DDelia Whitbread is a practising stained glass designer and maker in both the public and private field. She has a first degree in English and Sociology from the University of York. After teaching English abroad in the Far East and in London for some years, Delia retrained in etching and painting. In 1987 she completed an HnD course at Chelsea School of Art in Mural Design (specialising in stained glass). From 1987 to 1989 she attended the Royal College of Art as a student in the Visual Islamic and Traditional Art Department studying sacred geometry and iconography.
Delia began practising as a stained glass artist, whilst also teaching architectural glass part time at Roehampton, University of Surrey in 1990. In 2008 Delia was awarded a PhD in the Department of Glass and Ceramics at the University of Sunderland. Her research involved the translation of stained glass design to digital media in order to create a large-scale facsimile of a rose window. She used the world wide web to co-ordinate a collaboratively designed rose window for a contemporary projection. The window celebrated images of female figures and a pilot project was created by 17 artists working together on line and submitting designs for discussion and approval.
Her most recent church commission, the Sacred Heart Window for St. Columba’s Church, South Croydon was installed in November 2011. She says:
In my decorative glasswork I often use a strong formal geometric element. I enjoy making abstract work that uses line and form to create balance with movement – this involves working both with, and against, the tyranny of symmetry. However in narrative work I prefer the medieval figurative tradition of strong colour and distinctive stylized graphic imagery.
For unusual stained glass in a variety of styles suitable for either domestic, commercial or religious environments, Delia offers a professional service in full consultation with the client. She has considerable knowledge of different cultural and religious traditions and draws on her knowledge of sacred geometry and medieval glass for much of her inspiration. She employs a variety of techniques – appliqué, traditional leading, painting and staining, sandblasting and acid etching.
Delia moved to Bristol in 2011 and has a studio in Stokes Croft.