Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Surreal Day

Yesterday was a very surreal day for me, so surreal I feel that I should share it.
For a few months I have been working on the refurbishment of The Woodside Hotel, Aberdour. The restaurant of this hotel is the original restaurant from the SS Orontes dining saloon.

This Orontes was launched in 1902 and scrapped at Inverkeithing in 1926 where someone had the foresight to save this incredible space. The stained glass in this construction is stunning and yesterday it was my pleasure to be cleaning it (from the outside). The outside area is protected by a kind of glass house roof and you have to squeeze into the space in between to carefully clean.
The stained glass was designed by Oscar Paterson (1863-1934) who trained as a glassmaker and a tutor in glass technology at Gresham College in the 1880s.

Paterson was a skilled practitioner who pioneered many stained glass techniques and experimented with etching glass with hydrofluoric acid. Oscar was a friend of Charles Rennie Macintosh and his dominant leadlines designs contributed to the development of the 'Glasgow style'.

In 1889 Oscar opened his first studio which became internationally famous for its distinctive domestic glass in the 1890s. The Paterson's studio produced a large amount of glass for the Pacific and Orient Shipping Company and the Cunard Line including the Orontes, the Lusitania and the Royal Yacht. Oscar also produced windows for a large number of churches, including St. Magnus' Cathedral in Kirkwall and Crichton Memorial Chapel in Dumfries. The Argyll Window in Saint Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh (1896).

Oscar Paterson was said to be the most significant stained glass artist in Britain at this time after Edward Burne Jones. He received much more public and critical acclaim that any other Glasgow glass artist, however he died aged 71 with no obituary and is buried in an unmarked grave at Glasgow Necropolis.

The before and after.

In the middle of the day I took time out to rendezvous with a lovely lady on a bus, to deliver a dead (frozen) fulmar to her, so that it can have its stomach contents analysed for plastic ingestion. 
Unfortunately many seabirds were killed in the storms of the last few weeks. 
When I retrieved this one from Pettycur bay early on Monday morning there was a tiny, precious colony of them in the cliffs, so here is a happy live fulmar for you to see.