idea. The application of pencil to paper is the first step …

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A Medieval Christmas - an evening of Gregorian Chant

Celebrating Christmas with Ancient Song

There is no better way to commence celebrating Christmas than to attend an evening of wonderful ancient chants sung by the Brisbane choir, Schola Cantorum.  Hallelujah! It was also the ideal way to welcome the newly conserved and reconfigured Winchester Cathedral stained glass windows back to their rightful place in the Abbey Church.  After missing the group last year, an appreciative audience was delighted to have Advent ushered in with the unsurpassed sounds of the Gregorian Chants. Performed by a small but dedicated group, Schola Cantorum nevertheless filled the Abbey Church with their music for almost an hour.

More Celebrating with Medieval Christmas Fayre

Following the performance in the Church, chanters and audience moved to the Abbey Hall where tables laden with medieval Christmas themed supper awaited.  Whilst partaking of this appetising repast, chanters and audience were able to meet and mingle sharing their enjoyment of the evening.

Appetites appeased, the evening was rounded out with a further session of Christmas carols, led by Schola Cantorum but with audience members invited to join …

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A Gregorian Advent abbeymuseum.com.au

A Medieval Christmas: An Evening of Gregorian Chant!

For one night only, the Abbey Museum will be hosting an evening of Medieval Christmas and Advent Gregorian Chant, presented by Schola Cantorum, Brisbane’s leading Gregorian Chant Choir. We’re very excited to be welcoming Schola Cantorum back after a brief absence.

From 6:30 pm until 9:00pm on the night of Saturday, 29th November, the sound of ancient chants will be heard drifting from the beautiful, stained glass windows of the Abbey Church. The chant recital will be followed by a light supper of medieval delicacies in the Abbey Hall.

The full menu for this supper is as follows:

Fruit mince pies, mushroom pastries, tuna pasties, plum tarts with cream, apple tarts, gingerbread, quiche, stuffed eggs, rum balls, gluten free date slice, small cakes, meatballs, and shortbread.

Nibbles

Dried apples, dried apricots, prunes, salted cashews, dates, celery, carrot sticks, grapes, and cheese.

Drinks

Wine, apple juice, orange juice, apple and black …

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Restoring the Glory – Stained Glass Restoration

I love stained glass windows… the colour, the details, the vibrancy of the stories are simply inspiring. The stained glass windows in the Abbey Museum collection are some of my favourite objects. That is why I was so excited to take a group of our staff and volunteers to the studio of leading conservators Gerry Cummins and Jill Stehn near Eumundi who are currently undertaking conservation of three of our windows which are usually housed in the Abbey Church.

What an amazing opportunity to see and hear not only how these ancient windows are conserved, but also the traditional method of manufacture, especially in the Middle Ages.

On welcoming us to their studio, which is like an Aladdin’s cave of coloured glass, paints, brushes and colouring pencils, Gerry talked about the difference between leadlight windows and stained glass. They are currently creating an amazing leadlight window to be installed in the large Baptistry in St Monica’s Cathedral in Cairns. Leadlight windows, I learnt, are made of pieces of coloured glass which are joined together with lead strips …

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Even medieval stained glass windows need a make-over!

I recently explained to my husband, having spent a tidy sum on getting my hair done, that it costs more to stay beautiful as you get older.  And I promptly reminded him that as the famous TV ad slogan stated  ‘we’re worth it!’.   Like a lot of us folk in museums near Brisbane, the collection of  Medieval Stained Glass  at the Abbey Museum isn’t getting any younger either!

The Abbey Church

You might recall the Medieval Stained Glass post we presented recently.  It spoke about the Abbey church and the Gregorian Chanting highlight of our Abbey Medieval Festival.  The essential charisma of the extraordinary beauty of the stained glass in the Abbey Church can also be experienced during the knighting ceremony prior to the Medieval festival.  this magical ambiance with candlelight, chanting, costumes and spiritual peace  combine to facilitate a unique transformation into life in medieval times. This unique experience takes place every year before Christmas.

However, on a practical level, …

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