Grace Ayson

2020 QEST Benefact Trust Scholar - Stained Glass

Grace Ayson is a stained-glass artist and conservator. She has been practicing conservation and restoration for over twenty years, initially working on decorative surfaces with companies such as St.Blaise Ltd and, for the last fourteen years, working on the conservation and restoration of stained glass with The Cathedral Studios based at Canterbury Cathedral. Grace also designs and produces original contemporary stained-glass windows and artworks for exhibition. She is now pursuing her own independent practice as a stained glass artist. 

Grace’s QEST Scholarship will fund a course and placement to extend her skillset. With renowned British designer, glass embosser and gilder David Adrian Smith she will learn a variety of advanced techniques centred on glass surface, texture, light transmission and reflection. She will then spend time with contemporary British painter and stained-glass artist Tom Denny to work on a commission for a church stained-glass window. Finally, she will make workshop visits to Lamberts Glass in Germany.

I have a deep respect for the traditions of my craft and have spent a great deal of my professional life restoring historically important windows using traditional materials and techniques. In my work as an artist, I always strive to push the possibilities of traditional techniques and materials to make new work and engage with the materials of stained glass in new and exciting ways. I firmly believe that the craft of stained glass in its traditional form can be reinvigorated and carried forward by looking beyond the usual parameters of conventional practice. I want to combine contemporary art and the innovative use of traditional craft.