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A Touch of Glass Workshop

Updated: Jul 20, 2019

This workshop took place on the 9th & 10th February 2017

KAE Films filmed us on the first day, I did a few shots on the second day.  

Both days were at the Education venue of the Shrewsbury Museum.

We first viewed the film KAE and Nathalie had created together to offer the children a guided 'walk through' the Heavenly Lights exhibition selecting 

the artwork relevant to the artistic activities to follow.

A walk which took them for a journey through the stories Margaret Agnes Rope has painted.


Nathalie then did an introduction into stained glass, an art form that as pupils of a Roman Catholic School they may have seen in the Shrewsbury Roman Catholic Cathedral.

It was a time to share the study Nathalie did to identify the birds Marga had clearly cherished in her cartoons.

Two cartoons on show in the Heavenly Lights were the perfect display of Margaret Agnes Rope love of birds.


Cartoon 1

St Winefride (Newport,Wales)

One of five high windows by Margaret Agnes Rope in St Peter and St Paul in Newport. The birds truly have a meaning in the landscape. A dipper by the well, a lesser redpoll in the woody leafy background, a kingfisher appearing by her arm in its flight which is an other bird of waters or a solitary bird, all placed in the sites where an ornithologist will find them.

The school the participants attend is named after St Winefride.

St Winefride is also meaningful to Nathalie who first went to St Winefride's Well in 1995 or 1996. She had been for a major head surgery in France in 1994, before she moved to Swansea University to study stained glass art. 

She since then went back to the site nearly each year. 

She wanted to give her prayers to St Winefride to keep her head in good shape for many years. 

St Winefride’s window, Newport


Cartoon 2

The Benedicte (Llandovery, Wales) 

Given in memory of Herbert and Teresa Vaughan, Marga's niece and nephew, both of whom died in childhood and are depicted in the window.

Please read the full study on the post Feathered Regulars

The Benedicte window at the Church of Our Lady, Llandovery, Carmarthenshire


I asked the children to work to a scale that will be proportional to the full size cartoon I had brought on site and shown to them. All glass pieces I had cut for them were to a size they were invited to keep as there reference once they had selected the piece of glass.

Clip of students drawing

KAE Films was hardly noticed by children all in the world of birds

A few birds sketches before a first intro to glass painting

They painted on a selection of coloured glass


Two Questions...

St Cecilia - Visitation window Shrewsbury Cathedral

Was Margaret Agnes Rope a member of the RSPB at its very beginnings?

If she was alive today she would be shocked many of the birds she painted are on red list; the lesser redpoll, the missile; or amber list thrush, dipper, kingfisher, bullfinch, tawny owl.

Flickr link sent by Arthur Rope

A few of the birds painted by the children after they chose the glass they loved.

Which of their birds will be in the final artwork?

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