The Art of Glass stained-glass shop in Kenilworth Station is set to move premises. But while the owners are off to a new location, they’ve lost nothing of the passion and drive that made them start the business 27 years ago in the old Post Office building, finds Lyn Staples, of Norgarb Properties.
There’s something magical, even mysterious about the Art of Glass shop, which wouldn’t look out of place in a Harry Potter movie set. It’s got history – and it shows. It’s old and unkempt - yet the paint peeling from the walls, the cracks in the ceiling and the chipped floors do not detract from the beautifully crafted stained-glass pieces that have been painstakingly put together by two sisters who have mastered a centuries old skill.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE STAINED-GLASS BUSINESS?
WHY ARE YOU MOVING?
WHAT IS SOME OF YOUR MOST MEMORABLE WORK?
We have many special memories at this venue. We did the stained-glass windows of the Hout Bay Castle and work for Eden Island in the Seychelles – they even flew us out. We also did some work for movies such as Tomb Raider and The Warrior. We have worked through the night sometimes to meet deadlines.
YOU ARE SISTERS – HOW DID YOU GET ON WITH EACH OTHER ALL THESE YEARS?
The main thing is we enjoy our work. We generally get on well and if we have an argument, we move on.
WHAT OTHER CHALLENGES HAVE YOU HAD?
Eight years in we had a fire at the workshop. It was ultimately a good boost for our business though as people wanted to know what was going on and how they could help us.
WHAT PERSONAL MEMORIES DO YOU HAVE OF THIS VENUE?
When we started, I was pregnant and when my little boy arrived I used to take him with me to the shop and put him to sleep in the drawer. There were many happy times where we would just stop working for a bit and play with him. To this day, customers still ask after the little boy who could fit into the drawer, but he’s an adult now and 7ft tall! Children just love this place as well.
We have had people bring us food. Some people come in asking us to fix their jewellery and glasses. We did not always know how, but always managed to figure it out.
The homeless people are going to miss us too. Some have already asked us whether there will be a station near where we are moving to so they can come and visit us.
We are going to miss the locals but will stay active in the community. We will still have a stall at the Harfield Community Carnival. We are sad to leave, but see it as starting a new adventure.