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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 yesteryear!

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 Federation era.

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.

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