GLASS / GWYDR


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JONAH JONES’S GLASS

All of Jonah’s glasswork was made during a short period of less than 10 years during the 1960s. That he turned his hand to this specialized craft was only due to his being given the commission for all the artwork in Ratcliffe College’s new chapel, including stained glass and dalle de verre (slab glass). Typically he treated this as a challenge; “If the work is there, you must have a go,” he observed laconically. He spent some time with Keith New, who had made a number of the windows at Coventry Cathedral, and then acquired a special kiln for firing stained glass.

Jonah reckoned that making stained glass involved 14 separate stages. He conceived his designs “as a kind of mosaic”. From a rough basic outline he would work “directly to the real thing” – contrary to the approach of many other artists, who create from detailed cartoons. He also ventured into the sphere of dalle de verre (slabs of coloured glass set in a matrix of concrete, later using the new technology of epoxy resin).

Jonah’s glasswork was profoundly influenced by his Catholic faith at the time. Almost all of it was made for Catholic churches around Wales and the North and Midlands of England. The result was some of his most vivid and beautiful imagery, which deserves to be better known among his oeuvre.

GWYDR JONAH JONES

Creodd Jonah ei holl waith gwydr mewn cyfnod byr o lai na 10 mlynedd dros y 1960au. Yr unig reswm iddo droi ei law i’r crefft arbennigol hwn oedd ei fod wedi cael comisiwn am yr holl gelfwaith yng nghapel newydd Coleg Ratcliffe, gan gynnwys gwydr lliw a dalle de verre (gwydr slab). Fel arfer gwelodd hwn fel sialens; “If the work is there, you must have a go,” dywedodd yn gwta. Treuliodd rhywfaint o amser gyda Keith New, a oedd wedi gwneud nifer o’r ffenestri yn Eglwys Gadeiriol Coventry, a wedyn cafodd afael ar odyn arbennig i danio gwydr lliw.

Amcangyfrifodd Jonah bod y broses o greu ffenestr liw yn cymryd 14 cam gwahanol. Dychmygodd ei gynlluniau fel “a kind of mosaic”. Gan ddechrau gyda braslun sylfaenol, roedd e’n gweithio “directly to the real thing” – yn wahanol i lawer o artistiaid eraill, sy’n gwneuthur o gartwnau manwl. Mentrodd hefyd i faes dalle de verre (slabiau o wydr lliw wedi’u gosod mewn matrics o goncrid, neu nes ymlaen technoleg newydd resin epocsi).

Cafodd ffydd Gatholig Jonah ar y pryd ddylanwad dwfn ar ei waith gwydr. Fe’i wnaethpwyd bron i gyd ar gyfer eglwysi Catholig o gwmpas Cymru a Gogledd a Chanolbarth Lloegr. Y canlyniad oedd rhai o’i ddelweddau mwyaf byw a phrydferth, sy’n haeddu mwy o gydnabyddiaeth ymysg ei waith.