Faces and Fragments / by Sasha Ward

I was travelling through Oxfordshire, "church crawling" as I believe it's called, when I drove straight past the wonderful sight of one set of stained glass windows visible through the other. Unusually this church, St James' Aston, was open, empty and very light inside, with a coordinated set of patterned windows and a few commemorative figurative ones that I ignored. 

 St. James, Aston, West Oxfordshire

St. James, Aston, West Oxfordshire

The even light of a dull summer's day was perfect for viewing and photographing the stained glass. There are 18 of these lancet windows with up to three medallions of coloured glass, crazy patchwork style, in each with a dedication below. I have always loved this way of making stained glass, it's as fun to look at as it is to make, with unexpected juxtapositions and colour combinations. These fragments don't look that old and could some of them have been made especially for the scrap box (cheating in my book)? The latest date on a dedication panel is 1970, that's all I've been able to find out about the windows so far.

 Inside the nave, plain apart from glass medallions, kneelers & pews - all very attractive.

Inside the nave, plain apart from glass medallions, kneelers & pews - all very attractive.

These top two ovals are my favourites; like many of the ones shown here the medallion is centred around a face, expressive, poignant or sliced down the middle. I really admire the compositional skill of the artist who put these together, I stayed for ages gazing up at them. Scroll down for more photos, all of them are from the eight nave windows, and as usual, click on an image to enlarge.