Inspired: Nicola Hopwood

by Webmaster, 20th November 2018

Stained glass windows by Nicola Hopwood, Hay-on-Wye, Powys

A full-time stained glass artist who takes commissions for private and public buildings, including churches, Nicola lives near Clyro with her partner and black collie, and works in her studio near the Black Mountains.


Above: Falcon House

“This was a commission for a local guest house. The owners, who I know, gave me the words, from the poem Laugh and Be Merry by John Masefield. I wanted to create a sense of movement and energy, a bit like a dance, to convey its many guests and the happy atmosphere there.”


The African Natural History Research Trust

“This is a section of a private commission for the headquarters of a charity that studies moths and butterflies, specifically African ones. It was a dream to do as they suggested species that could be included, and I picked out ones I thought would best translate into stained glass. I used a flowing backdrop to convey the impression of forest, and a suggestion of some air and water, as well as some lovely red brown African earth – something I was struck by when I visited Uganda.”


Goodrich Castle Millennium Window

“This was a really enjoyable commission. The village of Goodrich and some adjacent parishes got permission from English Heritage, the castle’s custodians, to put a new window in the chapel. The design was the result of lots of discussion in the community. I wanted to bring out various local references. Goodrich Castle is wonderful, as it appears to rise out of the rock on which it stands. The swirling band is to suggest the flow of the Wye around the hill. Then, etched into the blue band of the river, are tiny drawings done by pupils at Goodrich Primary School at the time of the commission.”


Broxwood Court Chapel memorial to three brothers

“One of the owners of Broxwood Court is the niece of three brothers – Richard, Herbert and Geoffrey – all tragically killed in the First World War. Broxwood is a beautiful family home with a tiny chapel on its grounds, for which the owners commissioned this window. I incorporated poppies, poppy petals at the bottom and flames to represent the three young men.”


Memorial window to Lucy Thomas, aged nine years

“This was my first church commission and a huge privilege. Lucy was a young farmer’s daughter who died as the result of a tragic accident. I wanted the window to be personal to her and a celebration of childhood. In one of the conversations I had with her mother, who arranged the church’s flowers, she mentioned how Lucy would turn cartwheels down the aisle when no one was around – it was the perfect image.”


Autumn equinox

“Where I walk my dog, high up on the hills behind where I live, there’s a wonderful old hedgerow filled with hawthorn trees. This piece is to do with how such trees are affected by the prevailing wind, bending and curving and getting beautifully contorted – especially at this time of year. And it was harking back to the colours I particularly love – greens and golds.”


Scroll down for more examples of Nicola’s work…



More information

• To see more of Nicola’s work, visit nicolahopwood.co.uk 

• Nicola also runs long-weekend courses at Brilley Village Hall, where people can design and make their own windows. More details are on her website.


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