Australian Federation Stained Glass
Foreword by Jillian Sawyer
The fervour of Australian nationalism erupted with the federation of
Australia as a nation in 1901 and saw the birth of the first
distinctively Australian house style – THE FEDERATION HOUSE.
With its open verandahs and relaxed and picturesque style being
particularly suitable for today’s outdoor living, the Federation house
continues to delight and attract, thereby creating a need for Federation
style leadlight designs.
The picturesque effects of an amazing variety of door types, window
shapes, turrets and conservatories which include bay, casement,
bullseye, horseshoe, oval and many others, became the perfect medium for
leadlight as a decorative effect. Becoming universally popular, it was
also used in fanlights, sidelights, interior doors and even firescreens
and cabinets. Several of the designs in this book are inspired by and
extensions of original Federation works which have come into the studio
for repairs or restoration. The passage of time has made attempts to
attribute design source futile – our apologies to the unknown artists of
Early Federation was characterised by the use of square, textured,
multicoloured glass panes, plus the use of patriotic motifs of
Australian flora and fauna, with the sunburst motif symbolising the
beginning of the new century and the spirit of a new nation. The sinuous
tendrils and stylised flower shapes of Art Nouveau were an ideal
compliment to Federation architecture and started to make their
appearance around the turn of the century.
Movement toward simpler forms and details was noticeable from about
1910 onward, with formal Art Nouveau being indicative of the late
The vitality and sparkle of Federation stained glass was facilitated
by the great variety of clear and coloured, textured glass used.
The designs in Decorating with Australian Federation Stained Glass
contrive to give an example from each era, with the emphasis being on
the Art Nouveau influence.